|MSI N560GTX-Ti GeForce Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Sunday, 30 January 2011|
Page 19 of 19
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.
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.
+ Very quiet cooling system with performance-oriented fan profile
- $250+ is still a lot of money for casual gamers to spend
Final Score: 9.30 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.