Building your own desktop computer – whether for work or play – is a task in which you often have to make sacrifices. Budget constraints aside, you’ll need to decide on things like how much noise you’re willing to put up with, what the primary purpose of the system will be and how much available real estate you have to work with.
Coincidentally, all three of those can also play a role in determining how fast of a system you can build – especially for gamers. The latter category is perhaps the most important as high-end graphics cards and small-form-factors typically don’t mix.
Enter the Asus GeForce GTX 970 DC Mini, a miniature version of its full-size sibling that – at just 6.7 inches long – is a perfect match for Mini-ITX motherboards.
The shorty is also overclocked from the factory, boasting a base frequency of 1,088MHz and a boost clock of 1,228MHz. For comparison, the Nvidia reference design checks in at 1,050MHz / 1,178MHz, respectively. The 4GB GDDR5 memory, however, mirrors the reference design.
Asus is using its DirectCU Mini heatsink configuration along with its proprietary CoolTech fan, a combination that the company claims can deliver up to 20 percent cooler temperatures and is “vastly” quieter than Nvidia’s reference solution.
Measuring in at 4.8 inches tall, the DC Mini is a little bit taller than your typical full-height card. Do note that you’ll also need a single 8-pin cable for supplemental power and at least one free expansion slot as it’s a dual-slot card.
Rear I/O ports include a single DVI-D connector, one DVI-I output, an HDMI 2.0 output and a full-size DisplayPort connector (the card does support HDCP).
Pricing and availability hasn’t yet been revealed although a similar card from Gigabyte currently commands around $340. As such, I would expect to see Asus price the DC Mini right around that mark.