Hey, remember the Mini-ITX GTX 970 that Gigabyte announced in October? Well, it seems that it wasn't the only company designing a smaller version of the GTX 970, because Asus has just joined the club with its GTX 970 DirectCU Mini. Silently, the company has published the product page for this unit.
Naturally, being a wee bit late, the company seemingly felt the need to build a more powerful card. Thanks to the 145 W TDP of a reference GT 970, and the decent DirectCU Mini cooler, Asus has clocked its card at 1088 MHz, with a Boost clock of 1228 MHz.
Note that the reference GTX 970 cards run at 1050 MHz and Boost at 1178 MHz. The 4 GB of memory on the card remains at reference frequencies, running at 7.0 GHz over a 256-bit memory interface. Overall, it's not much of an overclock, but it is enough to show that Asus has faith in this hamburger-sized graphics card.
The cooler design isn't much different from what we saw on the GTX 760 DirectCU Mini or the GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, except that it now comes with a backplate. We're not sure if there is anything on the rear of the card that actually needs this for cooling, but it certainly looks neat. Being a Mini-ITX card, it is only 17 cm long.
Do note that it is slightly wider than most graphics cards, measuring 12.19 cm. It's as thick as a standard dual-slot graphics card, and while some may complain that a backplate can cause suffocation issues with multi-GPU configurations, we'd like to address that complaint by saying, who's going to get two graphics cards into a Mini-ITX system that only has one PCI-Express x16 slot?
For display outputs, Asus has packed the card with a single DisplayPort 1.2 interface, HDMI 2.0, and DVI-I and DVI-D ports.
We asked Asus for information on pricing and availability, and we were told that information should be available this week.