We didn’t actually expect any wonders from the GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI configuration, especially after our tests of a GeForce GTX 570 SLI setup, but its results are quite disappointing anyway.
The tested SLI tandem is overall faster than the Radeon HD 5970 but this didn’t make any difference in any of the games. Moreover, the Radeon HD 5970 is an old product whereas a dual-chip Radeon HD 6900 series solution wouldn’t leave any chance to the hypothetic GeForce GTX 590 with two GF114 chips. We guess Nvidia’s future flagship card will be based on two GF110 cores, probably in the full configuration, like on the GeForce GTX 580, but with reduced clock rates to keep the card’s heat dissipation within reasonable limits.
The GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI tandem is not an improvement over a single GeForce GTX 580, either, just as you can see in the summary diagrams.
At the resolution of 1600x900 pixels the SLI tandem is an average 14% faster than Nvidia’s single-chip flagship and AMD’s dual-chip solution. This advantage is hardly worth the trouble of building and running a SLI configuration. It’s better to invest the same money into a single GeForce GTX 580 and enjoy as much comfort in every game, without any SLI-related incompatibilities.
At the most popular resolution the GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI has an average advantage of 20% over its opponents, its average scalability increasing from 50 to 62%. However, this doesn’t make any difference in terms of playability in any of the games. Moreover, the SLI tandem has a bottom speed of 30 fps in BattleForge whereas the single such card delivers 35 fps and the GeForce GTX 580, 45 fps. We didn’t see any performance breakthroughs even in the synthetic Unigine Heaven where the SLI tandem had the highest bottom speed among the tested solutions.
At the highest resolution the SLI configuration is comparable to the GeForce GTX 570 SLI tandem we tested earlier in scalability. Its performance increases by an average 70% over that of the single card. The maximum performance boost is as high as 105%. Its advantage over the GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon HD 5970 remains the same at 19-21%, though. Compared to that, the GeForce GTX 570 SLI tandem enjoyed an advantage of 42-43% over those cards. Thus, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI delivers comfortable performance where the single GeForce GTX 580 can do the same and even fails in BattleForge and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.
So, a dual-GF114 graphics card wouldn’t be competitive as a flagship solution. It might be fast but only about as fast as an ordinary single-chip GeForce GTX 580. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI tandem doesn’t have the hardware resources necessary to beat the upcoming Radeon HD 6990. It might be interesting for enthusiasts as a two-step upgrade, but if you have the whole sum of money to spend, you should instead prefer the GeForce GTX 580. And if you’ve got a Radeon HD 5970, you can rest assured that your graphics card remains unrivalled until the next generation of dual-chip products from AMD and Nvidia.