Buying a low profile graphics card is something that happens to be an important thing for those with a compact PC build. The reason being simple: they do not want to have huge casings taking up their desk space.
In a situation like that, finding the best low profile graphics card is extremely important because without it, you might not be able to have the right experience.
In this roundup, we are going to be looking at the best low profile graphic cards that you can find in the market. We are also going to look at some of the things that you shoulder when buying a graphics card.
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Best Low-Profile Video Cards 2019 Buying Guide
Things to Consider When Buying a Graphics Card
If you are in the market looking to buy a good graphics card, there are a few things that you must consider.
Sure, buying a graphics card has become a lot easier than it used to be. With only two companies dominating the entire market, making the decision is not difficult.
Still, there are some technicalities that you need to know about before you go ahead and buy the graphics card.
Below, you will find the important considerations that you will need to make when buying a graphics card.
Space And Cooling
This is perhaps one of the most important things that you need to consider; GPUs come in all sizes, and while this roundup focuses on low profile graphic cards, it is still better to consider these factors.
The space and cooling capacity of the case matters a lot; you cannot put a big GPU in a case that is small, and does not even have adequate cooling capacity.
If you are buying a low profile GPU, you can do well with a smaller chassis as well, however, if the chassis is small and you are going for a full sized GPU, you may want to rethink that.
Budget is a very important factor that is involved whenever you are in the market looking for a GPU. The reason being simple, if you spend 80 percent of your total PC budget on a graphic card, you will potentially end up with a powerful GPU, however, that GPU will severely bottleneck the CPU, and you will not get a good performance.
Experts suggest that you must dedicate at least 30 percent of the total budget on the GPU. However, you can make changes to that. Additionally, most modern day CPUs with 6 cores and above can handle pretty much every GPU you put with them.
Another really important thing that you must consider is the power consumption of the GPU you are buying. Yes, the GPUs are becoming more and more power efficient, however, that does not mean that we can simply ignore the power requirements, as they happen to be very important.
When you are considering the power requirement of the GPU, you will have to compare it with the rest of the components.
The good thing is that there are so many power supply calculators available on the internet that can guide you on what amount of PSU you should have.
For instance, for a fully loaded gaming PC with an i7 8700K and a GTX 1080 both overclocked, you are going to need a good 750-watt power supply. This power supply will be more than enough, and will provide you adequate headroom should you wish to upgrade in the future.
AMD or Nvidia
As I have said previously, the market is currently dominated by either AMD, or Nvidia. So, whenever you are in the market, considering this is really important. As of now, AMD does not have any direct competitor to Nvidia’s top of the line graphic cards.
So, if you want the most performance out of the GPU, Nvidia is the way to go.
However, if you are looking for budget gaming, It is best if you go with AMD, because they are hard to beat in that category.
The last thing that I would ask you to consider is the form factor of the GPU that you are buying. The form factor is important because you cannot put a full sized, 2 or 3 slot card in a small case.
You would be doing wrong to both the GPU, and rest of the components. In many cases, you might not even be able to fit the larger graphic cards in the smaller cases.
To simplify it, if you are looking to build a HTPC, go for the smaller, low profile GPU, but if you want to have a fully water cooled beast of a PC, go for a full sized graphics card.
The thing about low profile graphic cards is that while they are great, they are, at times, clocked lower than the full sized variants to keep the temperatures in control.
Best Low Profile Graphics Cards For Compact Builds
ZOTAC GTX 1080 Ti Mini: Check Price On Amazon
Best High-End Low Profile Graphics Card
The first GPU we are going to review is the ZOTAC GTX 1080 Ti. This is the low profile version that was released after the full sized variants were released. As the name suggests, the 1080 Ti Mini is comparatively smaller, and offers a 2 fan design, and despite having two fans, the GPU is still a small one when put next to the full sized variant.
The good thing is that the small size allows you to easily fit the GPU in smaller cases, the colour scheme is neutral, which means that it will look good in almost all the computers regardless of the colour scheme you are going with.
Additionally, you still have a very fast 1080 Ti despite having lower clock speeds. Another great thing about this GPU is that this is actually a cheaper GTX 1080 Ti available in the market.
There are a few downsides that you will get with this GPU; for starters, the GPU runs on its thermal limit, and can pretty hot, and under full stress, the fans can get loud, especially if you have a comparatively small case.
Last but not the least, despite being an under clocked chip, you still need two 8-pin power connectors to run this.
In conclusion, the ZOTAC GTX 1080 Ti is a great GPU, it performs adequately, and can give you an excellent gaming performance.
Despite being under clocked, it still gives you a great performance. Something that most people are going to be looking for at this price point.
- Great performance in every game across the board.
- Incredibly small.
- The color scheme is nicely done.
- Great price to performance ratio.
- The GPU can get hot, and reach the max temperature.
- Fans can get loud when under load.
- The GPU still requires two 8-pin power connectors.
EVGA GTX 1060: Check Price On Amazon
Best Low-Profile Graphics Card For Value
The next GPU we are looking at is from EVGA. For the longest time, EVGA is doing great by Nvidia and has released some really impressive GPUs so far.
The trend continues as we look at the EVGA GTX 1060; a budget friendly GTX 1060 which has its low profile form factor as the biggest selling point. With that said, we are to see if the GPU is actually worthy aside from being low profile.
As I have talked about before, the biggest selling point here is the fact that this is perhaps the most compact desktop sized GTX 1060. If you are building a small PC, this is going to be a great addition to the PC as you do not have to worry about the size.
