7 Best Low Profile Graphics Card Reviews 2020 | For Awesome Visual Experience

Updated: November 18th, 2020By: BrantonReviewsLeave a Comment

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If you have a smaller PC or an older computer, picking the best low profile graphics card can make a ton of differences in your build. By making smart selections, you can get the smallest, most powerful low profile video card. This will improve your build dramatically, even if your budget is 400 to 500USD. We also reviewed the best RTX 2070 Super graphics cards here.

Favorite Low Profile Graphics Cards Comparison

Editor's Rating: 4.7/5
  • Easy installation
  • Does not require lots of additional power
  • Affordable
Editor's Rating: 4.6/5
  • Heatsink for quiet running
  • Increased lifespan
  • Affordable
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5
  • Massive Screen Size
  • Supports Gaming Activities
  • VESA Compatibility

How to Choose the Right Low Profile Graphics Card

Graphics cards, or GPUs, are one of the most important parts of your computer build. They are responsible for providing great graphics for your game, so the more detailed you want the graphics to be, the more precise you should be with your GPU selection. These cards, also called graphics cards or video cards, provide a huge amount of information to your computer, and need to be selected intelligently even if you can only invest into an ultra cheap PC build under $350.

Low Profile GPU vs. Standard GPU

The biggest difference between a low profile GPU and a standard GPU is the size. This means that their performance can be considered similar in many circumstances. If you have an older computer, or if you have a very small PC, a low profile GPU will assist with making sure that you have the proper amount of space and information available in your build. 

Low profile GPUs also draw far less energy from the motherboard, typically only taking a third of the energy that a standard GPU would pull. This is partly due to the fact that these cards require smaller fans. These smaller fans require smaller processors so that the GPUs don’t overheat, however, this does not affect the low profile GPU’s performance. 

Advantages of Low Profile Graphics Cards

The best low profile graphics cards use less power than a standard graphics card and also tend to run quieter. This makes installing a low profile graphics card appealing for people who have limited space, mobile computers, or who are trying to cut the costs of electricity. 

These graphics cards are also very compact compared to the normal cards, meaning they are easier to travel with. They usually do not require a power supply, so you can use them on the go. They are power saving, and you can overclock them, so they run seamlessly no matter what you have going on. 

Best Low Profile Graphics Card Reviews

Editor's Rating: 4.7/5

Features:

  • No PCI power connectors required, meaning you can get immediately to what you want to do on your computer

  • It runs incredibly cool, meaning you don’t have to spend further energy or listen to the constant drone of fans

  • Easy installation means that you can work on it yourself without complications, and is a simple plug and play

  • Card can fit inside of older computers, providing an upgrade for you and  giving an old machine new life

This is a powerful graphics card. The Gigabyte Geforce is my top pick for the best low profile graphics card because it reliably and consistently does its job. It’s incredibly easy to install and is simple to play on once it’s in your system. Simply attach the GPU and get ready to roll. If you’re looking for a great ge force video card, this would be a proper fit for you.

While this card is not the end-all-be-all for high-quality GPU cards, it is wildly affordable and provides enough power for anyone who is a standard or above. If you are looking to increase your graphics while decreasing your energy consumption or increasing your space, this would be a great graphics card to install because it is on top of its job without being too hot or too complicated. 


Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC Low Profile 4GB

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Card Length

167 mm

Recommended System Power

300 W

Display Number

4

This graphics card also does not increase the sound that comes from your previous setup. The fans work well, and consistently keep the system running cool. If your system is prone to overheating, due to its size and how cool it runs, the Gigabyte Geforce GTX may be a great GPU replacement. This card gives you more room within the computer to cool down while simultaneously still maintaining the powerful graphics you demand. 

This card also fits very well into a slim case, which is one of the main purposes of its design. It is incredibly narrow, and manages to pack its small size with powerful graphics capabilities. If you have a PC that is difficult to fit by means of the right graphics card, this card may just do the trick. 

I had a particularly small PC build that had a fickle GPU area, that often overheated. This was the graphics card that I ended up being able to succeed with, which allowed me to not only develop the computer into a more functioning system, but also enabled me to make the machine work the way I required it to.

There are two downsides, however. The first is that the fans that come with the card may be delicate or experience damage if they are exposed to rough conditions. The fans are small, and will consistently do what they are supposed to do when installed, but can sustain damage. 

The next potential issue that can arise with this otherwise very capable card is that it does have a limited graphics capacity. This is a small graphics card. It runs games very well, but if you are attempting to run an incredibly involved game very quickly, it can cause your system to “flicker.” Momentary blackouts may occur on the screen if you are asking the card for too much. 

To remedy this, make sure that you check to see what caliber of graphics card you need to efficiently run the game you are attempting to play. If it is beyond the capacities of this graphics card, you may require a different one for your personal uses. 

