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Old 02-01-11, 11:32 PM   #1
ViN86
 
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Default nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Introduction

Today we will be taking a look at the GTX 560 Ti. The GTX 560 Ti is NVIDIA’s latest addition to its GeForce 500 series of GPU’s, designed for high performance in daily activities from gaming to video processing to GPU computing. The card is designed around NVIDIA’s GF114 processor and sports a 40nm process.




This card is aimed at the “sweet spot” for gamers, focusing on high performance and low cost. Furthermore, like the other 500 series cards, the GTX 560 Ti was developed to improve performance per watt over its predecessor. This is accomplished via transistor-level changes, similar to those incorporated in the GTX570/GTX580 GPU’s. Furthermore, NVIDIA increased the number of CUDA cores to 384 and increased the PolyMorph Engines to 8 total. These PolyMorph Engines are dedicated to hardware tessellation, one of the newest features in DirectX 11.

The GTX560 Ti has replaced the GTX 470 in NVIDIA’s lineup and is positioned directly against the Radeon HD6870. Prices for the GTX 560 Ti start at around $250. As with NVIDIA’s other 500 series cards, the GTX 560 Ti sports the following features.

CUDA
CUDA is NVIDIA’s parallel computing architecture, enabling large improvements in computing performace by utilizing the NVIDIA GPU for floating point operations. CUDA’s reach is expanding. From games using CUDA for image processing effects, such as motion blur and depth of field, to academic research’s Folding at Home application, CUDA is showing the true power of NVIDIA GPU’s.

PhysX
NVIDIA’s PhysX improves game realism, delivering more realistic effects than ever before. From large scale explosions to trickling water and floating papers, PhysX adds a level of realism to in-game physics never seen before.

3D Vision
As the availability of 3D monitors increases and the prices continue to drop, 3D gaming is becoming more and more commonplace. NVIDIA’s 3D Vision is the first solution allowing you to experience your games and movies in full HD 1080p stereoscopic 3D.

NVIDIA Surround
NVIDIA Surround provides support for gaming across three monitors at resolutions up to 7680x1600 (three 2560x1600 LCD’s), enveloping the player in the game like never before. NVIDIA Surround supports landscape or portrait mode for ultimate flexibility.


Last edited by ViN86; 02-03-11 at 05:48 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-11, 11:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Specifications

Next we will take a look at the GTX 560 Ti’s hardware specs. The GTX 560 Ti sports 384 CUDA cores and 64 texture units. It features 1GB of GDDR5 connected using a 256-bit interface (4x64-bit controllers), offering over 128 GB/s of bandwidth. The processor uses a 40nm process and is based on NVIDIA’s Fermi design. The table below shows a comparison of the Fermi cards.




The changes don’t stop at the GPU. The reference board features improved design as well, featuring more robust 4-phase power circuitry, 5Gbps memory modules and improved cooling, including a new cooler which features a copper heatpipe and a larger heatsink and cooling fan. This all sits on a baseplate which keeps the power circuitry and memory cooler. Let’s take a look at the GPU-Z report.




The outputs on the card include two dual-link DVI HDCP capable connectors and one mini-HDMI 1.4a connector. The card requires a 500W power supply with a minimum of 30A on the +12V rail and takes two 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The card reviewed in this article is an eVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked video card. Next, we will take a look at the card and packaging and its features.

Last edited by ViN86; 02-03-11 at 05:48 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-11, 11:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Package Contents and Features Overview

Below is a picture of eVGA’s GTX 560 Ti Superclocked. eVGA offers two models of the GTX 560 Ti, including the FPB (Free Performance Boost) priced at $249.99, and the Superclocked model, priced at $259.99.




The GTX 560 Ti Superclocked is overclocked out of the box, with the GPU running at 900MHz (vs. 822MHz reference) and the memory running at 2106MHz (vs. 2004MHz reference). The card comes with a variety of extras, including two of the essential molex to 6-pin power adapters, a VGA to DVI adapter, driver CD and case badge, eVGA poster, and a free copy of 3DMark11 Advanced Edition, which is redeemed when the card is registered on EVGA.com. Below is a picture of the contents.




While some GTX 560Ti cards available are based off a GTX 470 design, the eVGA GTX 560 Ti is based off a true GTX 560 Ti design, and features more heatpipes, 8 PCB layers, and a 4-phase GPU power design. Below is a picture of the graphics card and its cooling solution.






