As much as I love the bigger, beefier graphics cards that have become the norm lately, I can’t help but fall in love with some of the new mini-itx variants hitting shelves over the past couple of months. Some of them take a knock in the power department, but ASUS saw that memo, crumpled it up and set it on fire. That’s why their new GTX 970 (for ants) makes a big pixel pushing impact.
The mini-ITX friendly card that has just joined the ASUS family takes it’s parts from the most popular (and arguably best) Nvidia card in circulation at the moment. The DirectCU mini GTX 970, despite it’s size, features a modest factory overlock, bumping up the core clock from 1050MHz to 1088Mz. The memory clock is untouched, but the Boost clock also receives a mild touch up, reaching 1228 MHz from the stock 1178 MHz.
So the size doesn’t come with a sacrifice of power, but I wouldn’t bank on massive overlocking performance with any card of this size. That’s even more apparent when you take the single 8-pin power connector into consideration. That’s perfect for a card this size, sporting only a single fan and circular heatsink. That’s also more than enough for Nvidia’s Maxwell range, which only hit a 145W TDP on a bad day.
Since it is a GTX 970, you can expect a host of display output options so that you can crank things up all the way to 4K. The mini GTX 970 comes with two dual-link DVI connectors, a HDMI 2.0 port and even a 1.2 DisplayPort for a smooth UltraHD experience.
ASUS hasn’t revealed how much the mini 3D cruncher will cost, or when it’ll be available, but I’ll put down good money on it being one of the most popular cards the company will release in recent memory. Mini-ITX configurations are popular right now, and you’ll struggle to find a better graphics companion.
Last Updated: December 1, 2014