When it comes to choosing low profile graphics cards for a current or upcoming build, the reasons are merely endless. However, the primary reason above all is their ability to fit in perfectly in almost every case. This makes low profile GPUs versatile and space-saving option.
While I do not consider low profile graphics cards as premium versions, still they are regarded for many technological advancements.
Today, users don’t have simply one option of using top tier GPU; instead, they can also get a half size graphics card with almost the same power needed for AAA games titles and a reasonable FPS output.
In this buyer’s guide, I will look at the top five low profile graphics cards based on my testing and experience. The other section of the guide will focus on essential factors and benefits of low profile GPUs.
I hope you are now excited to learn more. Keep reading to figure out almost everything you need to know about low profile graphics cards.
Best Low Profile Graphics Card Comparison Chart
|MSI GTX 1050 Ti||
|MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650||
|Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC||
|Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030||
|ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||
Best Low Profile Graphics Card
#1- MSI GTX 1050 TI (Best Value)
- CUDA Cores: 768
- GPU Clock: 1290 / 1392MHz
- Memory Clock: 7008 MHz
- Memory Size: 4GB GDDR5
- Memory Interface: 128-bit
- Bus Interface: PCI Express 3.0
- Open GL: 4.5
- Output Ports: DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
- You can play the latest games at 1080p
- Operate silently
- Very low power consumption
- Comes with TwinFrozr VI cooler
- No SLI support available
- Need a six-pin power cable
When it comes to choosing the best low profile graphics card for gaming, I cannot miss mentioning MSI GTX 1050 TI. Centered on the recent Pascal GPU architecture, it comes with 4GB GDDR5 memory. It is the relatively long low profile graphics card that features double fans for enhanced cooling.
With a dual-slot design, it can conveniently fit in a low profile computer case. This is a powerful GPU that can help you play the latest games such as GTA5 and Fallout 4 on high settings at 1080p. Moreover, power consumption is just 75W, and it requires an effective 300W power supply.
Some connectivity options include Display Port, DVI, and HDMI. If you are looking forward to the quickest low profile GPU under $$$, you cannot go wrong with MSI GTX 1050 TI.
– Author Note:
The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a budget-friendly gaming graphics card. It features an aggressive design with LED lights.
Also, I am impressed with the efficient overclocking mechanism and cooling system, which automatically turns off if not required. An additional 6-pin PCI power connector can assist in further overclocking. Overall, thumbs up for this low profile graphics card.
#2- MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 (Our Pick)
- Clock Speed: 1695 MHz (Boost)
- VRAM: 4GB GDDR5
- Memory Bus Width: 128 bit
- Interface: PCI Express x16 3.0
- Cores: 896 Units
- Output: HDMI 2.0b x 1 and DisplayPort x 2 (v1.4)
- Power Consumption: 85 W
- Power Connectors: 6-pin x 1
- GPU Dimensions: 245 x 127 x 39 mm
- Maximum Displays: 3
- Capacity to perform 1080p gaming at 60FPS
- Only 75 Watt power consumption
- The excellent dual-fan cooling solution
- Operate quietly with great overclocking potential
- Energy efficient
- Regulates optimum temperature
- Memory cannot be overclocked
- Somewhat expensive
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 is one of the fastest and best low profile GPU currently available on the market. It comes to the spotlight boasting the capability to perform low intensive AAA game titles in 1080p at 60FPS. While considering the overall size of the graphics card, it comes quite reasonable.
This GPU offers a boosted clock speed of 1695 Mhz, which makes it one of the fastest options. It works optimally for any gamer who wants to build a small form factor PC. The design is based on the Turing GPU architecture, which is commonly used in high-end graphics cards.
Equipped with 896 CUDA cores and 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, this GPU is a real steal. It’s pretty faster than most low profile graphics cards and definitely to the closest rival – the 1050 Ti. Further, the card comes with a dual-fan thermal design that covers most of the heatsink resulting in an effective cooling solution.
Overall, if you are searching for an absolute best low profile GPU for money, look no further. It makes the optimal light gaming small form factor PC for novices to give you the ultimate gaming experience.
– Author Note:
MSI is back with a bang! MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 is designed to be a budget-friendly option that offers excellent value for money.
The cooler is quite impressive, with dual fans and Twinfrozr revision. To make it more user-friendly, the graphics card has also added a 6-pin power connector, and that’s excellent news for tweaking. Its overclocked as soon as you get it out of the box. Amazing Though!
