Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

Despite the elapsed time since the announcement of the GeForce GTX 970, the market continues to be filled with non-reference models. Manufacturers are trying to lure users with original cooling systems or reduced versions of graphics accelerators.

Yes, both hero of the review were not without comments, but it is an interesting model. So, before you version of Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 with the prefix «Mini» and heir proprietary cooling system Inno3D HerculeZ 2000 – GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2.

Review of Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini

Full name: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini 4GB, manufacturer’s code: GV-N970IXOC-4GD.

Packaging and delivery

Lineup Gigabyte Video replenished every year (or almost everyone) with new graphics solutions, but their package design has not changed for a long time.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini comes in a small box, printing is reduced to black color with the image of a cybernetic eye. Located on the right side of the logo technology Flex Display, which allows you to connect up to four monitors simultaneously. And found a place for an inscription «OC Version», and a short list of supported technologies.

On the reverse side, on the contrary, space is no more: all literally covered with writing information.

Make notes compactness of its decision and the application of the cooling system, which allows you to install a video card on the motherboard mini-ITX with a width of 17 cm.

Disclosed wiring diagram monitors Flex Display (with visual aids, which connectors can be used) and a brief list of the main characteristics of a variety of languages.

Small yellow letters written system requirements from a single point – a power unit with a capacity of at least 400 watts.

Inside the package is hidden black box made of thick cardboard with logo Gigabyte.

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

In it, covered in anti-static bag placed graphics accelerator, laid between sheets of heavy paper.

Supplied poor. It includes:

  • User Manual;
  • CD with drivers and software;
  • Power adapter type 2hMolex -> 8-pin.

Appearance and size

Apparently, the developers Gigabyte also decided to participate in the development of graphics accelerators segment, designed for installation in a PC-based mini-ITX.

By the way, now has more members, and in the future we will see more interesting models. Thus, during the writing of this material revealed that a company making producers “for HTPC» joins Zotac.

Video card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini, as well as her younger sister, was a compact size. The length of the new items is 170 mm, the width does not exceed 109 mm in the case overrides the two expansion slots.

Located in the center of only one fan size of 90 mm, which was seen radiator with longitudinal ribs and three heat pipes.

On the reverse side of the PCB engineers placed the four memory chips (out of eight) made by Samsung and PWM controller.

To display an image on the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini provides the following set of interfaces:

  • One DVI-I;
  • One DVI-D;
  • One HDMI;
  • Three DisplayPort.

This choice of ports is the most versatile because it allows to connect most modern monitors or TVs without using adapters. Note that it migrated from the older model Gigabyte GV-N980G1 Gaming-4GD.

The following resolutions:

  • Digital – up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Analog – up to 2048 x 1536.

The compact size does not mean the child appetite. The power consumption of the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 is 145 watts, the model made by Gigabyte close to her left. However, the developers, this parameter can not comment.

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

To save space on the PCB usual two six-pin connectors were replaced by one The eight. For the corresponding connection supplied adapter is present for the PSU.

Side is clearly visible design of the cooling system at the base with the use of ties of the two bolts and nuts.

On the other hand, we note three curved heat pipes that do not protrude beyond the edge of the PCB. Because of this compactness is stored.

To implement the proprietary Nvidia SLI graphics card has two slots for connecting via bridges into a single tandem for processing graphical effects.

Of course, the advanced user there is nothing superfluous, but I have a question: will the connectors so relevant? Indeed, in a close system of two video cards will be difficult to turn around, and such undertaking little demand in the HTPC.

Cooling system

Model Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini is equipped with an interesting and compact cooling system. To dismantle it, unscrew the four twisted cog in the graphics processor and two regular – about the power subsystem, closer to the rear panel video output.

Engineers use three heat pipes, two of which are 8 mm and 6 mm in the central one. They completely cover the graphics processor.

The base was expanded to through thermal contact with four memory chips.

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

Plastic casing with nothing outstanding can not stand: no pattern, no sticker.

He fastened directly to the radiator with a small screw.

Of obvious reasons the novelty is equipped with only one fan size of 90 mm. He is represented by Power Logic and applies to models range PLA09215S12H, which are equipped with all video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 900 series.