Here we can see the three copper heatpipes on eVGA’s GTX 560 Ti Superclocked card, which are designed to provide higher and more stable overclocks. We can also see the aforementioned baseplate designed to keep the power circuitry and memory cool. Every eVGA card comes with the following features.

EVGA Precision Software:
EVGA’s Precision software allows overclocking, monitoring, and fanspeed adjustments for your graphics card, allowing you to squeeze extra performance out of your hardware. www.evga.com/precision/

EVGA OC Scanner:
EVGA’s OC scanner is supported by the EVGA GTX 560 Ti and allows you to benchmark, monitor, and test your graphics card for stability, helping you achieve your maximum stable overclock. www.evga.com/ocscanner/

EVGA ELEET Software:
Increase your voltage to your video card, enabling you to reach higher overclocks and improve stability. www.evga.com/eleet

EVGA Customer Support:
EVGA’s acclaimed customer support offers multiple ways to contact them, including support ticket, email, and phone, giving you great support. www.evga.com/support

EVGA Warranty and Advanced RMA Program:
EVGA offers a variety of warranties to fit your needs, including their exclusive 10 year Extended Warranty. Furthermore, their Advanced RMA program helps reduce your downtime by shipping a replacement product first and letting the customer deal directly with EVGA for quick and efficient service. www.evga.com/ear

EVGA Step-Up Program:
EVGA protects investments and offers 90 days following your purchase to upgrade on qualifying products one time only. www.evga.com/stepup

Last edited by ViN86; 02-03-11 at 05:48 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-11, 11:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Testing Setup and Test Overview

The GTX 560 Ti was benchmarked using my machine, which uses an Intel Core i7 950 processor, Asus Sabertooth X58 motherboard, and 3x2GB DDR3-1600. The specs and clock settings are listed below
  • Intel Core i7 950 @ 4.025GHz (175x23)
  • Asus Sabertooth X58 Motherboard
  • 6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-1400 (9-9-9-24)
  • PC Power and Cooling 1kW Power Supply
  • Dell 2407WFP Monitor
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

The three cards benchmarked in this review consisted of an eVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked, an eVGA GTX470, and a XFX HD5870. The drivers and driver settings for each card are listed below.
  • eVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked
    • Forceware 266.56
    • Stock speeds, 900MHz GPU, 2106MHz Memory (4212MHz effective)
  • eVGA GTX470
    • Forceware 266.58
    • Stock speeds, 607MHz GPU, 1674MHz Memory (3348MHz effective)
  • XFX HD5870
    • Catalyst 11.1, AI Disabled
    • Stock speeds, 850MHz GPU, 2400MHz Memory (4800MHz effective)




The benchmark tests consisted of 5 games and 4 synthetic benchmarks. Each was run at two different settings to give gamers an idea of the performance at high and medium settings. All tests were run at 1920x1200 resolution and 32-bit color. Each test was conducted three times and results were averged before reported. The list below gives an overview of the tests conducted.



Games:
  • Metro 2033 (Benchmark Tool), DX11
    • Test A: Medium Quality, AAA, 4xAF, PhysX On, DOF Off, Tessellation On
    • Test B: Very High Quality, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, PhysX On, DOF On, Tessellation On
  • Resident Evil 5 (in game fixed benchmark), DX10
    • Test A: Medium Settings, No AA, Motion Blur On
    • Test B: High Settings, 8xAA, Motion Blur On
  • H.A.W.X. 2 (benchmark tool), DX11
    • Test A: Highest Settings, No AA, Tessellation off
    • Test B: Highest Settings, 8xAA, Tessellation On
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (time demo on Havana), DX9
    • Test A: No AA, No AF, Normal Texture Quality, Bilinear Texture Filtering
    • Test B: 8xAA, 16xAF, Extra Texture Quality, Trilinear Texture Filtering
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (First mission up to first cut scene), DX11
    • Test A: Medium Settings, 4xMSAA, 4xAF, HBAO Off
    • Test B: Highest Settings, 8xMSAA, 16xAF, HBAO On


Synthetic Benchmarks:
  • 3DMark Vantage
    • Performance preset
  • 3DMark11
    • Performance preset
    • Extreme preset
  • Heaven Benchmark v2.1, DX11
    • Test A: 4xAA, 4xAF, Medium Shaders, Normal Tessellation
    • Test B: 8xAA, 16xAF, High Shaders, Extreme Tessellation
  • Stone Giant, DX11
    • Test A: No tessellation
    • Test B: High tessellation

The tests were chosen to highlight the card’s abilities with different versions of DirectX, especially the card’s abilities with DirectX 11 and tessellation. Below is a picture of the card installed.





