GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 splits the difference

The past year has been exceptionally quiet in the world of enthusiast-class graphics cards, largely because of a decision by the leading GPU chip foundry, TSMC, to cancel its 32-nanometer fabrication process—and because of TSMC’s further struggles to bring the replacement 28-nm process up to speed.  We haven’t had a truly new entry since the introduction of the GeForce GTX 560 back in May, and that was simply a lower-speed version of the GTX 560 Ti released last January.

We may have to wait a little longer for 28-nm GPUs to arrive, but in the interim, Nvidia has decided to inject a bit of freshness into its GPU lineup this holiday season in the form a new product dubbed the "GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores."  As is too often the case these days, the product name has everything to do with positioning and marketing concerns and little to do with reality, as in, you know, what chip is involved.  The GTX 560 Ti 448 actually has a lot more in common with the GeForce GTX 570 than it does with the 560 Ti, both in terms of specifications and key performance tendencies.  The 560 Ti 448 is based on the larger GF110 chip that powers the GTX 570 and 580, not the GF114 chip behind the rest of the GTX 560 series.

In fact, the difference between the GTX 570 and the GTX 560 Ti 448 is simple.  In the GTX 570, one of the GF110’s 16 shader multiprocessor clusters has been disabled, while in the GTX 560 Ti 448, two of the 16 SMs have been disabled.  As a result, the GTX 560 Ti 448 has slightly lower peak shader arithmetic and texture filtering rates.  In virtually every other respect, including clock speeds and memory bandwidth, the two products are the same.  Here’s a quick look at the key graphics throughput rates versus other current video cards:

  Peak pixel

fill rate

(Gpixels/s)

Peak bilinear

integer texel

filtering rate

(Gtexels/s)

Peak bilinear

FP16 texel

filtering rate

(Gtexels/s)

Peak shader

arithmetic

(GFLOPS)

Peak

rasterization

rate

(Mtris/s)

Peak

memory

bandwidth

(GB/s)

GeForce GTX 560 Ti 26.3 52.6 52.6 1263 1644 128
Asus GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP 28.8 57.6 57.6 1382 1800 134
GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 29.3 41.0 41.0 1312 2928 152
GeForce GTX 570 29.3 43.9 43.9 1405 2928 152
GeForce GTX 580 37.1 49.4 49.4 1581 3088 192
Radeon HD 6870 28.8 50.4 25.2 2016 900 134
Radeon HD 6950 25.6 70.4 35.2 2253 1600 160
Radeon HD 6970 28.2 84.5 42.2 2703 1760 176

As you can see, the GTX 560 Ti 448 is just a little slower than the GTX 570 in several places.  However, thanks to the architectural differences between the GF110 and GF114, the GTX 560 Ti is sometimes faster than the newcomer, especially in terms of texture filtering rates.  The 560 Ti looks even more competitive when you factor in the widely available hot-clocked versions of the card, like the Asus TOP model we’ve included in the table above.  Despite that fact, the GTX 560 Ti 448 has a pronounced lead in the all-important memory bandwidth department.  Also, true to its GF110 roots, the 560 Ti 448 is nearly twice as fast in terms of triangle rasterization rates—a capability of questionable utility in today’s games, but still a matter of superior hardware being present and available.

The 560 Ti 448 has a couple of other advantages over the regular 560 Ti, including a little more onboard RAM, 1280MB, and the ability to participate in three-way SLI configurations.

At the end of the day, the GF110’s additional memory bandwidth ought to win out most of the time.  Nvidia reckons the GTX 560 Ti 448 should be roughly 10-15% faster than the GTX 560 Ti and about 5% slower than the GTX 570.

That’s not a bad place to land in terms of performance, but the better news is that the GTX 560 Ti 448 splits the difference in terms of price.  A nice GTX 560 Ti card will run you about $240 these days, while the GTX 570 will set you back another 100 bucks, or $340.  The 560 Ti 448 lands in the middle, with a suggested price of $289.99.  Not coincidentally, that price also puts the GTX 560 Ti 448 right in between two Radeons: the 6950 2GB at ~$250 and the 6970 at ~$350.  We’d expect Nvidia’s new entry to offer compelling value at this price point, taking the shine off of the prospect of paying more for a GTX 570 or a Radeon HD 6970.

