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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

Crysis Performance Tests

Crysis uses a new graphics engine: the CryENGINE2, which is the successor to Far Cry's CryENGINE. CryENGINE2 is among the first engines to use the Direct3D 10 (DirectX 10) framework, but can also run using DirectX 9, on Vista, Windows XP and the new Windows 7. As we'll see, there are significant frame rate reductions when running Crysis in DX10. It's not an operating system issue, DX9 works fine in WIN7, but DX10 knocks the frame rates in half.

Roy Taylor, Vice President of Content Relations at NVIDIA, has spoken on the subject of the engine's complexity, stating that Crysis has over a million lines of code, 1GB of texture data, and 85,000 shaders. To get the most out of modern multicore processor architectures, CPU intensive subsystems of CryENGINE2 such as physics, networking and sound, have been re-written to support multi-threading.

Crysis offers an in-game benchmark tool, which is similar to World in Conflict. This short test does place some high amounts of stress on a graphics card, since there are so many landscape features rendered. For benchmarking purposes, Crysis can mean trouble as it places a high demand on both GPU and CPU resources. Benchmark Reviews uses the Crysis Benchmark Tool by Mad Boris to test frame rates in batches, which allows the results of many tests to be averaged. At the widescreen resolutions of 1680x1050 and 1900x1200, the performance differences between video cards under test are mostly down to the cards themselves, but there is still some influence by the rest of the system components.


With medium screen resolution and no MSAA dialed in, Crysis shows a completely different picture than 3DMark Vantage. Unlike many so-called TWIMTBP titles, Crysis has always run quite well on the ATI architecture, and the Radeon HD 5870 is able to vie for top honors in this benchmark against the more costly GTX 480. The GTX 560Ti is still competitive in this game, at current pricing; it just doesn't jump out as the performance v. price leader like it does elsewhere.

Crysis is one of those few games that stress the CPU almost as much as the GPU. As we increase the load on the graphics card, with higher resolution and AA processing, the situation may change. Remember all the test results in this article are with maximum allowable image quality settings, plus all the performance numbers in Crysis took a major hit when Benchmark Reviews switched over to the DirectX 10 API for all our testing. None of the cards are struggling at these low settings, though.


At 1900 x 1200 resolution, the relative rankings stay the same; the raw numbers just go down. Even with the increased load on the GPU, every card from the HD 6870 on up still gets over the 30FPS hump. Any of these high-end GPUs can muster up the muscle to play Crysis at high resolution with most of the bells and whistles turned on, much to everyone's relief. Can it play Crysis? Yes.


Now let's turn up the heat a bit on the ROP units, and add some Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing. With 4x MSAA cranked in, the top cards lose about 5 FPS at 1680x1050 screen resolution but they manage to stay well above the 30 FPS line. In all these Crysis tests, the MSI R6870 video card has managed to do quite well, but the Radeon HD 5870 is still a great price/performance option for this game. The GTX 560Ti hangs in there with the HD 6870, but it's obvious that it's not optimized for the older graphics code in this classic benchmark.


This is one of our toughest tests, at 1900 x 1200, maximum quality levels, and 4x AA. In the $250-$300 price range, all the cards hover around the 30 FPS mark in this test, which is unbelievable when I think back to the first days of DirectX 10 testing with Crysis. In the middle ranges, the HD 6870 and GTX 560Ti are neck-and-neck, with the 975 MHZ overclock pulling only two FPS ahead of the MSI R6870. Even a massive overclock on the GTX 460 won't come up even with the midrange cards on this test. I ran the MSI GTX 460 HAWK at 950 MHz core clock a couple months ago, and it only got 26 FPS at these settings. On this, the toughest of the four benchmark configurations, the GTX 480 retains the overall lead and shows its thoroughbred pedigree when the tests get harder.

Our next test is a relatively new one for Benchmark Reviews. It's a DirectX 10 game with all the stops pulled out. Just Cause 2 uses a brand new game engine called Avalanche Engine 2.0, which enabled the developers to create games of epic scale and with great variation across genres and artistic styles, for the next generation of gaming experiences. Sounds like fun, let's take a look...

Graphics Card


Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock



NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 (Engineering Sample)





1.0 GB GDDR5


MSI GeForce GTX 460 (N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC)





1.0 GB GDDR5


MSI Radeon HD 6870 (R6870-2PM2D1GD5)





1.0 GB GDDR5


MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC)





1.0 GB GDDR5


PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 (PCS+ AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2)





1.0 GB GDDR5


Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 (GV-N480SO-15I Super Over Clock)





1536 MB GDDR5




# 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

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 :)

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