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Nvidia introduces new SFF standards to simplify compact custom PC builds

Why it matters: Those planning to build small-form-factor PCs should start re-checking chassis and graphics card vendors’ websites. Many have recently agreed to mark their products with a new verification badge from Nvidia to identify them as compatible with compact builds. The new verification system should begin appearing on part-maker websites soon.

Small-form-factor (SFF) PCs look attractive with their minimalist design and fit in more places than conventional builds. However, they also introduce challenges for builders. Nvidia wants to minimize the added complexity with a new standard for high-end graphics cards and compatible cases.

The company introduced a new “SFF-Ready” specification to define which GPUs can fit in a compact chassis. Nvidia hopes that builders will no longer need to spend extra time researching the dimensions of each card and chassis or guess whether they have enough clearance for power and data cables.

Numerous board partners and case manufacturers have already agreed to identify which products meet the new standard. Compatible GPUs will soon carry “SFF-Ready” stickers, and vendors will describe cases as “Compatible with SFF-Ready Enthusiast GeForce Cards.”

Any GeForce RTX 4070 or higher with 2.5 slots or less and maximum dimensions of 151 x 304 x 50mm meets the criteria. Meanwhile, a fitting chassis must have at least 154.4 x 312 x 50mm of clearance to leave room for the motherboard, PCB riser, and cabling.

Nearly two dozen SFF-Ready cases are listed, coming from Asus, Cooler Master, Corsair, Fractal Design, InWin, Kolink, Lian Li, MSI, Ncase, NZXT, Phanteks, SilverStone, Sliger, and Thermaltake. Nvidia claims it has 36 compatible GPUs, including those from partners like Asus, Galax, Gigabyte, MSI, Zotac, PNY, and Inno3D.

All SFF-certified cards are members of the RTX 4070 and 4080 families. The specification doesn’t extend to earlier GPU generations, and there is no indication of whether partners might include AMD cards. The flagship RTX 4090 won’t get the sticker because it’s a three-slot card, but recent reports suggest that its successor – the upcoming RTX 5090 – might fit the standard.

Mainstream GPUs like the RTX 4060 aren’t mentioned because all of them will likely fit SFF builds. While Nvidia’s new initiative isn’t aimed at Mini-ITX systems, other vendors like Galax, with its single-slot 4060 Ti from last year, have that niche covered.

Other Nvidia announcements from this year’s Computex include an AI assistant that helps users play and optimize specific games and updates to the company’s desktop app for AV1 video encoding and quick hardware tuning.

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