NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 - Plugging the Mainstream Gap

By Vincent Chang - 17 May 2011

A Card for Every Price Point

A Card for Every Price Point

The return of the 'Ti' branding on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti, launched at the start of the year, heralded a more competitive NVIDIA. After a slow start to 2010, NVIDIA had arguably turned the corner with the debut of the GTX 460 and the green team has grown in strength since.

The company has since rejuvenated its mainstream offerings, with the 550 Ti that followed the 560 Ti. NVIDIA also managed the time to blast out the dual-GPU GTX 590 to counter AMD's Radeon HD 6990. Not forgetting the latest entry level 500 series models like the GT 520 and NVIDIA can state confidently that it has refreshed its entire range of graphics cards. 

But as we mentioned in our 550 Ti roundup, there is quite the performance (and price) gap between the NVIDIA 550 Ti and the 560 Ti, which brings us to today's inevitable new SKU, the GeForce GTX 560. Equipped with a similar GF114 core, the new GTX 560 has 336 CUDA cores or stream processors compared to the 384 on the Ti version. This also meant a decrease of eight texture filtering units, thereby creating a GPU that falls between the 560 Ti and the 550 Ti.

With the GTX 560 Ti the successor to the GTX 470, it's only natural that the new GTX 560 will be considered the heir to the phenomenally successful GTX 460. Those are big shoes to fill however and we'll see if the new SKU manages that.

NVIDIA is also giving free rein to its board partners to set the clock speeds, with a rather wide range of core clocks deemed acceptable. This means one will probably find a range of speeds from 810MHz to 950MHz, though NVIDIA believes that the majority of GTX 560 in the market will be in the upper range. As a result, the prices too will be spread over a range, which is useful considering the almost US$100 price gap between the US$250 560 Ti and the US$150 550 Ti.

We got three graphics cards from ASUS, ECS and Palit, all at different clock speeds. You definitely want to check the clock speeds on this SKU before putting down the cash.

As it is, the GeForce GTX 560 starts from US$199 and with its similarity to the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, you can expect a performance level closer to the 560 Ti. We also expect the major board partners to have their products ready for launch. This definitely won't be a paper launch. For your reference, we have included the specifications for the new GTX 560, along with that of its closest competitors. 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 and Competitive SKUs compared
Model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti NVIDIA GeForce 
GTX 460
GTX 470

AMD Radeon HD 6870

AMD Radeon HD 6850 ATI Radeon HD 5850
Core Code GF114 GF114 GF104 GF100  Barts XT Barts PRO Cypress Pro
Transistor Count  1950 million 1950 million 1950 million 3200 million  1700 million 1700 million 2150 million
Manufacturing Process 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm
Core Clock  810 to 950MHz 822MHz 675MHz 607MHz 900MHz 775MHz 725MHz
Stream Processors  336 Stream Processors 384 Stream Processors 336 Stream Processors 448 Stream Processors  1120 Stream processing units 960 Stream processing units 1440 Stream processing units
Stream Processor Clock  1620 to 1900MHz 1644MHz 1350MHz 1215MHz  900MHz 775MHz 725MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 56 64 56 56  56 48 72
Raster Operator units (ROP)  32 32 24 40  32 32 32
Memory Clock  4008MHz GDDR5 4008MHz GDDR5 3600MHz GDDR5 3348MHz GDDR5  4200MHz GDDR5 4000MHz GDDR5 4000MHz GDDR5
DDR Memory Bus  256-bit 256-bit 192 / 256-bit 320-bit  256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth  128GB/s 128GB/s 86.4 / 115.2GB/s 133.9GB/s  134.4GB/s 128GB/s 128GB/s
PCI Express Interface  PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16  PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors  2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin  2 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin
Multi GPU Technology SLI SLI SLI SLI  CrossFireX CrossFireX CrossFireX
DVI Output Support  2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link  1 x Single-Link, 1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link, 1 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDMI 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 (mini-HDMI) 1 1 1
DisplayPort None None None None 2 (DisplayPort 1.2) 1 (DisplayPort 1.2) 1
HDCP Output Support  Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes
Street Price Launch price: from US$199 ~US$250  ~US$170 to 190  ~US$205  ~US$200  ~US$170  ~US$190


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