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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  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    I've got to ask: Why hasn't anyone raised the possibility of liquid cooling the SFF 670 & probably looping in the cpu as well? I understand size constraints in a small chassis (and an external radiator kind of defeats the purpose) but I'm still getting up-to-speed with liquid cooling.

    And please forgive me if this is an obviously dumb Noobian question; for the last 8 or 10 months I've been trying to get current with tech again after a pretty long time away (& I've undoubtedly learned more from reading AT posts, comments, forums, than I have anywhere else).

    I'm asking because I've always wanted to try building as a hobbyist/enthusiast but was never able to pull the time & money together at the same time. I'm personally really liking the trend toward small & powerful, & I know my 17 year old son would REALLY get off on a Prodigy gaming build (& for college, which is probably 18 months or so out).

    I'm thinking that a Mini-ITX with Virtu & a SFF 670 packed into a Prodigy should be able to deliver ample oomph (quantity & quality) to do what he will both need & want to do.

    Thanks for your input.
  • ShieTar - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    The whole point of liquid cooling is getting large amounts of heat from a small source to a large radiator. For a modern non-overclocked Intel CPU it usually makes no sense at all, and even slightly overclocked GPUs can be kept silent with a good air-cooler in a good enclosure. Liquidcooling at first just adds additional power consumption and noise sources.

    Liquid-cooling only starts making sense once you go for not-so-reasonable overclocking, when you need to remove 500W or more from your system. But once you do that, Mini-ITX boards are unlikely to make you happy due to somewhat restricted overclocking capabilities. Also you run into trouble cooling the chipset if your case is packed to the brim with coolers and tubes.

    Of course for a college student living in a SFF enclosure himself a Prodigy-based gaming build is a nice concept. Then again I am surprised that ASUS did not start with a 660 and/or 660 Ti of this size, but went directly for the 670. The 400$ GPU is probably not aiming at college students and other persons living in small apartments.
  • kenyee - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    if it's loud, it's not what HTPC users want...we don't want a whining jet engine in what was quiet/cool system... Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    I think this is the future of add-on's for computers. A lot of them are going to get smaller and smaller. I also think parts like this with high performance and low size are going to be very popular with the boutiques who like to make custom high performance PC's the size of consoles. Reply
  • michaelheath - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    Ever since I saw the PCB layout of the 670 and lower-end boards, I was hoping someday a manufacturer would be bold enough to take advantage of the shorter PCB. My hat is off to Asus for at least trying. Reply
  • MrX8503 - Saturday, March 9, 2013 - link

    I went from an ATX to micro to mini itx. There's no need to have a tank sized gaming machine anymore. Hopefully smaller components will be the trend. Reply
  • vision33r - Saturday, March 9, 2013 - link

    The PC industry has not done enough to move hardware towards smaller form factors. While big water cooled rigs are cool to look at but they take a lot of space. It would be nice to have a mini rig that's as powerful as a big rig. Reply
  • DarkStryke - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    It's already possible, you just need a motherboard that is built to overclock, like the Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE. Reply

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