Review Index:

MSI N560GTX-Ti HAWK Graphic Card Review

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: MSI Computers

Results: AvP, DiRT 2, and LOTRO


One of the initial games to make use of tessellation, the AvP benchmark also tends to look really nice as well.  The benchmark was ued with all top settings enabled as well as 4X AA and 16X AF.

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In a more “real-world” type application the 560 takes a back seat to the GTX 480 and HD 6950.  But not by much.  It does however match up very well against the HD 5870.

DiRT 2

Upon its release in late 2009, DiRT 2 set the standard for a visually stunning racer which embraced DX11.  The internal benchmark was run with Ultra settings as well as 4X AA and 16X AF.

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At low and medium resolutions the 560 Ti was able to take down the AMD offerings, which is suprising in what was typically known as an AMD leaning game.  Only when 2560x1600 was used did we see the HD 6950 catch up.

Lord of the Rings Online

This Free to Play MMO embraced DX10 and DX11 fairly early in its lifecycle as compared to other larger, more popular titles.  A manual runthrough was recorded via FRAPS.  Settings were pushed to Ultra/DX11 with 4X AA and 16X AF.

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We seem to be seeing a pattern here.  Oftentimes the 560 Ti is slightly slower than the HD 6950, but usually faster than the HD 5870.  It also seems to perform slightly better than the GTX 480 in this particular circumstance.

June 12, 2011 | 06:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this review lacks substance , compairing only a few cards against the MSI card does not give the reader the ability to make a choice if considering buying this card . Like how does it stack up against a standard 560TI ? Or how does it do against older cards . Thats why I never bother much reading the Reviews at PcPer .

June 12, 2011 | 01:53 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

There are some advantages and disadvantages for having a whole slew of video cards for comparison, unfortunately the disadvantages start to overwhelm the advantages once the amount of cards starts to increase. The primary issues that we face are that of time, DirectX level, and changes in performance due to driver adjustments and patches to individual applications. As a reviewer I already spend about 20 to 40 hours on a single review, depending on what product it is.

Benchmarking the cards we have takes up most that time. You are probably thinking, "Why not just leave your setup the same so the numbers and driver revisions match?" Some publications do this, unfortunately we have seen some significant advances in performance due to software optimizations that have changed the competitive landscape between manufacturers. A good example of this are some of the latest Catalyst driver revisions which made products like the HD 6950, which upon introduction was slower than products like the GTX 480, suddenly wake up and outperform that card.

So as a balance, I try to pick and choose the competition for any one card based on what I have available, what price points we are looking at, and what seems to have a lot of interest from our readership (via email and forum posts). I also try to make sure they share the same level of DX compliance. Sure, it would be interesting to see how a GTX 285 would compare against a 560 Ti, but then we see an increase in workload to make sure we match up the DirectX settings... which in most cases would disable things like tessellation in the games that utilize it, or optimized DX11 pathways such as in BF:BC2. There just is not a good way to go about this in a timely manner, and things get messy quickly. Btw, a GTX 285 is slower than a GTX 460, while a standard GTX 560 Ti is about 20% faster than the 460... and the MSI 560Ti here is about 7% faster than a stock clocked 560Ti.

We try to cover as best we can the majority of bases, but oftentimes things get left out due to time constraints on our part.  Keeping a good balance in reviews is hard, and invariably someone is disappointed in our coverage of a product.

June 14, 2011 | 05:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I can understand your point but if Reviews at PcPer are going to compete with other major players on the web then Your going to have to adapt and add more hardware to compair with the hardware your reviewing. Just look at any of the other major players reviews and you will soon see that Your view point needs to change if if Your ever going to compete with these sites and bring PcPer review up to a top notch site.

June 15, 2011 | 10:11 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

As a counterpoint to that, if I offer the same type of review as "the big guys" what do I have that differentiates my writing from theirs? Personally when I go to Tom and Anand's, and am greeted by graphs that span 20 products, a lot gets skipped over. It really seems like a lot of noise to me, and I know I am not the only one who pays attention for the first couple of graphs... but then just skip over most of the rest. Unlike reviews like HardOCP, who only bench a couple of cards... but bench them very thoroughly and have some really tremendous insights into actual performance in realworld situations.

I try to take a middle approach to those, and offer a good selection of competing products, yet not overwhelming the reader with so much data that the true advantages and disadvantages of a card are lost because of the sheer amount of data being thrown at the reader.

October 12, 2011 | 10:54 PM - Posted by Mark Harry (not verified)

Anonymous can always go elsewhere to get his headache, I love Tom's and Anand, but overload comes to mind. You guys answered every question about this product and I think I'm buying it since I only have 10.5 inches of space. By the way I'm watching Ryan's stream crash live on TWIT, love you guys.

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