by Rob Williams on May 18, 2011 in Graphics & Displays
To help fill a model gap that no one told us about, NVIDIA has released its GeForce GTX 560, a slight step down from the Ti variant. Featuring a cut of 48 cores and the potential for wildly varying clock speeds, this card is a strange beast. But, we look to pit MSI’s ‘Twin Frozr II’ against our usual fleet of cards to see where it stacks up in the end.
Although we generally shun automated gaming benchmarks, we do like to run at least one to see how our GPUs scale when used in a ‘timedemo’-type scenario. Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is without question the best such test on the market, and it’s a joy to use, and watch. The folks at Futuremark are experts in what they do, and they really know how to push that hardware of yours to its limit.
Similar to a real game, 3DMark 11 offers many configuration options, although many (including us) prefer to stick to the profiles which include Performance, and Extreme. Depending on which one you choose, the graphic options are tweaked accordingly, as well as the resolution. As you’d expect, the better the profile, the more intensive the test. The benchmark doesn’t natively support 2560×1600, so to benchmark with that, we choose the Extreme profile and simply change the resolution.
At the intended resolution of 1080p, MSI’s Twin Frozr II GTX 560 sits at just about the same spot as the reference Ti model. What this tells us is that in some games, such as what we saw with Mafia II, both of the cards can flip-flop positions, depending on how the game engine uses the card. In the end though, the Ti reference version, with its extra cores, would have the advantage overall.