Zotac readies a GTX 1080 Ti Mini and a slick external enclosure

In case you don't follow tech news the way members of the press do, Computex Taipei starts next week. We won't have hard details on most of the products until the actual show, but everyone's whetting our appetites with promotional preview packets. Zotac is bringing a whole cart of goodies, including a bunch of mini-PCs and a couple of new graphics cards. We'll check out the mini-PCs in a minute, but for now, feast your eyes on the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini.

Okay, so it's not quite as "mini" as the cards we normally see that appellation attached to. Still, the board is only 8.3" (or 21 cm) long, which according to Zotac makes it the "world's smallest" GTX 1080 Ti. The card takes a pair of 8-pin power connectors, although we're not certain of the overclocking potential of a GTX 1080 Ti with a compact heatsink like this.

If even the that air cooler above is too big for you, Zotac will also be selling a miniature GTX 1080 Ti with a waterblock pre-installed. The Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti ArticStorm Mini appears to use the same board design as the previous card. Zotac doesn't say if it partnered with anyone for the waterblock or if it's an in-house design, but it looks pretty slick.

Laptop users don't have to feel left out, because Zotac is launching its own external graphics card enclosure. The Zotac VGA Box hooks up using Thunderbolt 3, and it will support graphics cards up to 9" in length (or 23 cm). It also provides four USB 3.0 ports and a special quick-charge USB connector. Zotac didn't offer many details, so we're eager to see if this is finally the reasonably-priced external graphics card enclosure that we've been looking for.

While we're on the subject of external hardware, Zotac is also going to be releasing an external SSD. Details on this device are extremely light, but it seems that it will include one of Zotac's 480 GB Sonix NVMe SSDs and that it will connect to PCs using Thunderbolt 3. It also appears to function as a USB 3.0 hub, like the VGA Box above.

Computex is just a few days away, so stay tuned for more info on these products as well as the mini-PCs we'll be talking about shortly.

Comments closed
    • EndlessWaves
    • 3 years ago

    Zotac’s GTX 1080 Mini ended up being taller than it’s render, so anyone considering this should wait until real images emerge instead of going by the above render.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Zotac didn't offer many details, so we're eager to see if this is finally the reasonably-priced external graphics card enclosure that we've been looking for.[/quote<] Unlikely. And what's reasonably-priced, anyhow? $149? $199? I can't see these things going for anything less.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]Unlikely. And what's reasonably-priced, anyhow? $149? $199? I can't see these things going for anything less.[/quote<] Seeing as ATX cases are around for $50 or less, and you can get barebones NUCs/SFFs for the $129-$199 mark, I'd consider a $129-149 enclosure with a SFX PSU in it to be reasonable, or $100 sans PSU.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        After Thunderbolt goes royalty-free, maybe. Until then, there will always be a premium.

    • cynan
    • 3 years ago

    If the power delivery circuitry isn’t compromised on the smaller PCB, then a compact water cooled monster like this is pretty enticing. I suppose you’d have to be giving up something or else why would Zotac market both a [url=https://techreport.com/news/31895/zotac-keeps-it-cool-with-the-arcticstorm-geforce-gtx-1080-ti<]full-length[/url<] and compact Arcticstorm sku (when they're not likely to sell a whole bunch of these custom loop-ready cards to begin with). One downside might be extremely limited HSF (if any) options if you ever had to switch to air cooling down the line. [i<]Edit:[/i<] link in wrong place

    • ImSpartacus
    • 3 years ago

    Between this and the MSI announcement, I wonder if there’s a new low power GP104 variant that permits this kind of thing, similar to the revised GM206 that allowed the 75W 950.

    In that case, we had a bunch of vendors all announcing 75W 950 cards at the same time. I wonder if we’ll see more short 1080s as the process matures.

    EDIT Nope, this is a 1080 Ti. Shit just got real. I look forward to learning more about the crazy noise levels.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      That’s a GP102, boss. 1080 Ti.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 3 years ago

        Damn, you’re right about that.

        I thought that was a 1080.

        I don’t want to know how that poor cooler handles 250W of heat.

