CPU: Intel i5-2500K @3.8GHz
CPU Cooling: Cooler Master TPC 812
Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H1
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro
RAM: 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme II 1600MHz DDR3
GPU: ASUS GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II
OS HDD: Patriot Pyro 60GB SSD
Secondary HDD: Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
We ran a variety of benchmarks to evaluate how the GTX 560 Ti DCUII performs alongside several other members of the GTX 560 family, the GTX 560Ti 900MHz Factory Overclocked Crysis 2 Edition from eVGA, the ASUS GTX 560 Ti 448 Core, and the Zotac GTX 560 Multiview. Each benchmark was run a minimum of 3 times, and if greater than 10% variability was seen between runs, additional runs were conducted to ensure variability was eliminated across a wide number of runs.
All cards were tested on the full-release 301.42 drivers provided by Nvidia.
The following were used to benchmark a wide variety of graphical engines from DX9 to DX11:
-Far Cry 2 Benchmark Tool
-World in Conflict Benchmark Tool
-Dirt 3 Benchmark Tool
-Aliens vs. Predators Benchmark Tool
-3DMark11 GPU Benchmark Suite
The GTX 560 Ti family is generally revered for its overclocking potential, and even the chips which aren't "up-binned" for factory overclocked cards have great upside, often hitting near 900MHz. ASUS has also removed Nvidia's power limit design, which removes severe peak OC limitations imposed upon reference cards.
We were quite happy with our sample, in that we were able to reach 910 MHz on the GPU core and 1050 MHz on the memory at a relatively-low 1.075V, which was rock-solid stable. We were able to push the card up to 990/1088MHz at 1.088V, which ran cleanly through several runs through the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark and the Far Cry 2 Benchmark. However, Dirt 3 showed instability for any clock above 910MHz on the GPU clock and anything over 1050MHz on the memory, and since we want to report the lowest common denominator, we ran all of the tests at 910/1050MHz. This was an overall fantastic result for a card which was binned down, and we'll see that it can translate into some healthy performance gains.
With the DirectCU II cooling, heat became a near afterthought. We monitored it, but even at 1.088V and pushing the voltage, the highest temperature we saw was 71°C at 60% fan speed. The fans did become audible at this setting, but mostly because they had a higher pitch due to their smaller size, as previously mentioned. At full speed, the fans are very loud, although you'd probably have to force the fans to run at that speed. ASUS also includes advanced fan controls, so you can ramp up the fan speed to keep the card as cool as you'd like by trading acoustics.