You may have heard the expression, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." It appears Gigabyte has, hence the launch of a small sized GeForce GTX 1080 (GV-N1080IX-8GD) graphics card that is tiny enough to fit in a diminutive mini ITX chassis.
The new card measures just 16.9 cm (~6.7 inches) long. That is considerably shorter than a GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, which spans 26.67 cm (10.5 inches).
Though small in size, Gigabyte did not have to sacrifice any performance in order to shrink the card. It has a 1,607MHz base clock and 1,733MHz boost clock in Gaming mode, the same as reference, with an OC mode that gooses the base clock to 1,632MHz and boost clock to 1,771MHz.
Whether or not the card throttles any faster than a regular sized cards will depend on the system it is installed in and, more specifically, the cooling scheme. To help combat thermals, Gigabyte built a custom designed cooler with a 90mm fan and three pure copper composite heatpipes that run through an aluminum block and make direct contact with the GPU.
A 90mm fan is not very big. However, Gigabyte uses special fan blades with triangle edges and striped grooves. According to Gigabyte, this boosts airflow by 23 percent compared to traditional fan blades.
The card also sports a 5+2 power phase design, up from Nvidia's 5+1 reference design. This allows the MOSFET to work at a lower temperature and provide more stable voltage, which in theory should help with overclocking. Of course, your mileage may vary when trying to overclock in a compact case.
Gigabyte did not say when this card will be widely available or how much it will cost. According to this listing, it will sell for around €629.