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Appeared on: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Gainward GTX560Ti 2GB Phantom Vs Club3D HD6790 CoolStream Edition


1. About Nvidia GeForce 560 Ti and the AMD Radeon HD 6790

Today we put under benchmark two graphics cards made by AMD and Nvidia: The GeForce 560 Ti 2GB and the Radeon HD 6790 1GB. The cards are not directly comparable in terms of price and performance. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti retails for $250 and it is placed in direct competition with the Radeon HD 6870. On the other hand, the Radeon HD 6790 1GB has been released at crowded $150 price segment and it has been released as a response to Nvidia's GTX 550 offering, although it is still competing with NVIDIA’s GTX 460 lineup.

With all those graphics cards available today out there, the following table may be enlightening:

NVIDIA
Average online price
AMD
GeForce GTX 590
$700
Radeon HD 6990
GeForce GTX 580
$500
GeForce GTX 570
$320
Radeon HD 6970
 GeForce GTX 560 Ti
$250
Radeon HD 6950 1GB
GeForce GTX 560*
$200
Radeon HD 6870
GeForce GTX 460 1GB
$160
Radeon HD 6850
GeForce GTX 460 768MB
$150
Radeon HD 6790
GeForce GTX 550 Ti
$130
 
$120
Radeon HD 5770

*By the time this review was published Nvidia had not yet officially announced the GeForce GTX 560. As a result we have not included performance figures of this new card in this article.

About the NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti

The NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti is an addition of the Company's "Fermi" line of consumer GPUs that were designed to deliver DirectX 11 (DX11) performance for PC gaming platforms.

The GeForce 560 Ti GPU is based on a revised version of the GF104 chip, named GF114. The GTX 560 Ti takes advantage of every functional unit of the GF114 chip. It's core clock is set to 822MHz, a 1002MHz (4008MHz data rate) memory clock, it has 384 CUDA Cores, 64 texture units, 8 Polymorph Engines, 32 ROPs, 512KB L2 cache and 4x64bit memory controllers.

Load TDP is going up by 10W, from 160W on the GTX 460 1GB to 170W on the GTX 560 Ti.

NVIDIA’s marketing focus for the GTX 560 is to pair it with Intel’s recently launched Sandy Bridge CPUs, which have inspired a wave of computer upgrades that NVIDIA would like to hitch a ride with.

The card also fully supports NVIDIA 3D Vision NVIDIA Surround and NVIDIA SLI technologies.

  GTX 570 GTX 560 Ti GTX 560 GTX 460 1GB GTX 460 768MB GTX 550 Ti
Stream Processors 480 384 336 336 336 192
Texture Address / Filtering 60/60 64/64 56/56 56/56 56/56 32/32
ROPs 40 32 32 32 24 24
Core Clock 732MHz 822MHz
810MHz ~ 950 MHz
675MHz 675MHz 900MHz
Shader Clock 1464MHz 1644MHz
1620MHz ~1900MHz
1350MHz 1350MHz 1800MHz
Memory Clock 950MHz (3800MHz data rate) GDDR5 1002Mhz (4008MHz data rate) GDDR5
1001Mhz~1100MHz (4004~4200MHz data rate) GDDR5
900Mhz (3.6GHz data rate) GDDR5 900Mhz (3.6GHz data rate) GDDR5 1026Mhz (4.104GHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 320-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 192-bit
Frame Buffer 1.25GB 1GB 1GB 1GB 768MB 1GB
FP64 1/8 FP32 1/12 FP32 1/12 FP32 1/12 FP32 1/12 FP32 1/12 FP32
Transistor Count 3B 1.95B 1.95B 1.95B 1.95B 1.17B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $350 $250 ~$200 ~$160 ~$140 $130

We have in our hands Gainward's implementation of the GeForce GTX560 Ti, the "Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2048MB Phantom," which comes with an extra 1GB of memory onboard compared to Nvidia's reference design. More information about the card is available in the following pages.

About the AMD Radeon HD 6790 1GB

AMD launched the Radeon HD 6790 in order to compete with the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. The card is based on the same 40nm Barts GPU that powers the Radeon HD 6800 series.

The Radeon HD 6790 is further cut-down from the 6850, losing 2 SIMD units and half of its ROPs; mitigating this some are higher clockspeeds for both the core and the memory. The card features 800 SPs and 16 ROPs operating at 840MHz, it has a 256bit bus and a 1050MHz (4.2GHz data rate) memory clock.

