Final Words

AMD’s GTX 560 Ti counter-offensive leaves us with a few different thoughts, none of which have much to do with the GTX 560 Ti.

First and foremost we have the newly launched Radeon HD 6950 1GB. Having 2GB of VRAM does have its advantages, but at this point in time there aren’t any games that can exploit this advantage at the common resolutions of 1920x1200, 1920x1080, or 1680x1050. It’s only once we get to 2560x1600 or similarly large Eyefinity resolutions that we see the 1GB 6950 fall behind its 2GB counterpart.

In the long run (e.g. a year or longer) I believe having that extra 1GB of VRAM is going to make a difference at resolutions like 1920x1200, but amidst my prognostics we’re effectively making an argument on the futureproofness of a product, which is a difficult argument to make even in the best of times. Perhaps the best argument is one of price: the 6950 1GB starts at $259, while the 6950 2GB can be found for as little as $269, putting a $10 premium on the extra 1GB. For $10 I would suggest taking the plunge, however if your budget is absolutely critical then it’s clear under most games right now you will never notice the difference between a 1GB 6950 and a 2GB 6950.

Our second card presents a more interesting scenario. The factory overclock on the XFX Radon 6870 Black Edition is not very high, but then neither is the effective price of the overclock. Instead this is a story about a custom cooler, and whether at about $10 over the average price of a reference Radeon HD 6870 it’s worth the price. While I would not call the reference 6870 loud, I also would not call it quiet by any stretch of the word; if anything I would call it cheaply built. If you don’t care about noise then the Black Edition brings little to the table, but in a suitable case those of you with sensitive ears will be in for quite a surprise. Thus while the XFX 6870 comes up short as a true GTX 560 Ti competitor as AMD would seem to be hoping for, it clearly has other redeeming values.

With AMD’s latest cards squared away, our final thought is on today’s launch in general. If nothing else, hopefully today’s write-up has entertained you, and with any luck we’ve imparted upon you a bit of practical wisdom about how the GPU industry operates. As far as we can gather AMD went through quite a bit of effort to launch a viable GTX 560 Ti competitor today – a feat they appear to have succeeded at. The GPU industry is competitive from top to bottom, but there’s something special about the $200-$300 price range that brings out the insanity on all sides. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Power, Temperature, & Noise


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  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    No. They already got roasted for doing it last time. Also, the 6870 Black Edition is an official AMD product that hasn't been shoved down Ryan's throat. So, whereas before all things may not have been exactly equal, they are now.

    The presence of the 6950 1GB in the 560 Ti review is quite natural as the 6950 2GB was already there, and besides which, until you overload that memory, the 6950 1GB performs pretty much the same as its 2GB brother, albeit a tiny bit faster in places - it's not cheating to include it as it's not an overclocked card. There's no other way you can handle it except to have the two AMD cards in separate articles to each other and not mention the 6950 1GB in the 560 Ti review (hardly sensible - we already knew it'd be almost identical to the 2GB variant), or not review the 6870 Black Edition at all. Also, think of the time it must've taken Ryan to handle these reviews - certainly doesn't take a day or so to do.

    With overclocked cards, the situation is that the standard product is reviewed and, usually, the 3rd party offerings are reviewed together in a separate article in short order. I fully expect this to happen as it's normal for a site like Anandtech to do so.

    If your beef is with the 6870 Black Edition, please remember that, as stated in the review, AMD fully intended it to be the 560 Ti's true competition, and that the 6950 1GB was due out in February. When it became apparent that the 6870 wasn't the answer, they released the 6950 1GB early. There's no sense in scrapping all those 6870 Black Editions, of which there has to be thousands, so AMD have not only brought out two cards at the same time, but offered two viable alternatives to nVidia's one. The only thing that AMD will suffer is lack of availability for those 6950s for the time being which is only natural for an accelerated launch, plus nVidia will undoubtedly lose some sales so well done on that.
  • ritalinkid18 - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Well said, GeorgeH...well said....

    "There is no bias at Anandtech, only well documented arguments and conclusions that you're free to disagree with. If you want to abandon one of the best tech review sites on the planet in favor of one that panders to your personal delusions about the fuzziness of a multinational corporation, knock yourself out."
  • medi01 - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I won't talk about cherry picked oced 460, but "forgetting iPhone in the pocket" on comparison pics where it would look very pale (much lower contrast) is quite remarkable. Reply
  • sebanab - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Dude give it a rest!
    Plus it's only fair that both makers got the same treatment...
  • Menetlaus - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Dude, this isn't the GTX560 Ti launch article. This is a picture of the market as you or I can go out and buy cards.

    I agree that the whole OC'd GTX460 "issue" was total bovine excrement from fanboys complaining that their poor nVidia was being compared to existing, non-reference cards that were wildly available at the time of the 460's launch.

    That being said, the launch article for the GTX560Ti is one article down and contains nothing but reference cards in an effort to keep the whiners quiet.
  • SandmanWN - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    Dudes, whatever. (You guys started it)
    The 460 article wasn't even about the 460. It was brought into the fray during an AMD release article. The only bovine excrement came from the drool of Nvidia fanboys that had the ridiculous notion that a cherry picked overclocked card delivered by Nvidia was allowed into a reference card release article for AMD. Which clearly drew red flags from those readers with common sense.

    And not only that but the the writer couldn't even finish the friggin article the way he wanted to because he was spending his time doodling around with the Nvidia card. That was complete BS.

    We tried to give some pointers on how it should have been handled.
    1) Reference vs reference on product release articles.
    2) Follow up articles with overclocked cards vs overclocked cards.

    It was a real simple freaking concept.
  • Parhel - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Exactly. Nobody said that Anandtech shouldn't review OC'ed cards. The point was that OC'ed cards hand selected by AMD or Nvidia shouldn't be included in the launch article for their competitors new architecture. Had this card been included in the GTX 560 article, their would have been the same uproar as before. Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Yes, but there's a big difference between a majorly overclocked 3rd party card promoted by nVidia and a slightly overclocked original AMD card. I can see your point, though. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    I haven't read this article yet (just finished the GTX 560Ti but wanted to say thank you for putting this article up. As many of us had asked for you properly kept the launch article about the card being launched and comparisons to stock cards, but in this article you are comparing other offerings including OC'd cards.

    That's the way it's meant to be done and I thank you.
  • Parhel - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Seconded. Reply

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