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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  • Assimilator87 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Bad drivers are the reason I'm switching back to ATi next round. Six months to fix a very annoying F@H issue is not acceptable in my book. Reply
  • Zed03 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Just keep in mind this review is from the same people that claimed GTX 560 ti is faster than 6950.

    All of these charts were selected to make the the GTX 560 448 look good.

    On the Crysis, Battleforce, and Metro page, when the 6970 has a 30% lead, they call it a:

    "With Metro 2033 we see AMD and NVIDIA swap positions again, this time leaving AMD’s lineup with the very slight edge."

    On the remainder of the reviews, when the GTX 560 448 performs 5% faster in a certain configuration, the performance is "dominating".

    Wait for a real benchmark.
    Reply
  • Mstngs351 - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    You may want to drop your biased view of Anandtech and pay closer attention to the article.

    "With Metro 2033 we see AMD and NVIDIA swap positions again, this time leaving AMD’s lineup with the very slight edge." You'll notice that it states "lineup" not 560ti 448.

    You would also do well to notice that when it came to Metro 2033 the 580 was top dog at all resolutions so making the statement that AMD has a "slight edge" is, in my opinion generous.
    Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    This is purely a comment about the editing of the article. I don't know if it's a function of your word processing software or if it's something you did on purpose, but ordinal numbers like 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., don't superscript the alpha part. Every time I ran across your superscripted ordinals, my eyes just locked onto the word and I lost track of the article flow. If at all possible, please fix that. Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Oh, and I know that Word superscripts ordinals, too. But, it doesn't put the baseline of the superscript above the top line of the regular characters. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    You're correct, I am using Word to write the text for these articles. Our CMS converts Word superscript to <sup> tags, which is why you're selling the final result since HTML4 says that superscript "appears half a character above the baseline". I do like having superscript, but you make a good point in that being above the baseline is annoying, so I'll go take a look at it. Reply
  • siberian3 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Who cares for such a product so late in the game when we
    are waiting Radeon HD7xxx and NV GTX6xx cards in a few months?
    Reply
  • Performance Fanboi - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    If they were going with something that clumsy they should have just gone with GTX560-ClearingSiliconinAdvanceofKepler-448

    Seriously though, GTO560 for a so-called limited card at the end of the product cycle would have fit better eg: 7900GTO when they were clearing out G70.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Have you tried unlocking the locked off cores ? This was the only incentive to buy a 465 back in the day. That's what I was hoping for anyway, when I first heard about nvidia releasing another GF100 based product. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Its a very good card for a decent price if you can't wait for the next gen from both companies. Kind of amusing all the withering comments and hair-splitting over review game choices. Its a better card than the HD 6950. Period. Give it the due it deserves. Reply

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