Once everything was said and done, taking a closer look at cards from various board partners has only served to heighten our love affair with the GTX 560 Ti 448. By allowing their AiBs to approach this card with different perspectives NVIDIA not only fostered internal competition but has allowed some very unique designs to come to market. While each card in this roundup had its own strengths and weaknesses, when taken as a whole they have shown us a perfect example of what’s possible when the term “reference design” is thrown into the wind. Let’s take a look at each individually.
EVGA GTX 560 Ti 448 Classified
The EVGA Classified card in this roundup proved itself to be something of a freak. Its GTX 570-trampling performance was nothing short awe inspiring and with a premium of just $10 over the most other GTX 560 Ti cards; we can’t imagine why anyone would look anywhere else. There was even some additional overclocking headroom sans voltage tweaks.
Granted, it may not be the quietest GPU in this roundup and high efficiency isn’t in the Classified’s lexicon but its minimal fan noise puts most other cards to shame and the 6-phase PWM could make it the venue of choice for enthusiasts. There really is an endless list of things to like about the EVGA’s Classified but we’ll end this short overview with a simple statement: this will be the GTX 560 Ti 448 that all competitors –and even some GTX 570s- are measured against.
Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti 448
Gigabyte’s entry into our pile of GTX 560 Ti 448 cards was straightforward and didn’t pack some of the competition’s notable features. Its quiet, unassuming position in the charts likely means that many readers just passed it by and if you did, we suggest going back and paying special attention to a trio of metrics: price, acoustics and core temperatures.
Done? Good and now you’ll likely understand why Gigabyte’s card holds a special place in our hearts. It may not boast increased clock speeds or a particularly appealing industrial design but it offers the best cooling efficiency of any card we’ve tested in the last four months and goes about its business without any perceptible fan noise. Gigabyte has even seen fit to equip it with a custom PCB sporting Ultra Durable components. The price for this: not a penny over NVIDIA’s reference retail price of $289. What’s not to like about that?
MSI GTX 560 Ti 448 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC
The Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC is precisely what we have come to expect from MSI as of late. It boasts what is arguably the highest level of fit, finish and overall component quality among this roundup’s cards and overclocking becomes a dream come true due to MSI’s Triple Overvoltage feature. Even the Twin Frozr III heatsink continues a longstanding tradition of offering excellent cooling efficiency without sacrificing acoustics. Unfortunately, we're worried that many will look at MSI’s entry as an also-ran.
While the Power Edition’s framerates are very good across the board, we have to remember that it is a full $20 more expensive than Gigabyte’s entry and even one-ups the beastly Classified in terms of overall cost. Regardless of component choices and an excellent heatsink design, this will be a bitter pill to swallow for prospective buyers.
MSI has continued to lead the way by offering a high quality card that should appeal to a board market but we feel like the Power Edition OC is a good $10 too expensive when competing products like the EVGA Classified are taken into account. With that being said, if you see this card hitting the $299 mark, we’d recommend taking a good look at it.
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