Much like the initial 448 review we have to state that reviewing the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 core really is like reviewing the GeForce GTX 570. The card is marginally slower than its bigger brother with the one shader processor module disabled. The mutual clock frequencies make the two products perform very close to each other.
It's an interesting move from NVIDIA really, personally I just love the 570 series and this is why I really like the 560 Ti 448 core. But yeah, realistically speaking... it's not a GTX 560 alright.
For you as end-users these details do not matter though, you focus on features, performance and price. So the decisive and final factor will absolutely be the retail price. At the moment of writing the the prices I heard for the reference products are a SRP of USD$ 289 and 279 EUR. If that price stands then the 448 core version would be doomed from the start as you can pickup a GTX 570 for 289 EUR already.
Actual retail prices are always lower in the stores though, so if the price settles at say 249 EUR, that's where the 448 core version will make some sense.
Comparing the 200 EUR GeForce GTX 560 Ti to the 448 version, admittedly we do like the 448 core version much better -- it comes with an extra 256MB of memory, a faster memory bus (320-bit) and uses that GTX 570/580 silicon with a couple of shader clusters disabled. So the raw horsepower is definitely there. Realistically though you are looking at a 15% performance difference in-between the two.
Gaming wise the 448 core might just be what the doctor ordered for the latest game titles though, it has a chunk of extra memory which Battlefield 3 really likes in MMOG environments, it has that little extra bite that Crysis 2 likes so much and as such it can be looked at as a really nice 1920x1080/1200 resolution graphics card.
MSI did a nice job with this Power OC edition of the 448 core, the card is a robust build and comes with excellent cooling. The advantages of that often can be found in overclocking. This card ran over 850 MHz without us even voltage tweaking. It's testimony to good build quality and yeah, it will bring you closer to GTX 580 performance really.
Alongside the quality component selection, the custom PCB, the cooling and the PWM FAN switch, the card will also get full voltage support with AfterBurner, meaning that the GPU, memory and VDDCI may be voltage tweaked.
The standard overclock was a little too low for our taste, still that doesn't stop you from tweaking it yourself, right?
MSI has done a terrific job with this card, it is very quiet, runs very cool temperatures and offers you a lot for the money as they throw in that TwinFrozr III cooler, which works out really nicely.
We are very curious how popular the GeForce GTX 560 448 core is going to be in the Christmas season, it really is a GeForce GTX 570 in disguise and as such offers really nice performance, let's just hope that pricing will stay in line to keep that acceptable though.
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