Last edited by ViN86; 02-08-11 at 12:19 AM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-11, 11:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Results: Games

Let’s begin with the game benchmarks. All benchmarks listed here utilized in-game benchmarks when available, or FRAPS benchmark for games where an in-game tool was not available. All benchmarks have been repeated multiple times to check for agreement, and the values were then averaged together. Furthermore, all tests here used a resolution of 1920x1200.



Metro 2033

First up is Metro 2033. This game released in March 2010 features DirectX 11 and is known to tax some of the latest video cards. The benchmarking tool was used at two different settings to distinguish the card’s ability to handle moderate levels of AA/AF and maximum values. The tests conducted are listed below.
  • Test A: Medium Quality, AAA, 4xAF, PhysX On, DOF Off, Tessellation On
  • Test B: Very High Quality, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, PhysX On, DOF On, Tessellation On

Test A represents moderate settings utilized by most gamers and Test B represents the highest quality graphics (in the benchmarking tool options). The results are shown in the graph below.



Here we can see the GTX 560 Ti is off to a good start. At medium settings, the card easily bests the GTX470 and the HD5870 and offers playable framerates for gamers. At the highest settings, the card is on par with the HD5870, but performs slightly worse than the GTX470. The HD5870 can’t seem to keep up with the GTX470 and GTX 560 Ti in Tessellation tests (as will be seen), but at higher levels of AA/AF, the 470 pulls ahead. While none of the cards offer playable framerates at these high settings, the test is a good stress test for all the cards. Next up is Resident Evil 5.



Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 was released for PC in September 2009 and features DirectX 10 graphics. This test was added to show the GTX 560 Ti’s performance in DirectX 10 games. Once again, two different tests will be used with different settings. The first test will use medium settings with no AA and the second test will use the highest possible in-game settings and 8xAA. The in-game Fixed Benchmark was used for the following tests.
  • Test A: Medium Settings, No AA, Motion Blur On
  • Test B: High Settings, 8xAA, Motion Blur On



The GTX 560 Ti performed very well in both tests. At medium settings, the GTX 560 Ti performed on par with the GTX470, and both cards beat out the HD5870. At the highest settings, the three cards performed well and all offer playable frame rates. The GTX 560 Ti performed especially well, beating the other two cards by 10 FPS. Next up is H.A.W.X. 2.



H.A.W.X. 2

H.A.W.X. 2 was released in November 2010 and features DirectX 11. The game uses tessellation for its terrain rendering and features amazing aerial views. Two settings were used for the tests to compare the cards’ abilities to handle Tessellation and AA. Test A used highest settings with No AA and the Terrain Tessellation Off, and Test B used the highest settings with 8xAA and Terrain Tessellation On.
  • Test A: Highest Settings, No AA, Tessellation off
  • Test B: Highest Settings, 8xAA, Tessellation On



Here we can see the GTX 560 Ti shine. The card easily outperforms the HD5870 and beats the GTX470 by over 10 FPS in both cases. All three cards offer playable frame rates at both settings, but the GTX 560 Ti offers the best performance by far. Next up is Call of Duty: Black Ops. This test will showcase the card’s DirectX 9 performance.



Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in November 2010 and uses DirectX 9. The game is the latest installment of Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. Two tests were performed with one at normal settings and no AA/AF and the other at maximum in-game settings. Since no in-game benchmark utility exists, demos were recorded in-game and tested using the timedemo feature. The demo featured five minutes of game play on Havana. The tests performed are as follows.
  • Test A: No AA, No AF, Normal Texture Quality, Bilinear Texture Filtering
  • Test B: 8xAA, 16xAF, Extra Texture Quality, Trilinear Texture Filtering



In Black Ops, all three cards performed very well. There wasn’t much difference between the frame rates with no AA/AF and those with 8xAA/16xAF. This is somewhat expected since modern cards are very adept at handling DirectX 9 games, however, the difference between the two frame rates seems to be too small. There may be some problems with CPU limiting as well. The game has been known to have CPU optimization issues and this may be the cause of the relatively low frame rates at low settings. While the GTX 560 Ti lags slightly behind the HD5870 and GTX470, the frame rates are well above the minimum playable frame rate. The fifth and final in-game test performed was Battlefield: Bad Company 2.



Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was released in March 2010 and features DirectX 11. Since no in-game demo exists, the first mission in the campaign was tested, from the end of the opening cinematics to the beginning of the first cutscene and FRAPS was used to record frame rates. Two settings were used for the tests, including on test at High settings with 8xMSAA/16xAF and HBAO On, and the other test with Medium settings, 4xMSAA/4xAF and HBAO Off.
  • Test A: Medium Settings, 4xMSAA, 4xAF, HBAO Off
  • Test B: Highest Settings, 8xMSAA, 16xAF, HBAO On



The GTX 560 Ti performs solidly at both settings and beats the GTX 470 and HD5870 at medium settings. At high settings, the GTX 560 Ti matches the performance of the HD5870. Both the GTX 560 Ti and the HD5870 beat the GTX 470 at high settings. It seems like the GTX 560 Ti easily beats the competition in low AA/AF situations, but at higher levels of AA/AF, the larger number of shaders on the HD5870 and GTX 470 give the two cards a slight advantage. However, the GTX 560 Ti makes up for this shortcoming with raw speed. If this is true, then we should expect to see the GTX 560 Ti pull ahead when overclocked.

Next up are the synthetic benchmarks. The tests performed included 3DMark Vantage, and the "new standard trifecta" of 3DMark 11, Unigine’s Heaven 2.1 Benchmark, Bitsquid’s Stone Giant demo, which all test DirectX 11 capabilities such as hardware tessellation.

Last edited by ViN86; 02-03-11 at 05:48 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-11, 11:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Results: Synthetic Benchmarks

First up is 3DMark Vantage.

3DMark Vantage

Debuting in April 2008, Vantage strains graphics cards to test their DirectX 10 performance. For this test, the performance preset was used. The results are shown below.



As the figure shows, we see that the GTX 560 Ti outpaces both the HD5870 and GTX470 in DirectX 10 tests. This supports the results for the Resident Evil 5 benchmark. Next up is the 3DMark11 benchmark.



3DMark 11

This version of 3DMark is Futuremark’s latest installment of the 3DMark series and features tests for DirectX 11 graphics cards. For this test, the performance (720p) and Extreme (1080p) presets were used.



Using 3DMark11’s “performance” preset, which runs at a resolution of 720p with a moderate load, the GTX560 beats the HD5870 and GTX470 by a couple hundred points. However, using the “extreme” preset, which runs at a resolution of 1080p with a heavy load, the HD5870 edges out the GTX 560 Ti by a few points. This small gap may be able to be overcome with a little bit of overclocking. Next up is Unigine’s Heaven 2.1 Benchmark.



Heaven 2.1 Benchmark

The Heaven 2.1 Benchmark is one of the best modern benchmarks for determining a card’s tessellation abilities. That being said, the benchmark utilizes DirectX 11 (naturally) and offers settings for texture levels, tessellation levels, and AA and AF. For this benchmark, two different settings were used. The first benchmark utilizes medium shaders, moderate levels of AA/AF, and normal tessellation. The second benchmark uses the maximum values for the benchmark, including high shaders, 8xAA, 16xAF, and extreme tessellation.
  • Test A: 4xAA, 4xAF, Medium Shaders, Normal Tessellation
  • Test B: 8xAA, 16xAF, High Shaders, Extreme Tessellation



The results show the power of the GTX 560 Ti. The card beats the HD5870 easily and beats the GTX470 as well at both medium and high settings. The frame rates demonstrate how stressful the Heaven 2.1 benchmark is on these cards. For the last synthetic benchmark, we have one more test to stress the tessellation and DirectX 11 capabilities of this set of cards.



Stone Giant

Bitsquid’s Stone Giant demo doesn’t feature a benchmarking utility, so FRAPS was used to record frame rates over a two minute test. The demo includes settings for tessellation levels. For this demo, two separate tests were used again, one with high tessellation levels and another with tessellation off. The settings for the two tests are as follows.
  • Test A: No tessellation
  • Test B: High tessellation



With tessellation turned off, the GTX 560 Ti beats the HD5870 and GTX470 cards easily. When tessellation is turned on, the GTX 560 Ti and GTX470 both perform quite well and beat the HD5870 by a decent margin. This is expected, since the HD5xxx series, while DirectX 11 compliant, doesn’t perform well with tessellation.

Now that we have seen how well the card performs, let’s see how far we can push the cards performance by overclocking. We will also take a look at the temperatures for the card and see what kind of heat the card generates.

