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Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 & Asus DirectCU II TOP
by Damien Triolet
Published on July 22, 2011

Conclusion
While the GeForce GTX 560 doesn’t revolutionise anything on the graphics card market, it is logically positioned and far from being without interest in the GTX 500 range. Opposite its direct competitor, the Radeon HD 6870, previously witout any equivalent on the GeForce side, the GeForce GTX 560 is identically priced at similar performance levels. Of course, as the Radeon HD 6870 has already been out for a few months, you will be able to find it at a lower price but overall, the two products are equivalent.

It is difficult to see why NVIDIA made such an effort to hide the specs of its reference GeForce GTX 560. Without dominating the competition, it offers a worthwhile alternative, especially as the reference Radeon HD 6870 suffers from being relatively noisy. Was NVIDIA perhaps being too greedy to accept a tie? Or perhaps they wanted to leave the field free for partners who still have lots of overclocked GeForce GTX 460s in stock?

Of course these overclocked GeForce GTX 460s can no longer garner many sales as they are sold at too high a price and do not have much of an overclocking margin. It will therefore make sense for consumers to opt for a GeForce GTX 560 at reference clocks instead, unless the GTX 460s are reduced in price. The most basic GeForce GTX 460 1 GB cards, as well as the Radeon HD 6850s are still however very good models, especially if your screen is limited to 1680x1050, while the GeForce GTX 560s and the Radeon HD 6870s will be better adapted to 1920x1200 or 1920x1080.


The positioning of the factory overclocked GeForce GTX 560s is also somewhat debatable as they give a similar level of performance as the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, as we have demonstrated with our tests of the Asus GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP. While Asus sells it at a similar price and therefore an identical price / performance ratio as the reference GeForce GTX 560 Tis, the GTX 560 Tis retain two advantages which, for us, make all the difference: lower noise levels and still unexploited overclocking potential.

This situation confirms once again that with a relatively short renewal cycle in place and many decent models from both AMD and NVIDIA in the mid range, it has become very difficult for partners to differentiate their offer with original and well priced models or versions with better noise and temperature levels.

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