 

Here’s an example of an in-the-flesh version of the GTX 560 Ti 448 that landed in Damage Labs recently.  Zotac’s version is relatively short, at 9", and requires two six-pin auxiliary power inputs.  Although it will list for $299.99, ten bucks more than Nvidia’s suggested price, the U.S. version of the Zotac card will come with a copy of Battlefield 3.

So, you may be wondering, what’s the catch?  Glad you asked.  Nvidia tells us the reason this card doesn’t have a more sensible name like, say, GeForce GTX 565, is that it’s a temporary model slated to be available in limited quantities and only in select markets—North America and Europe, basically.  Only select Nvidia partners will be selling these cards, including Zotac, Inno3D, EVGA, Palit, Gainward, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI.  Even if it’s well-received, the 560 Ti 448 may be gone before you know it, the Black Friday deal of the GPU world.

If that pitch has given you a get-it-while-can fever whose only cure is 448 ALUs, the cards should be available at online retailers starting today.

We’ve had the Zotac version on hand for a little while now, and so far, our impressions are positive.  The cooler isn’t horribly loud, and it runs most games very well, even on our four-megapixel monster display.  We’d hoped to have a full review of the product for you today.  However, we only received final drivers from Nvidia last Tuesday evening, and we decided to spend our Thanksgiving weekend doing something other than cramming to put a review together at the last minute.  Rest assured Damage Labs will be churning away in the coming days, though, with all of the latest games and video cards, including the GTX 560 Ti 448.

Comments closed
    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    When i said that nvidia will name this card GTX 560 Ti 448 core people were quick to down vote me….

      • Kurotetsu
      • 8 years ago

      You mean this?

      [url<]https://techreport.com/discussions.x/21890?post=591213#591213[/url<] Doesn't look like you got downvoted to me....

    • jensend
    • 8 years ago

    Hadn’t thought of this when I first saw the news, but just realized one reason why some people might actually want to consider this card. While its performance in games won’t be tons better than the 560Ti (maybe ~20% better), its double precision compute performance will be much better- since GF100/110 have DP at 1/8 of SP performance while other 4xx/5xx chips have DP at 1/12 of SP, the 560 Ti 448 should (by the spec sheet numbers) have 56% better double-precision performance than the 560 Ti.

    There is a sizable gap between the 560 Ti and the 570 Ti in double precision performance (67% by the spec sheet), price (~40%), and power consumption (also ~40%? it’s not as easy to find sites giving the cards’ actual power consumption rather than the system power). This card fills that gap in a way that could be beneficial to some CUDA users.

    • ludi
    • 8 years ago

    Shore-lee they can strap on a few more numbers to that name. Why stop at just six?

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Because “565” would have been too logical. Im surprised they dont rename the 550 “560 TI 192” and a 8600GS can just be a new GTX560TI 8

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 8 years ago

        NVidia’s evil marketing geniuses don’t need help in creating intentionally-confusing product names.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          yes, it’s best to not give them any more ideas.

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      They’re using numbers because all the letters in the world were used up by XFX when they launched the XFX X1950XT Black Edition XREME

      There was a similar letter shortage at the box-printing factories following the release of the Gainward Geforce 7950GTX Super Golden Sample Deluxe Championship Edition Turbo II.

      I might have made those up. It’s been a coffee-rich morning 😐

        • yogibbear
        • 8 years ago

        Unfortunately you didn’t make those up. :/

    • ultima_trev
    • 8 years ago

    Looks like it’s time for me to eBay my highly overclocked GTX470 and get one of these. I’m sure it being a 500 series must make it several times better…

      • Goty
      • 8 years ago

      Please tell me I missed the sarcasm tags on that post….

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 8 years ago

        Well, it should filter FP16 faster.

        • ultima_trev
        • 8 years ago

        Indeed, good sir.

      • jensend
      • 8 years ago

      Obviously not “several times” better- you can tell from the model numbers that it’s only 19.1% better.

      It’s unfortunate that they decided to call it a 560. If they had decided to call it the GTX 565 it would have been 20.2% better.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      It’s exactly 90.448*Ti better than your current card. Upgrade now!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    Sounds like they’re just trying to maximize monies on chips that were just a bit too defective for GTX 570s. All of these cost way more than I’m willing to spend on a video card at this point, so meh, though I suppose this is in the price range for someone somewhere.

