Gigabyte GTX560Ti 448 Core Review
This is a curious beast indeed.
On paper it should be fantastic. It's a slightly cut down version of the epic GTX570, or a slightly enhanced version of the brilliant GTX560Ti depending on your outlook. We've moved from the GF114 GPU to the full GF110 that we know powers two of the finest cards around. Hell we know the GTX560Ti is brilliant and this is that but with a better GPU and more cores. It should become the default graphics card for all but the most well heeled.
It's been designed to fulfil the requirements of two very popular games, namely Battlefield 3 and Batman Arkham City. Certainly the extra cores will assist with the hefty levels of PhysX in those titles. nVidia have aimed this squarely at the tiny gap in performance between the standard GTX560Ti and the GTX570, and they've certainly hit that rather tiny target.
In fact it's difficult not to look through the results of this card against the ones that bracket it and not come away with the feeling that it's been engineered a little too well to hit that exact marker, but not be any better so as to take sales away from the GTX570.
Performance is right where you'd expect it to be. Both the plain GTX560Ti and GTX570 are two of our favourite cards and this hits those sweet spots, so you're definitely not lacking in gaming potential. It's just that the gap in the marketplace, and in performance of those two cards, is so tiny that if you've got a GTX560Ti you are missing out on a handful of frames-per-second. Certainly nothing to provoke wailing and gnashing of teeth.
It's an excellent card, but rather pointless. If those last couple of FPS really mean that much to you then you'll go for the GTX570. Indeed by introducing this card into that tiny gap nVidia have assured that the prices of the GTX570 and GTX560Ti remain competitive. We all know about speed binning, where the silicon that doesn't quite hit the targets gets parts disabled or set to run slower for the lower models. It makes perfect sense because it keeps prices low. Its quite amazing how few lines manufacturers really make, the different models within the range are pretty much all binned products.
If you've got a couple of hundred notes hanging about and are in need of a new GPU, look no further. The performance of this is excellent, it overclocks well and it's pretty cool too. We love the GTX560Ti, so naturally we love this because it's barely different out in the real world. The lower clockspeed balances the extra cores and you end up about where you started. It's only when overclocking that the extra performance becomes apparent.
So of course it is an award winning card. Both the GTX560Ti and GTX570 are Gold Award winners here at OC3D. But by virtue of trying to squeeze into a gap in the market that doesn't really exist, and because of the rather obvious profiteering on the part of nVidia, we can only award this our Silver award.
Since this review was written the pricing information has been released, and it looks as if this card is about £30 more expensive than we were expecting at about £250. This is frankly too expensive and you'd be far better served still staying with the excellent GTX560Ti if you are on a budget, or the GTX570 if you want the performance.
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