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6 Best Low-Profile Graphics Cards in 2024: Ranked and Reviewed

Close-up view of a modern GPU card with circuit and colorful lights and details 3D rendering

6 Best Low-Profile Graphics Cards in 2024: Ranked and Reviewed

Key Points

  • The world of low-profile graphics cards is a different market segment than their full-sized counterparts, offering smaller cases and compatibility with pre-built office PCs.
  • The MSI RTX 4070 Ventus 2X is a low-profile GPU featuring 12 GB of VRAM.
  • The MSI Gaming RTX 3060 AERO ITX is a full-powered GPU designed for a smaller form factor, with 12 GB of VRAM.
  • The PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT ITX is a powerful ITX-sized GPU that’s close in performance to the RTX 2060.
  • The NVIDIA RTX A2000 is a low-profile GPU with performance on par with the RTX 3050, drawing power directly from the PCI-E lane.

What are the best low-profile graphics cards you can buy? The world of low-profile graphics cards is a decidedly different market segment than their full-sized counterparts. Now, there are multiple reasons you might opt for a low-profile GPU. One of the biggest reasons is that the form factor allows for smaller cases to get some much-needed graphical horsepower.

Some pre-built office PCs also don’t come with robust power supplies and may lack full-sized brackets. If you want to upgrade your capabilities, a lower-profile GPU is really the only option afforded to you. Now, there are low-profile GPUs available in a variety of configurations, ranging from top power to something that powers your monitors. We’ve looked at dozens of options, and here are our top picks for the best low-profile graphics cards.

#1 Best Overall: MSI RTX 4070 Ventus 2X

One of the best low-profile graphics cards is the MSI RTX 4070 Ventus 2X, an absolute powerhouse. Now, low-profile cards are generally the domain of underpowered GPUs that are better suited for driving multiple monitors on a workstation. However, the Ventus 2X is one of the lowest-profile GPUs around that still has the horsepower to game.

You’ve got all the modern features of a full-sized RTX 4070, but in a much more compact size that allows it to fit in smaller cases. The Ventus 2X comes with 12 GB of VRAM which is more than enough for any modern game.

However, you’ll need a powerful power supply to use this one, and it does require standard 8-pin connectors to function. Heat management is also going to be a key consideration, especially in a smaller case.

ProsCons
One of the most powerful graphics cards in the form factor.It is a relatively expensive GPU for its size.
The Ventus 2X is more than enough for any modern game.The GPU can pump out heat, so make sure you have adequate airflow in your case.

Check out the MSI RTX 4070 Ventus 2X on Amazon.

Best Runner-Up: MSI Gaming RTX 3060 AERO ITX

Best Runner-Up
MSI Gaming RTX 3060 AERO ITX
$259.00
  • GPU Clock Speed: 1792 MHz
  • 12GB GDDR6 video memory
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 7680 x 4320 maximum resolution
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01/17/2024 06:40 am GMT

If the Ventus 2X is overkill, the MSI RTX 3060 AERO ITX will get you where you want to go. Make no mistake, this is a full-powered RTX 3060, just designed for a smaller form factor. This is the last of the true high-powered graphics cards featured in this guide, and the bare minimum you should accept for high-spec modern games.

As with the Ventus 2X, you’ll need a suitable power supply with an 8-pin connector to use this particular GPU. That said, you’ve got plenty of power on tap with 12GB of VRAM on a 192-bit bus. This may be a smaller GPU, but it certainly isn’t lacking in power. You could readily play Starfield and other games on a home theater PC with this installed.

ProsCons
You’ve got 12 GB of VRAM in an ITX-sized GPU.It still needs a power supply connector to function.
NVIDIA GPUs handle ray tracing well thanks to the DLSS tech in use.The GPU’s fan might not be adequate for more cramped cases.

Check out the MSI RTX 3060 AERO ITX on Amazon.

Best AMD GPU: PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT ITX

Best AMD GPU
PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT ITX
  • 6 GB GDDR6 video memory
  • GPU Clock Speed: 1560 MHz
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 8-pin connector
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One of the best low-profile graphics cards using the Radeon architecture is the PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT ITX. This is close in performance to the RTX 2060, which is still more than enough for most modern games. You might have to adjust quality settings if going above 1440p, however.

The RX 5600 XT features 6GB of VRAM, which can handle resolution textures with ease. It loses out on the CUDA cores seen in the newer NVIDIA processors, which are a proprietary feature of those GPUs. If you don’t mind having a GPU strictly for gaming with lesser ray tracing performance, this one won’t disappoint.

ProsCons
The RX 5600 is a powerful ITX-sized GPU.It doesn’t handle ray tracing well.
The GPU’s performance is roughly on par with the RTX 2060.The performance is severely taxed when going above 1080p on newer games.

Check out the PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT ITX on Amazon.

Best for Sleeper Builds: NVIDIA RTX A2000

Best for Sleeper Builds
NVIDIA RTX A2000
$485.95
  • Powered by NVIDIA Quadro Pascal GPU technology
  • 4K and 5K display support
  • 6 GB of GDDR6 graphics memory with error correction code (ECC) support
  • Real-time ray tracing and accelerated AI
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01/17/2024 06:50 am GMT

While originally intended for enterprise use, the NVIDIA RTX A2000 is a gaming phenom. What makes this one of the best low-profile graphics cards is the power packed into such a tidy package. You’ve got performance roughly on par with an RTX 3050, with four ports for hooking up your displays.

It can handle modern gaming with ease and also get you up and running with a multi-monitor setup with up to 4K resolution per panel. Unlike the previously mentioned GPUs, the A2000 doesn’t require an external power supply connection and instead draws power directly from the PCI-E lane.