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Old 02-01-11, 11:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Overclocking and Temperatures

Overclocking the GTX 560 Ti was done using eVGA’s Precision to set the clock speeds on the GPU and memory and monitor temperatures. The OC Scanner program, also from eVGA, was used to check the speeds and test the stability of the overclock. Stock speeds on eVGA’s GTX 560 Ti Superclocked are 900MHz on the core and 2106MHz (4212MHz effective) on the memory. The card was overclocked speeds of 950MHz core and 2386MHz (4772MHz effective) on the memory. This represents a modest overclock of 50MHz on the core and an impressive overclock of 560MHz (effective) on the memory. Attempts to push the GPU core speed further were unsuccessful. To keep the card cool, the fan was set to run at 70% of the maximum speed.

First, a table detailing the increase in average and minimum frame rates is shown below. Then some figures for the above benchmarks will be given to demonstrate the increase in performance.



As is expected, the overclock increased the average and minimum frame rates in all test cases. The average increase in frame rate was around 5-7% for each test, with increases of as much as 24% reported. Next, we will revisit the benchmarks and see if our overclock can retake the performance crown for the GTX 560 Ti over the HD5870 and GTX470 in the cases where it fell behind. First up is the Metro 2033 benchmark.



Metro 2033

At stock speeds, the GTX 560 Ti performed well at the low settings. However, at maximum settings, the HD5870 edged out the GTX 560 Ti.



With our overclock the GTX 560 Ti was able to gain a couple of frames per second at medium settings and able to edge out the HD5870 at high settings. Next up is the Battlefield: Bad Company 2.



Battlefield: Bad Company 2

In the benchmark at stock speeds, the GTX 560 Ti outpaced the other two cards at medium settings, but once again, the HD5870 outpaced the GTX 560 Ti at high settings.



With the overclock, we find the same thing as with the Metro 2033 performance. The GTX 560 Ti gained a few frames per second at medium settings and once again was able to edge out the HD5870 at high settings. The frame rates are all still within the playable range at both settings. Finally, let’s revisit the 3DMark 11 benchmark.



3DMark 11

In the original test at performance settings, the GTX 560 Ti outpaced the GTX470 and HD5870, but for a third time, the HD5870 edged out the GTX 560 Ti at extreme settings.



With the overclock, the GTX 560 Ti edges out the HD5870 in 3DMark 11. So, as was mentioned before, although the HD5870 has an advantage with its larger number of shaders, the GTX 560 Ti makes up for this with raw speed, and adding more speed pushes the card beyond the performance of the HD5870. But this speed is no good if the card runs too hot. Next, we will take a look at the temperatures for stock speeds and overclocked speeds.



Temperatures

The figure below gives the idle and load temperatures for stock settings and the above overclock.



As is expected, the card idles at the same temperature of 32C for all three cases. This makes sense since the card downclocks when in 2D mode at the Windows desktop. For the load case, we can see the difference the fan speeds make. At stock speeds and overclocked, the auto fan speeds keep the card around 80C. While this isn’t terribly hot and isn’t near the upper temperature limit, it is quite hot. When the fan speed was increased to 70% of the maximum speed, the card was cooled down to a much more acceptable temperature of 65C. This drop in temperature allowed me to push the overclock of the card further as well.

While these temperatures are a good guideline, they do not represent what you may actually encounter. As with all temperatures, they depend strongly on your cooling setup and how well your case performs at removing hot air and supplying cold air, and my case features a cold air intake that passes cold air directly over the graphics card.

Last edited by ViN86; 02-03-11 at 05:49 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-11, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: nV News GTX 560 Ti Review - EVGA SuperClocked

Final thoughts

The GTX 560 Ti offers great performance. Priced at $250, the card offers enthusiasts greater performance over the HD5870 and GTX 470 in DirectX 11 applications. Furthermore, it offers better performance over the HD6870, which is priced competitively. On top of that, the card’s design offers great overclocking headroom, with some users reporting GPU speeds over 1000MHz. The card’s performance to power consumption ratio puts the card in a great position for NVIDIA to dominate the gamer’s “sweet spot” category. With more and more DirectX 11 applications being released all the time, the GTX 560 Ti is a great card for all those still using GeForce 400 and HD5000 series GPU’s to step up to.



Acknowledgments

I’d like to thank a few people for helping make this review possible. First a big thank you to Jacob Freeman and the guys at eVGA for supplying the card and a thanks to Bryan Del Rizzo at Nvidia for his quick response. I’d also like to thank nV News members Bearclaw and Imbroglio. Thanks to Bearclaw for loaning me the GTX 470 for the tests and thanks to Imbroglio for helping out with the benchmarks. Finally, I’d like to thank John Grabski for getting this review together and editing.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to come back when Nvidia releases their next card!

Feedback/questions? Navigate HERE to the feedback thread.
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