Additionally, since this is EVGA; you do get a great warranty, which means that even if you mod the GPU in one way or another, EVGA will be honouring the warranty as long as the GPU is under warranty.
This variant of 1060 comes with 6GB of memory, which makes it one of the cheapest GTX 1060s available in the market. As far as the performance is concerned, despite being small, it performs like a champion.
In all honesty, there is not a lot wrong with the GPU. It performs well within its reach, and gets the job done. The only issue is that it does not come with the memory cooling, which can lead to some issues if you are thinking about overclocking the GPU.
Overall, the EVGA GTX 1060 is a great GPU for anyone who is looking to keep things simple and to the point, it gets the job done, and gives you amazing performance as well.
- Low profile means that the GPU can fit pretty in much in every case.
- Great performance.
- Low noise.
- Great thermals.
- Pocket friendly.
- No cooling for memory.
ASUS GTX 750: Check Price On Amazon
There is no denying that Asus has done a great job with releasing some great components in the past. If you are looking for a low profile GPU from them, then do not worry as they have a lot of options available.
Today, we are reviewing the ASUS GTX 750, a low profile GPU that can give you decent performance in gaming, as well as other media related tasks.
Moving to the good things, the good news is that the GPU is extremely power efficient; which means that you do not need to spend a lot of money on a powerful power supply.
Additionally, the GPU is quiet even under load, and it comes overclocked out of the box, and despite the factor overclock, there is some potential for overclocking. You do not need to connect an additional power connector, and the temperatures are rather low.
The best part here is that this GPU does come with CUDA cores, this means that if you have tasks that require CUDA cores, you can actually utilize this GPU to some extent.
As far as the downsides are concerned, there are a few things to keep in mind. Despite being a single slot cart, it requires an extra slot due to a bulky cooler; the card does not come with SLI support, which makes sense at this point, and the memory of the GPU is not overclocked out of the box.
Last but not the least, there are some restrictions to overclocking because of the power limiter.
In conclusion, if you are building a small gaming PC to game on, and you want to play the eSport titles with ease, then the ASUS GTX 750 is definitely something that you should consider.
- Decent performance.
- Extremely low power consumption.
- Overclocked out of the box, with additional headroom.
- CUDA support is a godsend.
- Great temperatures.
- No SLI support.
- Still requires two slots.
- Memory does not come overclocked.
MSI RX 560: Check Price On Amazon
Best AMD Low-Profile Graphics Card
We are finally looking at something from the red team, the AMD Radeon RX 560; this time, it is brought to us by MSI. Since the focus is on low profile, we had to choose this GPU for obvious reasons.
Now before we begin, MSI followed a very interesting design language here; they did make the GPU low profile, but at the same time, they made the cooler design dual slot, this is not a bad thing at all. Let’s see how well it fairs.
The best part is the 1080p performance of this GPU, it is rather compelling, and while you are not going to get the top tier performance, tweaking the settings makes this GPU so much better. The power consumption is minimum at best, and the best part is that you do not need a really cool chassis as the GPU runs cool.
The price to performance ratio is also great, so you are getting what you are paying for.
As far as the downsides are concerned, there is nothing wrong with the GPU that will pose as a deal breaker, but the one thing that I would like to point out that despite being a low profile card, it requires two actual slots in the case. Do keep this in mind before you go ahead and buy this GPU.
In conclusion, the MSI RX 560 is a great graphics card; it performs great for the price you are paying, it runs cool, and it is silent as well. Most importantly, the fact that you are getting a low profile graphics card that gives you such a good performance is something that you cannot deny.
- Excellent performance at the given price.
- Relatively low power consumption.
- Good thermals.
- Great price.
- Requires two slots.
Asus Radeon RX 550: Check Price On Amazon
The last card on the list is the Asus Radeon RX 550. As we have discussed before, AMD has done a great job with their budget options, and this one is no different.
The performance on this GPU is among the best you can get for the price you are paying, and most importantly, the small form factor makes it one of the most attractive features of the card. What else is good? Let’s find out.
To start with the good things, the RX 550 is a great card if you are looking for something that can run the eSports titles with ease. Whether you are playing Overwatch, Fortnite, or the recently released Apex Legends, you are going to have a great time.
Additionally, you can even do well with games like DoTA, League of Legends, and other eSport titles. The thing I am trying to say here is that if you are looking for a good GPU to play some entry level games, then the Asus Radeon RX 550 is a great buy.
The power consumption is great, because you are not going to need an additional power connector; all the power is drawn from the PCI-e connector.
As far as the downsides are concerned, I cannot think of anything that is going to prevent someone from buying this GPU. Sure, this GPU cannot push all the modern titles, but that is about it.
In conclusion, if you are worried that the Asus Radeon RX 550 might not be enough for you, then do not worry.
As long as you are playing games that are meant for such a GPU, then you should not run into any issues whatsoever. Just make sure that you know what settings you should be playing at, and what game you should be playing, and you would be good to go.
- Excellent eSports performance.
- Good price.
- Low power consumption.
- Runs quiet, and cool.
- Does not require additional power connector.
- Not the most powerful option.
As we have discussed before, buying a low profile GPU can be a difficult thing to do. Especially when you realise that they are considered niche options, and not many aftermarket manufacturers are making them.
However, with this list, we aim to stop that issue for those who are looking for low profile options.
Sure, the list is short, but all the low profile graphic cards that we have added have great performance, and should serve you well regardless.