NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Review
Last year was an interesting time to be watching the graphics card market. There was a sudden flurry of activity leading up to NVIDIA’s Fermi launch followed by long pause as everyone took a deep breath in preparation for the cat fight that broke out in the lead up to Christmas. Over the course of a mere 30 days, AMD introduced the HD 6800 series along with Cayman XT and Cayman Pro while NVIDIA responded with a broadside of their own in the forms of the GTX 580 and GTX 570. It was a hell of a way to end 2010 and 2011 is about to start off with a bag as the GeForce lineup is getting a brand new member.
Presently the GTX 580 and GTX 570 hold the upper range of the market with the HD 6970 and HD 6950 offering up some heated competition. Unfortunately, below NVIDIA’s $350 product stood a significant gap which has only been partially filled by overclocked GTX 460 cards retailing for around $200. The result was AMD lapping up a good portion of sales in a number of highly lucrative price points with the HD 6950 and to a greater extent the HD 6870. We are now being introduced to NVIDIA’s reply and the GTX 460’s spiritual successor: the GTX 560 Ti.
The GTX 560 Ti utilizes a revised GF104 core which is dubbed the GF114 and incorporates all of the refinements NVIDIA built into the GF110. This has given NVIDIA the ability to open up the architecture to its fullest allotment of CUDA cores, increase clock speeds and make some general improvements to overall efficiency as well. NVIDIA’s hope is these refinements will lead to the GTX 560 Ti becoming the go-to card for a huge cross section of the market.
With most HD 6870s suddenly selling for around $230 and the HD 6950 2GB starting at $289, the GTX 560 Ti’s price of $250 threads a very fine needle indeed. AMD is also launching a 1GB version of the HD 6950 which will likely retail for between $259 and $269. However, NVIDIA has made it a point to highlight their new product's performance against the HD 6870; a card that has had a lengthy time to soak up driver optimizations and work its way into the psyche of consumers.
While the exact reasoning behind the resurrection of NVIDIA’s “Ti” moniker wasn’t discussed, we can only assume non-TI branded cards will be on their way in relatively short order. Regardless of the name, we are about to see how well this new $250 card stacks up against the competition.
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