Mid-range graphics cards are the most popular, since they perform well without costing the earth. Both AMD and nVidia sell more than one mid-range card, either costing closer to £100 or £200, and the GTX 560 TI is at the pricier end of nVidia mid-range offerings, with vendors selling variants of the card for around £170. While that’s still no minor outlay, it’s a lot less than the companies’ flagship graphics cards.
There are some major differences between this card and nVidia cheaper GTX 550 TI. While the GTX 550 TI, based on the GF 116 core, cuts a few corners to keep the price down, nVidia has ensured its GF 114-based GeForce GTX 560 TI has enough hardware to ensure consistent performance.This card has almost double the number of transistors, with 1950 to the GTX 550’s 1170. It has double the number of stream processors (384) and its 128GB/sec of memory bandwidth is also a 30 per cent increase. Crucially, its texture fill rate is almost doubled which gives it a major performance boost.
This extra hardware means it’s able to run all of today’s games without a problem. Battlefield 2 at 1280 x 1024 ran at 100fps, and broke 72fps at 1920 x 1080. Stalker averaged 93.3fps and 60.6 at both resolutions, and Crysis was also playable, although it only just edged over 30fps at 1920 x 1080. We’re certain that this card is more than enough to cope with forthcoming games for a while.
It’s priced to compete with AMD’s Radeon HD 6950, but AMD’s card came slightly ahead of it in all our tests. Both cards require two 6-pin power connectors, although the GTX 560 TI is physically shorter.
We expect that the factory-overclocked variants of the GTX 560 TI will narrow the gap between it the Radeon HD 6950 even further, so if you shop around you may find this card to be better value for money.
Go to page two to read our review from the 23rd January 2011.