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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Limited Edition Graphics Card Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Overclocking, Conclusions and Final Thoughts

Overclocking

I didn't have as much time as I would have liked with these cards to really put the overclocking portion of my review to the screws (we got the cards on Friday over a holiday weekend with an early Tuesday morning launch) but what I was able to do with about 30 minutes of time and the MSI Afterburner software was pretty impressive.

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Both cards easily hit the 875 MHz core clock speed and would complete several runs of 3DMark11 and that was without any kind of voltage adjustments at all!  The Graphics Score above is actually 23% higher than the stock GTX 570, 44% higher than the GTX 560 Ti 1GB card and 15% higher than our 750 MHz clocked GTX 560 Ti 448 core card we showed you throughout our previous tests.  

Nice!

Performance

In my testing, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores is about as close as you can get to being as fast as the GTX 570 without embarrassing it.  In a couple of our lower resolution tests, the new card was in fact just barely faster, but usually within a margin of error we were comfortable with.  Most of the time, especially in games that we know are super GPU dependent like Battlefield 3, the 448-core variant was reliably about 3-5% slower than the 480-core part.  

Pitting this new entry into the market against the currently existing 384-core version of the GTX 560 Ti that only has 1GB of frame buffer on a 256-bit memory bus, the new guy wins out handily most of the time, averaging about 15-18% boosts in our testing.  In a few select cases, the performance advantages are over 20% but the key is that the 15% gains are most often seen even at the 1920x1200 / 1920x1080 resolutions that most gamers are playing at.  Obviously, based on the game comparisons, the GTX 560 Ti 448 is a much faster card than the GTX 560 Ti.

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Maybe not surprisingly though, AMD's Radeon HD 6950 2GB card is still sticking its head in here and messing up NVIDIA's well thought out plans.  The Cayman-based GPU is able to keep up with both the GTX 570 and the GTX 560 Ti 448 in a couple of cases but more often than not actually performs just between the GTX 560 Ti original and 448-core model.  Considering that AMD still has the advantage of three simultaneous display outputs the Radeon HD 6950 can still be strongly argued for based on the value proposition at $20-30 less than the new GTX 560 Ti 448c. 

Pricing and Availability

Usually we can just gloss over this whole availability thing - other than the GTX 590 and Radeon HD 6990, we haven't had a major GPU shortage issue in quite some time.  With this review though, it needs to be considered more heavily.  With my previous guess of 10,000 units across North America and Europe, and the 6-8 week availability span, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  First, make sure you check prices at several locations before buying.  While you might see the 448-core variant somewhere for sale and want to immediately jump on it for its "limited edition" status, shortages (even ones planned for) can cause price jacking at retailers.  Don't get screwed!

Secondly, if you want to run these in SLI of any form, buy two or three of them NOW - you won't be able to find them for very long and you will not be able to pair them with currently available GTX 560 Ti cards.  You MIGHT be able to team them with the GTX 570, but even wasting those 32 CUDA cores seems like an awful use of money to me.  

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Let's look at that pricing scheme again:

UPDATE: These are now showing up online at Newegg though currently only the EVGA models are being sold at the MSRP prices!

At a $50 premium, the GTX 570 doesn't make a whole lot of sense as you get very minimal performance gains and there isn't a larger frame buffer to help out with higher resolutions or textures compared to the GTX 560 Ti 448c.  At a $50 premium over the GTX 560 Ti 384-core card with 1GB of frame buffer, that same GTX 560 Ti 448-core makes a compelling case for itself with average performance advantages around 15% while offering more memory to boot.  

Final Thoughts

While they last, the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 core graphics cards could be the hottest sell on the market offering up a new data point in the performance graphics field.  While some gamers might have looked at the GTX 570 as being "close to $350" and out of their range, I think more will now see the GTX 560 Ti 448c as "close to $250" and be willing to make that jump up from the GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 6950 1GB options.  NVIDIA and AMD both are always trying to get gamers to move up to that next rung on the product ladder and NVIDIA's timing, positioning and pricing on the new GTX 560 Ti 448c could be a perfect storm.

NVIDIA is obviously hoping that once these sell out, the halo-effect will touch the GTX 570 and those will sell more than they have in recent months because the popularity of the 384-core GTX 560 Ti.  

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We still have a little bit of lingering doubt about the reasons for this "limited edition" run of cards but even if you think NVIDIA might be twisting some numbers here, the results are easy to see from our testing and pricing comparison.  The new card simply makes a lot of sense when compared to the GTX 560 Ti based on the GF114 chip and certainly is a better performance per dollar value than the GTX 570 as things stand now.  AMD has been enjoying sole possession of that price point for quite some time but NVIDIA has burst its bubble for sure here.  Does AMD need to lower the prices to make the Radeon HD 6950 or HD 6970 more compelling?  I don't necessarily think so as both cards' performance is still relevant and they offer features NVIDIA still does not.

