The GTX 660 brought us "Kepler for the masses." The GTX 650 Ti brought us 1080P gaming on the cheap. So what does the GTX 650 Ti Boost give us? Predictably, somewhere in between, but it was aimed to deliver on the ultimate "sweet spot" for gamers. 1080P gaming on "high" settings with playable frame rates. 1080P screens are by far the most popular today as they are easy on the wallet and offer many choices. The difference between medium and high settings is a lot more apparent than high to ultra. I'm sure you're pretty bright, you can see where this is going. Nvidia thought, "let's make a card that can do 1080P high quality gaming, and price it at a nearly-irresistible price point... yes... I think people will like that." And they will.
Now seeming as a traditional staple of ASUS' non-reference product stack, their DirectCUII graphics cards have been well-received because they enable high performance without the acoustic footprint. A 3-slot beast of a cooler allows only two 100cm fans to reduce thermals on the GPU by 20% while remaining 14dB quieter than the reference cards. And while the DirectCUII technology brings along with it a prominent lineage, so too does the packed feature-set that comes in the box, both inside and outside of the large aluminum shell. The 7970, the first GPU based upon a 28nm architecture is at the top of AMD's single-GPU product stack and supports AMD's EyeFinity technology with up to 6-display capability.
September saw Kepler come to the masses, with Nvidia releasing the highly-anticipated GTX 660 and the budget GTX 650. Nvidia is releasing its final version of the Kepler family for 2012 with the GTX 650 Ti. Striking a middle ground between the GTX 650 and the GTX 660, it's priced squarely at a $149 MSRP and gives gamers yet another option. This card is small in stature, but we have been impressed by its gaming performance, especially for the price. Although the GTX 660 is seen as the best bang for your buck card in the Kepler lineup, we think the GTX 650 Ti is pretty close in the value race, and gives gamers on a very tight budget a great option to play the latest games with next-gen features like PhysX on Borderlands 2.
Kepler has been making a splash in the graphics market for some time, but NVIDIA is very excited to release the GTX 600 series into the heart of the market. The GTX 660 takes the GTX 560 Ti, and the GTX 460 before it's place as the value card in NVIDIA'S lineup. It will hit shelves with an MSRP of $229, square in the middle of the market. Kepler will bring great power efficiency, which means the cards will be cooler and quieter, while still providing significant performance improvements over the venerable GTX 560 Ti, and enough of an upgrade to pull users a few generations back to the present day.
The GTX 560 Ti 448 Core edition is the card that didn't quite make the cut to be on the GTX 570 team. ASUS aused its DCUII cooling technology, and after thorough market research, decided to use a large cooling system which consumes three expansion slots, but you get whisper quiet performance and awesome thermal dissipation at the same time. The 448-core version of the GTX 560 Ti lineup is a limited-run card, and bridges the popular GTX 560 Ti lineup and the next bump up, the GTX 570.
The GTX 560 Ti burst onto the scene as the successor to the highly-successful GTX 460, unleashing the potential of the GF104 chip. The GTX 560 Ti quickly became Nvidia's new value king, offering solid performance, great overclocking potential, and an affordable price tag. ASUS' GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II is a fully non-reference design, with vastly upgraded power delivery components, an aesthetically-pleasing appearance, and their top-notch dual 80mm fan DIrectCU II cooling system.
The GTX 560 family is rather unique in that clock speeds haven't been set by Nvidia, as we've seen in their other cards. Nvidia GPUs are also "behind" ATI's offerings when it comes to tri-monitor (or greater) setups. The end result is that Zotac has taken a standard GTX 560, clocked to the standard for the GTX 560 Ti models, and offers greater functionality for multi-monitor setups that Eyefinity may offer.