A little more than a year ago NVIDIA introduced the GF110 GPU, the power-optimized version of their Fermi patriarch, GF100. The first product was their flagship GTX 580, followed by the eventual GTX 570. Traditionally NVIDIA would follow this up with a 3rd product. The GTX 200 series had 285/275/260, and the GTX 400 series had GTX 480/470/465. However in the past year we have never seen the 3rd tier GF110 card… until now.

Today NVIDIA will be launching the GeForce GTX 560 Ti With 448 Cores (and yes, that’s the complete name), a limited edition product that will serve as the 3rd tier product, at least for a time. And while NVIDIA won't win any fans with the name, the performance is another matter entirely. If you've ever wanted a GTX 570 but didn't want to pay the $300+ price tag, as we'll see NVIDIA has made a very convincing argument that this is the card for you.

  GTX 580 GTX 570 GTX 560 Ti w/448 Cores GTX 560 Ti
Stream Processors 512 480 448 384
Texture Address / Filtering 64/64 60/60 56/56 64/64
ROPs 48 40 40 32
Core Clock 772MHz 732MHz 732MHz 822MHz
Shader Clock 1544MHz 1464MHz 1464MHz 1644MHz
Memory Clock 1002MHz (4008MHz data rate) GDDR5 950MHz (3800MHz data rate) GDDR5 900Mhz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 1002Mhz (4008MHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 320-bit 320-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 1.5GB 1.25GB 1.25GB 1GB
FP64 1/8 FP32 1/8 FP32 1/8 FP32 1/12 FP32
Transistor Count 3B 3B 3B 1.95B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $489 $329 $289 $229

The GTX 560 Ti With 448 Cores is based on the same GF110 GPU as the GTX 580 and GTX 570. Where GTX 580 is a fully enabled GF110 product and GTX 570 is a partially binned part, the GTX 560 Ti With 448 Cores – which we’ll refer to as the GTX 560-448 for simplicity’s sake – is a further binned GF110 intended to take the position of the traditional 3rd tier product, putting it below the GTX 570.

Looking at the organization of the GF110 being used in the GTX 560-448, the difference between the GTX 570 and GTX 560-448 is that NVIDIA has disabled a further SM unit, cutting the compute/shading, texturing, and geometry performance by 7%. ROP performance remains untouched, as does the number of memory controllers. The core clock is the same as the GTX 570 at 732MHz, while the memory clock has been reduced slightly from 950MHz (3800MHz data rate) to 900MHz (3600MHz). All together compared to the GTX 570, the GTX 560-448 has 93% of the compute/shader performance, 100% of the ROP performance, and 95% of the memory bandwidth. In practice this is closer to the performance of the GTX 570 than the larger product spacing we’re used to seeing.

Power and cooling are also very similar to the GTX 570. NVIDIA has put the TDP at 210W, versus 219W for the GTX 570. As always NVIDIA does not supply an idle TDP, but it should be practically identical to the GTX 570. The end result is that the GTX 560-448 should have slightly lower performance than the GTX 570 with similar power consumption.

Now if we’re making all of these comparisons to the GTX 570, why is the GTX 560-448 a GTX 560? That’s a good question, and not one that we’ll get a completely satisfactory answer to. NVIDIA is well aware of what they’ve done, and they’ve already prepared a response:

Question: Why is the “GTX 560 Ti” designation used for this product instead of “565” or “570 LE”
The designation is meant to reflect the fact that this is not an addition to our 500 series line-up, but rather a limited edition product.

This is a completely truthful answer – and we’ll get to the limited edition aspect in a moment – but it’s not a real answer to the question. Ultimately NVIDIA has to balance OEM, consumer, and regional concerns since not every market will be getting this product, but more practically the GTX 560 Ti is a well received and well selling card whose success NVIDIA wants to extend. The result is that NVIDIA can (and will) call it whatever they want, and this time they’re calling it a GTX 560 Ti. Thus, this is why we have a GF110 product launching as a GTX 560 Ti even though it has more in common with a GTX 470 than anything else. It’s that kind of a launch.

As far as being a limited edition product, that’s not particularly complex.  NVIDIA bins GF110 GPUs for a number of products, not just GeForce but for Tesla and Quadro too. The best chips go into the most expensive products, while chips with several bad SMs go into products like low-end Quadros and NVIDIA’s 4th tier OEM only card – which is also the GTX 560 Ti. In the past year of production NVIDIA has built up a supply of mid-tier chips: chips that aren’t good enough to be in a GTX 570, but better than what the lower end markets need. Rather than taking a revenue hit by shipping these chips in those lower end products, NVIDIA has decided to mint a new GeForce product instead, and that’s the GTX 560-448.

The reason the GTX 560-448 is a limited edition product is that NVIDIA is not accumulating suitably dysfunctional chips at a rapid pace as they do chips for their other product lines.  As a result they only have a small, largely fixed number of chips to produce GTX 560-448s with. With this limited supply NVIDIA will only be chasing particularly affluent markets with a limited number of cards: The US and Canada, the UK, France, Germany, the Nordic countries, and Russia. South America and the Asia Pacific region (APAC) are notably absent. Furthermore for those markets that will be getting the GTX 560-448, it’s essentially a seasonal product specifically for Christmas: NVIDIA only expects the supply of cards to last 1-2 months, after which NVIDIA’s product lineup reverts to the 580/570/560 stack we already are accustomed to. So while a limited edition product is nothing new, we haven’t seen a coordinated launch for an LE product quite like this in recent years.

