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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti

by HEXUS Staff on 27 January 2011, 00:00

Tags: NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

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The return of NVIDIA's Titanium

When it comes to GPUs, NVIDIA has been hitting all the right notes of late. In recent months, the high-end GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 have been well received, and the excellent last-generation GTX 460 continues to prove popular in the mid-range.

But there's clearly a gap between the GTX 570 and GTX 460, and NVIDIA is plugging that hole with the launch of the mid-to-high-end GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

Priced at around the £200 mark, The GTX 560 Ti is the first GeForce product to carry the Titanium (Ti) badge since GeForce 4 cards range almost a decade ago, intimating that NVIDIA believes this to be something a little bit special. The name's supposed to evoke feelings of strength, nimbleness, and plain awesomeness, so what exactly does the GTX 560 Ti bring to the table?

Flashback

Cast your memory back to the two-flavour GeForce GTX 460. While NVIDIA engineered a sweet price-to-performance ratio by debuting both the 1,024MB- and 768MB-equipped cards with competitive retail prices, the actual GPUs weren't as potent as the underlying Fermi architecture suggested.

You see, this is the GF104 die for the GTX 460 GPUs, and it comprises of what NVIDIA terms eight Streaming Multiprocessors (SM), each composed of 48 CUDA cores, making 384 in total. However, lower-than-expected yields and associated manufacturing issues resulted in each GTX 460 being issued with one deactivated SM, reducing the total number of CUDA cores to 336.

Fast forward 10 months and advances in manufacturing and improved yields have enabled NVIDIA to realise the full potential of the original GTX 460 design - and in the process, the GTX 560 Ti is born.

The new addition to the Fermi range

Making use of a new GF114 die, the GTX 560 Ti is composed of the same eight SM arrangement and general layout of the GTX 460's GF104 die, but this time the retail card gets to keep a full complement of hardware. This means a full 384 shaders, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit memory bus, as well as improvements to enhance z-culling and much higher frequencies than their 4-series brethren.

Knowing that GTX 460 had plenty of overclocking potential, it's no surprise to see GTX 560 Ti shipping at higher speeds - but the numbers are nonetheless impressive. Standard core speed is set at 822MHz (up from 675MHz on GTX 460), whilst shader speed is bumped from 1,350MHz to 1,645MHz and effective memory frequency rises from 3,600MHz to a cool 4,008MHz.

 

GPU GeForce GTX 580 1,536MB GeForce GTX 570 1,280MB GeForce GTX 480 1,536MB GeForce GTX 470 1,280MB GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1,024MB GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB
Transistors 3.0bn 3.0bn 3.0bn 3.0bn 1.95bn 1.95bn
Die size 520mm² 520mm² 529mm² 529mm² 367mm² 367mm²
Fermi revision GF110 GF110 GF100 GF100 GF114 GF104
General clock 772MHz 732MHz 700MHz 607MHz 822MHz 675MHz
Shader clock 1,544MHz 1,464MHz 1,401MHz 1,215MHz 1,645MHz 1,350MHz
Memory clock 4,008MHz 3,800MHz 3,696MHz 3,206MHz 4,008MHz 3,600MHz
Memory interface 384-bit, 1,536MB GDDR5 320-bit, 1,280MB GDDR5 384-bit, 1,536MB GDDR5 320-bit, 1,280MB GDDR5 256-bit, 1,024MB GDDR5 256-bit, 1,024MB GDDR5
Memory bandwidth 192.4GB/s 152GB/s 177.4GB/s 133.9GB/s 128.3GB/s 115GB/s
Shaders 512 480 480 448 384 336
GFLOPS (FMA) 1,581 1,405 1,345 1,089 1,264 907
L2 cache 768KB 640KB 768KB 640KB 512KB 512KB
Texturing 64ppc bilinear 64ppc FP16 60ppc bilinear 60ppc FP16 60ppc bilinear 30ppc FP16 56ppc bilinear 28ppc FP16 64ppc bilinear 64ppc FP16 56ppc bilinear 56ppc FP16
ROPs 48 40 48 40 32 32
ROP rate 37.1 29.3 33.6 24.28 26.3 21.6
GTexel/s bilinear 49.4 35.1 42 33.99 52.7 37.8
FP16 rate 49.4 35.1 21 17 52.7 37.8
Board power (TDP) 244W 219W 250W 215W 170W 160W
HDMI 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a

 

The pertinent specifications, detailed above, suggest that the GTX 560 Ti will slot in alongside a previous high-end contender - GeForce GTX 470 - and the on-paper potential has been backed up by benchmarks from leading technology review sites:

Summary

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card builds on the success of the GTX 460 by using a revised die that's fundamentally more power-efficient. GF114's tweaks mean that it activates the dormant Streaming Multiprocessor - leading to more cores, tessellation, and texture units - and ramps up clocks on all fronts.

Priced at around £199 at launch, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is undoubtedly one of the finest graphics cards ever released at under £200. It provides stiff competition to AMD's Radeon HD 6950 and should certainly be on your DX11 shortlist.

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