By far the most successful graphics card of the previous year was NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460 that came out of nowhere to bring life to the Fermi architecture that had until that release been lambasted as being too hot, too loud and too expensive to compete with the range of options that AMD’s Radeon line provided.  Then, up jump the devil, NVIDIA released GF104 and suddenly the Fermi design had legs.

NVIDIA planning a GeForce GTX 560 Ti for end of January - Graphics Cards  1
The MSI GTX 460 1GB HAWK card offered unique cooling and overclocked settings

NVIDIA was able to address a price point and segment that AMD had left open and thus the 1GB version of this card took off and never looked back, becoming the enthusiasts best price/performance option for GPUs.  And as we very quickly found out, there was a lot of overclocking headroom in this GPU and both users and card vendors pushed the limits and got even more performance for that same dollar.  

With the launch of the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 cards late in 2010, many users began to wish for the 500-series equivalent of the GTX 460 – and based on rumors circulating now, the GTX 560 looks like it will be here sooner than we might have thought.

NVIDIA planning a GeForce GTX 560 Ti for end of January - Graphics Cards  2
Source: watermarked all over the frackin’ image

According to techpowerUp!, the GF114 GPU will be released on January 25th as a revised GF104 GPU with all 384 shader processors enabled (rather than having a single 48 core count SM disabled) while also running at higher clock speeds.  If the reference clocks of 820 MHz for the GPU and 1000 MHz for the 256-bit 1GB GDDR5 memory are correct, then the performance boosts should be pretty significant.  Pricing is going to be “under $270” or so which would put added strain on the new Radeon HD 6800 and HD 6900 series cards and we of course expect an appropriate response (new cards and/or price drops) closer to the end of the month.

The same techpowerUp! report is also tell use that the GTX 560 will bring the return of the “Ti” moniker: GeForce GTX 560 Ti.  This is likely only done to make the graphics card appear newer and better than the plain older “boring” HD 6950 of HD 6970 names.  Corny, yes, but likely to work.  After all, here we are talking about it, right?