Welcome to our list of best low profile video cards in Q1 2023. This list consist the best half-height graphics cards for gaming. Choosing the right graphics card for your PC is not always the easiest thing, so I hope you find this list useful. Even though there are not very many low profile video cards to choose from, you need to pick which is suitable for gamers. The following list is mostly meant for people who want to get the best performance out of their your small form factor desktop or some other PC that doesn’t fit full size cards. If your PC doesn’t have an integrated GPU and you just want a display adapter then you should not invest in a $150-$250 half height graphics card. On this page you find the most powerful gaming low profile graphics cards available right now, ranked by gaming performance from best to worst. Of course it depends on a game, some older cards can fall behind in newer games or can’t even run at all. Some games run better with NVIDIA, some with AMD. You can also sort by amount of VRAM, cores, memory interface and TDP. Older discontinued GPUs are grayed out in the chart.
Best value low profile graphics card for gaming
The AMD Radeon RX 6400 technically isn’t the best low profile GPU in the world, but costing around 100 dollars less than competing GTX 1650 it is a much better deal. It is about as fast as GTX 1650 GDDR5, but when put in a system without PCI-E 4.0 support (most used SFF PCs), the performance can get a hit. In some games it is minus 30 percent, others there is no difference. It also depends on game and settings. In some games RX 6400 is faster than GTX1650 even on PCI-E 3.0. Lowering the settings helps the card to keep up. If you have a PCI-E 2.0 motherboard, then you should avoid the RX6400. Or if recording gameplay is important, as it doesn’t support hardware encoding.
The fastest low profile GPU for higher end PCs
If you have money to spare then you can get a RTX A2000. It is available in 6GB and 12GB variants, it’s the only low profile video card with more than 4GB of VRAM. RTX A2000 is a professional GPU, but it still can run games. It has similar performance to RTX 3050, but it costs almost 200 dollars more. If you are willing to buy refurbished then you can get it for similar price to GTX 1650. Like the name suggest it supports raytracing, so you can play with it. Before you buy the A2000 make sure you have a good CPU not to waste the potential. 2nd or 3rd gen i5 is certainly not enough for this GPU, A good 6th gen Intel 4 core/8 thread+ processor is a minimum, even better a 6 core+ CPU.
Best budget low profile video cards
If you have a really low budget then the only sensible options are RX 550 and GT 1030 GDDR5. But these are worth about half of the RX 6400 price as these really struggle with newer games. They are not worth 100 dollars + even if there is a 4GB variant. 4GB DDR4 GT 1030 has still less than half of the performance of the GDDR5 variant. When your budget is 100 dollars then the best option is an used GTX 1050 Ti. If you plan to play games then avoid cards like GT 730, GT 710 etc.
Most powerful single slot low profile graphics card
When your computer case doesn’t fit a dual slot graphics card, then the fastest option is GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6. Yeston makes a very compact single slot GDDR6 variant of GTX 1650 that should fit in most PCs with a PCIe x16 slot. It is also shorter than single slot low profile Radeon RX 6400 cards. Of course it cost more too.
List of best gaming low profile graphics cards:
1. NVIDIA RTX A2000 low profile
The RTX A2000 isn’t technically a gaming graphics card, but its performance is still very good. It is much better than other low profile video cards. The Ampere based GPU has similar performance to RTX 3050. It is available in 6GB and 12GB variants. It’s also the most powerful graphics card right now that doesn’t require a PCIe power connector, the TDP is just 70W. Because it is a professional graphics card, it has a very high price.
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (GDDR6) low profile
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6 is the fastest gaming oriented low profile video card since late March 2020. Low profile variants don’t need a 6-pin PCIe power connector, although there are full size variants that need it. The Turing-based GeForce GTX 1650 is not a high end GPU, but it can play modern games with normal settings at 1080p resolution. However it costs much more than Radeon RX 6400.
3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (GDDR5) low profile
The original GDDR5 version of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 was the best low profile video card from June 2019 to March 2020. It is supposed to be replaced by the new version. It is now pointless as new, if it costs the same. But good as a cheaper (used) option.
