As you may have learned from our earlier reviews, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti is quite deservedly considered one of the best graphics cards (or even simply the best one) in the $250 price category. Officially priced at $249, it hasn’t really met with worthy opponents up till now. The comparably priced Radeon HD 6870 was slower whereas the Radeon HD 6950 delivered the same performance in 3D applications as the GTX 560 Ti but cost $299. The recent developments have changed the market situation, though. AMD now offers a cheaper version of Radeon HD 6950 with 1 gigabyte of onboard graphics memory (instead of 2 gigabytes as in the original version) for a recommended $259 and, according to our tests, it beats the GeForce GTX 560 Ti by 8 to 30%, depending on the particular game and resolution.
However, Nvidia has some elbowroom for maneuvering thanks to the high frequency potential of the GF114 chip. A regular GeForce GTX 560 Ti clocks its GPU at 823 MHz, the shader domain having a clock rate of 1654 MHz at that. And there is no reason for us to think that this is the frequency ceiling for the GeForce GTX 560 Ti card. Indeed, not only our readers who’d like to see this card tested at overclocked frequencies but also graphics card makers who have released a number of pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti’s will not agree to such limitations.
Nvidia classifies its GeForce GTX 560 Ti as Hunter and it’s the company’s main weapon in its market wars with AMD, so we've collected a hunting squad to benchmark a few GeForce GTX 560 Ti cards in overclocked mode. The particular products to be tested are listed below:
- EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti SC
- MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC
- Palit GeForce GTX 560 Ti Sonic
- Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti
- Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP!
So we are going to see which of these hunters offers the best combination of consumer properties as well as the highest overclocking potential. Instead of trying to find a single overall winner, we will try to focus on revealing the highs and lows of each particular product. Let’s take a closer look at each of them now.