Limited edition GeForce 560s launched: review round up
Graphics vendor NVIDIA has launched a limited edition version of its sub-£200 GeForce GTX 560Ti card, which features more shader cores and a wider memory bus than a standard version. It's not entirely clear how limited the production run is – although the card won't be on sale in all regions - but the GeForce GTX 560Ti 448 Edition is available from today, and reviews are appearing across the web.
Zotac, Inno3D, EVGA, Palit, Gainward, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI will all have their own spins on the 560Ti 448 for sale, with prices starting at around £240/$289. That compares to about £180/$240 for a standard GTX 560Ti, the likes of which we recommend in the current PC Gamer Rig.
Should you grab one while you can?
Your first impression might be that NVIDIA isn't doing itself any favours with the naming conventions here. There's already at least three different versions of the 560 out there, namely the GTX 560, GTX 560Ti 1GB and GTX 560Ti 2GB. What's a '448 Edition' when it's at home any way?
The extra suffix refers to the number of shader cores on the chip: a standard GTX 560 Ti has 384 unified shaders, and this new limited edition has 448. The default clockspeed on the new card is slightly slower, 732MHz compared to 822MHz for a 560Ti, but the extra processing grunt means that the 448 Edition should be a bit faster when it comes to high resolution displays, anti-aliasing and DX11 effects like tessellation.
The key difference, however, is that the 448 Edition is built using NVIDIA's GF110 chip rather than the GF114. The GF110 is the same core that's used on its highest end GTX580 cards, which has 512 shader cores. The GTX 560Ti 448 is, like the 480 core GTX 570, simply one of those chips that has had a number of cores disabled, because they didn't meet the grade for the highest performing boards.
This is standard practice for all types of chip, not just graphics cards, and is likely a sign that NVIDIA has built up a large stockpile of these processors which it wants to clear before it's next big launch, codenamed Kepler.
It's been stressed to us that the new 560 Ti 448 isn't a replacement for any existing chip, hence the high price point compared to a standard 560 Ti. Unless a customised BIOS which allows you turn on some of those disabled cores becomes available, it's unlikely that the 448 will change our recommendation for the PC Gamer Rig.
Here's what the web has to say about the new chip:
Ryan over at Anandtech quite likes it, but reckons you're better off with the cheaper Radeon HD6950.
Dave at TechRadar gives an ASUS special edition 3.5/5, arguing it's not bad if you're prepared to overclock it manually.
At Hexus, Parm can't quite get over disappointment with the name, but thinks that prices will drop soon to around £200. Which would be nice.
As ever, I'll fill in our thoughts once I've had chance to review a GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Edition thoroughly.