Politics, positioning and personal preferences aside, if I were building a new gaming computer today, a GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 core graphics card from MSI or EVGA would be on the top of my list for sure. 

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MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Power Edition - Cooling and Software

EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Classified - Overclocked Speeds

November 29, 2011 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

Hmm nothing at Newegg yet, and one at Amazon thats over MSRP. I'm hoping the limited availability of these won't drive the prices up.

November 29, 2011 | 10:05 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yes, that is a fear...we'll see if NVIDIA and it's partners can keep the consumer's at the front of their minds in the next few weeks.

November 29, 2011 | 12:29 PM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

Yea one can hope. I wouldn't mind this driving down the regular 560 ti prices too.

November 29, 2011 | 10:46 AM - Posted by shellscriptz

i wonder if you can unlock these vis a vis the gtx 465 to 470 conversion method.

November 29, 2011 | 11:38 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

In the past, NVIDIA has done a much better job locking their GPUs down than AMD has. There has never been a way to unlock the GTX 570 to a 580, for example.

November 29, 2011 | 11:20 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla (not verified)

By limited edition nvidia plan to run these limited quantities? As the specs are pretty similar to GTX570 and I reckon they might hurt the GTX570 in sales badly.

November 29, 2011 | 03:17 PM - Posted by Mark (not verified)

A. These are defective parts not good enough to be a 570 or 580.

B. These are crippled parts.

I REALLY think the marketing team goofed by calling this a 560 TI 448. It should be called a 565, no questions asked.

I dont' wanna use the word deceptive to describe any of this cause its just a damn GPU SKU but gesh....

November 30, 2011 | 11:28 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I think calling them "defective" or "crippled" is a bit of an overstatement. Is a 570 a "defective" 580? I wouldn't say that. Just different bins and different SKUs based on the ways the silicon world works.

November 29, 2011 | 08:54 PM - Posted by Sonic4Spuds

Now I wish I had waited a week to order my new computer build, I bought the 560 TI for rendering. Is it possable to use this and a 560 TI in the same system?

November 29, 2011 | 11:25 PM - Posted by Sunfighter (not verified)

No, a 448 cant be used to SLI with a regular 560TI, treat them as if they are two totally different cards, because well.... they are. GF114 vs a GF110 chip.

November 30, 2011 | 05:19 PM - Posted by Craig (not verified)

I read this review to get info and details on the Evga Classified card. You didn't provide hardly any. What about the non-reference pcb, or the 6 phase vrm?... why did you even write a review on it if you didn't want to go in-debth on the details?

November 30, 2011 | 05:34 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

"due to some complications with the EVGA card (that were all solved on the software side of things on my testing machine) our benchmarks use the MSI version initially."

... and he doesn't get to keep the cards forever. It is too bad there wasn't more time to test the card that you were more interested in but you can see the performance difference on the last page ... as in not much.

December 1, 2011 | 05:00 AM - Posted by Craig (not verified)

The Evga card should have been left out of the equation completely then, instead of saying "here's a review of this card" and then telling your readers "actually we couldnt get it to work" .... so dumb.

December 1, 2011 | 11:16 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

How did we treat the EVGA and MSI cards any differently?

December 1, 2011 | 11:16 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Oh yeah, and did you read this page?

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-560-Ti-44...

December 3, 2011 | 07:22 AM - Posted by Thaedor (not verified)

Amazon has the EVGA single fan version for $279.99. Thinking of getting three of them. One to update my E8500 system that will soon be donated to the kids and the other for a new build in SLI mode.

Is the Classified version worth the $30 premium(price/taxes/shipping) over the FTW version?

I understand the other companies jacking up prices for what the market will bear, but good on EVGA.

December 3, 2011 | 07:31 AM - Posted by Thaedor (not verified)

Sorry, price is $289.99.(the 279.99 was for the base 560Ti).

So the premium would only be around $20.

January 14, 2012 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Full Metal Monkey (not verified)

Just ordered the EVGA Classified version of this card from dabs.com (uk retailer) and after looking at some of the benchmark results I'm really glad I did as I very nearly brought a 570 instead.

Im just pinching myself now as I said I was going to wait for the 600 series to be released before upgrading but then my GT230 is really starting to show its age now.

Can't wait for this to be delivered.

January 29, 2012 | 10:22 PM - Posted by Michael (not verified)

Hello I am just trying to understand is the NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores faster then the GTX 560 Ti Superclocked 384 CUDA Cores and by how much thanks

March 11, 2012 | 09:44 AM - Posted by ricknau (not verified)

Where can I get the 285.88 drivers?

I have an MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Power Edition. It came with the 285.66 drivers on the installation CD. I can find no other drivers at the Nvidia website (or anywhere else) that will work with it.

March 28, 2012 | 10:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

When I was a girl, I tried to do the same thing and nearly ruined myself.

March 8, 2013 | 02:45 AM - Posted by Rupert Fontelroy (not verified)

Hello where does the graphic card go into? Did I stick it in?

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