A noticeable trend in the current desktop ecosystem is towards the small, as evidenced by the Intel NUC and successes of mini-ITX products like the BitFenix Prodigy.  Users, gamers and enthusiasts all want something powerful in a physically small envelope, and while we have cases and motherboards that match this sort of size, the GPU ecosystem has been slow to accommodate.  Sure, larger mITX cases like the Prodigy exist, and users can select between a beefy GPU or hard drive bays, but what if you want both?  Insert the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, debuted on the ROG Forums.

With the Mini, we have a GTX 670 on a mini-ITX sized (17cm) PCB, featuring a stunted version of the DirectCU cooler.  Instead of two 6-pin connectors we get a single 8-pin, but still get five outputs covering the range of analog and digital options (except mDP).

Apparently ASUS only has one of these back at HQ as they are testing the idea, and these pictures may not represent the final product.  But it does come under the heading of ‘things to look forward to’ and may generate a trend towards more products of a similar line from other manufacturers.

No word on release or pricing (or how much noise it may produce), but I would not be surprised if it comes out at just above the reference models in order to recoup some R&D.

Source: ROG Forums



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  • geniusloci - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    Asus did this...not Nvidia. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    This isn't new. Zotac has had a GTX670 of this size since last year:

    Asus didn't do any rocket science. 17cm is the GTX670 PCB's normal length (from nVidia's default PCB for the GTX670). All they had to do was to slap in a different cooler that doesn't extend the card's range.

    Either way, anyone can buy a "normal length" GTX670 and then just change the cooler for this:
  • IanCutress - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    The Zotac card doesn't seem to have been sold outside of Japan/China - correct me if I'm wrong.

    It's true the GTX 670 reference PCB is 6.75 inches long, but the NVIDIA reference cooler was 9-9.5 inches. So yes you could go out and buy a cooler for your card (whatever that does to the warranty) and hope it carries the TDP requirements of the card, or get one already made and hopefully will be distributed outside of Asia. I would have hoped that if it was as simple as you make it out to be that it would have been done months ago.
  • JPForums - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    I believe you are correct that this particular Zotac card isn't sold in Europe/North America. (I haven't been able to get a hold of it)

    The after market cool Totten mentions is perfectly capable of cooling a GTX670 and stands as an option for people willing to modify their cooling solution (and most likely void their warranty). However, this isn't usually acceptable when you are building for someone else. It would be nice to see the Asus card come to market.
  • DarkStryke - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    Zotac was first, but who would buy a zotac card if an Asus is available? Reply
  • Simon42 - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    I'm building an ITX system with the mobo pictured and I've been experimenting. I have a 5770 that's short enough but I wanted more powerful so I tried a 660 Ti. Both are Gigabyte and their 10 cm air coolers are pretty close to silent (my custom case is so small that the GPU fan is outside in open air so no heat problem). I'm running the 660 Ti on the most powerful SFX PSU I could find - Silverstone 450W - and although it should work, it's been unstable. I will have to try again with a clean install because I think my transition from AMD to nVidia drivers messed up things.

    Now, my question: is there a small SFX PSU that's powerful enough to drive a 670 GTX? I believe 450W theoretically does it, but that's awfully tight...
  • Menty - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    I was running a GTX 670 and an overclocked 2500k from a 430w Antec Neo for several months :) One of the 450w SFX supplies should have no problem. Reply
  • Zap - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    Yes, either of the two Silverstone 450W units will work fine for a single GTX 670 and socket 1155. Power draw of such a system is just over 300W. See link.

  • Demon-Xanth - Thursday, March 7, 2013 - link

    I don't have a "large number of cards" requirement anymore for my PC. But I do like a moderately beefy vid card. The only card in my system is a vidcard. So really, the biggest reason for not going to an itx is fitting a good card in the tiny chassis. A shorter card like this may not be mainstream, but I believe it to have a large enough niche to be worth filling. Reply
  • Guspaz - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    As somebody with an SFF case (a Shuttle, so it's advertised as supporting itx motherboards, but the stock mobo is a bit bigger than itx), fitting everything in there was tough. However, I don't think length is the problem.

    I've got a full-sized GTX 670 in my system, and the length wasn't really a problem. The biggest problem was the power connectors. My case is designed specifically for a full-sized card in terms of length, but there is very little clearance above the card (the optical drive bay assembly slots in on top of it), so I end up with the GPU power cables bent at an extreme angle, and even then the optical drive bay assembly is putting a LOT of downward pressure on that card at the rear portion of it. In my case, I don't know if putting power connectors on the end of the card would help (because it's a full-length card in an SFF case), but a combination of the two things, a shorter card and power connectors on the end instead of the top, would have made life MUCH easier.

    Also, the cooler. I can fit a two-slot cooler in my system, barely, and while that means the GPU takes up both of my system's two expansion slots (x16 slot plus x4 slot), that isn't a problem because like most people the GPU is the only card I need in the system. But it still cuts it very close to tolerances, so a 1.5 or 1.75 slot cooler would help. That shouldn't be impossible; the one we see in this picture is clearly not as efficient as it gets. I'd make the heatsink larger and include more copper in order to reduce the size a bit. The pictures of this DirectCU make it look like they've got a custom shroud but a generic heatsink, not a heatsink designed to maximize the efficiency of the volume inside of the shroud.

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