in: Graphics Card | February 24, 2011 | by: Oik Yusuf Araya

Review-Galaxy GTX 560 Ti GC: Cooler, Faster and (maybe) Better than Reference

It wasn’t too long ago when the GeForce 8800 GT stole our attention with its remarkable price-performance ratio. Based on the venerable G92 chip that remained in NVIDIA’s lineups for a couple of years afterwards, this particular graphics card series came with an affordable price tag while offering a level of performance close to that of the flagship GeForces at the time (the 8800 GTX/ Ultra). In fact, the card was so good, it can still be used to play today’s games under reasonable detail settings and resolution. According to NVIDIA’s terms, the GeForce 8800 GT was positioned in the “Sweet Spot” of the mainstream segment.

Several years later, NVIDIA released another mainstream-class GPU that seems to be following the recipe that led to 8800 GT’s success, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. NVIDIA’s add-in-board partners responded immediately by releasing new products based on that new GPU, including Galaxy who sent a non-reference GTX 560 Ti card to our lab this time. Since a standard GTX 560 Ti is already appealing in its own rights, a custom version of it is, of course, even more interesting. The specification table below can show you the differences between GTX 560 Ti and other GeForce GTX 5xx series GPUs from NVIDIA.

Specification

NVIDIA GTX 580 NVIDIA GTX 570 NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti Galaxy GTX 560 Ti GC
Streaming Multiprocessors 16 15 8 8
Stream Processors (CUDA Cores) 512 480 384 384
Texture Units 64 60 64 64
ROP Units 48 40 32 32
Graphics Clock 772 MHz 732 MHz 822 MHz 835 MHz
Shader Clock 1544 MHz 1464 MHz 1644 MHz 1670 MHz
Memory Clock (effective) 4008 MHz 3800 MHz 4008 MHz 4000 MHz
Memory Size 1536 MB 1280 MB 1024 MB 1024 MB
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory Interface 384-bit 320-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Codename GF110 GF110 GF114 GF114
Fabrication Process 40 nm 40 nm 40 nm 40 nm
Transistor Count 3 Billion 3 Billion 1.95 Billion 1.95 Billion
Die Size 520 mm² 520 mm²
Power Connectors 8-pin + 6-pin 2x 6-pin 2x 6-pin 2x 6-pin
Min Recommended Power Supply 600 Watt 550 Watts 500 Watts 500 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 244 Watts 219 Watts 170 Watts 170 Watts
GPU Thermal Threshold 97 °C 97 °C 100 °C 100 °C
DirectX Version 11 11 11 11
Bus Support PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16 PCIe 2.0 x16

The Galaxy GTX 560 Ti GC comes factory overclocked, which means that the GPU operates at a higher frequency compared to standard GTX 560 cards. Its “GC” suffix stands for “Galaxy Clocked”, a term that is apparently used by the manufacturer to give special designation to its pre-overclocked products like this one right here. Too bad there is only a marginal increase in its frequency. The core clock is only bumped up a bit by 13 MHz, resulting in an operating frequency of 835 MHz. We also found out that the memory is running at a lower speed, albeit only by a negligible 8 MHz slower than reference specs.

The good news is, Galaxy uses a non-reference PCB design and a custom HSF that make the card, at the very least, looks cool on the outside. Its blue PCB has a different components layout compared to standard cards. The Galaxy’s Twinblade HSF on this product is equipped with 3 heatpipes and two, 90 mm fans. At first glance, this HSF seems promising, so, in addition to our standard benchmark runs, we also put its overclocking ability to the test. But before moving on to the results, let us first see the photos of Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC!

Sales Package and Contents

With its blue-black color theme and nice overall design, the box looks cool and sophisticated. The most interesting part of this packaging, however, is the backside where you can read the “8 reasons to buy this graphics card” promotional lines written in the Indonesian language. At least that would make the marketing terms more understandable for the locals.

One of the highlighted features is the non-reference, Twinblade HSF and the factory overclocking.

We found a very complete accessories package inside the box. Galaxy even supplies a mini-HDMI cable, a nice inclusion indeed.

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