Joined on 10/22/18
Great Value when below $420
Pros: Small form Great build quality Samsung memory (in my case, ymmv)
Cons: My silicon luck Slight coil whine if pegged (you can't hear it if gpu fans are above 55% tho)
Overall Review: I'll start by clarifying the only possible downside to a mini form factor vs full size: The ONLY difference is going to be in the thermal department. Smaller form factor=less fan room, less heat sink real-estate. Will this affect performance? Yes, but not enough to hinder any kind of actual gaming (vs synthetic and some benches). Why does this affect performance? As nvidia cards reach certain temperatures, they will automatically downclock the core. So let's say you hit the silicon lottery and were able to overclock +220 stable to the core offset. Sweet. You start your benchmarks or games, the first clock reads at 2103, but quickly reduces to 2090 @ 50°, 2077 & eventually 2063 or 2050 @ 60°-63°. It may even settle around 2025 or less at those temps. What the heck? But...math... Well that's where Boost 3.0 (built into every 10 series) starts biting. This "boost" tech really only holds all cards back from what they could actually achieve with some fine tuning. The best way to understand what I'm trying to explain is to look at the core curve as programs run. You will essentually notice the graph having a mind of it's own, adjusting as it pleases no matter how much time you may have spent tuning clocks @ voltages. The curve can change as temperatures change. However, for the sake of getting to the review of this specific card I will cut the details off there and digress. This card looks great! The Zotac name has white lighting. The back plate is sleek with a charcoal/grey scheme. The construction is very sturdy. The card has some heft to it. Be sure to research your case gpu clearance compatibilty if you are going with small form factor because, although this has mini in the name, it's still pretty tall (side to side). The cooling fans are pretty good. I highly suggest creating a custom fan curve using your favorite overclocking utility because the factory curve is too lazy. Set the fan speed manually to see where your decibal tolerance ends and tune for that. I bought this card for $400, which was a good deal at the time because they have hiked back up again. I am completely contempt with my purchase, although my lotto luck wasn't the best, with exception to memory. I have samsung-see below. The highest stable profile for me: +40 volts Max temp and power limits +143 core +750 memory (results in 62° max while gaming with 70% fan, v-sync on) My final profile: Undervolted @ 0.950v Max temp and power limits Custom curve for 1911 core @ 0.950v +740 memory (results in 53° max while gaming with 60-70% fan, v-sync on) All settings in all programs max, 1080p: Valley score with highest stable values= 4386 @ 104.8 fps Valley score with final profile= 4393 @ 105.0 fps (hmmm, intersting right? right?!) Timespy 1.0 with highest stable values= 7468 graphics (test one 48.17fps, test two 43.22 fps) Timespy 1.0 with final profile= 7247 graphic (test one 47.59 fps, test two 43.02 fps) Far Cry 5 benchmark with highest stable values= 97 fps average Far Cry 5 benchmark with final profile= same! For final reference, my cpu is a ryzen 5 2600 @ 4.025 GHz. At 1080p, I believe it plays factor.
If you're a RGB nut, these are for you
Pros: - RGB is beautiful. - Price - Performs as advertised (and not much more at all in my case)
Cons: - My set is very hardheaded and won't budge an inch for me on timings
Overall Review: I think I should start by saying that my MOBO interface has things named differently than I'm used to (ASUS) and that might be the reason I can't get a stable DRAM profile. There are a few entries I'm simply confused about, and they may be critical in determining the stability of my kit. I will do more thorough research in the near future. I can't really complain much though because it's perfectly stable at the advertised speeds (CL18 - 3600). I'm really not a RGB guy but I must say, this kit is beautiful.It plays very nicely with Aura. I grabbed the kit during a limited time manufacturer discount.
After RMA, so far so good
Pros: - Power phase - Appearance - Features (hardware and software) - Customer Service for Newegg (thank you for a hassle-free RMA process) - Customer Service for ASUS, who had a live chat rep that attempted to help before suggesting RMA with first product
Cons: - The first one I received was defective. See review below - The cursor speed in the BIOS is very sluggish, maybe even less than 30Hz.
Overall Review: The first board I received was defective. USB 3 header and rear I/O jacks were the first to go. I say "first to go" because upon initial boot, they worked. I had audio through my speakers, and I used the front USB panel (connects to the USB 3 header on MOBO) to successfully update the BIOS. At some point, they just stopped working for me. Speakers no longer detected, and the front USB panel wouldn't read anything. I spent many hours troubleshooting, thinking driver issues were to blame (I was switching from MSI MOBO). I already knew the basic troubleshooting steps like checking for latest drivers, uninstalling them, reinstalling them, trying different versions, running troubleshooter programs, etc. but had no luck. Went through various forums and such, trying to dig deeper for the issue and even chatted with ASUS who told me to just RMA the thing lol after some driver screenshot verifications. Well, I really didn't want to go through RMA process and I could get audio with my wireless headphones via rear USB, so I was actually considering just putting up with it. It wasn't until one of my three intake fans and both of my radiator fans stopped functioning that I finally decided to return it. The entire RMA process, from the time I shipped it to the time I received a replacement, took about 2 weeks. That's perfectly fine in my opinion, especially during these times. In the meantime I reinstalled by older motherboard and had zero issues. I received the replacement this last Wednesday and waited for this weekend to install again. Zero issues now. Just a pain to do so many motherboard swaps! All that aside, I really do like this motherboard as well as the ASUS utility programs. Armoury Crate is pretty cool. It serves a the HUB for Aura, has an update center, and even a game store with discounts. There are many profile options that seem to suggest the ability to customize lighting/volume/etc per game. I haven't messed with it yet. It can basically function as a game launcher too. It is integrated also through right-clicking the desktop and having a quick game launch option, which I though was neat. There is also the AI Suite 3 program that use for tuning all of my hardware fans. The interface is great. I really don't understand why the actual BIOS is so slow, regarding the cursor speed. It seems to be less than 30Hz. MSI BIOS ran at 60Hz..and the ASUS BIOS looks so much better which just makes it seem odd to run so slowly. You really are better off using the keyboard. I also wish they didn't have their own unique names for common BIOS options like X-AMP. And trying to set custom RAM values from DRAM calculator is a headscratcher thanks to that as well. There are a few things..I just can't tell what they mean. I had zero issues with MSI matching suggested DRAM values (different memory kit), not so with ASUS. I'm pretty sure that's why I can't tighten my RAM without boot errors. There must be some critical timing options I'm either missing or misunderstanding. Anyway, I think this motherboard is great for the price. Just wish I didn't waste so much time with a defective one initially.