TLDR: If you need a super compact graphics card, and the full power of a GTX 1080. This is the card for you. It will fit where no other 1080 can and gives you the same performance of full sized cards.
SIZE & WEIGHT100
WHERE TO BUY
Gigabyte GTX 1080 MiniFrom $539.99
It seems like compact mini-itx cases are becoming more and more popular every year. Just because a case is small, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be able to hold powerful components. Gigabyte has come to market with what is now the worlds smallest GTX 1080 for small form factor enthusiast.
Until last year, top end cards like GTX 1080’s weren’t made in the ITX form factor. Zotac was first to market with their 1080 and 1080Ti minis. They are good cards, but at around 9″ they won’t fit in every case. The Gigabyte model is truly compact at only 169mm long, making it suitable for even the smallest cases.
Gigabyte 1080 Mini Specifications
|CORE CLOCK||Base: 1607 MHz|
Boost: 1733 MHz
|Memory Clock||10010 MHz|
|POWER INPUT||1 x 8-PIN|
|DIMENSIONS||37 x 169 x 131 mm|
|COOLING||1 x 90mm |
Aluminum Heat Sink
3 x Copper Heat Pipes
Build Quality & Design
The card features a matte plastic shell with orange accents. It’s the same exact plastic shell Gigabyte uses for their 1070 and 1060 mini. The card has a solid feel, but it was noticeably lighter than my MSI Aero GTX 1070 ITX.
The 1080 mini does not come with a full back plate or any standout features. However there does appear to be a partial back plate or heat sink on the back fourth of the card.
For connectors you will find 3 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI, and 1 DVI-D port. I really wish manufacturers would get rid of the DVI ports on modern graphics cards, hopefully this will happen on next generation cards.
The 180W card uses one 9-pin connector to pull in power. There is no ventilation on top, all air is expelled from the front and back.
The card has an aluminum block, with three direct contact copper heat pipes. A seemingly small single 90mm fan is responsible for cooling down the whole thing. Temperatures were surprisingly good for a graphics card this powerful and small.
I was thoroughly impressed with the cooling performance, under typical gaming load the card averaged around 74C in my open air test system. As long as you have a case with decent airflow you should be able to achieve similar temps.
Fan Noise Levels
The temperatures were rock solid, and the fan noise was as well. Don’t let the 100% load sound level fool you. In real world use, the fan speed never exceeded 75-80%. I had to manually turn the fan to 100% to take that reading.
For audio samples check out the video above*
You can overclock the card with Gigabytes Aurous software. It comes with 3 default modes, Silent, Gaming, and OC. I would skip these settings and hit the professional tab. That is where you can tune the core clock, RAM clock, power limit, and fan curve.
My test system specs are as follows.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8700|
|RAM||32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000MHz|
|HDD||Samsung 960 EVO 256GB|
|MOBO||Asus ROG Strix Z370-I|
The card has a 105% power limit, so you are somewhat limited in how far you can push the overclock. I was able to hit 1939MHz on the core, and 1100MHz on the RAM. This is not a card that you buy if you want to do heavy overclocking.
The synthetic benchmarks fall in line with what you would expect from a 1080 with a slight overclock. The Gigabyte 1080 Mini posted strong Timespy and Firestrike scores.
|AVG FPS||MAX FPS||1% LOW|
|Batman: Arkham Knight||119||163||79|
|Shadow of Mordor||120||188||93|
|Metro: Last Light||118||214||83|
|The Witcher 3||82||90||61|
All tests were performed at 1440p with max settings. Gaming performance was very good. You get all the performance of a full GTX 1080, without any throttling, stuttering, or performance issues.
If you are looking for an ultra compact GTX 1080, this is currently your only option. Luckily its a good option. The card was solid all around, offering good performance without being overly loud.
I wish there was a back plate, and idle fan mode but I accept those trade offs given the form factor and price. Cases with poor airflow may want to look for a card with a beefier cooler.
Overall this is a great little 1080. If you can find one at or near the $539.99 MSRP, buy it.