The card has a 150W TDP, which is almost identical to the 151W TDP of the 6870.

  AMD Radeon HD 6870 AMD Radeon HD 6850 AMD Radeon HD 6790 AMD Radeon HD 5770
Stream Processors 1120 960 800 800
Texture Units 56 48 40 40
ROPs 32 32 16 16
Core Clock 900MHz 775MHz 840MHz 850MHz
Memory Clock 1.05GHz (4.2GHz data rate) GDDR5 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 1050MHz (4.2GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit
VRAM 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB
FP64 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Transistor Count 1.7B 1.7B 1.7B 956M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $200 $160 $150 $120

 

Other features include:

- Second generation Microsoft DirectX 11 support
- PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
- "Eye-Definition" graphics
- AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology
- AMD EyeSpeed visual acceleration
- UVD 3 dedicated video playback accelerator
- AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing technology
- DirectCompute 11
- OpenCL Support
- AMD HD3D technology
- Blu-ray 3D support - AMD CrossfireX multi-GPU technology
- Integrated HDMI 1.4a with support for stereoscopic 3D
- Integrated HD audio controller
- AMD PowerPlay power management technology

The second card we will put under test today is the Club3D HD6790 CoolStream edition, which is presented in detail later on.


2. Meet the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2048MB Phantom

In order to satisfy hardcore PC gamers' requirements, Gainward provided 4 different customized models of the Nvidia GeForce 560 Ti: Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2048MB "Phantom", Gainward GTX 560 Ti 1024MB "Phantom", Gainward GTX 560 Ti 1024MB "Golden Sample", and Gainward GTX 560 Ti 1024MB standard.

Today we have in our labs the Gainward GTX560 Ti 2048MB "Phantom" edition. The card sets at default GPU clock appearing to be 822 MHz, while its shaders and memory ended up at 1645 MHz and 2004 MHz respectively.

 

- Specifications

Product Name:   
Gainward GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2048MB "Phantom"
GPU:   
GeForce GTX 560 Ti
GPU Clockspeed:   
822 Mhz
Memory:   
2048MB GDDR5 (256 bits)
Memory Clockspeed:   
2004 Mhz
Pixels per clock (peak):   
N/A
Bandwidth:   
128.3 GB/s
Ramdac:   
400 MHz
Bus:   
PCI-Express 2.0
Cooling:   
2.5-Slot/Phantom cooler
Video-Features:   
HDMI
Connectivity:   
Dual DVI, VGA

PCIe 2.0, DirectX 11 and DirectCompute are all supported on this card as is acceleration of high definition content and the card can output 7.1 audio over HDMI including DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. Also supported are DirectX11, DirectCompute 5.0, CUDA, OpenCL, PhysX and 3D Vision.

The Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB packaging is illustrated below. Across the front is a stylized image of the heatsink and there are various features listed across:

Gainward's packaging is great and as you see in the picture below the card as well as the components that come with it are securely placed into separate boxes:

 

 

Inside we find a basic bundle with software CD with Gainward's ExperTool tuning utility , a discount voucher for CUDA enable video editing software Super LoiLoScope (30 days free trial plus 25% discount to purchase full version), a quick start manual and Molex to PCIe power convertor:

The dual-slot card measures 7.5", which is 1.5" shorter than the reference model. Attached to the front of the card is a set of aluminium fins covered by a plastic shroud. Running through the fins are four copper heatpipes and beneath these are two fans which circulate air around the PCB and fins/pipes:

The card is equipped with Gainward's cooling technology, reinforcing the heat dissipation by two silent GR8 (Great 8cm) PWM fans; conducting the heat away by 4 pcs of Gainward Grand-Prix Heat-Pipes Hybrid 6 mm heat-pipes; dispersing overage heat to the air by the delicate shark sink fins.

With a load TDP at 170W, the card should be powered by two 6-pin PCIe PEG power connectors:

A single SLI connector sits at the top of the card letting us know we can combine two cards in multi GPU mode.

