Value and Conclusion
|8.9||NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 560 non-Ti sets out to fill the void in NVIDIA's lineup at $200. While GTX 560 Ti performs great around $230, its price does turn away some potential customers who will find a good alternative with AMD's $200 HD 6870. NVIDIA's new card provides a good solution, yet can not shatter existing offers in this segment. It offers decent performance for up to, including, 1680x1050 gaming, comes with improved performance and overclocking potential when compared to GeForce GTX 460 and features improved performance per Watt. AMD's HD 6870 can offer a tiny bit more performance and better efficiency, on the other hand NVIDIA's drivers seem more mature and refined.|
Palit's GeForce GTX 560 is the only GTX 560 we reviewed today that comes with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory vs. 1 GB on the reference design. Unfortunately the memory capacity increase can not result in any significant performance difference in our testing. It seems that 1 GB of memory is enough for all our games at resolutions up to 2560x1600. Even if there was a difference at more demanding settings, it would make no sense for a card like the GTX 560. Even if you could somehow crank up settings to see a difference between 2 GB and 1 GB you would also end up with unplayable framerates due to the limited processing power of the GTX 560 graphics processor. This does not mean that the GTX 560 is a slow card, it simply means that the optimum memory configuration for it is 1 GB. Actually I could imagine a hypothetical 768 MB variant end up being competitive considering the reduced price it would come at.
Since Palit clocks their GTX 560 at reference design clocks, the card falls behind quite a bit when compared to the other GTX 560 cards we reviewed today, which are all overclocked. Overclocking potential on Palit's card is decent and right where we expect the maximum for a typical GTX 560. It is nice to see that the added memory had no impact on memory overclocking potential, 1200 MHz was no problem, just like on the 1 GB variants. Palit's new thermal solution uses an increased fan blade density and optimized geometry to increase air flow and lower temperatures. As a result the Palit GTX 560 2 GB is super quiet in idle which makes it a great candidate for a low noise media PC - the added full-size HDMI output helps in that area. Under load the card does get noisier than other cards tested today, with 37 dBA under load it reaches just-bearable noise levels for a card in the GTX 560 performance class. I think the key point to take away from this review is that a 2 GB midrange card does not make any sense with today's games. I'd rather suggest a card like the Palit GTX 560 Sonic 1 GB, which comes with increased clock speeds out of the box that will really make a performance difference.