Reviews of the updated GeForce Super video cards pushed the previously released models of the Turing family into the background, although many solutions have not lost their relevance. And some manufacturers continue to bring new versions of well-known graphics adapters to the market. So, compact versions of the GeForce RTX 2070 appeared in the assortment of ASUS. And we will get acquainted with such a video card in this review. Let’s evaluate the design features and thermal and noise characteristics of the ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 Mini, compare performance with the new GeForce RTX Super and AMD’s competitive solutions of the Radeon RX 5700 line.
The video card comes in a small box. The front side shows the cooling system.
ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 Mini is designed specifically for the compact Intel NUC 9 Extreme and Intel NUC 9 Pro systems. This provides not only small dimensions, but also high cooling efficiency, which is especially acute in conditions of small internal space.
The presence of special fans with a rim around the blades is striking. This impeller design increases the airflow power and is used in top-end ASUS graphics cards.
The length of the video card is 20 cm.
The board is even shorter — the length of the textolite is 17 cm.
Cooling occupies strictly two slots. In the corner there is an additional power connector for eight pins.
Not without RGB lighting, but in this case it is a small strip on the side of the case.
There are three connectors on the rear panel: DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI.
Dual Mini uses combined cooling for all elements. This is a single heatsink for the GPU, VRM elements and memory chips. Three heat pipes are involved. The base is even, but without polishing.
The radiator occupies all the space under the casing.
It is blown by two thin fans made using Axial-tech technology. The total diameter of the impeller is 86 mm.
A viscous sticky material is used as a thermal interface for VRM and GDDR6 chips. Unlike regular ASUS thermal pads, it sticks to all surfaces and is easily damaged when disassembled. Therefore, we do not recommend disassembling the video card yourself without a serious reason. As for the board, it looks very solid despite its small dimensions.
Implemented five phases in the GPU power circuit and two phases in the memory power system.
The TU106-400A1-A1 processor operates 2304 stream processors with 144 texture units. This is less than the GeForce RTX 2070 Super, but more than the GeForce RTX 2060 Super. Eight gigabytes of memory are typed in Samsung K4Z80325BC-HC14 chips. All GeForce RTX graphics cards we’ve seen so far used Micron memory.
Standard specs call for a GPU base clock of 1410 MHz with an average Boost Clock of 1620 MHz. This model has Boost Clock increased to 1650 MHz. The memory operates at an effective data exchange rate of 14000 MHz, the memory capacity is eight gigabytes.
Testing was carried out on an open stand at an indoor temperature of 22 °C. In such conditions, the real Boost frequencies were kept within 1755-1800 MHz with peak values up to 1935 MHz. This is illustrated below in the screenshots of monitoring during tests in The Division 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 (2560×1440 with maximum graphics settings). Against the background of the simplest versions of the GeForce RTX 2070, this is a good Boost, and the overall acceleration will be higher than what one would expect with a 30 MHz difference in frequency characteristics.
The core temperature did not exceed 70°C at fan speeds of 2000–2100 rpm. A certain noise is noticeable, but without serious discomfort. And these are decent indicators of temperature and noise for a top-level video card with a small cooler. You also need to take into account the dependence of performance on the ventilation and ventilation of the case in which the ASUS Dual Mini will work. In severe operating conditions, the higher heat will be compensated by the speed of the fans, which will lead to a noticeable increase in noise.
GPU overclocking turned out to be at a standard level, but you don’t expect anything outstanding from the mini version. But the memory overcame the 16 GHz bar, which is an excellent result for the RTX series.
With a base core value of 1555 MHz, the peak Boost frequency reached 2070 MHz, in games the GPU frequencies dropped down to 1905-1950 MHz. It is worth noting that the power limit can only be raised by 8%, and this does not allow Boost to stabilize at a higher level. The final memory frequency was 16050 MHz. When the fans were fixed at a speed of 62% (more than 2200 rpm), the core temperatures did not exceed 72 °C.
The graphics card withstood such overclocking in all applications, including tests with RTX ray tracing. For a visual illustration, here are screenshots of the Bright Memory RTX techno demo below. On the left — the video card in nominal value, on the right — in overclocking.