Gigabyte GTX560 Ti SOC
It would be very easy to look at our results and come to the conclusion that whilst the Gigabyte GTX560Ti SOC promises much, it doesn't really deliver enough to make it a worthwhile purchase over a stock card, especially as all highly factory overclocked cards come with a suitably large price-premium.
That isn't actually the case here, and Gigabyte have cleverly positioned the SOC at the perfect price-point.
A reference GTX560Ti card is a penny shy of £200, whereas the SOC is only £30 more. For that extra £30 you're getting a couple of key things, which you can judge upon their importance and decide for yourself.
Firstly there is that overclock. Whilst the SOC doesn't outperform a manually overclocked reference card there are a some clear benefits to buying one at 1000MHz rather than trying to push a stock one to those heights. Firstly as we all know not every chip can make it up to 1000MHz. While all those we've tested can, it's still possible that there will be some that cant thanks to the wonder that is the 'Silicone Lottery'. Secondly you're getting that overclock out of the box. No messing about with stability testing and the like, plus it's all under warranty.
The other big thing you're getting is that cooler. The reference cooler wasn't exactly hot or loud at stock but when running a 1GHz clock it was a completely different matter. The Gigabyte twin-fan design is as good as silent as any you're likely to find. It's genuinely whisper quiet in pretty much everything but extended day long romps of [email protected] and even then its quieter than most.
*Video will be added once YouTube stops messing about!*
So the choice is yours. If you're willing to have a single fan and take your chances manually overclocking, you can save £30 and buy a reference. If you want the reassurance of a card guaranteed to hit 1000MHz, under warranty, and with a very effective and attractive cooler, the extra thirty notes isn't such a difference to break the bank.
If it's our money, we'd get the Gigabyte. There might not be any headroom left over, but it's a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing that you've got a great chip kept cool and quiet.