#3- Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC (Best Budget)
- Stream Processors: 640 CUDA Cores
- Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16
- Supported APIs: DirectX: 12
- OpenGL: 4.5
- Memory Speed: 7 Gb/s
- Memory Configuration: 2 GB
- Memory Interface: GDDR5
- Memory Interface Width: 128-Bit
- Display Connectors: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b and 1 x DVI-D DL
- Digital Resolution: 7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz
- Small form factor with a simple and compact cooling mechanism
- Minimal power consumption
- Operate very silently
- Efficient performance
- Handles most games at Full HD
- Doesn’t require any additional power connector which makes a great choice for upgrades
- Slightly bulky compared to other units
- Considered relatively pricey
Our other Top Pick! Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC comes with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, which is a fanatic option for everyone who wants to build a small form factor PC that can handle multiple diverse games.
The 1050 Ti from Gigabyte is compatible with four display outputs, including one DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, and dual-link DVI-D ports. The connectivity makes it a versatile graphics card. The 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM makes it further viable so you can achieve playable FPS on less intensive AAA titles.
Although the graphics card has a single fan thermal design, it still offers impressive cooling, particularly under heavy graphical processes while operating silently. The card is relatively long, with 167mm. Though the clock speed is up to the mark.
Besides, you don’t need to worried about the BIOS to gain added performance. Everything is already done for you. Using the Xtreme engine utility, you can easily switch on OC mode to boost the clock speed from 1328Mhz to a more exciting 1442Mhz.
Overall, Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC graphics card offers excellent performance, reasonable aesthetics, and a durable cooling system that makes it an excellent choice.
– Author Note:
Why you would go for the GTX 1050 when the quicker Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC is available on the market.
I was quite impressed with the performance from the standard 1050 at less than $$$. It operates faster and quieter, and that’s the best feature I liked about it. For the additional money, you can also get twice the VRAM capacity, especially if you are concerned about the image quality.
#4- Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 (Best Price)
- Memory: 2GB GDDR5 64bit memory
- Low Profile Design: 150 mm card length
- Core Clock: 1252 MHz in OC Mode and 1227 MHz in Gaming Mode
- Boost Clock: 1506 MHz in OC Mode and 1468 MHz in Gaming Mode
- Compatibility: 1 x Dual-Link DVI-D 1 x HDMI 2.0b
- Stream Processors: 384
- Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x4
- One-click overclocking via AORUS Graphics Engine
- Great from the price point and is available under $$$
- Exceptionally low 30W TDP
- Impressive performance in DirectX9/11-based games and eSports
- One-slot/low profile form factor
- Marks AMD’s Radeon RX 550 in Vulkan-based games
Once upon a time when GeForce GT 730 was one of the best hitters among the best low profile gaming graphics card. After a year of dominance at the high end with the Pascal-based series GPUs, the leading company is ready for another entry-level GPU – the Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030.
It’s a beginner video card from NVIDIA centered on Pascal architecture. This graphics card aims at low consumption and excellent low cost. This popular GPU is based on the GP108 chip and built under 14 nm technology featuring 284 cores.
The base clock is 1,227 Mhz, while the turbo clock is 1,468 MHz. Contrasting other mainstream graphics cards, this one uses the 64-bit bus and can easily access 2 GB of GDDR5 memory at 6 GHz. Furthermore, the bandwidth comes with 48 GiB/s.
Though you can also find other graphics cards founded on the same chip with varying characteristics such as DDR3 memory and 128-bit versions. The GeForce GT 1030 does not aim at high-end gaming; rather, it can be frequently used on desktop computers that require a reliable video card.
The name makes it even more apparent – the gaming video cards are generally named GeForce GTX, while the ones for general use are referred to as GeForce GT. Another highlight of the unit is its low power consumption. The TDP is just 30 W, which means it doesn’t require an extra power connector.
Also, it let the manufacturers build some compact graphics card with half-height and those that operate without a fan or passive cooling. Another essential characteristic of this graphics card is its low cost i.e., less than 100. Isn’t it amazing? Now let’s highlight the shortcomings.
The GeForce GT 1030 is not capable of supporting SLI, VR Ready, Game Stream, G-Sync, and multi-projection technologies. Overall, it’s a slim low profile model that uses standard clocks on normal mode, 1,506 MHz turbo clock on OC mode, and 1,252 MHz base clock. A Smart Choice!
– Author Note:
If you are tight on budget, you can always have an excellent option to consider – the Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030. This graphics card performs exceptionally in the competitive gaming titles.