For the output connectors we have HDMI, 2x DVI and VGA:

That's all for the packaging and the card's looks. We installed the card and fired up the GPU-Z utility, which confirms the card's basic specifications:

 


3. Meet the Club3D Radeon HD 6790 CoolStream Edition

 

The Club3D Radeon HD 6790 CoolStream Edition is based on the same Barts GPU that powers the Radeon HD 6800 series. The card is aimed at NVIDIA's recently released GTX 550, which can be found online for $130. So at least pricewise, the new Radeon HD 6790 is positioned against a GeForce GTX 460 768MB or a Radeon HD 6850 ( $160).

The 6790 is a cut-down from the 6850, losing 2 SIMD units and half of its ROPs but also features higher clockspeeds for both the core and the memory. The card has 800 SPs and 16 ROPs operating at 840MHz. It comes with 1GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 1050 MHz:

Model

Product Name: Radeon HD 6790 CoolStream Edition
Product Series: Radeon HD 6000
Item Code: CGAX-67924
EAN Code: 8717249409373

Interface

Bus Interface: PCI Express 2.1

Chipset

GPU Chipset: Barts LE
GPU Clock: 840MHz
Stream Processors: 800

Multi-GPU

Multi-GPU: 2-Way CrossFireX

Memory

Memory Size: 1024MB
Memory Interface: 256BIT
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Clock: 4200 MHz

Cooling

Cooling Type: Active Fansink, CoolStream featuring 3 heatpipes.

3D API

DirectX version: 11.0
OpenGL version 4.1

Dimensions

Slot Width: 2 Slots
Profile: Standard profile
Card Size:  227*118*38 mm

Weight:

Card Weight: 494 grams

Output Configuration

DVI: 1x Dual Link DVI-I
DisplayPort: 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
HDMI: 1x HDMI 1.4a
HDCP ready: YES
RAMDAC: 400MHz
Max. Res. digital: 2560x1600
Max. Res. analog: 2048x1536
Max. Res. HDMI: 1920x1200

The Club3D Radeon HD 6790 CoolStream Edition retails in the black, compact package you see below:

 

Besides the graphics card, the bundle includes a driver & e-manual CD, a quick install guide as well as a Club 3D CrossFireX Interconnect Bridge, which allows you to setup two Club 3D ATI compatible graphics cards in a CrossFire mode.

The dual-slot card measures 227*118*38 mm and it should be installed to a PCI Express x16 slot:

The card is equipped with Club 3D's CoolStream single-fan cooling system, which is features heatpipes that keeps the components cool.  Paired with a fan blade design it increases airflow while reducing noise.

Despite its 150W AMD, Club3D's implementation ships with only a single socket, making the card more compatible with lower-wattage PSUs that only come with 1 PCIe power plug:

Connectivity options include 1x Dual Link DVI-I, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2 and 1x HDMI 1.4a.
The HDCP-ready card is able to drive the following maximum resolutions:

Digital: 2560x1600
Analog: 2048x1536
HDMI: 1920x1200

We installed the card and fired up the GPU-Z utility, which confirms the card's basic specifications:


4. Test setup
- Setup

Here is our test PC setup:

Many games and applications were used in order to measure the performance (FPS) of each card.

DirectX 9

DirectX10

DirectX11

- Testbed DirectX9

For all the tests we used the default settings for 3DMark05 as you see below:

Again we left all the settings to default:

- Testbed DirectX10

We used the three built- in benchmarks to test the performance of each graphics card. We measured the performances at various resolutions using the "Performance" and up to the "Extreme" settings.

We used the built in benchmark with all the details maxed out.

We used the FRAMEBuffer benchmark tool for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1680x1050 and finally 1920x1200. We used all the possible quality levels to get an idea what the graphic card can do at each corresponding resolution.

 

We used the built-in benchmarking utility and maxed out all visual details, under both DX9/DX10 and settings up to 16x AA/16x AF.

 


5. 3DMark 05, 3DMark 06, 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11

We start with the results of Futuremark's benchmarks. These include the results of the 3DMark 05, 3DMark 06, 3DMark Vantage and the 3D Mark 11 tests.

Starting with the 3D Mark 05 benchmark, the Club3D HD 6790 got just 16838 points, which is lower than the score of the HD 6950, the HD 5770 and close to the score of an Nvidia GTX 460 768MB.

