MSI GTX560Ti 448 Core Review Page: 1

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

 

*SEE UPDATED TESTS AND CONCLUSION HERE*

 

Introduction

The second of our two GTX560Ti with 448 Cores is from MSI and comes with their Twin Frozr III cooling and once again is designed to coincide with the release of Battlefield 3 and Batman Arkham Asylum.

Otherwise there is very little to report initially, so rather than blather on for the sake of it, let's crack on.

Technical Specifications

Compared to the Gigabyte it's identical except for a small factory overclock, up from 732MHz to 750MHz.

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review



MSI GTX560Ti 448 Core Review Page: 2

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Up Close

Considering that the big selling point of this remodelling of the successful GTX560Ti is the 448 Cores part, it's surprising to see it take up so little space on the box. We know that the 448 is a very limited run of cards, but if you've got to make new packaging for a product that is, at first glance, the same, then shout louder.

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review     MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review  

Unlike the Gigabyte triple-fan arrangement the MSI Twin Frozr III cooler fits much more snugly to the 448, with no unsightly overhangs. We've often remarked how much we like this cooler when used on midrange cards and it has lost none of its charm.

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review     MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review  

Whereas the Gigabyte is on a blue PCB, the MSI comes on a brown one. An odd colour choice we have to confess. We don't know many people who go "mmm brown".

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review     MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review  

Further demonstrating the difference between the Gigabyte and MSI cards, the MSI still retains the two 6pin power arrangement, but only has an HDMI and two DVIs.

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review     MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review



MSI GTX560Ti 448 Core Review Page: 3

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Test Setup

Identical to the Gigabyte setup, and if you've come straight to the MSI review then note that the standard GTX560Ti and GTX570 results have been retested with the current driver release for a more accurate comparison.

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores
ForceWare 285.66
Intel Core-i7 950 @ 4GHz
Gigabyte G1 Assassin
Corsair AX1200W
6GB Mushkin Redline
Noctua NH-D14
Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Overclocking

The MSI comes in a little faster than the Gigabyte at stock, but achieves the same overclock which should make for an interesting comparison.

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Temperatures

The MSI is surprisingly cooler than both the Gigabyte card and standard GTX560Ti. It's quieter too.



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

3D Mark 11

The extra bit of speed at stock pushes the MSI ahead of the Gigabyte, but when overclocked the cards are inseparable.

 

3D Mark Vantage

The older 3D Mark Vantage replicates this. The MSI is slightly ahead at stock and the two cards are neck and neck when overclocked. This might be a theme throughout the review.



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Unigine

Although the margins are extremely fine, the MSI is just ahead of the Gigabyte in Unigine. Half of a frame isn't exactly newsworthy though.

0xAA


8xAA



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Alien vs Predator

Despite the overclock being the same on both cards, the MSI just stays ahead of the Gigabyte.

 

Dirt3

Finally we have our first surprise. Dirt3 responds exceptionally well to the MSI card being 15 frames ahead of the Gigabyte, and 11 ahead of an overclocked GTX570. Remember that Dirt3 is a fixed benchmark than the variable gameplay type, so this is a genuine improvement. Good stuff.



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Crysis Warhead

In the Gamer mode the MSI once again pulls a fair lead out on the Gigabyte when overclocked. So much so it's the highest result on our graph. The situation is reversed with Enthusiast settings with the Gigabyte being 1FPS ahead on average.

Gamer

 

Enthusiast



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Crysis 2

Neither of the cards make a drama out of Crysis. The MSI is typically a frame or two ahead here and there, but generally the cards are inseparable.

DirectX 9

 

DirectX 11



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Far Cry 2

At the risk of sounding like a bit of a stuck record, the two cards have very little between them in Far Cry 2. Move along.

Mafia 2

Mafia 2 gives a couple of extra frames to the Gigabyte this time when overclocked. But mere hundreths of frames separate the cards at stock.



MSI GTX560Ti 448 Core Review Page: 10

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Metro 2033

Half a frame extra from the MSI. Nothing to write home about though and neither of the cards make much out of their overclock.

The Witcher 2

The Gigabyte card definitely gets the nod in The Witcher 2, a whole 4 frames ahead of the MSI card.



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Resident Evil 5

Such is the consistency of the GTX560Ti with 448 Cores that, just like seemingly all of our other tests, the cards are only a gnats chuff apart.

DirectX 9

 

DirectX 10



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Battlefield 3

Definitely a game that likes a lot of clockspeed, Battlefield 3 is much better on the stock timings of the MSI, and when the two cards are clocked up to the same level the Gigabyte just gets the nod.



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MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

Batman Arkham City

At stock the MSI keeps up its trend of being just a shade ahead of the Gigabyte, but when overclocked the benefits are negligible at best, and pretty poor at worst.



MSI GTX560Ti 448 Core Review Page: 14

MSI GTX560Ti With 448 Cores Review

 

*SEE UPDATED TESTS AND CONCLUSION HERE*

 

Conclusion

If the gap between the stock GTX560Ti and the Gigabyte GTX560Ti 448 was small, then the gap between the MSI and the Gigabyte is even tinier. At points the two cards were separated by half a frame per second or less.

However there are a few key points that swing our choice of the two in favour of the MSI card.

Firstly the looks. The Gigabyte looks like a full-size cooler that has been bolted on to a much smaller PCB. The MSI on the other hand really gives off the aura that the Twin Frozr III cooler has been tailor made to fit perfect on the slightly larger PCB than the GTX560Ti.

Secondly is the cooling. With this MSI we've got a card that is clocked higher at default, clocked the same with our overclock, and has one less fan yet it's a whopping 11°C at stock, and 7°C when overclocked, cooler than the Gigabyte. Those are insane numbers. Not only is it much cooler, but it's quieter too and therefore much easier to live with on a daily basis.

Finally that little extra performance out of the box means the MSI is consistently topping the chart against its Gigabyte rival. Of course it's only by a smidgen here and there, although in some cases it's a little more than a smidgen, but if you're the kind of person who buys a card and just plugs it in, rather than risk your hard-earned with overclocking, then the MSI is clearly the better performing card.

When overclocking the results tend to be too close to call. There are gains and losses to be had from both cards, but none of them are particularly clear cut.

So, just like the Gigabyte, the MSI version of the GTX560Ti With 448 Cores is a card that answers a question nobody really asked, but still performs very well indeed. Although we're awarding it our OC3D Silver Award too, if it was our money on the table then we'd edge to the MSI for the extra performance from the mild factory overclock and those low low temperatures.

Since this review was first written the pricing information is now to hand and, rather than the £210 or so were expecting, the MSI GTX560Ti 448 is an eye-watering £250. This is far too expensive for what it delivers and into GTX570 territory. So if you're on a tight budget the GTX560Ti will serve you equally well and if you want the power the GTX570 is only a tiny bit more expensive. The MSI is still the pick of the two cards, but at these prices we'd buy neither.

*SEE UPDATED TESTS AND CONCLUSION HERE*

  

Thanks to MSI for supplying the GTX560Ti 448 for review. Discuss in our forums.