Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Mini Review – Small But Powerful!
Packaging and Closer Look
Zotac is using the same nice-looking yellow-ish box art design on their GTX 1080 Mini’s packaging. Surprisingly, there’s no clear and obvious word, phrase, logo or any indication that what’s inside is a GTX 1080 Mini. When I opened the shipping box and inspected it, I thought I got a regular GTX 1080 and not the Mini version. However, if you look at the back of the box, you can see a cropped photo of the GTX 1080 Mini. However, I wish the company labeled the box better and placed or printed the word “Mini” at least on the front portion of the box.
Inside, you get the Zotac GTX 1080 Mini accompanied by a quick installation guide, a driver CD and a dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe adapter. Above you can see the front and back view of the graphics card. It looks very nice, clean and it feels very solid and sturdy on hand. I’m glad that despite its size, Zotac still added a backplate. The backplate here obviously doesn’t prevent the card from sagging (because it won’t sag at all due to its size), but it’s for aesthetic purposes and also serves as protection to the back size of the PCB.
Zotac is using two types of fans in the GTX 1080 Mini, and the design is quite different from their GTX 1070 Mini. The cooler features a combination of a 90mm fan with wide flat fan blades from air flow; and a slightly larger 100mm fan with wide curved fan blades for static pressure. The rear 100mm fan is optimized to keep airflow over key components longer.
At the output ports section, the Zotac GTX 1080 Mini has three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b, and one DL-DVI connector. The aluminum fins are arranged on a horizontal matter, so expect that heat can be exhausted through those triangular holes.
Above are some angled shots of the Zotac GTX 1080 Mini. You can see two copper heatpipes are exposed just above the ZOTAC logo. Notice that the aluminum fins are also longer than the card’s PCB and it’s also using a single 8-pin PCIE power connector only, just like the Founders Edition. The backplate has some stylish holes and you see grey colored stripes, because some (or probably many) were not happy with the yellow stripes on the backplate of their AMP and AMP Extreme versions. It’s good that Zotac is listening to the community’s suggestions, and it’s a good sign that the company is committed to satisfy their customers’ needs (or demands).
Above you can see the size difference of the Zotac GTX 1080 Mini vs a tri-fan cooled graphics card. The first image on the left, the GTX 1080 Mini is placed in between a Zotac GTX 1070 AMP Extreme and the Galax GTX 1080 HOF. Note that the 1080 AMP Extreme is basically the same size as the 1070 AMP Extreme. The image on the right hand side, you can see that the GTX 1080 Mini is smaller (or shorter) than a Radeon RX 480 reference card.
Removing the graphics card’s cooler was very easy. You can see that the Zotac GTX 1080 Mini’s cooler features a cooper base plate and the memory and VRMs are cooled as well.
Above is the front and back view of the 1080 Mini’s PCB. This is obviously a custom designed PCB with the components placed closely side by side. It looks like it features a 6 phase power design and all components (chips) that we normally saw after the VRAMs were moved to the left of the GPU. There are also two headers right beside the 8-pin power connector, one for the fans and another for the LED lighting.
Here’s a closer look at the GP104-400-A1 die with eight Micron GDDR5X memory chips surrounding it. The GP104 is produced on a 16nm fabrication process by TSMC. It has a die size of 314 mm² and a transistor count of 7.1 billion. Zotac is using Micron’s GDDR5X MT58K256M32JA-100 6UA77 D9TXS memory chips. There are a total of 8 GDDR5X chips for 8GB of memory. These memory chips are rated to run at a speed of 10Gbps.
Next page, let’s take a look at the test setup used, and the noise and temperature as well.