Pros

  • Great upgrade from the integrated gaming card
  • Affordable
  • Does not require lots of additional power

Cons

  • Sometimes the fan can receive damage if you do not maintain their health

Editor's Rating: 4.6/5

Features: 

  • Built with all solid capacitors in order to maximize the lifespan, meaning you can get the most out of this card for as long as you can by design

  • Makes your entire PC faster, so you can get to what you want more efficiently

  • The low profile only occupies one PCI slot, which is perfect for computers or builds with limited space

  • 20W max means that you’re able to use this GPU no matter what energy system you’re using, whether it’s battery or plugged into the wall

  • The device uses a heatsink instead of fans to cool, meaning that there are no disruptive ambient noises 

  • Size and utility make this a perfect card to revitalize computers, meaning that this GPU can turn an old computer into one that runs like it’s young again

MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GB GDRR3 64-bit

Header

Memory

2gb

Recommended Power System

300 Watts

Maximum Resolution

2560 x 1600 at 60 Hertz

Core954 MHz

954 MHz

This incredibly affordable GPU card means that anyone who is interested in turning around the life of an old computer has the ability to do so for a relatively small investment. While it is not powerful enough to engage in professional or dedicated advanced gaming, this card can bring a modest computer to casual amateur gaming level with just a simple installation. 

Cooled entirely by heatsinks, this is a great GPU to install if you don’t want to have to worry about your GPU increasing your energy consumption dramatically. There are no fans involved, so there is not an increase in noise after you’ve installed this fan, either. The heatsink itself may get hot, noticeably so, especially if you accidentally place your fingers directly onto it if it’s been running, but it will not be hot enough at any point to cause a thermal shutdown. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality card at an affordable price for either a project or for personal use, this would be a great addition to any build. I used this in an old build that I was using while traveling back in the day. This was due solely to its ability to not drain that computer’s battery while simultaneously running the level of graphics that I needed at the time. As far as any PCI express graphics card is concerned, this brings the punch it promises. 

The only doubt I could have is that while this card plays well with older computers, it does not play well with some older versions of Windows. It may lag, become slower, or not provide the quality of graphics it may otherwise provide. Keep that in mind when applying it to older computer setups. 

Pros

  • Increased lifespan
  • Durable
  • Heatsink for quiet running
  • 20W max, so you have energy no matter where you go
  • Affordable

Cons

  • This card may not play as well with older versions of Windows

Editor's Rating: 4.5/5

Features:

  • New software has twice the cache of its predecessor, meaning that you get the same quality you know from MSI Gaming, but improved

  • Faster, cooler, and quieter due to its new design, allowing you to take advantage of Turig’s new graphics features

  • Applications allow you to share images and screenshots, and even provide a livestream platform for you and your friends

  • Comes with the Afterburner overclocking software, allowing you to overclock your system with ease and monitor your key metrics in real time

  • With Afterburner comes the Oc Scanner, which finds the most stable while consistently high overclocking settings for your card. This provides a free performance boost

This is a new and improved version of my much loved MSI Gaming brand, which allowed me to really indulge since this one runs at 70% more efficiency than its predecessors. It’s fast, cool, and quiet, and revitalized my gaming system after I installed it in only about thirty minutes. 

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB

Header

Memory

4GB

Memory Speed

8GHz

Max. Resolution

5120 x 1440 (4k)

Recommended Power Supply

350 - 400 Watts

The truly fun thing about this MSI product, however, is the additions that it features. From Afterburn to the livestreaming platform, this adds more to your computer experience than just a clear screen and pretty graphics. I was definitely able to engage further than I had before with my community, and saw my computer performance increase wildly. The GTX 1650 low profile does its job exactly as specified, every time, with fun perks. It also is a 4gb video card, meaning you have a ton of memory to work through and use. 

If you’re looking for a great way to overclock your system safely, the Afterburn software will take care of you. It maximizes your output while simultaneously making sure that the level you work at is the level at which your system will run the fastest. I truly loved being able to monitor my metrics as they occurred, which put my mind at ease when I first started using this system. Overclocking can sometimes be slightly difficult, depending on your system, but this software made it simple. 

The only thing that I recognized about this product was that it did not inherently come with a DP port. There are two display outlets, and while that is very sufficient for most of your needs, if you need a DP port, this may not be the best GPU for your purposes. 