Its characteristics are 12 and 0.55 A, it was built on a plain bearing (Sleeve Bearing), which promises low noise level during operation. However, their traditional drawback – comparatively short life in comparison with other types of bearings.

 

Under all the hinged elements hidden heart of any graphics card cooling system – radiator.

He recruited from 47 aluminum plates pierced by three heatpipes U-shaped.

Its height and length can be estimated from the pictures provided below.

During the cooling power subsystem meets the base, which is an extension of the plates of the radiator. Contact elements occurs through a light gray thermal pads.

In general, the cooling system is simple and novelties made by the classical canons: no evaporation chamber or other modern innovations, we are met.

PCB

Some moments worth noting shortened the original PCB graphics card. Its dimensions are comparable with motherboards mini-ITX, so use a tight installation external components, especially the back part.

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

Element base corresponds to the concept of Ultra Durable VGA, she recruited exclusively from quality components: Japanese solid capacitors, ferrite core and field-effect transistors.

The power subsystem is made according to the “4 + 1”, where four phases assigned to the graphics processor and one – in the video memory. It is a pity that it is truncated and does not meet the full model, which put the “6 + 2”.

By the way, the power subsystem is implemented on a digital PWM controller NCP5392P manufactured by ON Semiconductor.

The heart of this model is the graphics processor GM204-200-A1, released in early September 2014.

This motherboard contains eight memory chips production Samsung, marking K4G41325FC-HC28. Data exchange bus – 256 bit volume – 4096 MB.

Review Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

Full name: Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 OC 4GB HerculeZ X2, manufacturer’s code: N97V-1SDN-M5DSX.

Packaging and delivery

Unlike his opponent, video card Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2 comes in a box, the front of which repeatedly undergoes graphic changes. Only the company logo and stickers with 3DMark allow it to identify on the shelves.

The opposite side is reserved for a list of new features and technologies in various languages.

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

The classic scenario given the central part images of modern video games and descriptions achieved heights in terms of productivity, quality graphics and gameplay. Of course, when using the GeForce GTX 970.

There was a place and a list of system requirements, where the main place to put the power supply capacity of at least 500 watts with the support of two six-pin connectors.

Hiding inside the usual cardboard box with no markings and symbols of protection of the environment than previously observed products Inno3D.

Under the hood lurks card placed in antistatic bag and a sheet of paper, fixed between two foam inserts.

What is curious, supplied just “lying” on the bottom of the box, rolling from place to place. When transporting the feeling that by the graphics accelerator something broken off and now here thus makes itself felt.

By the way, can be found here:

  • User Manual;
  • CD with drivers and software;
  • Power adapter type 2hMolex -> 6-pin;
  • Video output adapter DVI -> VGA;
  • Key to activate the 3DMark Futuremark;
  • Special hex wrench.

And a quick guide to power supplies with the recommended capacity for each model of video card are in service from the manufacturer.

Appearance and size

Graphics accelerator Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2 looks pretty familiar. Indeed, many recognize him the model of previous years – Inno3D GTX 760 HerculeZ 2000s 2Gb, who visited the lab earlier.

Changes there, even though there are not many. Graphics card, Inno3D, in particular the pre-cooling system HerculeZ, stand out against the rest of decorative inserts with hex screws and metal linings.

The entire front portion close enough big fan size of 90 mm, for which looked through the radiator with a transverse plates.

Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2

The reverse side reveals all the nuances of new items – use a shortened printed circuit board with a serving plate cooling system in the form of “legs” of different lengths.

It is worth noting that the range of the company, a model with a more compact CO, which allows it to compete with the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini segment HTPC.

To display an image on the video card provides the following set of interfaces:

  • One DVI-I;
  • One DVI-D;
  • One HDMI;
  • One DisplayPort.

The following resolutions:

  • Digital – up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Analog – up to 2048 x 1536.

Extra power is realized by means of two six-pin connector on the edge of the PCB. TDP value manufacturer equated to 145 watts, which is comparable with the standard version. By cons include the location of the latches close to the casing with, making it difficult to disconnect the wires.

As for the plates involved in removing heat from the memory chips and extend beyond the edge of the PCB, the developers deliberately did: while passing the tests it was noticed high heat.

On the spot and two connectors Nvidia SLI, which allow you to combine up to three graphics cards in a single tandem.

