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Will "Mini-OC" Graphics Cards Become More Common?

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,428
912
126
My Skylake rig is in the sig. It needs some updates, such as the memory expansion to 32GB.

I chose to use an old CoolerMaster Stacker 830 case without any noticeable sheet-metal mods. I use DIY ducting of my own design with carefully cut Lexan plates and foam art-board. So I wanted to take advantage of a CM barrel fan I had in the parts locker, made to fit the Stacker 830. It performs as exhaust, pulling air across the motherboard under the Lexan and forcing it out the right side panel.

In order to do this, I had to limit my choice of graphics cards. The standard card is perhaps 10.5" long, thus interfering with my placement of the barrel fan. I usually pick second-tier graphics -- this time GTX 1070 -- and I now abjure any thought of SLI configurations. and I prefer NVidia.

So I settled on the GTX 1070 "OC Mini" short card, which worked out just fine. The overclock potential isn't stellar, but it is good enough. Funny, it seems the customer-reviews at Egg are now more lackluster than what I'd seen in late 2016, but I don't have any of the problems in the complaints.

Few card-makers offer anything like the OC Mini -- only ZOTAC has a model.

Will the number of these short cards trend among more card-makers? Or is this just some specialty market-niche designed for ITX computer builds in small cases -- a small blip in a market of dual fan, reference and long cards generally?
 
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alcoholbob

Diamond Member
May 24, 2005
6,138
257
126
These cards are all limited by the cooler, and they are just charging you for faster factory clocks versus you manually inputting a core offset in MSI Afterburner.
 

Guru

Senior member
May 5, 2017
789
291
106
There is zero benefit in factory "OC" cards. There used to be 3-4 years ago, when cards were trickier to overclock and the tools were more lackluster, but these days its just a marketing way to squeeze more money for literally nothing.

In terms of smaller cards, there are always versions, quite a few companies do these, each generation is different, it really depends on what the market is and if companies think they will capture a good enough number with those.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,264
957
126
I think "low profile" GPUs will get more popular and stuff like the "short card" will become rarer and harder to find.
That said, low profile cards these days are still too limited for anything other than the extreme low end (maybe 5ish years in the future that will change?)
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,631
587
136
Gigabyte also makes a 1080 in that size factor.

But they are louder than blowers and many reviewers say they have coil wine. I'm glad they exist as an option for specific case needs but otherwise they seem impractical in anything above 125W.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,639
468
126
But they are louder than blowers and many reviewers say they have coil wine.
Not true to the bolded part, open air coolers in general are quieter. Also many turn the fan off at idle/low loads which is something blowers can't do.

I have the same card as the OP and it's a wonderful little product. So much performance in such a small package.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,428
912
126
Not true to the bolded part, open air coolers in general are quieter. Also many turn the fan off at idle/low loads which is something blowers can't do.

I have the same card as the OP and it's a wonderful little product. So much performance in such a small package.
Just happened to remember I started this thread, and wanted to see the comments. Yes -- that's my opinion so far.

I can imagine how this card might perform with even a CLC/AiO cooler. With the single stock fan, with Room Ambient 77F or 25C, my temperatures gaming can be 66C to 68C, and stressing with Heaven, Valley or 3DMark will push it to 70. I think I can even improve on that with a couple rectangles of Lexan to mod my motherboard duct plate, but I haven't yet done it.

As for the overclock, the games and benchmarks show the core clock at between 2025 and 2038 Mhz, using the "curve" feature of Afterburner. At some point, I had some instability troubles which I THOUGHT were due to a memory-clock above 8800 (Afterburner showing 4400) Mhz. But I'm slowly edging it back upward +4 at a time on the slider. I think I came across a review today showing 9000 as possible.

If I want a large card of any make or model, I'd have to remove the barrel fan -- rendering the duct-plate by itself as useless. Or I could apply a more complex design with exhaust fans that would complicate interior space and use more than one PWM port -- although I still have plenty on this Sabertooth Z170 board.

I originally had chosen against using two of these cards in SLI, and the card was operating at the full x16 PCIE lanes. But I needed another slot offering up at least x4 for a second NVME drive, leaving the graphics to run at x8 lanes. Didn't seem to make any difference, and various sources conclude a 1% loss in performance.

But what's going to be "out there" in the future? There IS another Mini GTX 1070 card available from Zotac, and I think it has two fans. It is just short enough that it would clear the barrel fan.

So -- surely I heard about the Mini GTX 1080, but I'm more interested in the GTX 11xx cards I think just announced by VirtualLarry in another thread.

PS ON NOISE. The system deploys 9 fans: 5x 140mm, 1x 120mm, 1x 40mm, the barrel fan and the GTX 1070 fan. All but the latter are mounted with rubber isolation -- no solid fan part in contact with case metal. While the 1070 fan RPM will drop to 0 by default, I keep it running at a minimum of 40% under the same idle condition. I really don't hear anything that I can attribute to that fan. When the fans ramp up, there is an increase in overall white noise, but that is still as good as nothing.
 
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killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,247
232
106
Small OC cards sound good to me. Many people are into ITX and whats wrong with squeezing a little more performance out of a card that is thermally designed to Overclock with out having to do it your self? yea back in the day i was excited to overclock and get the next step up of performance out of a cheaper card. Hell the reason i bought my last gfx card was because it was teh zotec super oc ti model heh might as well get cards designed to overclock then to play overclock lotto and try your self flashing bios's etc.
 

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