It is exclusively designed to service a lot more. Further, it comes at a very reasonable price so you can enjoy all those perks, even at a low cost. The power-friendly architecture and convincing form factor make this graphics card directly accessible to about anyone with the given PCIe slot.
#5- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Premium Pick)
- CUDA Cores: 768
- Base Clock: 1392 MHz
- Boost Clock: 1506 MHz
- Memory Speed: 7 Gb/s
- Configuration: 4 GB
- Interface: GDDR5
- Interface Width: 128-bit
- Bandwidth: 112 GB/s
- Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16
- Display Connectors: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, and 1 x DVI-D DL
- Maximum Digital Resolution: 7680 x 4320
- Dimensions: 4.4 x 6.9 x Dual-Slot
- Multi-Monitor Support: Yes
- Excellent performance from the price point
- Slim and compact
- Minimal power consumption
- Little small form factor
- Needs no additional power
- Based on Pascal architecture
- Pre-overclocked graphics card
- Comes with extended warranty
- Manual OC performance
- No RGB
Who has ever thought of the computer soon becoming a separate world or, more precisely, your very own World! Though remember among all the fun and entertainment, there are certain technicalities involved that you shouldn’t ignore. Here one of the most essential components is the graphics card.
If you are looking forward to a graphics card that comes in shorter height, you will eventually figure out that there are not several high-end GPU options available on the market. In reality, the most efficient and powerful graphics cards are often available in a low profile form, and here I cannot forget to mention the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
Fortunately, this graphics card offers a reasonable performance so you can easily play most games on medium settings at the least and a 1080P monitor. Presently, there are three different GTX 1050Tis.
Though among the available options, ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti incredibly stands out as the best option that comes cheaper compared to other low profile units. Also, it comes with a dual-fan cooler while the other options are equipped with single fans.
This graphics card is approximately 6.9 inches long and just 2.8 inches in height, which means it’s a great option even for the slim-style mini-cases. To conclude this, the GTX 1050 Ti will let you jump into ultra-high-resolution gaming.
Further, you will be able to push a 1440P 144Hz monitor. For an excellent in-game experience on a 1080P monitor, this graphics card will do the job perfectly done.
– Author Note:
For a graphics card costing less than $$$, the performance of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is simply up to the mark. The card is designed for the 1080p resolution, and therefore it can divide frames over 60fps on high settings. You can easily achieve even ultra-quality settings at playable speeds.
It conveniently outperforms the preceding GTX 950, which draws relatively less power and with excellent system compatibility. However, I won’t recommend this graphics card for VR or high-resolution displays. Yet, it makes an excellent choice for 1080p at this price.
How To Choose The Best Low Profile Graphics Card?
#1- Physical Size
The very first and most evident area which requires to be addressed when it comes to the low profile graphics card is its size. Eventually, this is the foremost reason why you would be interested in a real hardware option.
A low profile in the graphics card is typically referred to as the overall height of the graphics card itself. If you are a gaming enthusiast, you will have a better idea that the topmost GPUs on the market are generally hefty pieces of kit that consumes a large amount of space.
Thanks to the excellent thermal designs and heatsink. Though you will not encounter any of these issues with a low-profile graphics card. A low profile graphics card is half-height and stripped back unit, which is custom-designed to fit in most thinner cases perfectly.
These GPUs typically come with understated cooling mechanisms that provide an average level of cooling. Therefore, they make a perfect choice for excessive overclocking. That being said, you never know if they might be your last choice, particularly if you have a very small case.
Eventually, a low profile graphics card may not be everyone’s favorite or first choice, though they absolutely have an essential part to play in the PC world.
Noise production may or may not be something that worries you when searching for buying hardware. It’s a specific area that I truly feel the low profile graphics card outshines in.
For their stripped back and almost raw appearance of the low profile GPU, most of these cards come with only a single fan to fulfill the cooling needs. Though some budget-friendly and entry-level GPUs come with passive heatsinks for the cooling needs and hardly make any noise no matter what.
This is particularly good when you are looking forward to building a small build most of the time primarily for small form cases that don’t accommodate effective soundproofing.
#3- Power Consumption
Power consumption is a bonus for the low profile graphics cards as they can operate on very lower wattages compared to standard-sized graphics cards. This is primarily because of many factors that frequently include overall makeup and thermal design. For the build, I mean.
