The Best Low Profile Graphics Cards (GPUs) of 2019 & 2020

The Best Low Profile Graphics Cards

There are many reasons why you might want to consider a low profile graphics card for your present or future build. But the main reason, ultimately, is their ability to fit into literally any case. This makes the low profile graphics card not only versatile but space-saving as well.

Even though we don't necessarily class the low profile graphics card as a premium hardware offering, it's still seen its fair share of technological advancements. It's not just top tier GPUs that get all the attention. Consumers now have the option to purchase a half size GPU with all the punching power required to play AAA games titles with a decent FPS output.

With that, in today's article, the team sits down with what we believe are the best low profile cards currently available to the consuming public. Both AMD and Nvidia feature in this best of guide, bringing their flagship low profile offerings to the table.

Which will ultimately take the top spot? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about LP GPUs.

Best Low Profile Graphics Cards

Product Details
MSI GeForce GTX 1650 4GT LP OC Graphics Card

MSI GeForce GTX 1650 4GT LP OC Graphics Card

  • clock speed: 1695 MHz (Boost)
  • vram: 4GB GDDR5
  • memory bus width: 128 bit
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Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC Low Profile 4GB

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC Low Profile 4GB

  • clock speed: 1328MHz - 1442MHz
  • vram: 4GB GDDR5
  • memory bus width: 128 bit
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Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 OC Low Profile 2GB

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 OC Low Profile 2GB

  • clock speed: 1392MHz - 1506MHz
  • vram: 2GB GDDR5
  • memory bus width: 128 bit
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EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC 2GB GDDR5

EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC 2GB GDDR5

  • clock speed: 1290MHz - 1544MHz
  • vram: 2GB GDDR5
  • memory bus width: 64 bit
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MSI RX 560 4GB LP OC

MSI RX 560 4GB LP OC

  • clock speed: Up to 1196 MHz
  • vram: 4GB GDDR5
  • memory bus width: 128 bit
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MSI AMD Radeon RX 460 4GT LP 4GB GDDR5

MSI AMD Radeon RX 460 4GT LP 4GB GDDR5

  • clock speed: 1200 MHz
  • vram: 4GB GDDR5
  • memory bus width: 128 bit
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Above is a first look at what's to come in the following best of guide. Each GPU has been ranked based on a number of different factors but mainly price, performance, aesthetics, and usability.

#1

MSI GeForce GTX 1650 4GT LP OC Graphics Card

MSI's GeForce GTX 1650 LP GPU has been rated as the best and fastest low profile GPU in this guide, and for good reason. It comes to the table boasting the ability to perform lower intensive AAA game titles in 1080p at 60FPS. Pretty decent when you consider the overall size of this card.

It has a 1695 Mhz boosted clock speed out-of-the-box which makes it, by far, the fastest in this guide and perfect for any gamer looking to build a small form factor PC. The 1650 is part of GeForce's 16 series from Nvidia and is based on the Turing GPU architecture we're used to seeing in more premium GPU's.

With 896 CUDA cores and 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, this graphics card is no joke. It's around 25% faster than its next closest rival, the 1050 Ti.

MSI has equipped this card with its dual-fan thermal design which is said to cover more of the heatsink leading to a much more efficient cooling solution.

Ultimately, if you're looking for the absolute best low profile GPU money can buy, look no further. The GTX 1650 will make the perfect light gaming small form factor PC for any beginner looking to get into the gaming scene.

#2

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC Low Profile 4GB

Contrary to what many will likely believe, the Gigabyte 1050 Ti, which comes equipped with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, is a fantastic option for those out there looking to build a small form factor PC that is capable of handling games.

The 1050 Ti from Gigabyte supports up to four display outputs which include; dual-link DVI-D ports, one DisplayPort, and two HDMI ports, making it extremely versatile, to say the least. The 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM makes gaming extremely viable, and achieving playable FPS on some lesser intensive AAA titles is certainly not out of the question. Think Fortnite, CS:GO, and so on.