Given the hardware similarities to the GTX 570, it should come as no surprise that NVIDIA is forgoing a reference design while their partners will be launching cards based on their existing GTX 570 designs. At this point all of them have custom GTX 570 designs, and as such the GTX 560-448 cards will be using those custom designs. The card we’ve been sampled with, Zotac’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Limited Edition, is one such card, based on their custom GTX 570 design. Furthermore as was the case with many proper GTX 560 Ti cards, the GTX 560-448 will be launching in overclocked designs, such as Zotac’s which ships at 765MHz instead of 732MHz. So the performance of individual GTX 560-448 products can vary by upwards of several percent.

The MSRP on the GTX 560-448 will be $289, however launch partners will be free to price it higher to match any factory overclocks they do. At $289 the GTX 560-448 is priced extremely close to the cheapest GTX 570s, and depending on clockspeeds and sales a GTX 570 could end up being the same price or cheaper, so it will be prudent to check prices. Meanwhile the GTX 560-448’s closest competition from AMD will be the Radeon HD 6950, which trends around $250 after rebate while the Radeon HD 6970 is still closer to $340. Overall NVIDIA’s pricing may be a bit high compared to their other products, but compared to AMD’s products it’s consistent with the performance.

Meet The Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Limited Edition
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  • Marlin1975 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    hahahha.... spoken like a true nvidia employee/spokesman/shill. Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    "Then the issue of microstutter arises which barely affects nVidia hardware, for what can only be presumed to be a ATI driver problem."

    That's rubbish, Tech Report and Tom's Hardware articles covering micro-stuttering clearly proved that micro-stuttering is an issue on both AMD and Nvidia video cards.

    While I'll agree that on average, Nvidia drivers tend to be less problematic, the quality of AMD drivers has improved over the years, aren't as problematic as they used to be and aren't nearly as far behind Nvidia drivers as you paint it.
    Reply
  • greylica - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    It's another card based on Ferm(ented) hardware. I will pass by for all of GTX 4XX and 5XX waiting for cards that do respect their own specifications in OpenGL without fails like the well known Nvidia problem about GLReadPixels... Reply
  • Alka - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Hey, I've seen you're picture before Mathieu. Aren't you the guy who steals the Tom's Hardware best graphics cards for the month format and content? You pass it off as your own on your personal blog, right? Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Stealing from their content?

    If you paid attention to the content of my article and compared it to the content of Tom's Hardware article, you'd notice that my recommendations tend to be quite different from theirs and that they are backed by factual performance numbers coming from various sources, including AnandTech. I also tend to publish my monthly updates before Tom's Hardware do.

    Stealing "their" format?

    It's like saying that PC makers are copying Apple ideas because "Apple did it first", when Apple didn't do it first. Apple took an existing idea and improved on it and then when some PC makers decided to have their take on the idea, Apple fanboys are crying that PC makers are copying "Apple's idea".

    In the past, many other websites, who write about various topics, did "value comparison" articles and did so before Tom's Hardware did theirs. Guess what? Such "value comparison" articles existed before the Internet was mainstream.

    The concept that I'm stealing "their" format is as ridiculous as someone saying that website B, who did a review on the latest CPUs, stole website A format because website A were the first to review the latest CPUs.
    Reply
  • Alka - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Dude, you've directly copied and pasted sections of their article without giving credit. That's beyond your own take on a value comparison.

    Do you really want me to post specific examples of your plagiarism?
    Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    Alka,

    While I wouldn't be surprised that our articles share some similarities, including similar recommendations, which is to be expected since our articles cover the same products available on the market, accusing me of directly copying and pasting sections of their article without giving credit is taking your comment to a whole other level of disrespect and makes me wonder what's your goal here, if not only trolling...

    "Do you really want me to post specific examples of your plagiarism? "
    While I'd have no problem listening to you and perhaps making some correction(s) to my article if it possibly looks like someone may think that I could have copied content from Tom's Hardware article, I would rather not do this over this comments section at AnandTech, out of respect for Ryan, Anand and the rest of AnandTech's team, whose articles I truly enjoy and wouldn't want to add a bunch of unrelated comments to their great articles.

    I invite you to contact me via:
    - The contact form on my website
    - Facebook
    - Twitter
    - Google my name
    - Etc.

    You have plenty of ways to reach me if you want to further discuss this, without filling this comment section with comments unrelated to this article and without bothering everyone else here.

    Thanks,
    Mathieu
    Reply
  • Alka - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - link

    No point, you've clearly convinced yourself that shameless plagiarism is acceptable without giving proper credit. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Irregardless of any fanboyism here, or whether or not you steal text,

    "That's rubbish, Tech Report and Tom's Hardware articles covering micro-stuttering clearly proved that micro-stuttering is an issue on both AMD and Nvidia video cards."

    That is truth.
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    One of the most useless and fannish posts on here. Reply

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