Surprisingly, the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB also scored lower than expected in the specific benchmark, staying behind the GTX 460's and the HD 6790. It is obvious that these differences are not representing the real differences among these cards:

At the 3DMark 06 benchmark the Club3D HD 6790 scored a 13766, still lagging behind the GTX 460 768MB. The Gainward GTX560Ti 2GB scored higher at 13792, pretty close to the score of a GTX 460 1GB OC:

The 3DMark Vantage tests the performance of each card in different resolutions. We charted the GTX 460 1GB OC, the GTX 460 768MBthe GTX 580 OC, the GTX 470, the GTX 560 Ti 2GB, the HD6950 and the HD6790 cards.

Obviously the Club3D HD 6790 1GB cannot perform any other card on this test rather the GTX 460 768MB. On the other hand, the Gainward GTX 560Ti had a clear lead over the Nvidia's GTX 460 and 470 cards as well as the HD 6950 here:

 

Below you see the results of the recently released 3D Mark 11 v1.00 benchmark. The GTX 560 Ti was positioned between the GTX 580 OC and the HD 6950:


6. Crysis Warhead

We proceed to the "Crysis Warhead" game, which supports both DirectX9 and DirectX10 rendering modes. The popular game is still the toughest game in our benchmark suite. Below are the test results from all the possible resolutions the anti-aliasing (AA) disabled.

Below you see the average and lowest FPS we measured for the specific game, in three different resolutions.

 

 

Overall the HD 6790 is quite competitive with the 5830, and the GTX 460 768MB here. The card gave 36.93 fps at 1680 (DX9, Gamer) , which means that the game is going to be playable.

The Gainward GTX 560Ti 2GB has a close peer in the soon to be phased out GTX 470, at least at 1280 x 1024. At 1920 and 1680 the GTX 560 is always faster than the GTX 470. Compared to the HD 6950, the 560Ti 2GB is very competitive, although it is slightly less powerful at 1920 x 1200 and under the "enthusiast" settings.

 


7. S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark, Left4Dead

- S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark

The ' S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark' provides detailed information about a system's performance on various graphical modes. This benchmark is based on one of the in-game locations – Pripyat . The testing process includes four stages, those utilizing various weather and time of the day settings (day, night, rain, bright sun). In order to test the system thoroughly the benchmark is provided with a number of presets and options including different versions of DirectX (9.0 10.0, 11), screen resolutions, anti-aliasing etc.This makes it another one of the highly demanding games in our benchmark suite.

For our tests we set the visual details to the highest level and tested the Club3D HD 6790 1GB graphics card under DX10 and DX11 at the resolution of 1920x1200:

- DX9

- DX10

- DX11

 

In this game, the performance of the Club3D HD 6790 could be comparable to the the GTX 460 768MB, with the latter to be slightly less powerful. The card also clears the 5770 by almost 10%.

At the same game, the Gainward GTX 560Ti 2Gb came up short, staying behind AMD's 6950 1GB.  On the other hand the GTX 560 has an advantage over the GTX 460 1GB.

- Left4Dead (DirectX 9)

Introduced in 2004, Valve’s Source engine continues to live on in new Valve games. Although this game is not very GPU limited to a significant degree we are using it in our testbed.

We used a custom time demo and measured the performance of the Club3D HD 6790 and Gainward GTX560 Ti 2GB graphics cards for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1650x1080 and 1920x1200, with 16xAF enabled and all visual settings maxed out.

The specific game is not as demanding as other so at lower resolutions, we see all the cards that appear in the graph above to perform well. As we increase the resolution and the quality settings, the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2Gb seems to be powerful enough to keep it up with the high performance, leaving behind Nvidia's GTX 460, 470 and AMD's HD 6950.

The Club3D HD 6790 1GB also appeared to be able to cope with the specific game, at least until 1920 x 1200 x 16AF. What it gave was a performance close to a GTX 470 and GTX 460 1GB OC.


8. Far Cry 2, StreetFighter IV, Unigine benchmark

- Far Cry 2 (DirectX 9/10)

Far Cry 2 supports both DirectX 9 and DirectX10 and its graphics engine is much lighter than the one the Crysis title is based on.

Under DX9, the Club3D HD 6790 1GB was slower than the GTX 460 and GTX 470.