Even though it only has a single fan thermal design, it still provides excellent cooling during heavy graphical processes and is near silent. The card is fairly long - sitting at 167mm - but we'll let it off as it offers the second-highest clock speed in this list.

This card comes OC'd right out-of-the-box, meaning you don't have to stress over the BIOS menu to gain extra performance out of this thing. It's already done for you! Using Gigabyte's Xtreme engine utility, you can simply turn on OC mode boosting the clock speed from 1328Mhz to a tasty 1442Mhz.

The Gigabyte 1050 Ti Low profile graphics card gets our second spot in this best of guide, and for good reason. Top performance, decent aesthetics, and robust cooling are all factors that make this LP GPU a great one.

#3

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 OC Low Profile 2GB

Next, comes the 1050 Ti's little brother, the 1050. This one, once again, has been manufactured by the excellent Gigabyte.

The great thing about Gigabyte is the quality which their hardware components come to the table with. Whether it's their latest flagship motherboard or a budget GPU offering, you know when purchasing Gigabyte, you're effectively getting a product that is going to last. The 1050 is absolutely no different.

The 1050 has pretty much everything the 1050 Ti has to offer, but with half VRAM. The 1050 comes to shelves with 2GB of GDDR5 instead of 4GB - and even though that doesn't sound like a great deal, it has a real impact on this card's performance. This being said, the 1050 is still able to produce playable FPS in some games if the settings are tweaked just right.

The length of this card is identical to the Ti, measuring in at 167mm, and it comes with the exact same overclocking software for extracting extra performance at no additional cost. Whereas the Ti can be boosted to 1442Mhz, the 1050 OC can actually be boosted to 1506Mhz which is seriously impressive considering its price tag.

#4

EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC 2GB GDDR5

EVGA is another brand I'm sure everyone will be familiar with and gives us our forth offering -the excellent GT 1030 2GB graphics card.

The first thing that struck me with this card was how aesthetically pleasing it was right out the box. Having said that, unless you plan on buying a fairly elaborate case, you probably won't get the chance to enjoy the aesthetics all that much.

The HSF thermal design sits at 68mm tall and 169mm long, meaning it's quite wide, but nothing that's going to cause your small build any problems. The fan does work very well in keeping this card cool, especially when in OC mode, which boosts the internal clock speed from 1290Mhz to an impressive 1544Mhz.

The 1030 isn't the greatest card in the world as far as gaming is concerned, but it does have enough juice to be able to play some games efficiently and works great for most photo editing and design purposes.

Ultimately, the 1030 is a great little card if you're looking for an all-round option. It's affordable while still being able to achieve some solid performance results.

#5

MSI RX 560 4GB LP OC

We come to the AMD offerings, and the first comes in the shape of MSI's RX 560 4Gb.

Ultimately, what your looking at is AMD's most powerful (flagship) true low profile graphics card. The 560 was designed to succeed the 460 and comes to shelves boasting much better performance, respectively.

The RX 560 is based upon AMD's latest Polaris GPU architecture, which comes with 1024 stream processors and 4GB of GDDR5 memory. It has fantastic performance results as far as its price is concerned and can play AAA game titles, making it a worthy contender for an efficient LAN build.

This is the OC edition meaning it comes overclocked from its factory counterpart straight out of the box. The boosted clock speed is 1196Mhz, which when compared to the 1650 does seem a little lacking. MSI, however, has compensated by bolstering other areas of the GPU, effectively making it a more all-round product.

#6

MSI AMD Radeon RX 460 4GT LP 4GB GDDR5

Our final recommendation comes in the shape of the RX 460 from MSI. The predecessor of the 560 which comes with higher boosted clock speed (just) and the same 4GB GDDR5 memory.

The 460 was designed with just 2GB of VRAM. However, thanks to modern-day games and processes now being much more GPU demanding, the guys at MSI decided to bolster this card to 4GB, respectively. This works wonders for the card as it becomes much more powerful right across the board.

The card can handle some games but isn't considered the best if you're looking at gaming with this thing. Furthermore, the heatsink, which I think is relatively ugly, is quite bulky.

