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Oct 22, 2014

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX, Short and Stout Graphics Card




The GeForce GTX 970 graphics card from NVIDIA may be the weaker out of the new pair that the company released, based on the Maxwell micro-architecture. But it's still a high-end board, so NVIDIA didn't bother making it smaller than the normal form factor.

That didn't stop Gigabyte from doing it instead though, and you can be sure that at least one more OEM will develop a small form factor GTX 970 at some point in the future. That's neither here nor there though. What we're going to focus on right now is the new GeForce GTX 970 ITX card, bearing the part number N970UTX-OC. And yes, the OC in the technical name indicates an elevated GPU frequency compared to the norm, or rather frequencies, since there are two of them.

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX

Normally, the GeForce GTX 970 has a base GPU frequency of 1,051 MHz and a GPU Boost clock of 1,178 MHz. Since the chip is fairly competent (to say the least) thanks to its 1,664 CUDA cores, 104 TMUs and 64 ROPs, that alone is more than fine. Still, Gigabyte wanted more performance from its new model, even though the smaller size of the PBC and related hardware would have allowed it to get away with something slower than the standard. Not that it happens much, this nerfing, but it's still a thought. Anyway, the new Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX normally runs the GPU at 1,076 MHz but can jump to 1,216 MHz in a pinch. Pretty close to the GTX 980 1,126 MHz base / 1,216 MHz GPU Boost settings if you think about it. The 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM are left at 7 GHz.

Design-wise, the GeForce GTX 970 ITX possesses a full-height, half-length PCB with a length of 170 mm / 6.29 inches and a thick, dense WindForce cooler equipped with a single fan (100 mm diameter). A pair of 8 mm copper heatpipes lead the heat from the GPU to the heatsink, aided by a third, smaller heatpipe of 5 mm thickness.

Availability and pricing

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX graphics card should be up for order at $329.99 / €329.99, which is the price of the reference, standard performance / size one. A pleasant surprise, we'll admit, since the compactness and extra speed could both easily justify a premium price, even warrant it under normal circumstances.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX installed on mini-ITX motherboard

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 ITX cooler
Image credits to Tom's Hardware

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