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

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Manufacturer: NVIDIA

A Temporary Card with a Permanent Place in Our Heart

Today NVIDIA and its partners are announcing availability of a new graphics card that bridges the gap between the $230 GTX 560 Ti and the $330 GTX 570 currently on the market.  The new card promises to offer performance right between those two units with a price to match but with a catch: it is a limited edition part with expected availability only through the next couple of months.

When we first heard rumors about this product back in October I posited that the company would be crazy to simply call this the GeForce GTX 560 Ti Special Edition.  Well...I guess this makes me the jackass.  This new ~$290 GPU will be officially called the "GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 Cores". 

Seriously.

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Edition

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores is actually not a GTX 560 Ti at all and in fact is not even built on a GF114 GPU - instead we are looking at a GF110 GPU (the same used on the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 graphics cards) with another SM disabled.  

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GeForce GTX 580 Diagram

The above diagram shows a full GF110 GPU sporting 512 CUDA cores and the full 16 SMs (simultaneous multiprocessors) along with all the bells and whistles that go along with that $450 card.  This includes a 384-bit memory bus and a 1.5 GB frame buffer that all adds up to still being the top performing single graphics card on the market today.  

Continue reading our review of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Graphics Card!!

When the GTX 570 was launched, we got this:

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GeForce GTX 570 Diagram

The GeForce GTX 570 was based on the exact same GF110 die but with a single block of processors disabled, giving this part a CUDA core count of 480.  The frame buffer was also dropped to 1.25GB thanks to the memory bus going from 384 to 320-bits wide.  Interestingly, the GTX 570 launched at $349 and today sits only about $20 less than that.

Today's oddly named release brings us to this:

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GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 Cores Diagram

This is again that same GF110 GPU but with yet another SM disabled, bringing the count to 14 and, as the name implies, a total CUDA core count of 448Texture units drop accordingly from 60 to 56 on the new part but the GTX 560 Ti 448c doesn't drop any other features including memory bus width, memory capacity, ROP units, etc.  So even from this little bit of information we know that this limited edition card could perform very closely to the GTX 570 if the clock speeds were comparable. 

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As it turns out, the "reference" speeds on the GTX 560 Ti 448c part is in fact running at the same 732 MHz with a memory clock of 950 MHz / 3800 MHz quad data rate.  Those are the EXACT same speeds as the base GTX 570 but the new cards have an advantage - there are no reference designs so card manufacturers like MSI and EVGA are going to be pushing their offerings out with at least minimum clock speed increases.  

Compare these specs to the GTX 560 Ti as we know it today.  It has a 256-bit memory bus and 1GB frame buffer, 384 CUDA cores running at a higher 822 MHz core clock and a memory speed that is slightly faster at 1 GHz.  With a narrower bus 16% fewer processors (though, admittedly, running at a 12% higher clock rate), you might think these two GTX 560 Ti parts will perform somewhat closely.  Not really though - we'll see in our testing.

You might be wondering why NVIDIA would release a product like this and why they would call it a limited or special edition?  While there are some interesting theories about excess inventory on the GF110 parts that NVIDIA needs to clear out before the 600-series is released next year, it seems more likely that what we are getting here is in fact some binned-down GPUs that couldn't quite make it as GTX 580 or GTX 570 parts.  Having accumulated since the release of GF110 so long ago, rather than offer these cards as Tesla or Quadro SKUs, NVIDIA and the GeForce product team decided they could wipe through them quickly with a special release and a great price point.

Rather than have these GPUs sitting on a shelf gathering dust, NVIDIA decided to slap them on the PCBs and let its partners sell them to consumers that hunger for new GPUs to power all the new games released this year. 

And THAT is why this card has such a stupid name: NVIDIA didn't want to have to put a new product name (like the GeForce GTX 565) on its website and then answer questions as to why it was out of stock for the rest of the 500-series lifespan.  By applying the "limited edition" name to it right out of the gate, NVIDIA is hoping to nip those arguments and complaints in the ass.  Does that make it better?  Maybe a little but still "GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores"?

The most confusing part to me is that this is not even based on the same GPU as the GTX 560 Ti but being branded as such could confuse users into thinking they can use this new card in a multi-GPU configuration with their current GTX 560 Ti and it isn't possible.  But I guess calling it the "GTX 570 Minor" wouldn't have been a marketer's dream either... 

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You might be asking yourself just how limited this limited edition is supposed to be?  Well, obviously NVIDIA wouldn't give me any kind of numbers but by asking around to various partners before launch about their allotment and sales expectations, I am guessing there will be about 10,000 of these new parts TOTAL for its life.  NVIDIA did say they fully expect these cards to be sold out within 6-8 weeks of release and based on my opinions of this product, I don't doubt that at all.

Also interesting to note, this card is not going to be sold all across the world.  Only the regions of North America and Europe will have shipments - Asia, Australia, etc...sorry.  NVIDIA says this is solely because of the limited supply of available parts for this promotion so if you aren't in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Russia or the Nordics, you might be SOL. 

We got cards from both MSI and EVGA over the weekend - let's take look at these and see what kind of hardware the GTX 560 Ti 448c provides!

November 29, 2011 | 06:34 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 | 07:05 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 | 09:29 AM - 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 | 07:46 AM - Posted by shellscriptz

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

November 29, 2011 | 08:38 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 | 08:20 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 | 12:17 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 | 08:28 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 | 05:54 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 | 08:25 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 | 02:19 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 | 02:34 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 | 02:00 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 | 08:16 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

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

December 1, 2011 | 08:16 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 | 04:22 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 | 04:31 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 | 08:26 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 | 07:22 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 | 06:44 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 | 07:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

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

March 7, 2013 | 11:45 PM - Posted by Rupert Fontelroy (not verified)

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

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