4. AMD Radeon RX 6400 low profile
AMD Radeon RX 6400 is currently the fastest low profile graphics card by AMD. Its performance is about equal to original GTX 1650 GDDR5, but only when on PCIe 4.0 because it only uses 4 lanes. Most systems low profile cards go into use PCIe 3.0 which will limit the performance. Compared to the NVIDIA card, the RX 6400 doesn’t support over 2 monitors or video encoding (recording/streaming). It’s the cheapest low profile card that supports raytracing, but given the performance of the card it is mostly useless.
5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti low profile
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 or RX 6400 instead, unless you can find half-height GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for much cheaper.
6. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1630 low profile
Unlike the original GTX 1650, this cut down GTX 1630 wasn’t released in 2019. It is actually a very recent product from summer 2022. Unfortunately it is much slower than GTX 1650, so it’s not a very good card for the money. If you even manage to find a low profile variant, in early 2023 it’s hard to find one for sale.
7. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB low profile
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.
8. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB low profile
GeForce GTX 1050 2GB was a good budget card in 2016, but 2GB of VRAM in 2023 is way too low. There were multiple manufacturers that made this card and it was quite popular. Plenty of used cards available on Ebay, but should be avoided unless it’s much cheaper than the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
9. AMD Radeon RX 560 (1024) low profile
AMD Radeon RX 560 is quite an old card but (it was released in 2017), but it is still the second fastest low profile video card from AMD. It has very similar performance to GTX 1050. There are 2GB and 4GB versions available.
10. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 low profile
This long discontinued graphics card that was the best low profile GPU for only about half a year in 2016. It’s nearly as fast as GeForce GTX 1050 and Radeon RX 560, but it wasn’t very popular and today it’s very rarely found on used market.
11. AMD Radeon RX 460 low profile
AMD Radeon RX 460 was the most powerful 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.
12. AMD Radeon HD 7850 low profile
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.
13. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti low profile
The very popular GTX 750 Ti was NVIDIA’s best low profile video card from 2014 to 2016. Even though it had worse performance than AMD Radeon HD 7850, it was much more popular, because it had lower power consumption and much better availability. Buying it used in 2023 is not recommended though. Although it still gets driver updates, it doesn’t support full DirectX12. Because of that some modern games won’t even start with this graphics card.
14. AMD Radeon RX 550 (512) low profile
AMD Radeon RX 550 is a good budget option now, but it was not the best value for money GPU years ago, when it wasn’t much cheaper than Radeon RX 560 or GeForce GTX 1050. But now these two aren’t available for reasonable money, so it’s an OK option if you can get it for under $70-$80.
15. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 low profile
The regular GTX 750, without the “Ti” is a cut down version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti. Buying the 1GB version now in 2023 of this card is not a good idea, the small amount of VRAM will definitely bottleneck the performance of the GPU. It also has the same limitations as its bigger brother.
16. NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 low profile
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.
Before you make your purchase, you need to make sure that you can actually install a half-height GPU.
1. Make sure your PC is upgradeable. Your computer needs to have a free PCIe slot, there are Mini-ITX motherboards that don’t have it. The PCI express slot must be PCIe x16, as there are no good PCIe x8 or x1 low profile video cards for gaming (some exceptions). Some really tiny pre-builts don’t have a cut out behing the PC for an addon card.
2. You need a place to put it. Heatsinks or cables can be in the way. It would be nice to 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. In some situations you have to settle with weaker a single slot card low profile card.
3. Power supply should be adequate. Your computer needs to have a sufficient power supply to power your GPU. You don’t want your PSU to blow up or PC that shuts down when playing games. P.S. Minimum power supply requirements are sometimes exaggerated.
4. Bottleneck problem. Make sure your PC is powerful enough. Putting a RTX A2000 or GTX 1650 in an ancient computer with dual core Core 2 Duo processor is a waste of money. You would need at least a recent 4 core or preferably 4 core/8 thread or better processor and at least 8GB of RAM, 16GB recommended.
5. You must be willing to change the bracket yourself. One more thing to remember is that you need a screwdriver and/or pliers (if there is a DVI/VGA port) 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.
6. Search the internet for people who have the same computer as you. 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