On the other hand, the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB was very capable of performing better than the HD 6950 and also staying close to heavyweights such as the GTX 580 OC:

 

Enabling the DX10 shaders, the "Ultra high" quality settings and AA also worked pretty well for the the GTX 560 Ti 2GB. This time, the card was head-to -head with the HD 6950 at 1920 x 1200:

 

- StreetFighter IV (DirectX 9)

Here are two more benchmarks from the Streetfighter IV and the Unigine Benchmark Engine (DX10) demonstrating the graphic performance of the Club3D HD 6950 1GB graphics card.

At the StreetFighter IV game, the HD 6790 gave less FPS than the GT 460 and the GTX 470 with 16AA enabled, but performed much better under 16AF.

The Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB continued its decent performance and stayed close to the GTX 470:

- Unigine benchmark

Unigine is a proprietary cross-platform middleware, developed by Unigine Corp. It is used as either a game engine or as an engine for VR systems. Unigine currently has support for OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11 It supports hardware tessellation and Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0.

The Club3D Radeon HD 6790 1GB could not catch up with the rest cards of the test , staying behind the GTX 460. The Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB gave a performance close to the HD 6950 1GB:


9. Dirt 2, Alien vs Predator, Lost Planet 2

- Dirt 2 (DirectX 11)

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (known as Dirt 2 outside Europe and stylised, DiRT) is a racing game released in September 2009, and is the sequel to Colin McRae: Dirt. The game runs on an updated version of the EGO engine, which powered Codemasters' Race Driver: Grid as well. The engine features an updated physics engine and makes pretty through use of the DX11’s tessellation abilities.

We used the latest Dirt 2 game patch and used the built-in benchmark for the resolution of 1920x1200, various quality levels and with AA enabled.

DIRT 2 is another poor showing for the 6790. With NVIDIA’s normal performance advantage here the GTX 460 is ahead. Of course, at nearly 57fps at 1920 the 6790 should be playable for most gamers at that resolution.

Regarding the GTX 560, the card enjoys a significant lead over the 6950 1GB at 1920:

 

 

 

- Alien vs Predator Benchmark v1.03 (DirectX 11)

Rebellion has released a standalone DirectX 11 PC benchmark test based upon its shooter Aliens vs. Predator. The benchmark test requires a graphics support supporting DirectX 11, which are used to produce such fancy features as tessellation, advanced shadow sampling and DX11 anti-aliasing.

We used the default settings of the benchmark (resolution: 1920 x 1200, Texture Quality: 2, Shadow Quality: 3, Anisotropic Filtering: 16, SSAO: ON, Vertical Sync: OFF, DX11 Tessellation: ON, DX11 Advanced Shadows: ON, DX11 MSAA Samples: 1).

- Lost Planet 2 Benchmark (DX9/DX11)

The Lost Planet 2 benchmark allows you to measure the performance of your graphics card using a a pre-configured route within the game. The benchmark can be run under both DX9 and DX11.

Here is the first game in which the Club3D HD 6790 seems to have an edge over the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB, at least under DX9.Under DX11, the HD 6790 is significantly slower and the GTX 560 Ti 2GB competes with the HD 6950:


10. Crysis 2

Crysis 2

Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek, published by Electronic Arts and was released in North America, Australia, and Europe in March 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Officially announced on June 1, 2009, the game is the second main installment of the Crysis series, and is the sequel to the 2007 video game Crysis and Crysis Warhead. It is the first game to showcase the CryEngine 3 game engine.

Minimum hardware requirements in order to play the game include an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2 GHz, or AMD Athlon 64 x2 2 GHz, or better, 2GB of memory and DirectX 9.0c NVidia 8800GT with 512 MB RAM, ATI 3850HD with 512 MB RAM, or better

For this test, we used the the Adrenaline Crysis 2 Benchmark Tool v0.15 Beta. The tool offers a great option for measuring the performance of graphics cards with Crysis 2. It offers a choice of different maps, options, image quality settings and and resolutions. Several tests can be performed in sequence.

In order to work, the benchmark tool requires a full version of the Crysis 2 game to be installed. Unfortunately the benchmark is currently working under DX9 for now. Support for DirectX 11 will be available once the Crytek release the update that adds support for this API.

We tested both the Club3D HD 6790 and the Gainward GTX 560Ti 2GB cards at 1920 x 1200, the FSAA set to EdgeAA, the Edge AA disables and for the three available maps: CentralPark, TimeSquare and DownTown.

