Best low profile video cards available (July 2015)

From the pixels, bits, and shaders to the graphic cards that power them. Discuss the latest from AMD and NVIDIA here.

Moderators: morphine, SecretSquirrel

Best low profile video cards available (July 2015)

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:36 pm

[updated 24 Aug - no new recommendations, but some updated analysis text]

Recommended low profile card: MSI N750ti-2GD5TLP GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB (Newegg link) ($120) (big price drops recently, presumably ahead of the GTX 950 launch, this is an amazing deal)

Recommended low profile, single slot card: SAPPHIRE R7 250 1GB GDDR5 Low Profile MICRO HDMI (Amazon link) ($110)

Honorable mention: EVGA GeForce GT 740 2GB 02G-P4-3740-KR (Newegg link) ($87)
(EVGA's low profile, single slot GeForce GT 740 card, while it will be a little slower than an R7 250E, is also about $25 cheaper, which is a significant difference at this low price point. And, if you're a Linux user like myself you'll probably save yourself a lot of headache by going NVIDIA.)

------

The GTX 950 has launched with the rumoured 90W power draw. Unlikely we're going to see any low profile configurations. I haven't seen anything about other low-end cards to finish out the lineup from NVIDIA, outside of a possible launch date of 1 September 2015.

AMD has basically rebranded the entire Rx 200 series as the Rx 300 series, so it's also unlikely we're going to get any huge improvements there - maybe some slightly higher clock speeds than current R7 250s. I think it's probably safe to say the R7 250E cards that have been "hidden" in existing R7 250 lineups will start to disappear as the 200 series sells out.

The Quadro K1200 still gives me hope that we'll at least see GTX 750/750ti performance in low profile single slot form factor this generation, which would be a nice boost from the best current low-profile, single-slot options. If that rumoured date holds true I guess we'll find out in a week.

A year ago I suggested that anyone thinking of building a new system that would have an extreme space limitation for the video card seriously consider AMD's APUs, as the performance would possibly be sufficient and it would be a lot less headache than trying to track down a decent enough video card for the available space. I think that still applies, and further, we're about to enter a really interesting era for integrated GPU performance.

Skylake has launched, and in among all of the other news about it is the list of planned GPU configurations. Of particular interest to anyone reading this should be the Iris and Iris Pro versions with embedded DRAM. This time around there are three different models which will carry it: Iris 540 and Iris 550 (likely differentiated by clock speeds, as both are listed as having 48 "execution units" and 64MB of eDRAM) and Iris Pro 580 (72 EUs and 64MB or 128MB of eDRAM). The highest of the high end is listed as pushing almost 1.2TFLOPS at 1GHz, which is, according to the maths on the GPUDB, more than a GeForce GTX 750.

We don't know what AMD's next-gen iGPU is going to look like, but if Fiji is any indication, and AMD's HBM experiments pan out the way I think they might, we could possibly see APUs with 1-2GB of onboard video memory providing 128+GB/s of bandwidth to a scaled down Fiji GPU, paired with a "Zen" CPU.

What this means is that with the generation of Intel processors currently launching (only one Skylake desktop processor currently available, and it doesn't have Iris), we're now at a point where anyone building a new system really needs to research onboard video solutions. If desktop Skylake processors with Iris Pro are available to purchase for a DIY setup, and the current generation of video cards offers no improvements at the low end, then we wind up in a situation where the main question is no longer "is a dedicated card going to be faster" but instead "when will a dedicated card provide enough performance improvement to be worth the price?"

So: interesting times for integrated GPUs, and possibly boring times for the dedicated low-end GPUs. For now, at least. Let's see if that holds up over the next few months as Skylake rolls out!

-----

About performance: (this is a little out of date by now, but I think the general principle, which is "look at some benchmarks because your IGP may be more capable than you think" or "look at some benchmarks because that video card might not be much of an upgrade after all", still applies)

The discussion thread about obsolete GPUs got me wondering about the kind of performance improvement you'd really get out of these cards, especially the single slot ones, compared to Intel's HD 4600 (Haswell), 4000 (Ivy Bridge) and 2000 (Sandy Bridge) graphics.

To try and get an idea of this, I browsed through Futuremark's database, looking for "Cloud Gate" scores. I focused on these processors:

Haswell: i3-4360
Ivy Bridge: i3-3225
Sandy Bridge: i3-2100.

Since it's easy enough to spec an ITX system with 8GB of system RAM, I've looked for results from systems with that amount, and a few different video card options for each proc. I've "normalized" the results to the IGP score for each proc.

I chose i3 processors for the results comparison for two reasons: First, I have an i3 in my system, and second, I figure smaller systems with these space/power constraints will not likely be crammed full of unlocked Core i7s.

