We tested more than a dozen different GeForce GTX 1080 Ti models. Including video cards with the usual air and water cooling, both with a full contour of SVO, and with a water block that can be built into the existing SVO. But ZOTAC again was able to surprise by introducing a compact video card to the market.The length of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is only 211 mm. It will be interesting to see if it will be able to provide the same level of performance as other models.
Compact video cards are becoming more popular, which is well understood by manufacturers. On the market for a while you can find shortened versions of the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1070, and also the GeForce GTX 1080. Of course, it is not easy to design such video cards, since all the components have to fit on a PCB not 270 mm long, but 211 mm. The second problem is cooling, because the shortened length makes it necessary to make sacrifices on the cooler. And if you really make a video card compact, then first of all you will have to solve problems with the cooling system. It will be interesting to see if the ZOTAC with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini video card managed to achieve the desired result.
After the presentation of GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, NVIDIA partners announced models with their own design, and the battle for the fastest graphics card started. Many did not even publish the specifications before the video card was released to the market. The same ZOTAC until the last moment hid the specifications of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme Edition , which we just recently tested. However, all partners of NVIDIA in practice were very close to each other, they are shared by a few megahertz.
We have already reviewed the new features of Pascal architecture in the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition . There you can find information about Tiled Caching and GDDR5X memory.
Most recently, we published a summary review of nine video cards , which allowed us to increase the number of tested models to 15. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini was added to them:
Due to the compact size of ZOTAC, it was necessary to limit the clock frequencies.NVIDIA specifies the reference frequencies 1.480 / 1.582 MHz, ZOTAC exhibited a small level of factory overclocking – 1.506 / 1.620 MHz. As a result, the video card theoretically works faster than models with a reference design, even if they are much larger. Technical specifications are identical to any other GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
Before we move on to a detailed overview of the video card, let me consider the clock frequencies under load. The mechanism of Boost provides a certain dynamics, so it is important to evaluate the performance of the video card under different loads.
Screenshot GPU-Z confirms the basic specifications of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini.
ZOTAC indicates the minimum Boost 1.620 MHz. In practice, the graphics card showed Boost frequencies from 1.847 to 1.860 MHz. Of course, it does not belong to the fastest models, but the graphics card works no slower than many GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The GPU temperature of 74 ° C was well below the 80 ° C limit. The cooling system barely copes with its work, because when the temperature rises several degrees higher, throttling activates. In any case, the clock speeds of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini are limited by power consumption.
Below we will look at the video card in more detail.
Before we look at the video card in detail, let me give you the most important technical parameters of the video card and cooler.
Of course, at first glance, the dimensions are impressive. The video card has a length of 210 mm, and directly the printed circuit board is slightly shorter – 205 mm. The manufacturer indicates 211 mm. So the video card will be interesting, first of all, for compact cases. With a length of 211 mm, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini graphics card can be installed in almost any mini-ITX enclosure. ZOTAC has installed a cooling system with a width of two slots, so there is hardly a problem here either. Below we will give the photos of the video card.
At first glance, the size of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is difficult to determine.But if you look at the contacts of the PCI Express slot, the small length of the video card will become obvious. By themselves, the fans are not an indicator, because some GeForce GTX 1080 Ti are cooled by only two fans. As for the coloring, ZOTAC chose a combination of black and gray. There are no other color accents.
Two fans have a diameter of 90 or 100 mm. The front fan is slightly smaller. Both fans do not stop in idle mode. We got the temperature of the GPU in idle mode of 31 ° C. Under load GPU heats up no more than 74 ° C, so the cooler copes with its work. Is that somewhat disappointed that the fans continue to work and in the mode of inactivity.
There is nothing remarkable behind the video card. ZOTAC installed a metal plate that completely covers the PCB. It protects against mechanical damage and improves the strength of the video card. In addition, the plate ensures proper contact pressure of the cooler on the GPU crystal. The holes in the back plate provide the necessary air circulation.
Next to the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini, we photographed the Founders Edition model from NVIDIA, which allows us to visually compare the sizes. The Mini video card ends where the reference design begins with a radial fan.
Despite the compact size, ZOTAC did not save on the power subsystem. Additional power to the video card is fed through two 8-pin PCIe sockets. If you believe the ATX specification, together with the PCI Express slot, the graphics card can receive up to 375 watts of power. The power consumption bar is set at 250 watts, so there is a reserve for overclocking.
Two SLI connectors are found everywhere in modern NVIDIA graphics cards, they support up to four video cards in a multi-GPU system. However, due to limitations on the part of the driver, it hardly makes sense to install more than two video cards into the system. Therefore, most users will limit themselves to assemblies of 2-Way SLI. A greater number of video cards is relevant only for new records in the tests.
Behind the video card is clearly visible cooler, protruding beyond the PCB. Just the cooler is the reason that the length of the video card is 211 mm, although at the PCB it is 205 mm. But ZOTAC had to accommodate two large fans, which led to a length of 211 mm.
On the side of the video card heat pipes are clearly visible, which transport heat from the GPU to the radiator. Five heat pipes have a diameter of 6 mm. Heat is transferred by means of heat pipes to an aluminum radiator, after which it is ejected outwards.
On a slot stub, we get almost a standard set of video outputs. Namely three DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4, one by one HDMI 2.0b and two-channel DVI.
Of course, we wanted to look more closely at the PCB and cooler, so we removed the latter. That allowed to consider the very PCB. PCB design can be called classic, with a GPU in the center, memory chips are located on three sides, and at the back of the video card you can see the power subsystem.
