Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Review ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini

Full name: ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini OC, the manufacturer code: GTX960-MOC-2GD5.

Packaging and delivery

Graphics card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini comes in a small box with a bright and recognizable graphic arts industry. On the front side is the name of the manufacturer, the name of the graphics accelerator, picture assembled ready PCs with preinstalled versions of the model, and a number of signatures that characterize the new.

All the opposite side and faces the package reserved for a detailed description of the video and all its possibilities.

In addition to specifying the compact size, the manufacturer notes the use of quality components, the corresponding brand concept Super Alloy Power, the supplied program XSplit Gamecaster (c subscription for one year) to record and broadcast the games in real time and you can connect multiple monitors.

At the bottom is a list of recommended system requirements put forward to the PC, including clearly stands out from the power supply capacity of at least 400 watts, capable of delivering on the line in the current 12 to 38 A.

Inside the bright shell hides a black box of cardboard with a gold inscription ASUS.

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Under the cover sheet and the soft material in the recess, and anti-static bag placed the card itself.

A package includes:

  • CD with drivers and software;
  • User guide.

The appearance and size

The look and design of ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini few people can remain indifferent, because the use of black and red colors – one of the best combinations of palettes. This color scheme will be popular with users for a long time.

Through the casing of the cooling system in a pointed show-metal radiator, which is the hallmark of a novelty, because it is on his shoulders rests the task of removing heat from the GPU to close the case.

On the rear panel of the interface is represented by the following set of video outputs:

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

The following resolutions:

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

This set is a universal market of discrete graphics and allows you to connect different types of monitors, without using adapters.

Compact dimensions – a modest power consumption. Extra power is implemented by a single six-pin connector, put to the edge of the printed circuit board, and deployed for easy latch-up connection. It is equipped with two bright LEDs, which show that the mains power supply to the graphics card or not.

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

The whole back side PCB closes reinforcing black plate, the main role of which – to prevent PCB deflection graphics and damage. At first glance this “baby” this is overkill, but later this approach reveal a hidden advantage.

Cooling system

Cooling System ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini is not new and migrated here from his successor – GeForce GTX 760 Mini. Nova got all past achievements.

Initially, unscrew the six spring-loaded screws around the perimeter of the video, and then gently separate the CO from the board, firmly adhering to it because of the thermal spacers.

Cooling System ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini can not be called easy – it’s quite a complex radiator unusual form of magnesium alloy with the vaporization chamber at the bottom.

Less construction only in that, when using the same cooler pads for memory chips GeForce GTX 760 do not coincide with those in the GTX 960, however the latter elements do not receive adequate heat removal.

Unusual looks and mounting housing: two screws and four latches on the edges. He has received several curved inserts to redirect air flow in the power subsystem.

The main heat spreader covers the entire printed circuit board, responsible for almost all the hot cooling elements.

In the center is a star-shaped aluminum core with holes for mounting the fan.

Pinwheel CoolTech made by hybrid technology, combining internal and external radial fan axis (with a classic design of the blades).This design, according to the manufacturer, provides omni directional airflow and promotes the accelerated heat removal. The diameter of the impeller is 86 mm.

The unit represented by Everflow, T129215SU model with the specifications of 12 V, 0.5 A.

And here is the interesting moments: after the removal of the base plate can be seen that it is in contact with the area located between the GPU and the transistor through two layers of thermal spacers, transferring heat from the PCB to the rib.

This approach has a good effect on the temperature of the power system, which has been noted in the test. By the way, it is unclear why the producers did not like it before, because many enthusiasts themselves have implemented similar ideas.

Printed circuit board

PCB ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini borrowed from the model line Strix, because of its size (only 170 mm) is best suited to create a compact version.

Used electronic components corresponds to the concept of branded Super Alloy Power quality components and includes: solid capacitors, advanced MOSFETs, Ferrite core chokes, and tantalum polymer capacitors.

The circuit board is equipped with a five-phase (4 + 1, GPU / Memory) voltage regulator.

Thermo “corroded” inscription on the chip, but there is no doubt: in front of us PWM controller uP1608TK, which provides an active phase switching for low power video card.

In the center of the circuit board soldered GPU Nvidia GM206-300-A1, manufactured on 28 nm process technology in January 2015.

Four Samsung memory chips marked K4G41325FC-HC28  constitute the total video memory to 2048 MB. Passport memory frequency – 1750 MHz (7000 MHz effective frequency).

Review Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Full name: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960, the manufacturer code: ZT-90310-10M.

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

In some media, this model is referred to as Zotac GeForce GTX 960 Mini-ITX or GeForce GTX 960 ITX Compact, but we’ll stick to the official source.

Packaging and delivery

Graphics card Zotac GeForce GTX 960 comes in a box of medium size. All printing the front of the package is reduced to a yellow-black. In addition to the manufacturer’s name and a series of references are present volume of onboard memory, supports, notice of the extended warranty and the included utility for overclocking Zotac FireStorm.

On the side faces of any important information is missing. And the whole reverse side is given a detailed description of the design of the graphics card, its cooling system and firmware.

