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Conclusion

The new GeForce GTX 560 Ti didn’t disappoint: it is a really worthy addition to the GeForce 500 family. Moreover, we can definitely call it a true “weapon of mass destruction”. And in fact, there is nothing surprising about it: while the recommended retail price of the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti is only $249, it competes successfully not only against its direct rival - Radeon HD 6870, but also against a more powerful and more expensive Radeon HD 6950.

In fact, the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti did the same thing to GeForce GTX 470 that GeForce GTX 570 had done earlier to GeForce GTX 480. At this point it is hard to tell what will happen to GeForce GTX 460 1 GB. It may be replaced with a new GF114 based solution with cut-down configuration and without the “Ti” suffix in the model name, while GeForce GTX 550 on GF116 core comes to replace the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB.

If we take s closer look at the performance of our today’s hero, we won’t be able to tell definitely that GeForce GTX 560 Ti outperforms Radeon HD 6950 in all tests: Cayman core is initially designed for higher-end solutions anyway. However, the obtained results are truly impressive.

For example, GeForce GTX 560 Ti defeated its higher-end rival in 10 benchmarks out of 18 in 1600x900 resolution, and showed 20% average performance advantage over Radeon HD 6870. And although graphics cards of this class are usually purchased for use in higher resolutions, this is a very good start.

1920x1080 resolution is one of the most popular today because of Full HD format. Here it is harder for GeForce GTX 560 Ti to compete against Radeon HD 6950, because the latter is equipped with faster memory and boasts 88 texture units. However, our newcomer doesn’t give in that easily: it wins or reaches a tie in 8 gaming tests, while loses badly in only 4: Alien vs. Predator, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat,  Mass Effect 2 and F1 2010. As for the final winning score against Radeon HD 6870, it could be at 100% if it hadn’t been for F1 2010 game. GeForce GTX 560 Ti outperforms its primary competitor by 15% on average, and in some cases gets up to 60% faster!

As a rule, GeForce GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 6870 cards priced at $250 or less aren’t used in 2560x1600 resolution. This is normally the place where $300+ solutions step in. So, it is quite logical that GeForce GTX 560 Ti loses to Radeon HD 6950 in most tests here. Nevertheless, it retains its leadership over Radeon HD 6870, although its performance advantage lowers to 12-13%.

Summing everything up, we can conclude that Nvidia’s new mainstream solution turned out a great success. Due to its outstanding features and a price tag of only $10 more than the price of AMD Radeon HD 6870, it rips its competitor to shreds. No wonder that Advanced Micro Devices graphics division is seriously concerned with this aggressive move on Nvidia’s part, and is planning to strike back by lowering Radeon HD 6870 prices and releasing a cheaper modification of their Radeon HD 6950 equipped with 1 GB of local video memory. There is no other was to compete against GeForce GTX 560 TI: it is undoubtedly better priced than Radeon HD 6950 2 GB, but is not always slower than the latter in real games.

Keeping in mind the 160 W power consumption of the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti, we wouldn’t recommend this graphics card as a solution for home theater PCs, unless you need high gaming performance at any rate. In other words, if the acoustic performance and the size of your HTPC system are secondary to you, then GeForce GTX 560 Ti may be worth considering.

As of today, GeForce GTX 560 Ti has every right to be considered the best gaming graphics accelerator in the sub-$250 price range. It delivers well for its price and there is hardly any other choice for those who are not ready to invest in a GeForce GTX 570 or Radeon HD 6970. Time will show how competitive the upcoming lower-cost Radeon HD 6950 is going to turn out.

Highs:

  • Best performance in its class;
  • Can compete successfully against Radeon HD 6950 2 GB in some tests;
  • High performance with enabled tessellation;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Minimal effect of FSAA on performance;
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding;
  • High-quality HD video post-processing with scalability;
  • Supports Nvidia’s exclusive PhysX and 3D Vision technologies;
  • Wide range of GPGPU applications developed exclusively for Nvidia CUDA;
  • Low noise;
  • Highly efficient cooling system.

 Lows:

  • No serious drawbacks discovered.
 
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