Cooling system

Most of the cooling system when removing cards do not carry a risk of damaging attachments or close contacts, as it can happen at Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2.

See for yourself: near the top right cog in dangerous proximity is a small capacitor that is easy to knock down with a screwdriver or the end of spring when reversing, at the upper left is a capacitor contacts is empty, which can be closed by a spring, hitting it and plug adapter. So be careful and cautious.

After the surgery done, you can get acquainted with the cooling system.

As in the model Inno3D GTX 760 HerculeZ 2000s 2Gb, here used two-piece radiator.

At its base is placed copper plated insert, welded with two six-millimeter heatpipes.

To remove the casing use a special key from the bundle, which unscrew the six screws on the perimeter of the structure.

As it turned out, decorative metal inserts need more for beauty than for the effectiveness of the SB.

Without them, the cooling system looks very “bare” and not comme il faut.

Fans are mounted to two sled disposed along the radiator with four latches each. By the way, they are cast from a very brittle plastic that badly bent. Occurs even break off their fear.

After a few nervous minutes, the operation was performed, and that’s what stands before us.

Fans are interconnected by a single wire to a 4-pin connector. They are represented by ColorFul, model CF-12915S, features 12 and 0.35 A.

 

As mentioned earlier, two-piece radiator laced with two nickel-plated tubes with a diameter of 6 mm each.

The design is built not the best way, because the heat has to travel long distances before it hits the plate. Besides the use of such assembly in a second section generally reduced to zero.

The height of the radiator can be estimated from the photos below.

During the cooling power subsystem meets single plate in contact to the same and with memory chips through thermo rubber.

The fins are not any, so that effective area is minimal, except for the “feet” hanging from the edge of the PCB.

Worth noting is not the best to clamp mosfetam despite the two fixing holes situated diagonally.

 

Separately tell you how I’m going this “miracle” of engineering. Firstly, the slide does not attach to the radiator, and must simultaneously hold the fans with adjustable. Secondly, latches turntables very tight, which greatly complicates perform the operation.

It is worth noting that there are no notches or marks on the radiator is not, so after collecting and installation of CO on the card turned out that I was wrong to 2 mm, and the entire structure is necessary to rebuild. My reaction is best describe the picture.

PCB

Engineers Inno3D not have to reinvent the wheel and used PCB already familiar to us GeForce GTX 760 HerculeZ 2000s with all its shortcomings, which in turn got it from the reference model GeForce GTX 760. Such is the unification.

Therefore, it uses the power subsystem, based on a “4 + 2”, where four phases assigned to the graphics engine and two – in memory. It is controlled by the PWM controller NCP5392P manufactured by ON Semiconductor.

At the heart of the video card is the graphics processor Nvidia GM204-200-A1, produced on 28 nm process at the beginning of December 2014.

This motherboard contains eight memory chips on 512 MB each production SKhynix bus exchange data of 256 bits, which gives the total memory capacity of 4 GB.

Passport frequency is 1753 MHz (7012 MHz effective frequency).

Conclusion

Model Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini is currently the first of its kind product, managed to get around opponents based on the GeForce GTX 760 / GTX 960 and show a higher level of performance. Of course, with the growing popularity of compact gaming systems with discrete graphics demand for small but powerful graphics cards is growing, and Gigabyte video card on a background of the full-size models looks favorite.

Modest by modern standards factory overclocking will not comment, but on the cooling system with a low noise level should focus.On the one hand, its compact and affordable acoustic characteristics can not but rejoice. On the other – alarming high heating power subsystem, as well as unclear situation with the temperature of the GPU as the indication temperature sensor and instrument differ.

As for the video card Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2, is considered an instance not leave the best impression. He failed to stand out from any others, nor fully pass our tests. Perhaps the reason lies in the test sample. Given the low cost model Inno3D it is better to use in tandem with the water-block, because then it looks more interesting. Although in my opinion is better to considerother options.

Pros Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini:

  • For compact mini-ITX system sizes;
  • Factory overclocking.

Cons video:

  • Lean supplied;
  • High heating power subsystem.

Pros Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2:

  • Advanced package;
  • Factory overclocking.

Cons video:

  • Overheating of the power subsystem.
Review and testing video cards Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Mini and Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2 updated: April 27, 2015 author: John Malkovich