Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti - A New Titan Rises

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti - A New Titan Rises

New Card for a New Year

New Card for a New Year

2010 was a topsy-turvy year for NVIDIA. In March last year, they finally introduced the first of their long-awaited Fermi cards in the form of the GeForce GTX 480, and later the GTX 470. And although the two cards were blazing fast, they were extremely power-hungry and also very hot to run. But in July and with the launch of the GeForce GTX 460, things turned for the better. As we noted in our review, the GeForce GTX 460 was one of the best offerings from NVIDIA for quite some time and was, back then at least, the best bang for buck mainstream card one could buy.

Since then, NVIDIA has gradually improved on their offerings. The flagship GeForce GTX 580, introduced in November last year, not only cemented NVIDIA’s hold on the title of world’s fastest single GPU card, but also features a host of improvements such as a tweaked core and a specially-designed custom vapor chamber cooler for better power efficiency and thermal characteristics. This was then followed up by the GeForce GTX 570, essentially a more efficient and cooler GeForce GTX 480.

However, NVIDIA’s arch-rivals, AMD, is not one to keep quiet and stand still. In October last year, they released the first of their Radeon HD 6000 series (codenamed Northern Islands) cards, beginning with the mainstream Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850. This was then followed up by the high-end Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950. Although the new cards from AMD isn’t a major step forward for the company, they are more efficient and do offer a notable improvement in performance.

Now, it’s a new year, and NVIDIA is taking the first swipe by launching the much anticipated GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Yes, the fabled “Ti”, Titanium, moniker is back, and for good reason, because this card packs significantly more hardware compared to the older GeForce GTX 460. For starters, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti follows the same SM (streaming multiprocessor) configuration as the GeForce GTX 460 so it has eight Polymorph engines and a grand total of 384 CUDA cores - that’s 48 cores and one Polymorph engine more than the older GeForce GTX 460.

And on top of the increase core count, it also has significantly higher clock speeds, 822MHz at the core, 1644MHz at the shaders, and 4008MHz DDR at the memory; compared to the GeForce GTX 460’s 675MHz at the core, 1350MHz at the shaders, and 3600MHz DDR. All in, NVIDIA claims that the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is about 30% quicker than the old GTX 460.

Performance aside, NVIDIA has also incorporated the same transistor level changes that were first implemented on the GeForce GTX 580, and later the GTX 570, to improve the GeForce GTX 560 Ti’s power efficiency. Despite being based on the GeForce GTX 460, NVIDIA claims that the improvements made to the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is enough for it to make it a suitable replacement for the GeForce GTX 470. So far, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti sounds very promising, so let’s delve deeper and find out how it actually performs in the following pages.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti and competitive SKUs compared
Model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 NVIDIA GeForce 
GTX 470
GTX 570

AMD Radeon HD 6870

AMD Radeon HD 6850 ATI Radeon HD 5850
Core Code  - GF104 GF100 GF110  Barts XT Barts PRO Cypress Pro
Transistor Count  1950 million 1950 million 3200 million 3000 million  1700 million 1700 million 2150 million
Manufacturing Process 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm
Core Clock  822MHz 675MHz 607MHz 732MHz 900MHz 775MHz 725MHz
Stream Processors  384 Stream Processors 336 Stream Processors 448 Stream Processors 480 Stream Processors  1120 Stream processing units 960 Stream processing units 1440 Stream processing units
Stream Processor Clock  1644MHz 1350MHz 1215MHz 1464MHz  900MHz 775MHz 725MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units  64 56 56 60  56 48 72
Raster Operator units (ROP)  32 24 40 40  32 32 32
Memory Clock  4008MHz GDDR5 3600MHz GDDR5 3348MHz GDDR5 3800MHz GDDR5  4200MHz GDDR5 4000MHz GDDR5 4000MHz GDDR5
DDR Memory Bus  256-bit 192 / 256-bit 320-bit 320-bit  256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth  128GB/s 86.4 / 115.2GB/s 133.9GB/s 152GB/s  134.4GB/s 128GB/s 128GB/s
PCI Express Interface  PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16  PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors  2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin  2 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin
Multi GPU Technology SLI SLI SLI SLI  CrossFireX CrossFireX CrossFireX
DVI Output Support  2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link  1 x Single-Link, 1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link, 1 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDMI 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 1 1
DisplayPort None None None None 2 (DisplayPort 1.2) 1 (DisplayPort 1.2) 1
HDCP Output Support  Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes
Street Price Launch price: US$249 ~US$209 ~US$259  ~US$359   ~US$239 ~US$189 ~US$220