Power, Temperature, & Noise

Last but certainly not least is our look at power, temperature, and noise. If we’ve clearly established that the GTX 560-448 has more in common with the GTX 570 than the GTX 560 Ti in gaming performance, then let’s see if the operational attributes are equally close.

GeForce GTX 500 Series Voltages
Ref 580 Load Ref 570 Load Zotac 560-448 Load
1.037v 1.025v 1.000v

Looking quickly at voltage, our Zotac card is set to 1.0v. This is actually 0.025v less than our reference GTX 570 and GTX 580 cards, though it’s important to note that all of these cards have a wide VID range. Realistically speaking we expect that the GTX 560-448 would have a similar to greater VID range than the GTX 570.

It’s quite interesting to find that idle system power consumption is several watts lower than it is with the GTX 570. Truth be told we don’t have a great explanation for this; there’s the obvious difference in coolers, but it’s rare to see a single fan have this kind of an impact.

Power consumption under load shows a similar benefit. With the Zotac GTX 560-448 we’re drawing 15W less than with the reference GTX 570. Given that the performance of the Zotac GTX 560-448 is so close to the GTX 570, and this actually starts looking like a cheaper GTX 570 with lower power consumption, which is not something we would have expected to find. But at the same time this means load power consumption is still nearly 30W greater than the GTX 560 Ti, is a very distinct difference for two products sharing the same name.

FurMark is thrown in for consistency, but at this point NVIDIA’s driver throttling is so extreme that FurMark is instantly beaten back when started.

When it comes to GPU temperatures, idle temperatures straddle the difference between the GTX 560 Ti and the GTX 570. The open-air cooler is usually better for lower temperatures, but at the same time GF110’s higher idle power consumption negates some of this benefit. In any case it’s still one of the coolest high-end cards at idle.

Meanwhile GPU load temperatures are at the middle of the pack. Like all GF110 products the Zotac GTX 560-448 starts getting toasty under load (even with the open-air cooler), but it’s still noticeably cooler than the GTX 570 and GTX 580. With that said the open-air cooler means that this is going to be case-dependent, so cases with poor airflow would favor the closed coolers of the GTX 570 and GTX 580.

Finally we have our look at noise. The Zotac GTX 560-448 idles just a hair louder than most of our other high-end cards, including the GTX 570.  Under load however that open-air cooler really makes its mark among a crowd of closed coolers, leading to noise levels little above the GTX 560 Ti and remarkably quieter than the GTX 570. On a performance/noise spectrum this is fantastic, but the devil is in the details: you need a case with good airflow to make this happen. Otherwise the Zotac GTX 560-448 ramps up significantly once temperatures approach 90C.

DIRT 2, Mass Effect 2, Wolfenstein, & Compute Performance Final Thoughts
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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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