Zotac, which claims to be the world's largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards, and mini-PCs, took a standard GeForce GTX 560 Ti series videocard, goosed the clocks, spiffed up the heatsink, and released it as an AMP! edition part. Included with new card is a download voucher for the upcoming Ubisoft title, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, as well as the company's Boost Premium software bundle consisting of five various apps and utilities.
The Asus ENGTX 560 Ti DirectCU II is that once-rare bird: a factory-overclocked card at the beginning of a GPU's life cycle. Once upon a time, you wouldn’t ever see an overclocked graphics card. Then they started to appear—usually when a particular generation of GPUs neared the end of its run. Today’s hyper-competition between AMD and Nvidia now dictates that overclocked cards come out of the woodwork as soon as a product launches. If it’s an epidemic, it’s one we like, because manually overclocking graphics cards is a headache and generally more perilous than CPU overclocking.
With its iteration of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti, Asus decided to revamp its DirectCU cooler. Like previous iterations, this second generation DirectCU II runs the heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU, rather than relying on a dissipation plate to transfer heat to the pipes. Asus suggests this is a more efficient way to move heat away from the chip’s hotspots. As with most modern premium graphics cards, Asus uses high quality components throughout, which increase the longevity of the card while minimizing electronic noise that can interfere with image quality.
Nvidia’s engineering teams have been pretty busy lately, reengineering and streamlining the previously inefficient Fermi architecture. We’ve seen the GTX 580 and GTX 570 released in recent months. Now it’s the sweet spot GPU, the GTX 460, getting the chip re-spin love. Dubbed the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, Nvidia is clearly hoping to recapture some of the thunder of the venerable GeForce 4400 Ti GPU from an earlier generation.
As the Maximum PC team noted earlier, the new chip, code-named GF114, now sports a full 384 shader cores, 1GB of GDDR5 and pushes the reference core clock speeds up to 822MHz. During the product briefing, Nvidia noted that the GPU has plenty of headroom for overclocking, and we’re seeing quite a few designs which push the clock speeds.
First up on the review platter is MSI’s N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II OC Edition. The OC Edition pushes the core clock speeds to 880MHz and the memory clock to 1050MHz. The twin fan design has been updated from the original Twin Frozr; it’s less bulky and heavy, plus it seems to be quieter than the original. MSI also claims that the board is less prone to warping when mounted in a vertical case and uses “military grade” components in its construction.
Today, Nvidia announced its new sweet-spot GPU. Our Lab tests reveal that the GTX 560Ti, an updated and beefed up version of the GTX 460 - Nvidia's previous sweet-spot graphics processor - is a solid performer. Our initial numbers are after the jump, but the short version is that, much like previous reports indicated, the GTX 560 Ti is a reengineering of the GTX 460, a card that we gave high marks in late 2010 for its power and competitive price.
The GTX 460 boasted 336 CUDA cores, and was stock-clocked at 650MHz. The GPU overclocked particularly well; factory-OC’d models like Gigabyte’s 715MHz GV-N460OC-1GI GTX 460 easily trounced their price-point competition until the introduction of the Radeon HD 6870.
The GTX 560Ti kicks the CUDA cores up to 384 and the stock clock up to 822MHz, with factory-overclocked cards hitting north of 900MHz and as high as the 1GHz mark. Catch our first benchmark runs after the jump.