Pros

  • Additional software
  • Improvement on MSI Gaming technology
  • Easy to install
  • Great for gaming
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Does not come with three display outs, only two, if that is a requirement for your system

Editor's Rating: 4.4/5

Features:

  • Made especially for gaming, so you can trust that you will receive high-quality graphics in your games

  • Comes with a custom-designed fan cooler, to keep your system running cold and quiet

  • Optimized airflow assists with cooling your machine while simultaneously providing supreme heat dissipation for your GPU

  • Customizable to fit your needs, meaning you can use one-click overclocking through the AORUS graphics engine

  • Provides beautiful, smooth playback for videos through its DVI-D and HDMI port

  • Incredible durability means that this GPU will work with your computer for years to come

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Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 GV-N1030D5-2GL Low Profile 2G Computer Graphics Card

Header

Card Length

150 mm

Recommended Power Supply

300W

Memory

2GB

Memory Clock Speed

6008 MHz

If there was ever an affordable GPU made for gaming, it’s absolutely this one. This GPU provides some insanely high-quality graphics. From streaming to gaming to photo editing, this system will optimize your viewing and listening experience. 

If you’re into games that have beautiful worlds created, this GPU is going to maximize that for you. That was very impressive for me, because the playback wasn’t just seamless and without lag, but was so crisp and clear that it seemed almost uncanny. This is a great little GPU if you are into the quality of visuals. 

Overclocking is also put front and center by this GPU. There’s a one-click overclocking system through their AORUS graphics engine, meaning you just have to request overclocking and you have it. This is truly the easiest overclocking system on this list, though I’m not as much a fan of it as I am the Afterburner system. 

The cooling system is also great, and the GPU chassis is built to optimize the airflow to the GPU, to help keep it from overheating while simultaneously conserving energy. There is a fan version and a heat sink version-- in my personal opinion, you want the heatsink version. My fan suffered some damage, causing it to shift a little in its bearing. I had to call in for a replacement because of a constant low buzzing noise that was produced by the fan, which wasn’t my favorite. 

While the fans may not be durable, that doesn’t detract from the quality of the overclocking system and the graphics themselves. Especially because you can specify the heatsink version, this would be a great fit for any build.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • One-click overclocking system
  • High end cooling

Cons

  • The fan can become damaged, however there is a version with a heat sink

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Editor's Rating: 4.3/5

Features:

  • Triple simultaneous display capabilities gives you more control of your graphics and your display, allowing you to enjoy more of your content

  • High-definition video is provided through accelerated Blu-Ray 3D Playback, giving you the highest quality visual experience available on the market

  • Dolby-TrueHD technology uses multi-audio bitstreaming in order to provide an intense sound experience that matches your visual experience

  • Increases the speed of your web browsing, photo or video editing, gaming, and more, enabling you to follow your passions at top speed

  • Pre-configured with a low bracket, this GPU is incredibly easy to install

  • The passive cooling solution means that you can use your computer in complete silence, without the whir of a fan

ZOTAC GeForce GT 730 Zone Edition

Header

Card Length

145.79 mm

Power Supply Recommendation

300W

Memory Clock Speed

1600MHz

Memory Size

4GB

This is truly a graphics display prioritization. If someone told me that they had the ZOTAC GeForce GT730 on their computer, I’d assume that they’re either a snob or someone who truly appreciates incredibly finetuned viewing experiences. With the speed and accessibility of this ZOTAC, you don’t need an 8gb video card to see the exact same qualities they promise. 

This GPU literally uses Blu-Ray 3D Playback features for its graphics, which will blow you away due to their quality on screen. The audio matches the video, because of the use of Dolby-TrueHD for what’s referred to as multi-audio bitstreaming.

If you’ve never been blown away by a viewing experience, if you use this GPU for streaming, you may get to experience that. It’s almost excessively clear. 

However, there are some downsides to this product. If you have a Linux machine, there may be some flaws with how the ZOTAC GeForce links up with it, which may provide some issues with lag in your streaming. It’s not necessarily Linux optimized. 

If your computer is a little bit older, or has other issues with loading quickly, your computer may need a small amount of a “warm up” period in order to properly load your GPU settings. I had an older computer that I tried to migrate this GPU into, and what I discovered was that I had to let my computer sit to think before I was able to use it. This wasn’t the case with my newer builds, but my older PC had a few growing pains adapting to this card. 

Pros

  • High quality audio and visuals
  • Passive cooling without sound
  • Increased speed for your computer
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Depending on computer build, some machines may need a bit of a “warm up” period for the audio and visuals to load properly.

Editor's Rating: 4.2/5

Features:

  • Includes easy-to-install low profile bracket, allowing you to get back to gaming

  • Stunning HD screen quality allows you to edit pictures, watch videos, or game in the most visually appealing settings currently available

  • Passive cooling system allows this card to make minimal noise, meaning there is no distracting or bothersome ambient noise

  • Can run at a lower wattage, at around 250W, which allows you to take this card on the go more easily, or decrease your payments

  • Very affordable, allowing you to save money while still receiving a quality product

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EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC

Header

Memory Size 

2GB

Memory Clock Speed

1544MHz

Recommended Power

250W

This is another high quality graphics card that uses a passive cooling system to decrease its noise while simultaneously having a wonderful viewing experience. What sets the EVGA GeForce apart from the pack is their use of energy, however.

