If you’re like me, then it’s a good time to start looking at PC upgrades. I already have my eyes on a nice GTX 970 to replace my old, 500-series Fermi card. Nvidia has worked some magic with their GTX 970, and now Gigabyte is taking all that power and making it really, really small.
In what is sure to kick off an entirely new range of Maxwell cards, Gigabyte has introduced a Mini-ITX variant of the most popular 900-series card. The Mini GTX 970 doesn’t cut any corners in terms of performance, delivering a small, compact powerhouse with fairly decent cooling.
The card still features a small back plate, which hides predictably simpler circuitry and wiring for the smaller fan. In truth, the card borrows its design from Gigabyte’s Windforce cooling, although instead of three fans you’ve only got one. It truly is tiny, but still manages to achieve a small overlock, with a 1076 MHz Base with a Boost clock of 1216 MHz.
But does the smaller form factor affect cooling? Well, according to Gigabyte, it actually improves it. While running Metro: Last Light, the Mini-ITX peaked with a relatively low temperature of 62 degrees Celcius. In comparison, the reference cards peaked at 72 degrees, although they are using the stock cooling that is usually less efficient at making heat disappear.
The small card doesn’t sacrifice output options either. The Mini-ITX 970 coms standard with two Dvi ports, three DisplayPorts and a single HDMI socket. That means no 60FPS at 4K using HDMI, but you’re probably better off going with the DisplayPort in any case.
So it really seems like Gigabyte have managed to shrink the GTX 970 with virtually no impact on the cards sublime performance. If space is a factor, you may want to wait for this, and similar cards, to start hitting shelves.
Last Updated: October 21, 2014