Cloud Gate is not a graphics-only test; it also does a physics test and the overall score is averaged somehow from all of the results. I've listed all three scores below, but I think the "overall" score is going to be most indicative of the kind of performance increase you can expect from installing one of these cards.

i3-4360 results (HD 4600 graphics):

Quick notes: systems specced with 8GB of RAM. Memory type was determined by reported clock speed and known video card configurations.

- HD 4600, DDR3-1600: 5973 (1.00) - Graphics 7132 - Physics 3809
- GT 730, 2GB DDR3: 5522 (0.92) - Graphics 6278 - Physics 3886
- R7 250, 2GB DDR3: 6925 (1.16) - Graphics 8953 - Physics 3864
- GTX 750, 1GB GDDR5: 11387 (1.91) - Graphics 28650 - Physics 3663
- GTX 750Ti, 2GB GDDR5: 12739 (2.07) - Graphics 34469 - Physics 3973

Well. Some interesting results in their database here, and it confirms my suspicions (and those of many others) that a card with DDR3 is absolutely not worth the cost of entry at this point. The GT 730 with DDR3 is actually slower than the HD 4600 on the i3-4360. The R7 250 with DDR3 is a marginal improvement over the HD 4600 - but given the prices of these cards, you'd be paying near $100 for a 15% improvement in performance. Figure that in actual games, not synthetics, this difference might be even smaller, and I can easily say it's just not worth the cost.

The 750 and 750ti are really the best option if your case has room for a double-slot low profile card. If it doesn't, well, I couldn't find numbers for a GDDR5 730 or 250 with the i3-4360, but I did find some on the Ivy Bridge proc. Read on!

i3-3225 results (HD 4000 graphics):

Quick notes: systems specced with 8GB of RAM. Memory type was determined by reported clock speed and known video card configurations. R7-250 results come from a system with an i3-3240 (100MHz faster) so may be slightly askew. GT 740 results from a system using i3-3220; same clock speed as 3225 but has onboard HD 2500 instead of HD 4000.

- Baseline HD 4000, DDR3-1600: 4533 (1.00) - Graphics 5133 - Physics 3218
- GT 730, 1GB GDDR5: 7578 (1.67) - Graphics 11949 - Physics 3324
- GT 740, 2GB of GDDR5: 8447 (1.86) - Graphics 15117 - Physics 3320
- R7 250, 1GB of GDDR5: 8824 (1.95) - Graphics 16021 - Physics 3431
- GTX 750, 2GB GDDR5: 10676 (2.36) - Graphics 28903 - Physics 3329
- GTX 750ti, 2GB GDDR5: 11407 (2.52) - Graphics 35552 - Physics 3378

I was able to find results for a GT 730 with GDDR5 and it paints a pretty compelling picture: even though those cards have a 64-bit memory interface, it manages to punch a full 66% faster, overall, than the HD 4000 graphics. A 730 might be worthwhile for an Ivy Bridge system, but not a big bump for a Haswell proc with HD 4600.

Also, you'll notice the GT 740 is marginally faster than the GT 730 when both are using GDDR5, but the R7 250 still has a slight advantage - seems the 64-bit GDDR5 interface is a pretty good match for the 384SP config in the 730, and the 740, with the same amount of SPs, isn't really able to make use of the extra bandwidth from the 128-bit config. Looks like the "sweet spot" of bandwidth will be somewhere in the 60GB/s range.

i3-2100 results (HD 2000 graphics):

For the curious, before I jump into the numbers from the i3-2100, I checked the DB to see if there were comparable results for the HD 2000 vs HD 3000. There were, although they weren't "validated". The i3-2120 and i3-2125 are same clock speeds, but one has HD 2000 graphics and the other has HD 3000. I don't think the 3000 was as common in the low-end processors for Sandy Bridge, but honestly can't recall - I skipped from Clarkdale to Haswell on the desktop, with a big gap of "not paying attention to this stuff" in between.

- i3-2120, DDR3-1333, HD 2000: 2164 - Graphics 1992 - Physics 3107
- i3-2125, DDR3-1333, HD 3000: 3155 - Graphics 3150 - Physics 3173

Quick notes: the R7 250 results were found paired with an i3-2105 CPU, which has the same clock speed as the 2100 but HD 3000 graphics onboard. I figure it is comparable. The 750ti results came from a system with only 4GB of system RAM. Memory type was determined by reported clock speed and known video card configurations.