ProsCons
The performance is roughly on par with the RTX 3050.It costs more than an RTX 3050.
No external power supply connections are needed.It wasn’t originally designed for gaming.

Check out the NVIDIA RTX A2000 on Amazon.

Best for Pre-Builts: XFX SWFT105 RX 6400

Best for Pre-Builts
XFX SWFT105 RX 6400
$229.99
  • GPU Clock Speed: 2321 MHz
  • 64-bit memory bus width
  • 4GB of GDDR6 graphics RAM
  • Supports multiple video output interfaces, including DisplayPort and HDMI


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01/17/2024 06:59 am GMT

The XFX SWFT105 RX 6400 serves as a counterpart to the RTX 3050, with power balanced by efficiency. What makes this one of the best low-profile graphics cards is the flexibility of the brackets. While most GPUs on this list are configured explicitly for low-profile use, you can use the RX 6400 with a normal case or smaller ones, as needed.

You’ve got 4GB of VRAM on tap, which is plenty for lighter gaming and powering external monitors. It’ll falter when it comes to ray tracing performance, but the RX 6400 should do fine with gaming at 1080p. Granted, you won’t be running games at full-quality settings. However, if you’re willing to tinker, you can get some solid performance out of this GPU.

ProsCons
It has great performance for its form factor.It is a little underpowered for ray tracing use.
It will fit in most cases with ease.It needs a powerful PSU to keep up with its demands.

Check out the XFX SWFT105 RX 6400 on Amazon.

Best for Office Use: MSI GeForce GT 1030

Best for Office Use
MSI GeForce GT 1030
$218.71
  • GPU Clock Speed: 1518 MHz
  • 2GB GDDR5 video memory
  • PCI-Express x16
  • 64-bit memory bus width
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01/17/2024 07:04 am GMT

The final GPU on this list isn’t built for power. In fact, the MSI GeForce GT 1030 is ancient by modern GPU standards. You won’t be using this one to play games unless you’re content with older titles and much lower detail settings.

What makes the GT 1030 one of the best low-profile graphics cards is its overall simplicity. It serves as a decent companion to a CPU without its own graphics chip. You can readily power a pair of monitors with this graphics card. It doesn’t really excel in many areas, but it is low-cost and powerful enough to support multiple displays.

ProsCons
The GPU is relatively low cost.It is very underpowered compared to contemporary offerings.
Installing the GT 1030 is a simple task.The GT 1030 will struggle with powering 4K monitors.

Check out the MSI GeForce GT 1030 on Amazon.

Picking the Best Low-Profile Graphics Cards: What to Know

Picking your low-profile graphics card is contingent on a few different criteria. Ostensibly, it’s like purchasing any other graphics card, but you’ve got size to worry about.

Intended Usage

Are you looking to game or just power some display for work purposes? Now, for most of the GPUs featured in this guide, you’ll be able to do both. However, you’re spending a premium price when getting a GPU capable of playing modern games.

If you’re looking to build a low-cost workstation for your office employees, an RTX 4070 might not be the best fit. As such, it is important to consider your actual computing needs before making some purchases. There are GPUs for all sorts of use cases, so you don’t need one capable of 4K ray tracing to drive displays for data entry.

Power Supply Considerations

Now, some graphics cards will need a dedicated connection to your computer’s power supply. If this is a custom build, it isn’t a big deal. Provided you have enough headroom, you could readily hook up something like the RTX 4070 with the provided 8-pin connector and enjoy yourself.

However, if you’re building efficient workstations, the power supply might not have the headroom to accommodate a full-powered GPU. As such, you’ll want to look at a discrete graphics card like the GT 1030 or RTX A2000 to get the job done.

These receive power from the PCI-Express lane, so there’s minimal power needed to actually get the device running. Discrete GPUs are better suited for computers where the power supply output is below 600 watts or so, which is generally the domain of an office computer.

Display Support

Now, most of the GPUs featured in this list can power multiple displays. However, you need to understand the capabilities of your graphics card before purchasing one. A GPU like the GT 1030 isn’t going to have enough horsepower to actually handle driving two displays at 4K resolution with a 60 Hz refresh rate.

If higher resolutions and multiple displays are what you’re after, you’ll need to invest in a more powerful GPU, which typically comes with a price hike. For users looking at driving a single display, any of the GPUs featured in this guide should be more than enough to power a 1080p monitor. If you’re looking for 4K, you’ll want to avoid the GT 1030.

Using the Best Low-Profile Graphics Cards: What It’s Like

Using a low-profile graphics card is just like using a standard graphics card; it’s just the form factor that changes. A low-profile GPU maintains the same level of performance you might expect of other mid-range graphics cards. The only thing that really changes is the flexibility of what cases you can use. Low-profile GPUs excel when looking at smaller cases and more limited motherboards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the RTX 4070 handle Starfield?

It can absolutely handle the likes of Starfield.

Is the GT 1030 well-suited for gaming?

No, the GT 1030 doesn’t game very well at all. If you’re comfortable with older titles, it might be fine, but the 1030 is something to power monitors when your CPU doesn’t have the capability.

Is the RTX 3060 suitable for 4K gaming?

You could game at 4K with it, but you might have to adjust quality settings to maintain a stable framerate.

Is the RTX A2000 designed for gaming?

No, it is an enterprise-grade GPU that is intended to give some extra power to workstations.

Is the RTX 4090 available in a smaller form factor?

Given the sheer size of the GPU, it would be a feat of modern engineering to get the RTX 4090 in an ITX case. As such, no, the RTX 4090 will require a full-size case.

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