The reference GeForce GTX 560 Ti looks much like the GTX 460, but there are some improvement lurking beneath the card’s fan shroud. NVIDIA improved the cooling by using a larger heatsink with an additional heatpipe, there is now a 4-phase power circuit instead of 3-phase, and 5Gbps memory chips were installed on the GTX 560, versus 4Gbps modules on GTX 460. A base plate for VRM/memory cooling was also added to help stiffen the board.
Reference GeForce GTX 560 Ti
The stock reference specifications call for an 822MHz core clock, with 1644MHz shaders, and 1002MHz (4008MHz effective) memory. At those frequencies, the GTX 560 Ti offers 52.6GTexels/s of fillrate and 128.4GB/s of memory bandwidth—a far cry from its GeForce 4 Ti namesake. The TDP of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is 170 watts and the card required a pair of 6-pin power connectors. Like other GeForce GTX 500 series cards, outputs on the 560 Ti consist of a pair of dual-link DVI outputs and a single mini-HDMI out. Although there are three outputs to use the card in a triple-monitor NVIDIA surround setup, a second card is required.
As you’ll see, the reference GeForce GTX 560 Ti is quite the speedster, but many of NVIDIA’s partners will actually be launching overclocked variants right out of the gate. The card you see here, the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II, is one of three overclocked 560 Ti’s MSI has planned.
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II
The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II is a custom design that features a different PCB than reference models and a much more elaborate dual-fan cooler. The Twin Frozr II cooler had dual 80mm fans that sit above a large heatsink with nickel-plated copper base that’s linked to an array of aluminum fins by a pair of 8mm heatpipes. There is also a secondary heatplate underneath that cools the memory and VRM and helps stiffen the PCB. The MSI cooler proved to be very effective during testing and unlike some previous designs, it remained nice and quiet too. Other features of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II include the company’s “Military Class II” components, which consist of Hi-c capacitors, super ferrite chokes, and all solid, aluminum core caps.
The frequencies of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II model you see here (model no. V238) are 880MHz for the GPU core, 1760MHz for the shaders, and 1050MHz (4200MHz effective) for the memory. Those are nice steps up from the reference specs and as you’ll see later they gave the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II a significant boost in performance. We should note, MSI also a 900MHz and a 950MHz model planned, the former of which will also feature a copper fan shroud.
AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB
As has become the norm with the last few GPU releases from either camp, new products are arriving alongside the GTX 560 Ti that will rival its performance. To go head to head with the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti, AMD is launching a 1GB Radeon HD 6950 card, which you see pictured here. The specifications and features are identical to the original 2GB model, with the only exception being the new card’s smaller frame buffer. Pricing for the 1GB model is, as expected, lower than the 2GB card at $259, which will put it right in line with some GTX 560 Ti cards. AMD’s partners are also readying overclocked Radeon HD 6870 cards, which we’ve also received just in time for testing as well.
As an interesting aside, one of the most interesting “features” of the 1GB Radeon HD 6970 we received was its date of manufacture. Yeah, you’re reading the sticker in the image correctly. This puppy was made in August of last year. Over five months old and still fresh as a daisy!