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      I think it’s both that and inventory flushing in prep for the coming new stuff. This kind of thing has happened before, like with the HD 2900 Pro. Best not to buy right now IMO.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, you might be on to something. Definitely agree that it’s not a good time to be buying a video card right now. Shoulda done it months ago if you were going to go to a current-generation part.

    • deinabog
    • 8 years ago

    Seems to be a good product but I’ll hang onto my 560 Tis regardless. This is a good solution for those looking for a video card that won’t break the bank but provides serious bang for the buck.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Sounds like a card meant to reduce inventory on GF110 parts and help reduce emphasis on GF114 production so that the mid-range Keplers can be manufactured in the interim to replace them in early 2012. It also may lure in people who are waiting for AMD’s Tahiti in January.

    I doubt it will lure many, though. I mean, if you’ve waited this long, waiting another month for a 28nm next-gen part is probably not hard to justify.

    I also think the price is too high.

      • w4rrior
      • 8 years ago

      The price is too high. I’ve seen GTX 570’s for ~$300 (probably AR) although when I just checked on newegg they are a bit more. The GTX 560 TI can easily be had for ~$200 (AR).

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 8 years ago

    If they’d called it the 565, it would have nicely paralleled the way the 400 series worked. The 465 (also short-lived) used the GF100 chip with further chunks disabled. It’s doesn’t make sense to give this one a daft name just because it’s not going to be produced in large quantities.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    I remember when this was called a GTX 470

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    When do we get 28nm parts? January? If January then I can wait…

    On a 260gtx which I picked up for cheap when my 8800gt was getting long in the tooth a year ago.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      According to leaks and rumors (grain of salt)…

      January for AMD (with low yields)

      March or April for Nvidia

      …and both will launch their biggest, best parts last. Potentially months after the low-end cards debut first.

        • jensend
        • 8 years ago

        Doing the smaller parts first just seems to me to make a lot more sense. Working through process and yields issues is bound to be a lot simpler when you’ve got small parts. It will disappoint the enthusiasts, but the market for >$250 video cards is pretty miniscule anyways. (I think the main reason that market gets addressed at all is for bragging rights and the public perception that whoever has the best top-of-the-line card must have better mojo across the rest of their product line too).

        According to a recently leaked roadmap slide, nV will do an entry level part (gk107) first and then a part aimed at the gtx 560’s current niche. That’s about the level of card most people want to buy anyhow (cf steam hardware survey).

          • yogibbear
          • 8 years ago

          Well the equivalent in the market segment to a 560 is what I want to buy in the 28nm lineup.

          • FuturePastNow
          • 8 years ago

          Yes, it does make sense to do a small(er) GPU first, since this is a new process. That’s what they did with 40nm.

          On the other hand, AMD will (if rumors are true) be leading with a die shrink of the current 6900 series. That’s substantially more powerful than the Gk107 is supposed to be.

          (Here’s the Nvidia slide, by the way: [url<]http://limages.vr-zone.net/body/14067/005.jpg.jpeg[/url<] ) It looks like both companies' initial 28nm focus will be power savings rather than absolute performance, and supposedly most of those Gk107 dies will be going to mobile GPUs. Nvidia is trying to get it out the door in time for the first Ivy Bridge laptop launches.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    hmmm… Kinda late in the life cycle to intro a new product. Nvidia has had a pricing hole for too long to get my attention with this one.

    • phez
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve seen some benchies already and it seems to be equal, if not better, to the 570. So, a winner.

    Much cheaper than a 570? But limited run? 28nm on its way?

    Damn you nvidia for these hard choices

      • I.S.T.
      • 8 years ago

      It should be slower than a 570 GTX… I’m guessing what benches you’ve seen have been using old numbers for the 570 GTX. Driver optimizations and all that.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      What hard choices? If you haven’t decided on a 5 series card by now you might as well wait until 28nm.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      how could it be better than a 570? it’s a neutered 570! it’s the same thing, with less parts!

        • JohnC
        • 8 years ago

        Technically, it is less capable than GTX570, BUT some places do have benchmarks that show this new card to be faster than the GTX570, though the difference is practically insignificant (1-2 fps difference) using the pointless “single numerical value” metrics. So I think that is where all the confusion comes from.

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