A few months ago I took a look at the MSI R6850 Cyclone PE / OC graphics card, a very solid mid-range card that sold for just under $180 at the time of writing. Today we will be taking a look at the ASUS GTX560 Ti DirectCU II TOP graphics card, an Nvidia-based Fermi GPU priced at roughly $250. Much like the R6850, this is an overclocked edition card that bumps the core clock up to 900 MHz and the shader clock to 1800 MHz; defaults for each are 810 MHz / 1620 MHz. Technology differences aside, it's no secret that many people shop with their wallets alone, so the aim of this comparison review is to see what sort of improvement you can from a quality $250 video card versus something a bit cheaper.
The GeForce GTX560 Ti was released on January 25, 2011 to target the "sweet spot" of price and performance that enthusiasts often look for. ASUS took the reference design one step further by adding many enhancements like the DirectCU II cooling system and overclocking the card 80 MHz over stock. Let's take a closer look at the detailed specifications before moving ahead to the card itself.
Unboxing is just ahead.