I have had the card for a week now and it has enabled me to play every game on my PC at 1920x1200 at maximum settings with framerates over 30 fps (STALKER: Call of Pripyat, Dead Island, Modern Warfare 2) Although none of those games really stress this card as they are older DirectX 9 titles. According to Nvidia's beta performance guide, the GTX 560 Ti is capable of running Battlefield 3 at high settings in 1920x1080 resolution which should be a good indicator of the card's performance.
The Asus 1GB GTX 560 Ti DirectCUII is currently the best value card around, like the best selling 8800GT before it. If you have read the reviews of this card from hardware sites, most of them will tell you that the ATI Radeon HD 6950 is slightly faster and in most cases it is, however at the time of the reviews the prices of the 560 Ti and the HD 6950 were the same, or the 560 Ti was more expensive.
This is not the case in the UK and you'll be lucky to find a HD 6950 with 1GB for under £200. I got my Asus GTX 560 Ti DirectCUII for £160.48 (circa early October 2011). Currently on Amazon (23/10/11), you can get a:Asus GTX 560 Direct CU
(non Ti) with the older DirectCU cooler for £148 which is almost £20 cheaper which is great if you are on a budget.Asus GTX 560 Direct CU II
(non Ti) which comes factory overclocked at 850MHz for £167.28 which is a few pence cheaper than the 560 Ti.Asus GTX 560 Ti DirectCuII TOP
is factory overclocked at 900MHz for £188.19, which is £20 more expensive than my regular ASUS GTX 560 Ti DirectCUII
(clocked at 830MHz)
If you can afford to spend another £20 over the non Ti version and you know to to overclock, the 560 Ti represents the best value/performance ratio. The main reason is the 560 Ti has an additional 48 stream processors, 384 vs 336 for the 560. So while you can overclock the non Ti at 1GHz to match the speed of the 560 Ti, the 560 Ti at that speed would be close to a GTX 570 which costs around £270! So if you know how to overclock, then is no point paying an extra £20 for a factory overclocked card, as the hardware is identical between the 560 Ti and the TOP version, the only difference being a few bytes in the card's firmware! Of course the TOP would be guaranteed and tested to run at 900MHz, but you would have to be VERY unlucky to get a card that wouldn't run at 900MHz as that is a fairly conservative overclock. Using the MSI Afterburner utility to overclock is a doddle and there are plenty of tutorials online for you novices out there.
My card is currently clocked at 950MHz (might overclock to 1GHz after I get a new case with better airflow) with memory at 4.7GHz (1,175MHz x4) and the card is very quiet while gaming with average temps of 65 to 70c. Although the DirectCUII cooler is more efficient (it keeps the GPU at least 15c cooler than the standard single fan Nvidia cooler), it does not exhaust the hot air outside the case. If your case does not have intake and exhaust fans then this would be the only real issue with this card. The card also features it's own heatsink over the MOSFETs and high quality Japanese capacitors and voltage components which all helps to maximise the card's overclocking potential.
The word quality sums up this card, it feels solid as it has a metal spine to keep the card from sagging and the shroud around the heatsink is metallic if you were wondering. I am surprised that Asus can produce a card with is own custom designed PCB plus heatsink and dual fans in such quality, while other card manufacturers pump out the bog standard nvidia reference design (like the PNY card I was looking at before discovering the Asus) at the same prices!
Overall I am thrilled with this card and I am looking forward to giving it a workout once Battlefield 3 and Skyrim is released.