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Written by Servando Silva   
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Features
Closer Look: ASUS GTX 560 Ti
ENGTX560 Ti Detailed Features
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti Software
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: BattleForge
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Overclocking
VGA Power Consumption
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti Conclusion

ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP 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 exceeds 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 the GTX 560 Ti is just better. In many games, there's a performance increase up to 40-50% coming from the GTX 460. I'm sure the 80MHz factory OC is involved right here, but still it's a pretty good solution. I'm just sad about ASUS DCII cooling solution. I did try re-installing and checking if the heatsink was doing enough pressure against the GPU Core. I even re-applied thermal paste but results were the same. How many times you get a pretty good looking cooler that performs like the common and simple reference design? At the other hand, 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 ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP video card is very attractive; the stylish fan shroud gives it a sports look mixed with those red stripes on it. The black matted PCB and rounded edges along with that side bar to avoid PCB warping just helps even more. There are also 3 ASUS logos in the GPU which can be visible through any windowed PC chassis. ASUS did a nice job producing a subtle design that is business-like, yet manages to show off its muscles at the same time. Too bad the heatsink doesn't really perform as well as it looks.

ENGTX560Ti_Final_Thoughts.jpg

The build quality of the ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP 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 cooler along with the PCB and small heatsinks certainly adds a 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 upgraded power supply arrangement with super-alloy-power components give a good impression, and the not-so-crowded design at the back of the PCB means ASUS has been working in the PCB design lately. Even at overclocked conditions the GPU felt very solid, and it never stumbled or complained once.

The basic features of the ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP 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 GTX 560 Ti is just icing on the cake. Comparing that with AMD's offerings, I think Nvidia wins this match. I still however think Nvidia should design a card to fully support Surround mode in a single solution (without SLI) as AMD does with their Eyefinity GPUs.

As of late January 2011, the price for the ENGTX560 Ti is $249.99 at Newegg. There are currently no rebates available and ASUS is not giving away 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 DirectCU II cooling system, which works great at idle mode but doesn't impress at load mode. Still, I think it looks better that Nvidia's reference design. 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 ($219) and released a value version of the HD 6950 ($269) 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 970 MHz on the core clock with very little effort.

Pros:goldentachaward.png

+ Very quiet cooling system with performance-oriented fan profile
+ Lower temps than reference designs at Idle mode
+ Performance improvement over GTX 460 is impressive (20-50%)
+ 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
+ Bundled software and utilities to OC and monitor your GPU

Cons:

- $250+ is still a lot of money for casual gamers to spend
- Hot air from GPU cooler stays inside case
- DirectCU II cooler's performance was way below expectations
- No game included with the GPU

Ratings:

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

Final Score: 9.20 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

What do you think of the ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video Card? Leave your comment below or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.

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Comments 

 
# nice lookingRealNeil 2011-02-14 04:51
That's a damn good looking card, and I'm not speaking to the three sexy red stripes either. It just looks very functional.
(be back after I read this)
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# RE: nice lookingServando Silva 2011-02-14 09:05
That's true. Sadly, you won't be that happy after reading the "Temperatures & Overclocking" section though...
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# RE: RE: nice lookingAdam 2011-02-14 12:43
That's strange considering that the previous Direct CU was pretty decent compared to the stock heatsink. Wonder if perhaps this one was poorly seated, or they might have just #ed up the design this time round.
Shame, I like ASUS normally.
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# RE: RE: RE: nice lookingServando Silva 2011-02-14 13:12
I re-installed the heatsink and changed TIM but results are the same. Other sites have tested this model and even if they don't get such bad results, it falls behind MSI, eVGA and GIGABYTE's solutions.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: nice lookingAlejandro 2011-09-22 09:20
The card gets hot because the "Auto" option in ASUS Smart Doctor doesn't work, it just keeps the fans running at ~1100RPM even when in load, I've found that manually setting the speed for certain ranges of temperature keeps it well under 65C
Hope this helps, I have this card and it's plain awesome :D
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# eggegg chan 2012-08-17 16:53
because it's a 800mhz gpu, 1000mhz gddr5, card that's been overclocked to 900mhz, 1050mhz

wtf do you really expect?

a new gpu and mem with the same name on the card?

it is the same card with a new bios and higher clocks no TOP written anywhere but the packaging

hmmm how can we sell the left over stock and still make a prophet
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# WOowHWMSTR 2011-02-14 06:16
The card is really cool!! I wanna have it! But its too expensive for a high school student like me..T_T
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# CoolElite360 2011-03-02 09:04
I am getting it by the end of this mont h and I am in high school aswell.
My PC is amazing, bet it is better than yours.
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# @Elite360Shane 2011-03-03 22:14
We can tell your in high school, but don't gloat about what you've got, because theirs always something better.
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# Will it underclock itself in idle?lowpoxm 2011-03-28 13:01
I just bought this card.
I do have a major headache though. When I run CPU-Z or ASUS smart doctor, it says the GPU clock is only running at 830MHz and the shader at 1660MHz.
Anyone knows if it will underclock itself in idle mode?
I am getting desperate because it IS the ?TOP? version of the card. And I can?t find an answer anywhere.
I haven?t had the time to test if with furmark or anything like that.
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# RE: Will it underclock itself in idle?Olin Coles 2011-03-28 13:31
Yes, in idle mode all video cards turn the GPU clocks down to conserve energy.
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# RE: RE: Will it underclock itself in idle?lowpoxm 2011-03-28 23:28
Nice!
I really hope that?s the case with this card as well!
I haven?t been able to find that info anywhere else.......
I was really bumbed out, because it seemed like I payed for the "TOP" version of the card, but only got the stock one.

But I don?t get it, if that?s the case. Why do they even make a "top" version of the card?
If the stock version will overclock itself as well.
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# RE: RE: RE: Will it underclock itself in idle?Olin Coles 2011-03-29 08:45
Every video card does this. Once you use a program/game that forces 3D mode, the GPU clock speed returns to whatever it's been set to. Turning the GPU clock down during idle helps save electricity.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Will it underclock itself in idle?lowpoxm 2011-03-30 00:23
Well, I had furmark running at the max settings for 5 mins, logged the data with GPU-Z, and the speed remained the same at all time.......
So the card I received is the stock version, even though the box says "TOP"
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# RE: ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video CardServando Silva 2011-04-01 06:02
Check out the VGA Consumption section to read more about different load frequencies.
In idle mode it should underclock far more than that.
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# RE: ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video CardZmol 2011-11-05 08:05
Bought one, but returned it the same day as IT SOUNDS LIKE A HAIR DRYER and it runs hot.

35% fan speed: inaudible
40%: humming
50%: high pitch humming/whining
65-100%: HIGH PITCHED SCREAMING

Got a Gigabyte OC card instead. 900mhz also. Don't hear it untill 60% and even then it's just an air-noise as opposed to screeching and whining
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# RE: ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video Cardiv 2012-01-22 13:47
-right, a good looking card
-low temp in idle and not impressing temp in full or stress i expected lower because of my case antec 900
-with my e8500 proc i'm pleased by her performance
-is relatively easy to clean her of dust
-as usual the case of this vidcard cannot be removed for a better cleanup
-it not inspire me a solid construction because the pipes are not rigidized with card enough at jonction with uppercooler
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