          • slowriot
          • 3 years ago

          I’d bet it doesn’t hold boost clock rates as well as the full size models.

      • cynan
      • 3 years ago

      Well it does still take 2x 8-pin PCIe power, whereas the Founder 1080Tis were 8 + 6-pin. Maybe that means the there’s a new high power GP102 variant!

      • Kurotetsu
      • 3 years ago

      [quote=”ImSpartacus”<]EDIT Nope, this is a 1080 Ti. **** just got real. I look forward to learning more about the crazy noise levels.[/quote<] [url<]http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/zotac_geforce_gtx_1080_mini_review,10.html[/url<] The noise levels for their GTX1080 mini look pretty good going by that review (though the coil whine is concerning). I imagine it'll be similar for the GTX1080Ti mini, presuming you don't overclock it at all.

    • tsk
    • 3 years ago

    That GPU enclosure is still way too big, you can build a mini ITX system in there.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      It’s not going to get much smaller. This thing doesn’t even take full length cards being limited at 9″. They’re going to be just a bit smaller than a mITX system.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 3 years ago

        That’s one of the fundamental issues of these kinds of enclosures.

        You allow a little more space and you can get an entire system – including a CPU that won’t get bottlenecked.

        I’m just not seeing the value proposition.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 3 years ago

          The value proposition — if they weren’t $250 or more — is that you could leave your external GPU at home and bring your ultrabook (with nice fast CPU and oodles of RAM) along to work, school, or whatever. Then come home and plug in your external GPU, which is connected to big fancy monitors, and enjoy desktop-class gaming without having to worry about stuff overheating or the reliability problems that discrete GPUs in notebooks cause.

          Of course, since the cheapest enclosure is like $250, the value proposition is, well, terrible.

            • Fieryphoenix
            • 3 years ago

            Another scenario could go like this. You have your main PC, one in a roomscale VR location, and say, one at a treadmill in an exercise room, and a notebook you take to LAN parties. Boom, one GPU feeds them all.

            • EndlessWaves
            • 3 years ago

            To paraphrase Colin Chapman: An external GPU box makes you go faster on the desktop, lowering GPU requirements makes you go faster everywhere.

            I’d much rather have games that run at Crysis quality on a 15W GPU that I could have inside a laptop and use everywhere than current graphics quality requiring a 150W external GPU tied to a desktop.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            I too would like to ride a magical unicorn.

          • slowriot
          • 3 years ago

          I see your point but I also think “I’m just trying to add some GPU power to my laptop when its docked. I don’t want another system and I don’t care if the enclosure would fit one.” The market here wants to, generally, avoid having another system and would be willing to pay a premium for that.

          So price is much much more important than size of enclosure.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, but it’s gorgeous–I’d love a case designed like that.

        • Redocbew
        • 3 years ago

        Buy one, gut it, and build your PC inside the empty shell. It’s probably big enough for that.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      I only came here to say exactly this. It’s bigger than many complete mITX PCs I’ve built, a couple of which have included 10″ graphics cards.

      • kmm
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t think the size is particularly a focus or that important here, though I’ll say that less wasted space is always a plus.

      If a laptop user wants higher graphics performance at the desk but doesn’t want to buy and manage a separate computer system, this is the way to go. You could build an ITX system in that space, sure, but that’s not an option that many of the people would want anyway. Though FWIW that box isn’t even that large and a lot of the ITX cases, particularly the ones that are cheaper, are either larger or too small to fit such a graphics card.

      • NTMBK
      • 3 years ago

      Yup. These “put a discrete card in a separate box” external GPUs are just dumb. I think we need to see the GPU soldered into the device, with fully integrated power circuitry, in something no bigger than a regular GPU. If it can power your laptop over Thunderbolt, even better (I know some laptops can be powered over USB-C, so I’m assuming TB3 supports it). Sure, you can’t replace the GPU integrated into it, but you get something with a much lower overall cost, and a much smaller form factor.

        • tsk
        • 3 years ago

        If such a device ever comes out, I’ll retire my desktop.

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