In the world of PC gaming there are full-height graphics cards or there is no game at all. PC gaming requires high-performance graphics cards. High-performance graphics cards generate heat. As PC gamaing has evolved and system requirements have increased, so has the size of the thermal solutions required to keep high-performance graphics cards cool.
But large PCs full of fans are not for everyone. Some of us want to build a miniature hackintosh we can leave on our desktop, or a whisper-quiet HTPC we can leave under our TVs. We used to have to sacrifice 1080p gaming in order to meet our goals but these days there are a few half-height gaming graphics cards designed to fit in small-formfactor PCs,
- 2014's MSI Geforce GTX 750 Ti Low Profile graphics card made gaming on small form-factor PCs possible.
- 2016's MSI Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Low Profile graphics card added significant performance improvements over the GTX 750 Ti,
- 2017's MSI Radeon RX 460 4GT Low Profile graphics card gave us a AMD Radeon option.
All of these cards take up two PCI slots, but because they each draw less than 75W of power none of them requires a extra plug from the power supply. This makes these low-profile GPUs compatible with compact business PCs with custom power supplies that can't spare an extra plug.
If you are like me and like to cram the most power into the smallest space possible, you can even remove the fans on the GTX 750 Ti and RX 460 to make it a one slot card. Just remember to direct plenty of case cooling or the card will quickly overheat, crash or thermal-throttle. Needless to say removing the fans will void your warranty.
Thanks to NVIDIA's Web Drivers both GTX cards work with a Hackintosh, and the RX 460 works out of the box after installing to the latest Mac OS.