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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448
A new flavour of Fermi
Despite an influx of high-profile game launches in recent months, the PC hardware scene has remained surprisingly quiet - at least as far as graphics are concerned.
You have to go back to May 2011 for the last major launch from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 560, while AMD hasn't served up any new high-end propositions since the Radeon HD 6990 way back in March.
It's been a slow end to the year, but while AMD and NVIDIA won't be introducing new architectures until the first quarter of 2012, the latter has opted to give us another flavour of Fermi - dubbed the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 - just in time for Christmas.
What is the GTX 560 Ti 448?
While the branding suggests that this new GPU is a beefier version of the existing GTX 560 Ti, it is in fact a less-meaty derivative of the GTX 570. Let's lay out the specification to see where exactly NVIDIA's latest introduction fits in.
|GPU||GeForce GTX 580
|GeForce GTX 570
|GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448
|GeForce GTX 560 Ti
|GPU Clock (MHz)||772||732||732||822|
|Shader Clock (MHz)||1,544||1,464||1,464||1,645|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||4,008||3,800||3,800||4,008|
|Memory Bus (bits)||384||320||320||256|
As depicted by the table above, NVIDIA's GTX 560 Ti 448 has a lot in common with the GTX 570 launched at the tail end of 2010.
Managed to spot the key difference between the two? The answer's in the name - the GTX 560 Ti 448 has 448 CUDA cores, compared to the GTX 570's full complement of 480. The reduction in cores is achieved by disabling a single Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) unit, resulting in the loss of 32 cores and four texture units.
Technically speaking, this is a step backward, but the revised GF110 core featured in the GTX 560 Ti 448 should provide almost all the performance of a GTX 570 at a lower price. The branding can be quite confusing, so think of the new 448-core card as a GTX 570 on a diet, not a GTX 560 Ti on steroids.
The product could certainly have been named more appropriately, but the GTX 560 Ti 448's specification shows potential and it's poised to fill the sizeable gap between the GTX 560 Ti and GTX 570. According to NVIDIA, the new 448-core part is up to 15 per cent faster than a GTX 560 Ti, and only five per cent slower than a GTX 570.
Based on those claims, performance should be very decent, but you might need to hurry if you intend on making a purchase. NVIDIA claims to have a limited supply of the 448-core GPUs, and the product will only be available to a few select partners (ASUS, EVGA, Gainward, Gigabyte, Inno3D, Palit, MSI and Zotac) and will be sold in just a few markets around the world for a limited time.
What was it NVIDIA said? Ah yes, the new 448-core part is up to 15 per cent faster than a GTX 560 Ti, and only five per cent slower than a GTX 570.
Those claims are almost spot on - the GTX 560 Ti 448 is actually 19 per cent faster than a standard GTX 560 Ti according to 3DMark 11 - and, as expected, NVIDIA's latest effort has more in common with the GTX 570 than its name suggests.
Reviews from leading online publications have shown that the 448-core card is a very strong performer at full-HD 1080p resolutions, and ideal for playing the latest DX11 titles such as Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2.
NVIDIA's latest Fermi derivative consists of a GF100 core that's missing an SM unit. There's no magic in that, but the small change gives consumers the chance to pick up high-end GTX 570-like performance at a lower price point.
With plenty of power beneath the hood and support for three-way SLI, this is a limited edition graphics card that's certain to be popular this holiday season. But remember, stock is limited so click here to check on availability at Scan Computers.