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Asus unveils GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini

Asus unveils GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini

An early prototype of the Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini gives a hint of what to expect from the company's mini-ITX-friendly board.

Asus has taken the wraps off its latest graphics card product: the Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, a compact board designed specifically for mini-ITX gaming builds.

Revealed late yesterday on the company's Republic of Gamers site, the new board takes the compact board of Nvidia's GTX 670 reference design - just 17.5cm along its length - and pairs it with an ultra-compact version of the Asus DirectCU heatsink for a small form factor-appropriate yet surprisingly powerful graphics card.

Beneath the custom-design single-fan DirectCU Mini vapour-chamber based cooling system, which still takes up two slots despite its lack of length, is a pretty standard Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 board - aside from the use of Asus' Super Alloy Power components, which it claims offers a lifespan some two and a half times greater than Nvidia's reference components. As a result, gamers looking for a compact design will find themselves with a board featuring 1,344 CUDA cores from a GK104 Kepler GPU, 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus, and support for up to four displays natively through dual DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.

If you're hoping for pricing and release information, however, you're going to be disappointed: currently, Asus has but a single prototype sample of the system, which it explains is still undergoing design tweaks and testing prior to launch. With no mass production yet on schedule, it could be a while before the compact graphics card hits the open market - even allowing for the use of a fairly stock Nvidia PCB beneath the clever custom cooler.

When it finally does launch, however, it will have some competition: rival graphics card maker Zotac announced its own mini-ITX-friendly Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 in June last year, using a modified TwinCooler heatsink featuring two 80mm fans. Sadly, though, this board was only ever released in Japan and China, while its dual-fan design means that Asus may, depending on how clever it has been with its single-fan design, have the edge in noise levels.

20 Comments

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phinix 7th March 2013, 10:37 Quote
THAT'S what I call advanced technology! :D
Finally they starting to minimise hardware again...
Why nvidia didn't release 670s like this from the start? 17cm short pcb, single 8pin cable - perfect for smallest PCs.
I hope.. HOPE they will do this to new GTX700 series.
Imagine GTX770 this size, only 20% faster... Sweet spot for me!
mrbungle 7th March 2013, 10:39 Quote
Why has this taken so long?

Its just a smaller cooler for a stock pcb.
Shirty 7th March 2013, 10:46 Quote
Exactly mrbungle, I'm actually amazed these haven't been available from launch.
phinix 7th March 2013, 10:48 Quote
Let's hope they make 770s this size, available from release day.
Tyrmot 7th March 2013, 10:50 Quote
Great stuff.. Am leaning more and more towards a mini-build for next gaming machine.. this kind of thing really helps!
Bindibadgi 7th March 2013, 11:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbungle
Why has this taken so long?

Its just a smaller cooler for a stock pcb.

PCB has been redesigned with our SAP hardware.

The problem is cooling 170W in a tiny space is difficult. It's less space than a CPU cooler, but more wattage. Your fan has to push air down and out, while maintaining enough thermal mass underneath to absorb the heat, and the PCB can't take as much bend as a motherboard as it has more PCB layers and generally lower voltages on thinner lines. The new fan and cooler has been in development since well into last year.

EDIT: Sorry I got my cm:inch conversion mixed up when thinking about 6.75" to centimeters. It is the same size as reference.
Waynio 7th March 2013, 12:47 Quote
Just pointed this out to quizz_kid, he's in need of an awesome small GPU for his equally awesome project here.
Waynio 7th March 2013, 12:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phinix
THAT'S what I call advanced technology! :D
Finally they starting to minimise hardware again...
Why nvidia didn't release 670s like this from the start? 17cm short pcb, single 8pin cable - perfect for smallest PCs.
I hope.. HOPE they will do this to new GTX700 series.
Imagine GTX770 this size, only 20% faster... Sweet spot for me!

:D It is awesome news for SFF lovers, something I'm definitely becoming, 670 is pretty damn awesome GPU & to squish it down to that size is wow, very nice.

I just had to try making 1 to see why people like them, easy to see why. :)
runadumb 7th March 2013, 12:53 Quote
Put one in the steam box :)
phinix 7th March 2013, 13:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
PCB has been redesigned with our SAP hardware and shortened about 2cm further than reference.

The problem is cooling 170W in a tiny space is difficult. It's less space than a CPU cooler, but more wattage. Your fan has to push air down and out, while maintaining enough thermal mass underneath to absorb the heat, and the PCB can't take as much bend as a motherboard as it has more PCB layers and generally lower voltages on thinner lines. The new fan and cooler has been in development since well into last year.

When could see them for sale? Q3?
Spreadie 7th March 2013, 13:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
PCB has been redesigned with our SAP hardware and shortened about 2cm further than reference.

Bindi, the article says:
Quote:
Revealed late yesterday on the company's Republic of Gamers site, the new board takes the compact board of Nvidia's GTX 670 reference design - just 17.5cm along its length - and pairs it with an ultra-compact version of the Asus DirectCU heatsink for a small form factor-appropriate yet surprisingly powerful graphics card.
That's the standard PCB length - are you saying yours is only 155mm?

The stock cooler for my 670 is sitting in the box - the card looks very dinky with a fullcover block on it. I am surprised that there hasn't been a whole truckload of short 3rd party coolers for the reference board.
Xir 7th March 2013, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Revealed late yesterday on the company's Republic of Gamers site...
There isn't a mITX ROG board, is there?
I thought the Maximus V gene was the smallest? (MATX)
Bindibadgi 8th March 2013, 01:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Bindi, the article says:

That's the standard PCB length - are you saying yours is only 155mm?

The stock cooler for my 670 is sitting in the box - the card looks very dinky with a fullcover block on it. I am surprised that there hasn't been a whole truckload of short 3rd party coolers for the reference board.

I got it wrong sorry - have corrected my earlier post. It's 17cm.

Xir, OC mini-ITX is currently P8Z77-I series with DIGI+ daughterboard
jrs77 8th March 2013, 02:09 Quote
This card is going to be rather noisy I guess.
atc95 8th March 2013, 08:29 Quote
Now all they need is a waterblock for it, or can you just use a stock 670 one?
faugusztin 8th March 2013, 08:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by atc95
Now all they need is a waterblock for it, or can you just use a stock 670 one?

If you wanted a waterblock with a short GTX670, then you didn't had to wait for this board. I bought the stock EVGA GTX670 (that is the one with the GTX670 PCB, not the one on a GTX680 PCB) at launch and guess what, it had the short PCB.
Pookie 8th March 2013, 09:53 Quote
The revolution for smaller GFX cards begins :)
Spreadie 8th March 2013, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
If you wanted a waterblock with a short GTX670, then you didn't had to wait for this board. I bought the stock EVGA GTX670 (that is the one with the GTX670 PCB, not the one on a GTX680 PCB) at launch and guess what, it had the short PCB.

Yep - same here. Reference 670 with a fullcover block

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=1781&pictureid=29488
Horizon 8th March 2013, 17:58 Quote
Weren't these already available at launch? Friend has a short pcb evga 670 with a universal waterblock and it looks the like the same size as that card.

EDIT: Should have read through the comments first.
phinix 3rd April 2013, 10:30 Quote
...and it is out now.
I wonder when they gonna be available in UK....
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