EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win Dual GPU Review
After months without a new GPU architecture being released, people are hungry for something, anything to whet their collective appetites. We’ll likely see some movement to ensure the Christmas rush gets fed with some “new” products but with big name titles like Battlefield 3, Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City all being released before year’s end, the market for graphics cards is seeing a large upsurge in demand. In order to freshen up their lineups and take advantage for this situation, board partners from AMD and NVIDIA’s camps are beginning to gear up with some interesting products. EVGA is leading the charge with a continuation of their 2Win series with the GTX 560 Ti 2Win.
The design intent for EVGA’s 2Win cards is to combine a pair of affordable mid-range graphics cores onto a single PCB to create a product that rivals most flagship single GPU cards. This concept was first introduced with the GTX 460 Ti 2Win which packed a pair of GF104 cores and went toe to toe against NVIDIA’s high end GTX 480. It actually sold quite well (if our retailer contacts are to be believed) and garnered some high praise from various media outlets so it was only natural that EVGA would have a comeback tour waiting in the wings.
Like its name suggests, this version of the 2Win is equipped with two GF114 GPUs which are supposed to allow performance that’s about equal to a GTX 560 Ti SLI setup. An extensive cooling system means all component frequencies closely mirror those of reference cards but the cores did receive a small 28MHz bump over stock. This small overclock could very well make up for the slight increase in latency which the included NF200 bridge chip adds to the equation. At $519, the price for all of this kind of graphics horsepower isn’t cheap but it is a somewhat exclusive card that could put your system near the forefront of performance for the foreseeable future.
Many know EVGA for their lifetime warranties, Step Up Program and excellent customer support service but this card has been graced with three years of coverage which equals the current industry norm. They do however allow for an extended warranty purchase to the tune of $20 for five years and $50 for a decade of coverage.
The GTX 560 Ti 2Win looks like a mirror image of the aforementioned GTX 460-totting version with a large 11.5” PCB and an extensive custom cooling system. This similarity should come as no surprise considering the GF114 cores it houses are just slightly revised versions of the GF104 and produce about the same amount of heat.
EVGA’s cooler consists of a heatpipe-equipped heatsink atop each GPU core along with some secondary aluminum pieces to decrease the temperatures of other, secondary components. This is topped off by a trio of fans which blow directly downwards, exhausting the vast majority of hot air into your case.
Moving a bit further down onto the card’s side, there is a pair of 8-pin power connectors to feed the two cores and NF200 chip while retailing some additional head space for overclocking. There is also an SLI connector but since quad SLI isn’t supported for the GTX 560 Ti in NVIDIA’s driver stack, there is currently no way to run two of these cards in parallel for additional performance.
The backplate of the 2Win features a mini HDMI 1.4 output (a full size HDMI adapter is included) and three DVI connectors that act like a bit of a minefield for users. Right below the small exhaust grille is the primary DVI port which can be used with most motherboards but (and here’s the kicker) some boards may require you to use the secondary DVI output to achieve a video signal during system boot. For example, the GTX 560 Ti 2Win was perfectly content outputting to the primary DVI port on our ASUS P8Z68-V Pro but required the #2 connector on a Gigabyte X58A-UD7 and X58-UD5.
Since the 2Win is essentially a pair of GTX 560 Ti cards lined by an internal controller chip, NVIDIA’s drivers see it as a pair of individual cards. This means SLI has to be physically enabled in order to get the best possible performance.
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