Of course, ZOTAC had to pack components more tightly, which led to its compromises.They concern, for example, the GPU and memory chips. Unfortunately, only High Bandwidth Memory allows you to install memory chips on one substrate with a GPU, which leads to space saving. What we saw, for example, video card Radeon R9 Fury X. In the future, we are waiting for other similar models, the same Radeon RX Vega. And NVIDIA will sooner or later move to HBM and the mass market.
To power GPU and memory, ZOTAC has installed eight phases. Eight chokes are complemented by two MOSFETs each, which corresponds to the design of Dual FET. Other components are located to the right, and they are packed denser than we are used to seeing on video cards. Still, space constraints were in the first place, and the manufacturer had to resort to significant efforts to pack the components.
Some components are located in the free areas of the PCB, the space is occupied even between the memory chips. ZOTAC has installed several shunt resistors with low resistance, which help to conduct current measurements.
Over the GPU and memory chips, you can see additional components, including in the immediate vicinity of the SLI connectors. ZOTAC used the available 205 mm PCBs to the maximum to accommodate all the necessary components.
The back side of the video card is rather boring, nothing special we found. ZOTAC was able to transfer some small components to the back panel of the video card, although large parts could not fit here.
The GPU is contacted by a copper block through which five heat pipes pass. Eleven chips of GDDR5X memory are cooled by an aluminum frame, into which a copper base is embedded. Through the aluminum frame, memory chips give heat to the radiator. The components of the power subsystem also transfer heat to the radiator using heat-conducting gaskets.
Once again, let me take a look at the copper block in contact with the GPU. It takes most of the heat from the video card. But remember that other components can overheat. In particular, this applies to VRM, so manufacturers provide for them additional cooling.
Let’s pass to an estimation of noise level, power consumption and temperature.
As we already mentioned above, ZOTAC for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini video card has refused to turn off the fans in idle mode. Therefore, the graphics card works with a certain noise level, namely 37.1 dB (A). Such a noise level can not be called very quiet, the work of the video card will be noticeable. The question arises: could ZOTAC make the cooling of the video card semi-passive? Judging by our experience, such an opportunity exists, since the temperatures of the GPU are rather low.
Under load, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini was in the center of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti rating. Given the size of the video card, this result can be called good. In contrast to the high level of noise in the mode of inactivity, here the video card showed itself very well.
In idle mode, the temperature is very low 31 ° C, at the level with the coldest graphics cards. Of course, the reason is clear: ZOTAC does not stop two fans, unlike most models, in which we observe higher temperatures.
Under load, the temperature of the video card was 74 ° C. It turned out to be one of the hottest, but temperature trotting is not observed. So the video card copes with its work.Especially considering its size.
In the regime of inactivity, we do not observe anything special. The power consumption of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is neither low nor high.
With a power consumption of 412.3 watts, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini was one of the most economical. The reason lies in the fact that ZOTAC did not add a significant level of overclocking. But the frequency Boost is still pretty decent, so it will be interesting to look at the results of the video card in our tests.
When connecting two monitors, we do not see any special problems. Power consumption increases slightly.
The 3Dmark test from Futuremark is one of the most popular synthetic tests, it allows you to conveniently compare different systems or individual components. Individual modes (Preset) allow you to evaluate various aspects of the system – up to the resolution of UltraHD / 4K. The test was originally developed under DirectX 11, but today 3DMark also allows you to evaluate the optimization for DirectX 12, analyzing the number of Draw calls.
Luxmark 3.0 is a rendering test that relies on the OpenCL interface and a wide hardware base of video cards. Luxmark was developed as a test for determining the performance of LuxRender. LuxRender 2.x API is used to calculate the scene. The result is given in samples per second.
The GPUPI test calculates the number of pi via different interfaces. Programs such as SuperPi have long been used to evaluate the computing performance of hardware, it is possible to calculate through processors and video cards. As you can see from the GPUPI name, this test is based on the GPU calculation. We used the OpenCL API and calculated the number of pi to 500 million or 1 billion characters. GPUPI allows you to conveniently appreciate the 64-bit performance of hardware.
We tried to squeeze out additional megahertz from the video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini. We set the Power Limit power consumption bar at + 120%, after which we began to increase the frequency of the GPU. As a result, we got stable work at 1.964 MHz, which corresponds to overclocking by 5.5%. We also broke the memory of GDDR5X from 1.375 to 1.500 MHz.
In the tests we obtained the following results:
The video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini captivates, primarily compact size. The length of the video card is only 211 mm, which allows to fit it in almost any Mini-ITX case. Therefore, it will be very interesting to those users who are going to assemble a compact system. ZOTAC has made considerable efforts to develop a video card, and this applies to both PCB and cooling systems. The design of the PCB was very complicated, but ZOTAC still managed to create a very compact GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
As you can see from the performance tests, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini does not break new records. But compared to other GeForce GTX 1080 Ti performance is quite decent. Do not forget that we are talking about the fastest single GPU on the market, so performance will be appropriate. With a video card, you can run games in the UHD resolution, but do not sacrifice the quality of the picture.
Before the tests, the cooling system of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini was questionable, since the same compact cooler is installed on the compact graphics card.But the temperature of the GPU was low enough to avoid temperature trotting under load. The performance of the video card rested on the limiting power consumption of Power Limit. When evaluating the cooling system, the noise level should be taken into account, under load the video card worked quite quietly, but in the mode of inactivity the noise level was relatively high. Why ZOTAC refused to turn off the fans in idle mode is a mystery.
Of course, video cards with comparable performance are cheaper, but with them you will not get a length of 211 mm. If you need a fast graphics card in a compact design, then the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini should pay close attention.