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Gigabyte’s new mini-ITX GTX 1070 could kill off the Radeon Nano

AMD’s Radeon R9 Nano, which launched roughly 10 months ago, was arguably one of the most interesting high-end GPUs to debut in years. While it never claimed the absolute performance crown, the Nano packed its still-excellent performance into a tiny form factor that no other GPU could match. When AMD slashed the Nano’s price in January 2016, it became the best overall high-end GPU Team Red had to offer — and it’s still the most efficient GPU we’ve ever tested in terms of power consumption per frame of gaming performance.

Unfortunately, if a recent announcement from Gigabyte is any indication, the R9 Nano’s market is about to vanish. The Nvidia GTX 1080 and 1070 have made short work of AMD’s Fury X and Fury GPUs, but the Nano still had a market to call its own: the mini-ITX space. If you needed to pack the absolute maximum amount of GPU into the minimum amount of space, the R9 Nano was (still) the card for you. Now, Gigabyte is prepping a version of the GTX 1070 in a mini-ITX compatible form factor with both a “Gaming Mode” (1531MHz base, 1721MHz boost) and an “OC Mode” (1556MHz base, 1746MHz boost). It features the same 8GB of memory as the standard card, a 90mm fan, and presumably the same 150W TDP (though Gigabyte hasn’t commented on this yet).

Gigabyte1070

Unless Gigabyte really screws this up, its GTX 1070 Mini should neatly replace the Nano, which previously benefited from being significantly faster than a GTX 970, which used to be the most powerful GPU you could buy in an equivalent form factor from Team Green. With 2x the memory and higher overall performance, there’s not much room left for the R9 Nano — though AMD will presumably resurrect the family once it ships its next-generation high-end GPU, codename Vega, late this year. The only caveat is the GTX 1070‘s overall availability. So far, 1080 and 1070 cards have been hard to find in the wild, while the R9 Nano is readily available from multiple vendors. Availability tends to be a problem that gets solved, though Nvidia’s latest cards have yet to hit their MSRPs. The GTX 1070 is now in-stock at Newegg but not below $400, while the GTX 1080 is now listed as out-of-stock. Nvidia typically makes it a point of pride to have ample hardware in market for its launches, but it’s been six weeks since the GTX 1080 debuted and the cards are still in short supply.

Still, these are all issues that will get resolved in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully AMD has been managing its inventory levels of high-end Nano chips carefully.

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