SIZE & WEIGHT
If you are looking for a compact GPU that can handle gaming and VR duties, look no further than Gigabyte's RTX 2070 Mini. This is currently hands down the best compact card on the market.
Gigabyte RTX 2070 MiniFrom $499.99
Mini-ITX builders always have to wait a little while for compact GPUs to be released. With Nvidia’s new line of RTX cards we didn’t have to wait as long as we have in the past. Recently, Gigabyte released their RTX 2070 Mini-ITX GPU.
Last year I reviewed their GTX 1080 mini which was a quality compact GPU. The new 2070 looks to improve upon last years models with better cooling, and enhanced performance.
Gigabyte RTX 2070 Mini Specifications
|CORE CLOCK||1620 MHz|
|Memory Clock||14000 MHz|
|POWER INPUT||1 x 8-PIN|
|DIMENSIONS||121.45 x 169.99 x 42.1 mm|
|COOLING||1 x 90mm Fan |
Aluminum Heat Sink
4 x Copper Heat Pipes
The card comes in at just under 170mm long, making it an ideal fit for ultra compact cases like the Lazer3D LZ7 or S4 Mini Classic. MSI also has a 2070 model on the way, but I have yet to see it for sale here in the US. There is also a Zotac 2070 mini but it’s 205mm long, making it incompatible with some smaller cases.
Ports & Connectors
You have a healthy selection of video out ports at your disposal, including a USB-C port designed to send power and video to VR headsets.
Build Quality & Design
Gigabyte did a great just updating the design for the new 2070. Gone is the black and orange rounded outer shell from prior years. The new design is a much more simple matte black and grey square which should allow the card to match a larger variety of cases.
One of my issues with last years 1080 mini was the lack of a backplate. Thankfully Gigabyte added one to this years model, and a nice one at that. The included backplate both looks good and seems to actually pull heat off of the card. It has smooth angled edges which make the card look really nice.
There are 4 copper heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU. The cards cooling block and fins are aluminum. A single 90mm fan is responsible for cooling everything down. For power you will find a single 8-pin connector in the usual location.
The rear of the card is wide open. Most of the air will exhausts from the back, with some heading out of the front as well. You can see that the heat pipes run almost from edge to edge on this years mini model.
Overclocking these compact cards is typically more difficult than full sized cards. I was able to push the core clock up to 1950MHz. Anything over that and things quickly became unstable. Do not pick one of these GPUs up if you are looking for a maximum overclock, it is just not designed to do that.
Test System Specs
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8700K|
Overclocked to 4.7GHz
|RAM||32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000MHz|
|HDD||Samsung 970 EVO 500GB|
|MOBO||Asus ROG Strix Z370-I|
The 2070’s fan has an idle mode which allows it to shut off completely. The default fan profile does not activate the fan until it hits 55C. This results in a completely silent card when doing day to day non gaming tasks.
|100% LOAD (Furmark)||48db|
|100% (Manually Adjusted)||59db|
In practical use the fan never went above around 70% or 48db. I found that fan noise wasn’t noticeable with speakers playing at reasonable levels. Overall I was impressed with the acoustic performance.
I used Gigabyte’s Aurous software and manually cranked up the fan to 100% just to see how loud the card was capable of getting. At 100% the fan does get rather loud. Luckily you will never get anywhere near that point.
Temperatures on this card were excellent. At idle with the fan off it sat around 43C. I tested the card on a wide variety of games, and it never went over 65C. This is incredible cooling performance for a compact card. Even under an artificial 100% load from Furmark the GPU topped out at 66C. It’s safe to say that this card should work well in tight cases with limited airflow.
|100% LOAD (Furmark)||66C|
The 2070 mini exhausts most of its air from the front and back, particularly the back. This GPU will work best in cases that allow proper airflow to the rear of the card.
Power draw is a big concern when building mini-itx systems. Below you will find the full system power draw from the wall for all components.
|100% SYSTEM LOAD||335w|
You shouldn’t have any problem powering this card from most power supplies. For pure gaming you may even be able to get away with some DC-DC options like the HDPlex 400W.
|AVG FPS||MAX FPS||1% LOW|
|Batman: Arkham Knight||133.9||158||93|
|Shadow of Mordor||80.3||95||42|
|Metro: Last Light||128.3||186||87|
|The Witcher 3||80.4||107||59|
Prior to doing this review, my favorite ITX GPU ever was the MSI Aero-ITX 1070. The Gigabyte 2070 mini has now taken its place. This is an amazing compact card. It offers the full performance of a 2070 in a compact and quiet package. At $499 it represents an amazing value. If you need compact power for your system, this is your best option.