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Asus finalises GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini design

Asus finalises GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini design

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, a mini-ITX-friendly graphics board, is now a finished product and will be launching forthwith.

Asus has finalised the design of its Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini graphics board, originally previewed early last month, providing mini-ITX system builders with an easy way to cram high-performance graphics into their diminutive cases.

Based on a slightly-modified reference GTX 670 printed circuit board - matching the 17.5cm of Nvidia's standard design but replacing the power components with its own Super Alloy Power design - the GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini offers all the performance of its full-size counterparts: 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.

It's the cooler where the main design work has gone, Asus explains: unlike the full-length design of Nvidia's reference cooler, the GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini includes a shorter cooler that hugs the PCB far more closely, resulting in a total board length of 17.5cm compared to the stock design's 24.13cm. That drop in length doesn't correspond to a drop in cooling, either, with Asus claiming the combination of a copper vapour chamber on top of the GPU and a new CoolTech blower/axial crossover fan design means that the board hits temperatures around 20 per cent lower than Nvidia's reference design.

Asus isn't the first company to look at taking advantage of the smaller PCB size common to the GeForce GTX 670: while the reference design may use an elongated cooling system, Zotac launched its own mini-ITX-friendly design in June last year based on a modification of its TwinCooler heatsink. Sadly, that design was only ever made available in China and Japan, whereas Asus has declared that it will be launching the GTX 670 DirectCU Mini internationally.

Although watercooling entusiasts have been able to choose from a variety of 17.5cm-length full-cover waterblocks for the GeForce GTX 670 for some time, Asus will be alone in launching a compact air-cooled edition - meaning its competitors will be watching how it sells very closely, with a view to following into the mini-ITX market themselves should it prove successful.

Full UK availability and pricing for the GeForce GTX DirectCU Mini have yet to be confirmed, but buyers can expect to pay a premium over the standard Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 2GB - currently available for around the £320 mark if you shop around.

15 Comments

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samkiller42 3rd April 2013, 12:20 Quote
Ooo, Looks good, but why should we pay more for something that's smaller? That simply boggles the mind.

Sam
Gareth Halfacree 3rd April 2013, 12:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
Ooo, Looks good, but why should we pay more for something that's smaller? That simply boggles the mind.
Same reason something like the ultra-slim Xperia Tablet Z costs more than a brick-thick tablet of equivalent specifications: it costs money to make something smaller while retaining the same features. The Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 2GB needs two whackin' gert fans to keep it cool; the GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini makes do with one fan, despite having the same hardware. Sure, Asus has saved the cost of a fan and however much plastic and metal went into the part of the cooler that extended past the PCB - but it's spent cash engineering things so the card doesn't overheat with just one fan.

Add into that the fact that mini-ITX users who need a high-performance GPU are a smaller market than those with larger cases and room for full-length cards and you've got your answer.
mi1ez 3rd April 2013, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
The Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 2GB needs two whackin' gert fans to keep it cool;
I think half the office just heard me laugh!
alex101 3rd April 2013, 12:44 Quote
"Nvidia isn't the first company to look at taking advantage of..." ----> Should it not be Asus?
Gareth Halfacree 3rd April 2013, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex101
"Nvidia isn't the first company to look at taking advantage of..." ----> Should it not be Asus?
Indeed it should - fixed, ta!
ev1lm1nd666 3rd April 2013, 13:49 Quote
It's not just the mini-ITX case lovers that will benefit from this card, think of haw many scratch builds could be made where the whole card could be hidden behind perspex etc...

Just waiting for when water-blocks become available for it too...
Gareth Halfacree 3rd April 2013, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev1lm1nd666
Just waiting for when water-blocks become available for it too...
They're already available: under the cooler, all GeForce GTX 670s are 17.5cm long. The new Asus is a reference design PCB - it's just the cooler that's new. Full-coverage waterblocks for the GeForce GTX 670 - which make it a single-slot 17.5cm-long card - have been available since shortly after the board launched.
Pete J 3rd April 2013, 18:42 Quote
IT'S SO CUTE!

Makes me want to do an ITX build.
AverageNinja 3rd April 2013, 18:47 Quote
Still awaiting a DCUII 670 on a 680 PCB for watercooling goodness :p
jrs77 3rd April 2013, 18:57 Quote
I'm still saying, that they should also release a GTX660 with this smaller cooler.
wafflesomd 3rd April 2013, 20:10 Quote
I really dig the site. It helps settle arguments amongst my pc friends :P
j_jay4 3rd April 2013, 20:31 Quote
I want to get one just to push the market in this direction.
Tynecider 3rd April 2013, 22:41 Quote
All they need now is a nice R.O.G Maxmius Junior. Mini-ITX board ;-)
blacko 4th April 2013, 11:59 Quote
I can see ITX and MXM GPUS coming together in the future. Dual 680MX vs a single 670 MINI. Who would win?
Anfield 4th April 2013, 22:00 Quote
Nice card, probably going to buy one despite the old age of the 670, that is if it doesn't cost a stupid premium.
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