All being said, I still think the 460 shows good value for money and works excellently if you're looking for a cheap GPU which is much more powerful than integrated graphics.

Low Profile GPU Vs. Standard GPU

A lot of people at this stage in the article might be wondering what the differences between a low profile GPU and a standard GPU actually are. Well, don't worry, we've put together this short infographic that should make understanding the difference the two a little bit easier.

How To Choose The Best Low Profile Graphics Card

Like any hardware component, choosing the best low profile graphics card can sometimes be a tricky - and let's face it - pretty stressful task. However, thanks to our team of hardworking PC enthusiasts, we have the most up-to-date hardware options the internet has to offer.

There will be plenty of people reading this right now, scratching their heads in confusion, wondering why they would ever choose a low profile GPU. Well, below, we've outlined some of the main benefits of purchasing a small form factor product.

Physical Size

The first and most obvious area which needs to be addressed when referencing low profile graphics cards is their size. Ultimately, this is the number one reason why someone might consider LP GPU's as a real hardware option.

Low profile, in the graphics card universe, usually refers to the overall height of the GPU itself. As many will know, the top GPUs in today's market are seriously hefty pieces of kit that take up a large amount of space thanks to their impressive heatsink and thermal designs. However, you won't have this problem with a low profile graphics card.

An LP GPU is a stripped-back, half-height (usually) graphics card, which is custom-designed to fit in much thinner cases. They typically come with subtle cooling systems that offer average levels of cooling, meaning they aren't ideal for excess overclocking. This being said, in some cases, they might be your only option, especially if you have a really small case.

Ultimately, a low profile graphics card won't be everyone's first choice, but they certainly have a part to play in the PC world.

Power Consumption

Power consumption is another big plus for low profile graphics cards as they can run on much lower wattages than regular-sized GPU's. This is thanks to a number of different factors which include thermal design, additional features, and overall makeup.

What this means for your build is:

  • A smaller overall PSU is required
  • The total cost of the build will be reduced
  • PSU power can be utilized elsewhere

In most cases, the LP GPU won't physically draw any power from the PSU connector but will get enough wattage directly from the PCI-e 16x slot it's plugged into.

Noise Ouput

Noise output may or may not be something that concerns you when looking at purchasing hardware. This being said, its certainly an area that we feel the low profile graphics card excels in.

Due to the stripped back, almost raw appearance of the LP GPU, most of them come with one solitary fan for their cooling needs. However, some of the entry-level, budget offerings actually come with passive heatsinks for their cooling requirements and consequently make no noise what so ever.

This is especially good when you're looking at building a small, inconspicuous build - as most of the time, smaller form cases don't accommodate very good soundproofing.

Cost

Finally, and potentially most importantly, is the cost of these small form cards. As you can probably imagine, low profile graphics cards are naturally less expensive than regular-sized GPUs - and that comes down to several different factors:

  • Performance
  • Thermal cooling design
  • Aesthetics
  • RGB

This being said, low profile graphics cards have been designed to target small form builds which usually aren't built for gaming or highly stressful work tasks.  That means performance isn't high on their list of priorities. What is high on that list, however, is keeping costs to a minimum, a task that these hardware components seem to do very well indeed.

Closing Thoughts

There you have it, our complete guide to the best low profile graphics cards money can buy.

Ultimately, low profile graphics cards really only cater to one kind of user, and that's someone looking to build a really small, inconspicuous desktop computer. They have been purpose-designed to try and maximize performance out of the smallest package. Thanks to new movements in technology, we are finally being rewarded with decent products that actually have a purpose.

The 1650 is by far the best card on this list thanks to its ability to handle games in 1080p at 60FPS. If you're looking for something a little cheaper for light design tasks, then why not check out the 1030. This showcases some of the best value for money on this list and should be more than enough for your requirements.

AMD fans will undoubtedly go for the 560 LP which hosts the best price to performance stats, respectively.

All being said, the big question still remains, what card would you go for? Which would best fit your small build? Leave us a comment in the box below, letting us know!

Why not head over to our Community hub where you can start a topic and discuss ideas with likeminded people!