Power / Temps / Noise and Overclocking
As the Radeon 6900 series, GTX 500 series and no doubt future generations perform power management in a different way to older cards we have changed the way we test power and temperature levels in our reviews. For idle power we list the full system use at the wall after sitting at the desktop with no activity for 5 minutes. Load power is the highest reading we saw for the full system when testing during this review. Temperatures are taken in the same way. Noise levels are taken after a period of prolonged gaming in a scenario which applied maximum load to the GPU.
When looking at the power and temperature performance it is clear that the various PCB and cooler designs employed by our manufacturers have a big impact. Key findings are that the MSI and GIGABYTE coolers work exceptionally well, the ASUS card very much does allow for extra power which will come in handy for overclocking and the ZOTAC card, despite the highest core speed, doesn’t end up as the most power hungry card.
Also worth noting is that every one of these cards is near silent. In fact this is one of the quietest series of cards we have ever tested.
For overclocking pretty much any tool will work on the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core however two of the manufacturers offer some excellent advanced utilities. Those are ASUS with GPU tweak which offers overclocking and voltage adjustments as well as monitoring and MSI with Afterburner which has long been a tried and trusted too. GIGABYTE also offer Easyboost for their cards, though it isn’t quite up to the standard of these two tools.
Shown below are the maximum overclocks achieved on each card, with voltage tweaks used where appropriate.