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Written by Bruce Normann   
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI N560GTX-Ti GeForce Video Card
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Detailed Features
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: DiRT-2 Demo
DX11: H.A.W.X. 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: METRO 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Conclusion

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

From a performance standpoint, the GTX 560 Ti exceeded my expectations. I'm a little jaded I guess about manufacturer's claims, but NVIDIA didn't pull any punches with this update. The GTX460 is already a widely accepted success in the marketplace, and this new collection of two billion transistors is just as much a revelation for the upper middle class of graphics cards as the original was. I'm also thrilled with the Twin Frozr II cooling solution, due to the low noise, the aggressive fan profile, and the lower operating temperatures. Power requirements are very modest, as NVIDIA recommends a 500W PSU, which is actually below the minimum I would personally consider for any modern gaming rig.

The appearance of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card is very attractive; the stylish fan shroud gives it a very modern look. The decorative touches are subtle and refined, and the anodized aluminum does a good job of avoiding fingerprints without being a dull expanse of grey metal. MSI did a nice job producing a subtle design that is business-like, yet manages to show off its muscles at the same time. They have definitely improved on the earlier version of the Twin Frozr cooler in terms of visual design, and I certainly don't mind seeing a repeat of the Twin Frozr II design from the GTX 460 cards.

MSI_N560GTX_Ti_GeForce_Video_Card_Boxtop_01.jpg

The build quality of the MSI N560GTX-Ti card was quite good. Everything is assembled well, everything fit when I put it back together, and the overall impression of the card was very solid. The densely packed cooler adds a certain heft to the card and also lends a good deal of rigidity to the package. The packaging was of the highest quality and very informative. The front panel lifts up to showcase a large display of all the many features this card incorporates. The upgraded power supply arrangement used all high quality parts, and was clearly intended to be a class leading design. I pushed this card to the wall repeatedly, and it never stumbled or complained once.

I also have to give top marks to the MSI Afterburner software, as this monitoring tool is one of my favorites. I especially like the fact that you can "detach" the monitor window, and then minimize the controller window separately. Each of the graphs has a scalable vertical axis, and hovering over the line graph with the mouse produces a top-to-bottom listing of values at that time slice. The overall interface of this product is one of the best available, at least for my purposes. I like to keep things simple when I can; MSI Afterburner combines the features I need into one interface, plus offers capabilities that others can't match.

The basic features of the MSI N560GTX-Ti are fully comparable with the latest offerings from both camps. It has: Microsoft DirectX 11 Support, PhysX Technology, is 3D Vision Ready, also 3D Vision Surround Ready, CUDA Technology, SLI, 32x Anti-aliasing, PureVideo HD, and HDMI 1.4a support. If PhysX and 3D Vision Surround matter to you, then you are already firmly anchored in the NVIDIA camp, and the 560Ti is just icing on the cake. All the other features I could talk about here are directly related to extracting the full raw computing power from this latest NVIDIA GPU, and they're covered elsewhere on this page.

As of late January 2011, the price for the MSI N560GTX-Ti is $249.99 at Newegg. There are currently no rebates available and MSI is not giving away free STEAM codes for any popular games at the moment, so consider that in your purchasing decisions. The price-to-performance ratio of this GPU is so good, there's not a lot of downside anywhere. This particular model offers one of the very best cooling subsystems available for the GF114 GPU and arguably the best power section as well, and the price adder for all that is pretty much non-existent. I rate it as a real bargain for that reason. AMD just issued their challenge, in the form of new 1GB versions of the HD 6950 that are priced very aggressively, and I look forward to comparing that new competitor in the near future.

Almost any GTX 560 Ti card is going to get high marks at this stage of the game. NVIDIA has brought some pretty amazing performance improvements to a graphics platform that was already very competitive. AMD has responded with some serious price cuts on the HD 6870 and released a value version of the HD 6950 that will bracket the GTX560Ti in price, but as of today I think this is the card to beat in the $250 price range. One reason for that is the continued presence of serious overclocking headroom for this upgraded GPU. I got 975 MHz on the core clock with very little effort, and the Twin Frozr II cooler kept the temperatures below 61C no matter how hard I stressed the card with continuous benchmarking.

I had to work hard to come up with some Cons for this card, and none of them would probably influence my buying decision. This is a video card I can recommend without reservation.

Pros:goldentachaward.png

+ Very quiet cooling system with performance-oriented fan profile
+ Much lower temps than reference designs
+ Performance improvement over GTX 460 is impressive
+ Overclocking headroom is similar to the GTX 460
+ PhysX capability is great feature with minimal FPS impact
+ Upgraded power supply design with high quality components
+ Low price penalty for enhanced performance and features
+ Manufacturing quality is close to the very top
+ Industry leading 3D support by NVIDIA

Cons:

- $250+ is still a lot of money for casual gamers to spend
- Hot air from GPU cooler stays inside case
- GTX 560 SE is probably in the works, and might offer more value

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 9.30 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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Comments 

 
# latest hardware ?no1 2011-01-31 05:02
before a harsh word let me tell u that i visit this site every day as its one of the best out there . thats why lack of hd6950 or hd 6970 in ur tests upsets me so much , especially cuz im about to take a plunge either directon - hd6950 crossfire or gtx560 sli ....
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# advicebee 2011-01-31 05:51
oh and please replace hd5870 with hd6970 and gtx480 with gtx580 ......just to be fair
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# Patience.....BruceBruce 2011-01-31 06:44
HD 6950 is on the test bench right now. HD 6970 is not really a competitor, nor is the GTX 580. BTW, you know all of those cards have been reviewed already on this site. And if you're looking at multi-GPU solutions, the differences between our test systems is pretty much lost in the noise.
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# Twin Frozr II with Raven-2 case?HG 2011-01-31 08:22
Hi,

Would like to know if the Twin Frozr II kind of cooling system will work fine in upright position in the Raven-2 case?

Thank you.
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# RE: Twin Frozr II with Raven-2 case?Olin Coles 2011-01-31 08:40
It should work the same, essentially. The Raven 2 (which I have) works better for some kinds of cards (depending on heat-pipe layout), or the same as horizontal with other cards.
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# YesBruceBruce 2011-01-31 08:54
There will be no impact to the video card cooling when used in the vertical orientation. OTOH, I really think the Raven was designed for cards that have a radial blower wheel and an exhaust on trhe I/O plate where most of the hot air is expelled. But, most cards with an axial fan will work OK in the Raven. I would recommend putting the video card in the PCI-E slot that's closest to the CPU. That way you get the most cool air coming up to the fan intakes on the video card.

The biggest difference will be the internal ambient case temperature, which will be slightly higher with this type of video card cooler.
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# Twin Frozr II with Raven-2 case?HG 2011-01-31 16:44
Hi all,

Thanks for the advise. Yeah, I know that Raven-2 design is more for the radial blower type of cards and there are very limited models from where I am, sigh. I am upgrading to SLI cards and I am looking for other options on optimum air cooling, price & performance.

Thanks guys.
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# MSI 560 TIARIKO 2011-12-16 07:55
Hi there ! I'm msi since many years (GF5), msi rulez !!!

I suggest preferences for the MSI GTX 560 Ti HAWK (950Mhz - Twin frozer III )
for some euros more you ve got a really good board !
I bought it on summer 2O11 when it was hot days, i never go more than 71 after 1 hour full load ! Now it run a 35 idle and 50 full game running ( warhammer spacemarine or X3 terran conflict for exemple or Wolfenstein E.T. using 32x and high resolution setting.

I run it under W7 and Fedora 16, pure happy time :)

Choose well and have fun :)

ARIKO
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