Here are the results:

The Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB seems to playable FPS even at 1920 x 1200. We got an average FPS of 45~59, depending on the map. Of course, extremely low FPS were also logged during the test, meaning that there might be really demanding scenes that could make your GTX 560 Ti 2GB look extremely weak.

The Club3D HD6790 1GB is not that strong and it gave lower FPS for all the maps. What is really interesting is the fact that the benchmark did not report ridiculously low minimum FPS during the HD6790 test, compared to the previous test with the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB:

Although the Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2GB and the Club3D HD 6790 are not directly competing with each other in terms of price and performance, below you see a graphical presentation of the results in different resolutions:

 


11. Overclocking

- Overclocking the Club3D HD6790 CoolStream edition

For our overclocking tests we used the latest MSI AfterBurner utility which also allows you to unlock the card's voltages for further tweaking. We enabled the 'Core Voltage' slider (through the 'settings' tab).

Here are the results:

Original clock Overclocked
Core Clock: 840MHz Core Clock: 950MHz
Shader Clock: 840MHz Shader Clock: 840MHz
Memory Clock: 1050MHz Memory Clock: 1200MHz

 

We left the  fan RPM control to default PWM controlled (21%) which is not too noisy but slightly audible when far overclocked.

Below you see the actual in-game performance you may experience after overclocking with the Far Cry 2 game:

 

- Overclocking the Gainward GTX 560Ti 2048MB Phantom

Again, we used the MSI AfterBurner utility. Here are the results:

Original clock Overclocked
Core Clock: 822 MHz Core Clock: 900MHz
Shader Clock: 1645 MHz Shader Clock: 1800MHz
Memory Clock: 2004 MHz Memory Clock: 2150MHz

 

As you see in the screenshot below, during overclocking the the fan RPM was automatically set to 49% and the maximum temperature of the GPU was 73 degrees C:

Here is what we measured with the overclocked Gainward GTX 560Ti 2GB graphics card:

 


12. Final thoughts

Let's summarize our findings here:

We start with the Club 3D HD 6790 1GB graphics card. First of all, the card should be positioned as the successor of the Radeon HD 5830. In terms of performance and power consumption/noise, the HD 6790 has the edge over AMD's previous offering. On the other hand, the HD 6790 1GB could not make rival's Nvidia GTX 460 768/1GB MB or GTX 470 look outdated, at least in terms of in-game performance. Most of the times the HD 6790 was head-to -head with the GTX 460 768MB and fell short to compete with the GTX 460 1GB. So we cannot think otherwise than that AMD wanted to make a card to thoroughly trample the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti, and indeed the 6790 can do that: The 6790 is stronger than the GTX 550 Ti. Compared to the HD 6850, the HD 6790 would cost you almost $10 less but it cannot compete in terms of performance.

Of course, the Club 3D HD 6790 1GB will be able to play any game at resolutions of up to 1600x1200. In addition, the card could be overclocked and become more competitive to Nvidia's offerings at the same price range. Don't forget that the Radeon HD 6790 also brings 6000-series features like Blu-ray 3D acceleration and five-output Eyefinity support down to the $150 price point.

Overall HD 6790 is a decent card, but given the current situation around the $150 segment it can not shatter the other offerings there. If you need more, you'd better look at other solutions that would be more expensive but won’t show their age quite so soon.

 

Gainward has added 1GB of extra memory to the GTX 560Ti with the release of the GTX 560 Ti 2048MB Phantom graphics card. By doing that, the company tried to help gamers decide in favor of its card instead of AMD's Radeon HD 6950 1GB, which was introduced by AMD as a card with with similar levels of performance and pricing as the GTX 560 Ti. Gainward's efforts have sense as the GTX 560 Ti 2GB was a s a bit faster and quieter than the 6950. Of course, this slight lead of the GTX 560 Ti 2GB was highly depending on the game, as there were also cases where the HD 6950 had also a small lead. It is obvious that AMD and Nvidia are working hard to offer products with similar performance and price. So the deciding factor seems to come down to just how much to value noise and cooling (GTX 560 Ti 2GB) versus power consumption (HD 6950), what games you play, and whether you have or plan to invest on NVIDIA's (CUDA, 3D Vision) or AMD's (Eyefinity) technologies .

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti could be a good reason to upgrade from a previous generation card (GTX 470), as it is faster and cooler. On the other hand, it would not worth buying it if you have already sporting a decent card from the last year.



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