Individual images Zotac developers emphasize that their model supports passive fan in a simple, which makes it completely silent, that cold GPU GM206 just in time.

Not without the system requirements, including: power supply with a capacity of at least 400 W; desirable platform with preinstalled CPU Intel Core i7 3.2 GHz band (at the bottom in small print). And the producers have not pleased processors AMD?

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Inside lies a glossy black box with the inscription Zotac, but without the golden hue.

The card itself is placed in the package with anti-static layer of air in a special form.

Supply and placed above it in the same manner as in the case ASUS, rather poor:

  • CD with drivers and software;
  • User guide.

The appearance and size

Against the background of other competitors Zotac GeForce GTX 960 can not boast of their appearance. Among the features of interest may be mentioned a notch over the entire surface of the cooling system housing.

Although most are not surprised by the design itself and used a large fan blades with an interesting shape, which contacted the developers in the recent past.

To display an image on the Zotac GeForce GTX 960 uses a standard set of video outputs:

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

Here are all familiar. With regard to permissions, supports the following:

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

All conforms to the specifications of Nvidia, even back strap had the same characteristic triangular cutouts for the exit of hot air.

Developers equipped with a graphics card with one six-pin connector for additional power supply, which is imposed on the edge of the PCB. Among the shortcomings – he was left in a familiar position, the latch down, so when you disconnect a cable, the finger rests on the casing of the cooling system.

How about those interesting moments Zotac GeForce GTX 960 is nothing more to tell. The compact size and the corresponding recommended graphics card price make good choices when buying, but something developers had to sacrifice, and we will soon find out what it was.

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Cooling system

Graphics design with an average price segment sometimes surprise us in the best sense of the word (TDP benefit of video card series GeForce GTX 960 only 120 watts), but with the model Zotac GeForce GTX 960, things are a little different.

For example, the danger lies in a small capacitor, which is located near a spring-loaded screws and PWM controller: not only that it can bring down a screwdriver, there is a large percentage of probability, that the end of the spring you are sure it will touch and get a short circuit or damaged item. Something similar was in Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 HerculeZ X2.

But if you show orderly and carefully remove the four screws, then remove the cooling system will not be difficult, particularly because of the simplicity of its design.

The cooler itself consists of a small whole-aluminum heat sink, heat pipes, which received direct contact with the graphics core, and black fan.

Such “pigs” as they are commonly referred to as users easily meet on video the lower price segment, but not here. But will there be enough or not this design for good cooling, it turns out only on the basis of the test, and yet continue to review.

The housing is secured by four small screw on the sides of the radiator. It turned out that the black paint hides small “misunderstanding” that it was almost impossible to unscrew: after 10 minutes the two nerve yet been removed, and on the other two almost stripped threads. Therefore, only one witness radiator, alas, will not work.

For active cooling fan is responsible firms Everflow. Here the model is set T129215SH impeller 88 mm, its current-voltage characteristic of 12 V, 0.30 A.

Now consider the circuit board and then left the cooling system.

Cooling power subsystem manages a small black aluminum radiator with a large number of ribs that increase dissipation area.Contact transistors through the green thermo.

Printed circuit board

The developers have equipped graphics card Zotac GeForce GTX 960 PCB, which is not similar to the PCB other accelerators because of a location external components. In particular, after a cursory review of the model range GeForce GTX 760 similar specimen was found.

But before submitting material for publication I was reminded of another similar story in the form of Inno3D GeForce GTX 960 HerculeZ X1. As it turned out, for good reason: the printed circuit board was exactly like this, and even labeled Nvidia. History of PCB similar versions of the accelerator is unknown to me.

Use trimmed four-phase power converter, which uses the 3 + 1 scheme, where three phases assigned to the graphics core and single phase – in memory. In addition to the missing one phase across the PCB noted the empty space under the unsoldered elements.

Responsible for the management of a classic PWM controller NCP81174.

The model is based GPU Nvidia GM206-300-A1, manufactured on 28 nm process technology in February 2015.

Four memory chips of 512 MB each from Samsung marked K4G41325FC-HC28 make the total 2048 MB of data exchange bus is 128 bits. Passport memory frequency – 1750 MHz (7000 MHz effective frequency).

Conclusion

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini

Pros:

  • Compact dimensions ensure compatibility with any body;
  • High-quality power supply system which allows to achieve high results in the dispersal;
  • Efficient cooling system, but with one drawback.

Minuses:

  • The developers have not provided competent heat removal from the memory chips.

Model ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini – further development of the compact line of graphics cards ASUS. The high efficiency of the cooling system, along with good overclocking potential will help it register in small packages.

Zotac GeForce GTX 960

Pros:

  • Compact size;
  • Silent cooling system;
  • Low cost.

Minuses:

  • And its derivative – a stripped-down power subsystem and seats on the PCB.

But the video card Zotac GeForce GTX 960 is positioned as a budget solution with all the consequences. On the one hand, we have compact and silent version of GeForce GTX 960, which copes well with the role. On the other – this model is not positioned as an overclocker, and the choice is worth considering.

Review and testing of graphics cards ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Mini and Zotac GeForce GTX 960 updated: July 24, 2015 author: Jonathan Davis