The Test, Crysis, BattleForge, & Metro 2033

Yesterday NVIDIA launched their first 290 series beta driver - this was intended to be the launch driver for the GTX 560-448, but QA kept it held up longer than expected. In lieu of that we are using 285.62, the WHQL 285 series driver for the GTX 560-448.

For our look at performance we’ll be taking a look at our Zotac card both at NVIDIA’s stock speeds and at Zotac’s factory overclock. For power/temp/noise we’ll only be looking at Zotac’s card – the lack of a reference design means that temperatures and noise can’t be extrapolated for other partners’ cards.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.33GHz
Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Extreme
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 (Intel)
Hard Disk: OCZ Summit (120GB)
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 3x2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 6870
AMD Radeon HD 6970
AMD Radeon HD 6950
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Limited Edition
Video Drivers: NVIDIA GeForce Driver 285.62
AMD Catalyst 11.11a
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

As this is not a new architecture, we’ll keep the commentary thinner than usual. The near-GTX 570 specifications mean there aren’t any surprises with game performance.

Starting as always with Crysis, at 2560 we can see that while GF100 cards perform decently at 2560, it’s really only the GTX 580 that stands a chance in any shader-heavy game. The GTX 560-448 in that respect is a lot like the GTX 560 Ti: it’s best suited for 1920 and below.

At 1920 and 1680 the GTX 560-448 is well ahead of its GF114-based namesake. As with the specs and architecture, the GTX 560-448 has more in common with the GTX 570 than it does the GTX 560 Ti. The end result is that the GTX 560-448 is just shy of 50fps at 1920, only a few percent off of the GTX 570. With Zotac’s overclock that closes the gap exactly, delivering the same 51.1fps performance. This goes to show just how close the GTX 560-448 and GTX 570 really are. NVIDIA may not want to call it a GTX 570 LE, but that’s really what it is.

Meanwhile compared to AMD’s lineup things are a little less rosy. The GTX 570 at launch was closer to competition for the Radeon HD 6970, but here the GTX 570 and GTX 560-448 are tied by or beaten by AMD’s cheaper 6950.

Looking at the minimum framerates we see the same trends. The GTX 560-448 is well above the GTX 560 Ti – by 13% at 1920 – but the 6950 is once again the victor.

Moving on to BattleForge, we see the emergence of AMD and NVIDIA switching places based on the game being tested. BattleForge favors NVIDIA cards, and as a result the GTX 560-448 does quite well here, tying AMD’s more expensive 6970 at 1920. Zotac’s overclock further improves thing, but as BattleForge likes memory bandwidth, it can’t overcome the GTX 570’s 5% memory bandwidth advantage.

With Metro 2033 we see AMD and NVIDIA swap positions again, this time leaving AMD’s lineup with the very slight edge. This puts the 6950 ahead of the GTX 560-448 at 1920, even with Zotac’s overclock. Practically speaking however you’re not going to break 40fps on a single card without a GTX 580.

Meet The Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Limited Edition HAWX, Civ V, Battlefield BC2, & STALKER
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  • Jamahl - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    In your 560 Ti review you said that it was "a bit faster" than the 6950. What's changed? Maybe AMD's drivers are helping to pull the card away because it's clearly ahead here with the same games being tested.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4135/nvidias-geforce...

    "The GTX 560 Ti ultimately has the edge: it’s a bit faster and it’s quieter than the 6950"

    Perhaps you should do an article on that one? You know you were one of the very few sites on the web who actually found the 560 Ti to be faster than the 6950 in the first place?

    I wonder why that was.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    If you haven't already, I'd invite you to take a look at Bench, our online benchmark database. The video card numbers are periodically revised for newer articles, which is what you're seeing here.

    The latest data we have for the 6950 vs. the GTX 560 Ti: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=330
    Reply
  • Jamahl - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Glad to see you are keeping those updated and thanks for the reply.

    My point was, what happened to the 560 Ti's lead from your initial review? Looking at that bench now the 6950 is a good bit ahead.

    Drivers?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Yes, I'd say that's a fair assessment. Looking at 1920 between January and November

    Crysis: 48.6->51.4
    BF: 58.3->68.9
    HAWX: 108->119
    CivV: 34.8->40.1
    BC2: 61.8->69.2
    Etc.

    Note that the 560 Ti was launched only a month after the 6900 series, so AMD only had a short amount of time to optimize their 6900 drivers between the 6900 launch and then. Whereas they've had another 10 months since then to work on their drivers further. Given the similarities between VLIW4 and VLIW5, if you had asked me for my expectations 10 months ago it's actually more than I thought AMD would get out of optimizations.

    Meanwhile the 560 Ti has shifted very little in comparison, which is not surprising since the Fermi-lite architecture had been around for over half a year by that point.

    The 560 Ti and 6950 still trade blows depending on the game in a very obvious way, but the 6950 is now winning more games and on a pure numerical average is clearly doing better.
    Reply
  • Jamahl - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Yep that looks like a pretty fair assessment. I was suprised to see the gap open up so clearly. Reply
  • pixelstuff - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Are these all of the crappy GF110 processors that had manufacturing defects? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Correct. Technically speaking NVIDIA could take perfectly good GF110 GPUs can still make products like this, but it wouldn't make any sense for them to do so. All of these cards would be using GF110 GPUs with 2 defective SMs. Reply
  • Duwelon - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Your image shows 3 defective SMs. At least i'm assuming it's supposed to be the "new" chip. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    Indeed, that was a diagram error on my part. It's been fixed. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    I'd still regard the 6950 2GB as the best value proposition card, and it has been ever since the launch of the card almost a year ago.

    Even though I only bought one recently, and heard the extra shaders had been lasered off, this thankfully proved wrong, and one BIOS update later and I have a 6970.

    You can't ignore value like that.
    Reply

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