While the typical small form factor graphics card runs on a machine at about 300 watts, this particular card can run at 250 watts. That saves you time, money, and battery life when you’re doing your best to optimize your experience. 

This is also an incredible product that is simultaneously affordable and easy to install. If you’re a beginner or you’re just starting with building your own machine, this particular GPU will really be an asset. It comes with an easy-to-install bracket and the high-quality perks of other GPUs such as a passive cooling system, decreased wattage, and increased durability. 

This card, however, was a little particular about Amazon Prime. I’m not sure why. And I’ve heard it isn’t just me. So if you are an avid Amazon Prime Original Films streamer, I would suggest potentially considering another card. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Passive cooling system
  • High quality screen
  • Runs on lower wattage

Cons

  • Sensitive builds may have trouble recognizing the software in the beginning

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Editor's Rating: 4.1/5

Features: 

  • Incredibly small chassis means you are able to build around it without it taking up too much space. This can increase airflow, decrease your setup size, allow you to fit more into your system, and more

  • Fans are incredibly sturdy, meaning you do not have to worry about your cooling system

  • All solid capacitors lend more durability to his GPU

  • The heatsink capabilities combined with the fan mean that not only do you have a cooler system, you have a quiet system as well 

  • This is the only 1030 GT with a DP connector, giving you access to more choices for connectivity and streaming

  • Card typically runs cool to the touch, so you do not have to worry about thermal meltdowns

  • Small card provides huge output in regards to the energy that it runs on, meaning that you are getting a huge amount of bang for your buck

MSI Graphic Cards GT 1030

Header

Screen Size

42.5-inch

Display Panel

QLED, Vertical Alignment (VA)

Max. Resolution

3840 x 2160 (4k)

Refresh Rate

60 Hertz

Response Time

4 ms

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Speakers

Yes

G-Sync / FreeSync

FreeSync

Features

Swivel, Adjustable Height, Tilt, Blue Light Filter, Flicker-Free

Ports / Connectivity

VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort, HDMI

This is a tiny card, but that absolutely does not mean you should overlook it. If you’re looking for a powerful card by means of its durability, its capabilities, and its output, then this is a great card for you to invest in for your system. 

Off the bat, you’ll notice that the chassis is incredibly small. It also doesn’t overheat. I’ve never had the MSI Graphics Card that I was working with even become hot to the touch because of how complete the heatsink capabilities are. 

The output from this card is also gigantic, and provides a huge amount of energy for your buck. It’s durable, it’s easy to install, and it provides exactly what it states it will. 

However, be sure that if you invest in this card, you also have the MSi v391.01 drivers, because that is the only device of its kind that this card is compatible with. If you’re willing to make that adjustment, you have a powerhouse card on your side.

Pros

  • Very energy efficient
  • Runs cool with a heatsink and sturdy fans
  • Small chassis gives you more choices and versatility
  • Durable
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Does not support Miracast

Applications of Low Profile Graphics Cards

Low profile graphics cards are incredibly efficient because they can be used in computers that need to be able to function without being plugged in. They also are great for traveling, and fit into smaller or older builds, making them a highly functional additive. 

If you are someone who tries to prioritize space inside of your build, you could also use a low profile graphics card to decrease the amount of “clutter” and increase the airflow in your build. This, paired with the fans or the heatsink from your GPU, creates a far cooler build while simultaneously still granting you the power that a GPU can provide. 

Physical Size

These cards are typically about half of the size of a standard graphics card, meaning that they also require smaller fans. The size taken into account for this graphics card means that it may not be perfect for large products, but it will fit great into a personal setup. They’re useful in slim cases or even specifically designated low profile computer cases.

Power Consumption

Smaller graphics cards mean smaller fans and smaller amounts of power needed both to run the card and cool the card. If you want to be able to work off battery alone, a low profile graphics card will increase your ability to do so. You also do not need to have a large power supply in order to run these cards. In fact, you need just around 400 Watts in order to run specific GPUs, meaning you can focus on what you want to rather than on your computer battery. 

Noise Output

The noise output from low profile GPUs comes from several minor differences, but typically comes down to what type of fan is used, if a fan is even used at all. Some low profile GPUs use heatsinks in order to cool themselves off, while others have one fan. Incredibly strong graphics cards have two fans, but because of the reduced size of the fans, you won’t find them making as much noise as fans for a standard-sized GPU would. These are wildly beneficial for systems that require quiet computing, or for bedrooms or shared living spaces. Reducing noise but retaining power is an important aspect of investing in your hardware, and should be considered for your GPU, as well.

Related: Best Graphics Card Under $300

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Hey there! I'm Branton, the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. Since our launch in 2015, we've helped thousands upon thousands of gamers build their dream desktops, find the perfect peripherals, and more. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to get in tough!

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