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Test Systems and Configuration

The objective here is to compare a few of the more popular video cards within a similar pricing range. We’ll also have an opportunity to see GTX 560 Ti SLI in action. Here’s our system breakdown:

Our selection of video cards were chosen to give us just a quick peak at what a little less and a little more buys you and should let you know whether or not you’re missing out on holding on to that previous gen GPU.

The GTX560 Ti drivers used are the 266.58 downloaded directly from NVIDIA’s site and are the latest available as of the beginning of our tests. You may find newer drivers there in weeks to come. Also recommended is MSI’s fantastic overclocking utility called Afterburner which we’ll be using to overclock the card. GPUZ will be used to validate our results. Let’s get on with the benchmark suite.

Benchmark Notes

I’ll be using several game titles to thoroughly test DX9, DX10, and DX11 performance. All benchmarks were performed using 1920 x 1200 resolutions. 3DMark Vantage (Performance DX10), Unigine Heaven 2.0 (4xAN, Normal), Batman (8xAA Very High Settings), Final Fantasy XIV (Default Settings 1920×1080), Mafia 2 (8xAN High Settings), Crysis (4xAA High Settings), Farcry 2 (4xAA High Settings), Resident Evil 5 (Maximum Settings), HAWX2 (8xAA High Settings), Metro 2033 (4xAN, 4xAA, High Settings), and Stalker – Pripyat (4xMSAA High Settings).

At the end, we’ll take a look at the GTX560 Ti temperatures, noise levels, and power consumption.

3DMark Vantage

Thanks to MSI, the GTX 560 Ti ships with a copy of 3DMark11 which debuted at their MSI overclocking event at CES 2011. As 3DMark06 starts to phase out around here, we’ve included results for the remaining 3DMark titles for your enjoyment.

Vantage scores show a more level playing field between the similarly priced HD 5870 and more expensive GTX 480. SLI performance is impressive in this benchmark. However, 3DMark11 brings all of these big GPUs back to reality. The GTX 480 which performs similarly to the GTX 570 takes the lead with the GTX 560 Ti not far behind. SLI performance again is where it’s at if you pride in boasting your benchmarks.

Unigine Heaven 2.0 (DX9, DX10, DX11)

Unigine’s demo is so handy for benchmarking video cards and free to download. Here, the Ti just seems better tuned for DX9 and DX10 performance, outpacing my GTX 480. In DX11, the data makes more sense as it starts to match. SLI performance is just awesome across the board.

Batman (DX9)

The pinnacle of DX9 games continues to impress us with and without PhysX. Unless you are running an AMD card. Without applying any tricks to the AMD HD 5870, you can see the performance gains of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti in single and SLI modes. With the PhysX off, SLI performance is through the roof!

Final Fantasy XIV (DX9)

The score is a little different in this benchmark. But, suffice it to say the GTX 560 Ti can handle MMO/RPG type game titles well. But oddly enough, the AMD HD 5870 bounces back hard in this benchmark and bests everyone. There might be some fight left for the previous gen AMD card.

Mafia 2 (DX9)

One feature that can sometimes pulverize any video card is PhysX especially if it’s an AMD video card. AMD just doesn’t have it in the drivers or the developer support for some titles. Here, we see the huge difference CUDA can make when enabled. The 560 is obviously a stronger choice for the gamer who likes having PhysX enabled.

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