- A small inclusive PSU is needed
- PSU power can be used elsewhere
- The approximate cost of the build will be minimized
In many cases, the low profile graphics card will not physically draw any power from the PSY connector. Though it can utilize adequate wattage directly from the PCI-e 16x slot it’s plugged into.
Lastly, and more importantly, consider the cost of these low profile graphics cards. You can easily imagine low profile GPUs as relatively less expensive than typical graphics cards and subsequently depends on different factors, including aesthetics, RGB, thermal cooling design, and overall performance.
That being said, LP graphics cards are exclusively designed to target small form builds, which normally are not designed for heavy-duty tasks or gaming.
This means performance is not the only factor on this list of preferences. The real art lies in keeping the cost at a minimum while still acquiring the most benefits you must be looking forward to.
Advantages of Low Profile Graphics Cards
Intensely Less Power Consuming
Due to the small size and relatively fewer components, low profile graphics cards consume minimal power compared to standard-sized graphics cards. Most LP graphics cards don’t require any external power connectors from the PSU.
They can easily operate on the power delivered by the PCI Express x16 slot. Moreover, you don’t require to have a high wattage power supply for these cards. In most cases, a maximum of 400W is more than enough for them, considering the average PC build.
Small Form Factor
Low profile graphics cards are a slim option compared to the standard size graphics card. This gives you an added benefit to fit in slim or low profile cases. You can also get them to use in standard ATX cases if you want to have adequate room inside your cabinet for enhanced airflow.
Most low profile graphics cards are equipped with a single slot. Though you can also opt for the power option that comes with the dual-slot design. These low profile graphics cards can easily fit in almost every mini-ITX case.
If you are still unsure, you can take a look at the list of finest small form factor graphics cards specially designed for small form factor cases.
Low-profile graphics cards relatively come cheaper compared to regular-sized units. You can easily get this GPU at a reasonable price. Yet, it is powerful enough to perform well similar to the ones that cost above 100 dollars
Also, keep in mind that it’s not always true that a low-profile graphics card will cost more than its regular variant. You can check some of the very economical graphics cards and figure out accordingly.
Low Profile Vs. Standard Graphics Card
A lot of users at this point might be wondering about the differences between a low-profile graphics card and a standard graphics card. You will hardly find any high-end graphics cards in low profile, though you can easily find mid-range low profile GPUs at high graphics settings at 1080p with playable frame rates.
It can be 50 FPS or even more. Also, they are powerful enough to operate eSports games or older/latest games on mid-high graphics settings at 1080p. The major difference between low profile and standard profile cards is their height.
Low profile cards have a maximum height of 2.536 inches, whereas the standard profile cards can reach approximately 4.2 inches. For power consumption, LP GPUs can easily draw 25 watts while standard cards can draw 75 watts or even more.
Similar to standard cards, low profile graphics cards draw added power through a direct connection to the system’s power supply. Moreover, low profile GPUs use small fans compared to standard units due to their small size. This limits their ability to cool to some extent.
Also, they need to use slower processors to prevent excessive heat. Lastly, let’s talk about compatibility. Low profile GPUs easily connect to the PC’s motherboard in a similar slot than standard graphics cards use.
You can link a standard profile mounting bracket to a low profile graphics card to secure it in a case exclusively designed for standard graphics cards. Irrespective of the bracket type, you are unable to secure a standard graphics card in a case made of low profile graphics cards because of the space limitations.
My Final Verdict:
Low profile graphics cards are undeniably a great option on the market to cater to any kind of user. If you are looking forward to building a small PC system, you can always consider this option. They are purpose-designed to maximize performance so you can get the most out of the smallest package.
They occupy minimal space in your PC case and good enough for advanced photo and video editing, 1080p playback, and a bit of gaming. With everything being said, the big question is still there – what low profile graphics card you would prefer?
If you have made up your mind, do let us know in the comment section below. We would be happy if you find the best fit for your small build.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: What is a low profile graphics card?
A low profile graphics card is the one that is smaller than a standard graphics card. Generally, they come with a single slot contrasting the standard GPU and are shorter in height.
Question 2: What is a half-height graphics card?
A half-height graphics card is a physically shorter height video card. They are also known as low rise graphics card when installed are relatively less tall than other offerings. This is typically done to minimize space needs to easily fit in cases that are less than standard units.
Question 3: What is the best low profile graphics card?
1650 is one of the best graphics cards and thanks to its competence to handle games in 1080p at 60FPS. If you are searching for something a little inexpensive for the light design tasks, you may want to check out 1030. This presents the best value for money and adequate for your requirements.