Asus caters to Mini-ITX builders with stubby GTX 670

These days, it's not hard to find motherboards and enclosures well-suited for Mini-ITX gaming PCs. Unfortunately, graphics cards are another matter. Most GeForces and Radeons are just too darn long to fit inside small-form-factor cases.

But not all of them. Asus has announced a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids version of the GeForce GTX 670, the GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini, which measures only 6.7" in length—down from 9.5" for the reference model. Despite its small size, the DirectCU Mini packs a full contingent of shader ALUs and memory chips, and it actually has higher clock speeds than the full-length model: 928MHz core and 1066MHz boost, up from 915MHz and 980MHz, respectively. (The two gigs of GDDR5 memory still operate at the Nvidia-prescribed speed of 6008MT/s.)

Even more impressive, Asus claims the GTX 670 DirectCU Mini runs 7.5°C cooler than the reference version. That's partly thanks to Asus' customized power delivery circuitry, and partly thanks to the card's CoolTech fan, which is a strange mash-up of blower and axial designs elements. Asus says the CoolTech "produces wide-angle, powerful airflow that keeps vital card components cool while venting heated air through the back and top of the card." The fan is supposed to be quieter than the reference blower, as well.

As you can tell from the picture above, the card is only as long as a Mini-ITX mobo, though it does have a dual-slot cooler that protrudes past the outer edge of the mobo. I'm not sure why Asus bothered with the SLI golden finger connector—Mini-ITX boards don't have room for multiple PCIe x16 slots—but at least you also get a full set of display outputs: dual-link DVI, single-link DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI.

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