Previews the NVIDIA GTX 560

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 13, 2011 - 05:30 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, GTX560, graphics


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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 is due to release on May 17th.  As the release date approaches, vast speculation and rumors have flooded the Internet. has stepped up to preview what the card looks like and how it fairs in three soon to be released PC games versus the 9800GT at the popular 1080p resolution.  GeForce chose the 9800 GT for comparison because they found the card to be one of the most popular used on Steam.  As games are becoming more advanced graphically and 1080p monitors are becoming more popular, they wanted to compare what the GTX 560 is capable of versus a card that many people are familiar with.

While they were unable to share exact hardware specifications and performance numbers (due to NDA), they were able to show what graphics detail settings the card was able to run at 1080p and at least 35 frames per second.  The stated "Optimal Playable Settings" for the GTX 560 were then compared to the 9800 GT in three games.  These three soon to be released games were each chosen because of their ability to showcase what high resolution, high PhysX detail, and Nvidia Surround looked like.  The GTX 560 was able to handle all three of those features with ease, whereas the older but popular 9800 GT ran into issues playing games with those features smoothly.  The system configuration they used to test both cards is as follows:

Motherboard ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
CPU Intel Core i7 2600K @ 3.4GHz
RAM 8GB DDR3 1333MHz, 9-9-9-24
Operating System Windows 7 x64


The first game they showcased was Duke Nukem Forever.  GeForce states that Duke Nukem will support both NVIDIA 3D and PhysX.  The graphics details they were able to achieve with Duke Nukem Forever are:

Resolution 1920x1080
Texture Detail Medium
Shadow Detail Medium
Shadows World & Characters
Motion Blur On
AA Off
Film Grain On
Post Special Effects On
Stereoscopic 3D On

The GTX 560 managed to pull off at least 35fps.  Conversely, the game was not playable at these settings with the 9800 GT.  Specifically, the 3D feature was not practical with the 9800 GT.

Alice:  Madness Returns was the second game GeForce showed off.  One interesting aspect of Alice is the useage of PhysX.  The graphics quality is much improved by the graphics textures and particles added by PhysX, as you can see in the comparison screenshot below.


The GTX 560 managed to run the game at the following setttings:

Resolution  1920x1080
AA  On
PhysX  High
Post Processing  On
Dynamic Shadows  On
Motion Blur On

The 9800 GT that they compared the GTX 560 to was a "slide show" by comparison.  The demands of PhysX were especially responsible for the reduced performance.  The 9800 GT simply was not capable of processing both high resolution graphics and the high PhysX calculations.  The GTX 560 was; however, capable of running the game at maxed out settings (at 1080p).

GeForce finally showcased the GTX 560 running Dragon Seige III.  In this test, they utilized 3 monitors in an NVIDIA Surround configuration.  The graphical settings that they were able to get out of the GTX 560 included:

Resolution 5760x1080
Motion Blur On
Shadow Quality Insane
Texture Quality High
Shader Quality High
Visual Effects Quality High


Their results are as follows:

"On these settings, which were near maximum aside from anti-aliasing which tops off at 16x, the average framerate was again consistently smooth and playable. Here, the ultra-wide experience allowed us to immerse ourselves into some deep dungeon crawling. Unfortunately for the 9800 GT, the GPU in SLI does not support NVIDIA Surround, making it impossible to play at the 5760x1080 resolution. "


The GeForce GTX 560 is reported to be positioned between the Geforce 460 and 560Ti on the NVIDIA side, and the 6870 and 6950 (1GB) on the AMD side.  When it comes to 1080p resolution, so far it has been a toss up for many DIY enthusiasts between buying the AMD 6950 (2GB) and the NVIDIA GTX 560Ti for maximum performance.  If GeForce's preview holds true for other games, the GTX 560 may well provide an another option for enthusiasts after the bang for the buck price and performance at 1080p resolutions.

As for speculation and rumors on the graphics card's hardware, there have been many floating around the Internet.  For example, Tech Connect states that the GTX 560 will feature 336 CUDA cores, 56 Texture Units, and 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus.  Further, Tech Connect maintains that the card is rumored to be priced at approximately $200.  From Nvidia's statement that the graphics card will be positioned between the GTX 460 and the GTX 560Ti in terms of performance, the GPU will likely be clocked somewhere between the 675Mhz of the GTX 460 and the 820Mhz of the GTX 560Ti, with the RAM being slightly lower than the GTX 560Ti's 4008Mhz.  

Unfortunately, (until the NDA is lifted) only NVIDIA can tell us what the real specifications of the GTX 560 will be, and they are not talking.  You can; however, find further details as well as a video of the soon to be released card in action over at, and PC Perspective will have a review up with benchmarks gallore and the official hardware specifications as soon as the NDA is lifted on May 17th.

Will the GTX 560 power your next gaming rig?

Source: GeForce

May 13, 2011 | 06:21 PM - Posted by jeffgoatley (not verified)

I'm using 2 GTX 560's now. EVGA's not the Nvidia reference card. Run's all the new games great in surround. I can see a big difference in the graphic's over the GTX 460's and no problems with SLI like I had with the 460's.

May 13, 2011 | 06:54 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

You are using the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, this is a new card. We'll have some testing very soon.

May 14, 2011 | 05:12 AM - Posted by oceanskate (not verified)

I kind of wish they hadn't called it "GeForce GTX 560" without the "Ti" because that makes it hard to search for and confuses things...

That said, it looks like it should be an awesome card. In fact since they tested it on DNF, I'll consider it "The Duke Nukem Forever Card", LOL. I'm pretty sure I want this card when it comes out :-) Only about 30 more days or so..

May 15, 2011 | 03:55 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I agree with you here. The return of the post-fix titles like "Ti" are going to confuse more than a few people. I think we'll have quite a few people pass over our upcoming "GeForce GTX 560 Review" as they think they have already read about it.

May 16, 2011 | 06:13 AM - Posted by oceanskate (not verified)

I've been reading around, and it's worse than I thought. Whether I'm on youtube, or any forum, I keep seeing things like, "Glad I have a GeForce 560!". So they not only will probably pass your article up thinking they read it, but will likely think they already have the card. Or I see, "How can it be coming out the 17th when it's already in my machine?". You'll probably need an article just to tell people it's not the Ti. As Duke says, What a mess! lol. I'll make sure to read your review.. thanks.

May 16, 2011 | 11:55 AM - Posted by MikeBEANS (not verified)

hopefully they don't make a 550 minus the Ti too

May 16, 2011 | 01:50 PM - Posted by klatch

Next Nvidia will release something like the GeForce 580-20 which will mathematically be the same as a 560 but will have entirely different performance.

May 16, 2011 | 01:48 AM - Posted by klatch

I'm looking forward to the review. I think the price/performance point between the 460 and the 560 Ti is right where I want to be. But Nvidia needs to hurry up with their Synergy software as I'd rather try that then Lucid. So for now I'm just using the sandybridge graphics on my new ASUS P8Z68-V Pro board with an i7 2600k. Thanks to PCPer for your reviews which facilitated those purchases (and past ones).

May 16, 2011 | 11:53 AM - Posted by MikeBEANS (not verified)

@Nvidia: You're naming schemes, are petty and stupid!

looks like more mid-ranged bla, give me super efficiency, or lots, and lots of power.

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