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Gainward GeForce GTX 560 Ti Golden Sample Video Card

How golden is the Golden Sample GTX 560 Ti from Gainward? There's only one way to find out.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Jan 28 2011 10:04 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Gainward

Introduction and Package


Introduction

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Another GTX 560 Ti arrives and in this case it's from Gainward. Like the other two we've looked at, it carries with it the two things we love; an overclock and a new cooler. This also won't be the last GTX 560 Ti we look at, because like the GTX 460 when it was released, companies are hitting the model hard and fast.

It's actually been a while since we've had a look at a Golden Sample model from Gainward, as over the recent months the "Goes Like Hell" editions have been showing up a lot, so it will be nice to have a look at the much loved Golden Sample series which has been around for as long as we can remember.

With a full package on hand, we'll see what Gainward are offering us before we get stuck into the card, the overclock it carries and then of course the most important thing, the performance of the model.


Package

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Inside there's not heaps going on with a driver CD, manual, discount coupon for some software and a single Dual-Molex to 6-Pin PCI-E power connector.

Card and Specifications


The Card

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Having a look at the card, the cooler design is similar to mid-range cards we've seen from Gainward before. We've got two fans and behind that there's the heatsink and those copper heat pipes that help keep the card run nice and cool.

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As for the rest of the card, we've got two 6-Pin PCI-E power connectors and closer to the front we've got a single SLI connector. Connectivity is a little different to the other GTX 560 Ti models we've looked at. While we've still got our two Dual-Link DVI connectors, we've got a full size HDMI port instead of the mini HDMI we're seeing on other models. We've also got a VGA port, but we're not sure how much you're going to use that.


Specifications

Overclock wise we've got a nice bump in clock speeds going on. The core comes in at 900MHz which is the second highest we've seen so far; this pushes the Shader clock up to 1800MHz DDR.

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As for the 1GB of GDDR5 memory, that's also been bumped up and comes in at 4200MHz QDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark 11


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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

Next to the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 1GB Golden Sample we've got the same line up of cards that we've been using in our other GTX 560 Ti benchmarks. That means for NVIDIA we've got the GTX 580, GTX 570 and pre overclocked GTX 460.

On the AMD front we've got both HD 6900 series cards, we have also continued to include both models overclocked and we have to note again that these overclocks are made possible with extra voltage on the core.

Let's get started!


3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/
Buy It Here




3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Out the gate we've got that strong performance and in the higher resolution X preset we can see strong performance between it and the GTX 570.

3DMark Vantage




Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Under Vantage we get strong performance compared to the AMD offerings thanks to the PhysX support.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark




Version and / or Patch Used: 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//



New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Heaven performance on the NVIDIA models continues to be strong thanks to that excellent tessellation performance. We can see that the Gainward card goes a little back and forth with the HD 6950.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/




Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

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Under Resident Evil 5 we've got strong performance and at 1920 x 1200 the Gainward GTX 560 Ti GS pulls out the win. At 2560 x 1600 both cards perform close and offer playable numbers which is the most intensive.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/




Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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H.A.W.X. 2 performs very well on NVIDIA cards and you can see here that the GTX 560 Ti GS is able to outperform all the AMD offerings across the board. We're sure this is an area AMD are going to improve with future driver releases.

Benchmarks - Mafia II


Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/
Buy It Here




Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Mafia II sees some good performance and we can see compared to the HD 6950 we pull out a win again at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. While it does fall slightly behind at 2560 x 1600, it's not as important as both models are below that 60 FPS average we need to see.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2


Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/




Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Heavy on tessellation we see the NVIDIA offerings perform strong here and the Gainward manages to break the 60 FPS average at 1680 x 1050, while the AMD offerings can't.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator


Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/
Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/




Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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We again manage to break the 60 FPS mark at the lower 1680 x 1050 resolution. Going up, we fall behind.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV


Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.streetfighter.com/




While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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No surprise with the SF4 numbers; good performance which actually puts it ahead of the HD 6950. Not so important, though, since we're getting such large numbers.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Across the board we see the GTX 560 Ti manages to outperform both HD 6900s at some points. More importantly, we've got playable FPS across the board.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum


Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/





Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

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Strong performance again and at times we see it's able to outperform both HD 6900s again.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.

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We see some good performance under our tests when we turn on AA. Unfortunately the FPS are a bit low in some of the more intensive ones like Mafia II.

Benchmarks - PhysX Tests


PhysX Tests

Here we're able to find out when PhysX is turned on in games that support it what kind of frame rates we're able to get. We always set PhysX to the highest possible in game settings while also keeping detail at its highest.

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Batman AA performance is strong and turning PhysX on is an option. Mafia II not so much. Moving down from high PhysX, though, may be an option.

Temperature Test


Temperature Tests



The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Checking out the temperature of the card, it's a little warmer than some of the others we've looked at, but again is still at a very good level.

Sound Test


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels come in at just above 60 dB which is nice and bearable.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Power draw comes in at just under 400 watt and as we've mentioned a few times already, a good 600 Watt PSU will handle the card with no problems at all.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)


Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and AMD are on an even playing field.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark 11, Heaven Benchmark V2, Resident Evil 5, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2, Mafia 2 (PhysX Off), Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV, Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off) and our four High Quality tests which include Mafia 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV and Far Cry 2.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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Thanks to that slightly higher core clock, we can see that it offers a tad more performance than the MSI Twin Frozr II version. It's only slightly faster, but it's actually enough to move ahead of the HD 6950.

Total Value Rating (TVR)


Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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The Gainward GTX 560 Ti 1GB Golden Sample again offers very good value like the other GTX 560s we've looked at. The value is no doubt one of the key components to this new model from NVIDIA.

Final Thoughts




Gainward helps bring another great GTX 560 Ti to the table with their Golden Sample version. Coming in at 900 MHz on the core, it's got strong out of the box performance and it's always appreciated when a company takes the time to overclock the memory as well.

While the overclock might not seem like much over the MSI version we looked at with only a 20 MHz bump on the core, it's that extra burst of core speed that helps the model move from just behind the HD 6950 2GB, to just past it. Combined with the more aggressive price tag of the model, it's no doubt a model that people are going to be eyeing off.

On the bundle front, the card is light like most others these days. It's not a bad thing as I think it helps keep the price down a little more and for the most part companies had a bad habit of bundling games that people didn't want to play just so they could say the card comes bundled with a game.

The stand out for the Gainward version compared to the others we've looked at is the extra connectivity. It's nice not to have to use a convertor if you're using HDMI, and while the chances of using the VGA port are slim, we're not going to complain about it being there.

If you're looking for a GTX 560 Ti that carries a good out of the box overclock, this is another great choice. It will be interesting to see if Gainward choose to attack the model a little harder and release a Goes Like Hell edition. The potential seems to be there, so we think there's a good chance. Only time will tell, though.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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