Final Thoughts

When we were first informed about the GeForce GTX 560 Ti With 448 Cores, I approached the matter with a great deal of skepticism. 3rd tier products have not been impressive in quite some time, and NVIDIA’s previous effort with the GTX 465 is a very good example of this. So imagine my surprise once we had a card in hand and benchmark results to work with. NVIDIA has both impressed me and disappointed me at the same time.

The hardware is impressive enough. GTX 570 is a good base to work off of both with respect to performance and operational characteristics – it’s well balanced and the GTX 560-448 directly inherits this. Perhaps most importantly NVIDIA didn’t make their 3rd tier product significantly worse than their 2nd tier in terms of its performance targets, and that makes a world of difference. As a result the GTX 560-448 is what we’d happily call a GTX 570 LE or GTX 565 in any other universe, because it’s certainly not as slow as a GTX 560 Ti.

On a larger scale, once we factor in AMD’s products things get a bit more murky. The GTX 560-448 is definitely faster on average, but as with every other GF100 card, this is heavily dependent on the game being tested. Throwing out CivV – a game where NVIDIA has a distinct advantage due to driver features – leaves things much closer between the GTX 560-448 and the Radeon HD 6950. The 6950 is on average $40 cheaper, and this cannot be ignored. As fast as the GTX 560-448 is, unless you’re specifically using it for games NVIDIA has an advantage in or need their ecosystem for, it’s just not $40 faster. AMD has made the 6950 a good value, and this can’t be ignored.

So if we’re generally impressed with the performance, what are we disappointed about? As you can probably expect however, the disappointing aspect is the name. Even if performance really was close to a GTX 560 Ti it still wouldn’t excuse the poor name. GF110 isn’t GF114, the SM layout and superscalar execution features make these distinctly different GPUs whose differences cannot be reconciled. This is particularly evident when it comes to things such as FP64 performance where the GTX 560-448 is going to be much, much faster; or in cases where the architecture differences mean that the GTX 560-448 isn’t going to pull well ahead of the GTX 560 Ti.

NVIDIA is purposely introducing namespace collisions, and while they have their reasons I don’t believe them to be good enough. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti With 448 Cores is not a GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Most of the time it’s much faster, and this is a good thing. But it also requires more power and generates more heat, and this is a bad thing. My greatest concern is that someone is going to build a system around the operational attributes of a GTX 560 Ti, an then pick up one of these cards, ending up with a system that can’t handle the extra load. This is one of the many benefits of a clear, concise, non-conflicting namespace. And it only gets worse once you see the GTX 560 Ti OEM, a much lower-performing GF100 part that nevertheless shares the GTX 560 Ti name. NVIDIA can and should do better by their customers.

Ultimately NVIDIA has thrown us an interesting curveball for the holidays. We have a GTX 560 Ti that isn’t really a GTX 560 Ti but rather is a card trying hard to be a GTX 570.  At the same time it’s a 3rd tier product but unlike other 3rd tier products it’s actually quite good. Finally as good as it is it will only be available for a limited time. It’s a lot to take into consideration, and a name alone doesn’t do the situation justice. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti With 448 Cores isn’t going to significantly shake-up NVIDIA’s product lines – it’s not meant to – but for the budget-minded among us it’s a chance to get performance near a GTX 570 for just a bit less for Christmas, and that’s as good a reason as any to exist.

Finally, to wrap things up we have the matter of Zotac’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Limited Edition. If the regular GTX 560-448 is nearly a GTX 570, then Zotac’s card is a GTX 570’s fraternal twin. It’s close enough in performance that the differences in performance cease to matter, and the power consumption doesn’t suffer for the factory overclock. At $299 there’s a greater risk of running into the actual GTX 570, which is what makes the Zotac card a GTX 570 substitute rather than something immediately more or less desirable than the GTX 570. On the plus side if you're in North America and don’t yet have Battlefield 3, the choice becomes much clearer.

Power, Temperature, & Noise
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  • Marlin1975 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    hahahha.... spoken like a true nvidia employee/spokesman/shill. Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    "Then the issue of microstutter arises which barely affects nVidia hardware, for what can only be presumed to be a ATI driver problem."

    That's rubbish, Tech Report and Tom's Hardware articles covering micro-stuttering clearly proved that micro-stuttering is an issue on both AMD and Nvidia video cards.

    While I'll agree that on average, Nvidia drivers tend to be less problematic, the quality of AMD drivers has improved over the years, aren't as problematic as they used to be and aren't nearly as far behind Nvidia drivers as you paint it.
    Reply
  • greylica - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    It's another card based on Ferm(ented) hardware. I will pass by for all of GTX 4XX and 5XX waiting for cards that do respect their own specifications in OpenGL without fails like the well known Nvidia problem about GLReadPixels... Reply
  • Alka - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Hey, I've seen you're picture before Mathieu. Aren't you the guy who steals the Tom's Hardware best graphics cards for the month format and content? You pass it off as your own on your personal blog, right? Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Stealing from their content?

    If you paid attention to the content of my article and compared it to the content of Tom's Hardware article, you'd notice that my recommendations tend to be quite different from theirs and that they are backed by factual performance numbers coming from various sources, including AnandTech. I also tend to publish my monthly updates before Tom's Hardware do.

    Stealing "their" format?

    It's like saying that PC makers are copying Apple ideas because "Apple did it first", when Apple didn't do it first. Apple took an existing idea and improved on it and then when some PC makers decided to have their take on the idea, Apple fanboys are crying that PC makers are copying "Apple's idea".

    In the past, many other websites, who write about various topics, did "value comparison" articles and did so before Tom's Hardware did theirs. Guess what? Such "value comparison" articles existed before the Internet was mainstream.

    The concept that I'm stealing "their" format is as ridiculous as someone saying that website B, who did a review on the latest CPUs, stole website A format because website A were the first to review the latest CPUs.
    Reply
  • Alka - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Dude, you've directly copied and pasted sections of their article without giving credit. That's beyond your own take on a value comparison.

    Do you really want me to post specific examples of your plagiarism?
    Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Alka,

    While I wouldn't be surprised that our articles share some similarities, including similar recommendations, which is to be expected since our articles cover the same products available on the market, accusing me of directly copying and pasting sections of their article without giving credit is taking your comment to a whole other level of disrespect and makes me wonder what's your goal here, if not only trolling...

    "Do you really want me to post specific examples of your plagiarism? "
    While I'd have no problem listening to you and perhaps making some correction(s) to my article if it possibly looks like someone may think that I could have copied content from Tom's Hardware article, I would rather not do this over this comments section at AnandTech, out of respect for Ryan, Anand and the rest of AnandTech's team, whose articles I truly enjoy and wouldn't want to add a bunch of unrelated comments to their great articles.

    I invite you to contact me via:
    - The contact form on my website
    - Facebook
    - Twitter
    - Google my name
    - Etc.

    You have plenty of ways to reach me if you want to further discuss this, without filling this comment section with comments unrelated to this article and without bothering everyone else here.

    Thanks,
    Mathieu
    Reply
  • Alka - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    No point, you've clearly convinced yourself that shameless plagiarism is acceptable without giving proper credit. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Irregardless of any fanboyism here, or whether or not you steal text,

    "That's rubbish, Tech Report and Tom's Hardware articles covering micro-stuttering clearly proved that micro-stuttering is an issue on both AMD and Nvidia video cards."

    That is truth.
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    One of the most useless and fannish posts on here. Reply

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