Welcome to our list of best low profile video cards in Q3 2019. If you want to improve gaming performance of your small form factor desktop or HTPC, then you should invest in a suitable low profile (half height) graphics card. There are many models to choose from, but not all are suitable for gamers. Our list includes the most powerful low profile graphics cards available right now, ranked by gaming performance from best to worst. Current models are shown with approximate market price (cheapest model), older discontinued GPUs are grayed out in the chart. You can also sort by amount of VRAM, cores, memory interface and TDP.
Before you do the research, you need to make sure that your computer has a free PCIe slot, preferably PCIe x16, as there are no good PCIe x8 or x1 low profile video cards for gaming. Then measure the free space in your computer case and compare it with the desired graphics card. Some smaller cases might not have enough room for longer models or those with dual-slot coolers. Besides that, your computer needs to have a sufficient power supply for your GPU. Minimum power supply requirements are sometimes exaggerated, search the internet for people who have the same computer or PSU. If you have a popular SFF computer like HP Compaq Elite 8300/8200/8100, then there is much information about what low profile video cards should work with your PC. Many gamers use them as budget gaming computers. One more thing to remember is that you need a screwdriver and pliers to change the full size bracket to a half height one, because with most low profile graphics cards you need to replace it by yourself. Very few come installed with the smaller one.
1. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 has been the best low profile video card since late June 2019. It’s also the most powerful graphics card right now that doesn’t require a PCIe power connector, although there are full size variants that need a 6-pin connector. The Turing-based GeForce GTX 1650 is not a high end GPU, but it can play modern games with decent settings at 1080p resolution. However it is slower than cheaper AMD Radeon RX 570, although the AMD card is not available in half height version. Currently there are 4 manufacturers that make LP GTX 1650: Asus, KFA2, MSI and Zotac, so there are multiple models to choose from.
2. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti was the fastest low profile video card from late 2016 to June 2019. If you are buying new, then it is recommended to choose newer GeForce GTX 1650 (not named GTX 2050) instead, unless you can find half-height GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for cheaper.
3. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB
3GB version of the GeForce GTX 1050 was actually the newest card in the GTX 1050 series, it was released in 2018. The 3GB GeForce GTX 1050 is usually faster than the 2GB variant, but it can actually be slower in some situations. It is because the 3GB version has narrower 96-bit bus compared to 128-bit on the 2GB GTX 1050.
4. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
GeForce GTX 1050 2GB is a good budget card, but 2GB of VRAM might be a limiting factor in the future. There are multiple manufacturers that make this card, so you have different options to choose from.
5. Low profile AMD Radeon RX 560 (1024)
AMD Radeon RX 560 is currently the best low profile video card from AMD. It has very similar performance to GTX 1050, but it supports FreeSync, so the RX 560 is better for people who prefer cheap FreeSync gaming monitors. There are 2GB and 4GB versions available, but MSI is the only manufacturer of the low profile variant.
6. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
Discontinued graphics card that was the best low profile GPU for only about half a year in 2016. It’s roughly as fast as GeForce GTX 1050 and Radeon RX 560, no point to upgrade if you already have the GTX 950.
7. Low profile AMD Radeon RX 460
AMD Radeon RX 460 was the fastest low profile AMD GPU, until it was replaced with fully unlocked Radeon RX 560. RX 460 only had 896 stream processors compared to 1024 on RX 560. MSI was the only manufacturer.
8. Low profile AMD Radeon HD 7850
AFOX Radeon HD 7850 was the fastest low profile video card from 2012 to 2016, until the release of the GeForce GTX 950. This video card wasn’t widely available in United States or Europe and it needed a PSU with a 6-pin PCIe power connector. It was more meant for enthusiasts who built compact PCs from scratch.
9. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
It was NVIDIA’s best low profile video card from 2014 to 2016. Even though it performed worse than Radeon HD 7850, it was much more popular, because it had lower power consumption and much better availability.
10. Low profile AMD Radeon RX 550 (512)
AMD Radeon RX 550 is not the best value for money at the moment, it isn’t much cheaper than Radeon RX 560 or GeForce GTX 1050. Although it’s currently the cheapest card that fully supports AMD Radeon FreeSync.
11. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750
Discontinued, cut down version of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti. Buying the used 1GB version of this card is not recommended, the small amount of VRAM will definitely bottleneck the performance of the GPU.
12. Low profile NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030
GeForce GT 1030 is a decent graphics card for basic Esports games, it also has very low power consumption. It is the cheapest GPU you should buy for gaming today, even though it doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements for many modern titles. Avoid the much slower DDR4 variant.