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  • gregounech - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Looking forward to having options of this type.

    I also noticed a little typo in your article Ian :
    "back at HQ as thet are testing the idea,"
  • IanCutress - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    I would like to believe there is a market for 17cm video cards, as long as noise and heat generation isn't affected too much. It would all be down to the dissipation limits of the cooler. Something tells me overclocking abilities would be affected as well.

    Fixed the typo, thanks :)
  • scook9 - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    People would not be getting these for the overclocking. It has my interest, just like the GTX 570 HD from EVGA was interesting. For me it was interesting for 2 reasons:

    -It was the most powerful GPU that was not longer than a mATX board (for use in my HTPC)
    -It had the power ports on the back of the card and not the side. This allows for a case that does not have the side clearance for those plugs.

    Below is the picture of my setup, it is all in an Antec Veris Fusion case which looks awesome for a HTPC.

    Cooling the GPUs is a pain right now, but working on that :) The CPU is an i5 2500k
  • JPForums - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately, not everyone's enclosure has extra space in front of the cards to support power cables like your enclosure. It would be really nice if they made a card with both front and top mounted connectors. It wouldn't be hard to design at all and you could just cap the unused connector. This way, the card would be usable in both thin and shallow enclosures. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    The problem with that is you'd have a support problem from people who got confused and thought they needed to connect both sets of power connections. It's easier for the OEM to make two almost identical cards with plugs in different locations. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Maybe they could make a cover that slides (round the corner), so that only one set of connectors could be used at a time. Reply
  • Paul Tarnowski - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Easier to recess it and add two adapters, one that lets you change it to the side, and another that lets you do so to the "underside" of the PCB. That way you have an option to have it straight (no adapter), to the side, or to the one place where no one has anything in a single card configuration.

    Also it's cheaper.
  • ShieTar - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    Why would that even be a problem? There is no downside to connecting the card to the voltage source by 2 parallel wires instead of just one. Reply
  • JPForums - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    I don't really think cooling is the limiting factor. Better coolers that could fit in the smaller card already exist. I don't see any reason why a cleverly designed vapor chamber heatsink wouldn't work. Beyond that, vapor chambers and heatpipes have been combined to good effect. There looks to be space near the back of the card not currently occupied by heatsink area that could be piped into. Then there is the fact that hardly manufacturers currently uses full copper heatsinks. Granted, large copper heatsinks are very heavy, but it could be used to very good effect when trying to maximize the cooling when size is limited.

    Of course, these options have the potential to be a bit loud seeing as you would still need to move an appreciable amount of air across smaller heatsinks with a smaller fan. Also, airflow in mITX cases isn't always the best, so despite the extra noise, a direct exhaust or partial direct exhaust system would probably work out better. Then again, a water block and radiator would solve both the cooling and noise problem.

    Which brings me to what I consider the biggest hurdle: Cost. The cooling can be done and it can be done quietly, but can it be done for a price people will pay. Most likely, if this device comes to market, it will be a little bit hotter, noisier, and pricier that the base model. Some may scoff that the parts list is smaller and the card is less capable, but it is a much bigger challenge designing the product into such a small envelope. A small price premium could be easily justified for those the product targets. I'd love to see such a design come to market. I wouldn't use it personally, but there are plenty of systems I build for others that could use it.
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    Too bad AMD can't do anything like this, as we know then the fanboys would be drooling and screaming it's better than sliced bread.
    Another reason why nVidia makes profits $$$$ and amd is dying.
  • geniusloci - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    Asus did this...not Nvidia. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, March 07, 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 07, 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 07, 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 07, 2013 - link

    Zotac was first, but who would buy a zotac card if an Asus is available? Reply
  • Simon42 - Thursday, March 07, 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 07, 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 07, 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 07, 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 08, 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.
  • marc1000 - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    there is also the Zotac GTX660 that is a nice GPU under 17cm. it is not as powerfull as a gtx670, but is available outside of asia. but anyway, the smaller form-factors are a great trend.

    I like it a lot, and would have a Tiki myself if money (and living in other country) weren't a limiting factor.
  • aguilpa1 - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    I don't see why this wouldn't work great. I got a GTX660 for work to run 4 monitors and I was surprised at how much of the card was wasted space and plastic shroud just jutting out to the side. It looks like they just consolidated the design and moved the cooler over. It shouldn't be much different than the regular one. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Good catch; the gallery picture only shows 4 (2xDVI, 1xHDMI, 1xDP) so I assume it's a typo. Reply
  • IanCutress - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    One of the DVI is DVI-I, so with an adapter can do VGA as well. Do we count that as 5 outputs but only 4 connectors? Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Only if you can us a Y adapter to actually get DVI and VGA out at the same time. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    It has 5 outputs though. That doesn't mean you can use all 5 all the time. But that's always been the case. Just because you had 5 connectors on the back of your card or 4 on the motherboard does not mean you can use 4/5 monitors at the same time. Reply
  • extide - Saturday, March 09, 2013 - link

    No... it only has 4.... look at the pics lol. Reply
  • vicbdn - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    That cooler doesn't seem particularly suited for m-itx enclosures. Would be better if it was a blower and vented out the back... Reply
  • SithSolo1 - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Blower coolers by design are longer than the pcb so they can blow across the entire card. You cant have it both ways. Short card overall or blower style cooler, choose one. Reply
  • praeses - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    If they ditched the second DVI port and replaced it with more venting to allow it to breathe better I would be more interested. If it's designed to live in a cramped area, it needs decent airflow without getting to noisy. I believe most people are interested in 2 or 3 displays anyways. Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Friday, March 08, 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 08, 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 08, 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 08, 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 08, 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 09, 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 09, 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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