- HD 2000 with DDR3-1333: 2082 (1.00) - Graphics 1929 - Physics 2889
- GT 730, 2GB of GDDR3: 4729 (2.27) - Graphics 5733 - Physics 2933
- GT 730, 2GB of GDDR5: 7048 (3.39) - Graphics 11685 - Physics 2951
- R7 250, 1GB of GDDR5: 8013 (3.85) - Graphics 15859 - Physics 2934
- GTX 750, 1GB of GDDR5: 10179 (4.89) - Graphics 31616 - Physics 3018
- GTX 750 Ti, 2GB of GDDR5: 10724 (5.15) - Graphics 36271 - Physics 3095

overall

So the R7 250 is the definite winner for single-slot low-profile. If you're already on Haswell HD 4600 graphics, however, The roughly $100 one costs would be getting you about 50% more GPU performance. That's a tough call, but in that form factor, it's the best option. If these cards were priced a little better it'd be an easier choice, but even regular sized R7 250s are $80-$90, so we're not really looking at much of a premium for low profile format. The pricing makes less sense when compared to other equivalently priced cards. AMD needs to get these into the sub-$75 range and make them the new "bottom line" - much the same way NVIDIA has done with the GT 730 cards sitting in the $60-$70 range. Maybe they'll do that with the Rx 300 series.

The R7 250 looks like a much nicer proposition if you're using Ivy Bridge HD4000 (and obviously would be an even bigger upgrade for Sandy Bridge HD2000/3000, as well).

If you can do double-width low profile, though, the 750 or 750ti are the definite winners. The 750 isn't much slower than the 750ti, so unless you can get one for an especially good price, it seems the 750ti makes the most sense.

-----

Some results from my own testing:

As kuririkura pointed out, the higher-end processors can push their onboard graphics a little harder than these i3s. I've done a bit of testing on one of my own systems about this, out of curiousiry, including some memory tweaking and overclocking results.

My two system configs:

i3-4370 (3.8GHz), 8GB DDR3-1600, HD 4600 graphics & Radeon HD 7570 1GB GDDR5 & Radeon R7 250E (HD 7750) 2GB GDDR5
i5-4670K (3.4GHz, 3.8GHz turbo), 8GB DDR3-1600, HD 4600 graphics

Conveniently the i5's max turbo clock matches the i3-4370's clock.

For comparisons, I got my hands on an OEM low profile, single slot Radeon HD 7570 with GDDR5. It's an earlier Terascale 2 (VLIW5) chip, near as I can tell a rebranded Radeon HD 6670, rated at 65W.

I also got ahold of an R7 250E - Powercolor's 4-displayport R7 250 (see the list of cards below for more detail). These are rebranded HD 7750s, GCN 1.0 parts, and they're rated at 55W.

i3-4370 / 8GB @ DDR3-1600 / HD 4600: 6168 (1.00) - graphics 7399 - physics 3899
i3-4370 / 8GB / Radeon HD 7570 1GB GDDR5: 7011 (1.14) - graphics 8951 - physics 3987
i3-4370 / 8GB / Radeon R7 250E 2GB GDDR5: 9836 (1.59) - graphics 17024 - physics 3970

So the 7570 is faster, but not by much. That puts HD 4600 graphics a little slower than a mid-range part from April of 2011... that sounds about right to me. And the HD 7750 / R7 250E muscles ahead of the numbers I've got listed above for other R7 250 cards, by a pretty decent amount.

Moving on, let's see the i3 vs the i5, to explore whether or not there's big gains to be had from having four physical processors:

i3-4370 / 8GB @ DDR3-1600 / HD 4600: 6168 (1.00) - graphics 7399 (1.00) - physics 3899 (1.00)
i5-4670K / 8GB @ DDR3-1600 / HD 4600: 7077 (1.15) - graphics 7968 (1.08) - physics 5087 (1.30)

So the i5 is a little faster than the i3, but not by much - seems a good portion of that increase comes from the higher physics score. I also have a system with an i7-4790k in it, and if I get a chance to connect another drive to that box for a quick Windows install and benchmark run I'll include those numbers here, but I expect what you'll see is largely the same as the i3 vs the i5: higher physics score, slightly higher graphics score, overall HD 4600 is still bumping into a ceiling due to available memory bandwidth and GPU clock.

I think the takeaway here is that a beefier processor may well make the IGP a little faster, but not by a massive amount.

But hey, if you've got an unlocked processor and can do a little overclocking, why not try that and see what it does for performance? I was running the i5-4670k on an ASRock Z87E-ITX which has a few "one-click" type overclocking settings. I've normalized these results to the DDR3-1600 one. I changed memory speeds but couldn't get my DIMMs to go past 1866MHz, also tweaked the max turbo (default 3.8GHz) and max GPU speed (default 1.2GHz). I didn't push these too far - small systems aren't likely to be used for overclocking, and OEM boxes in this form factor with i5s/i7s may not even have an overclock-capable motherboard, so this was really just for fun:

i5-4670K / 8GB @ DDR3-1333 / HD 4600: 6817 (0.96) - graphics 7670 - physics 4907
i5-4670K / 8GB @ DDR3-1600 / HD 4600: 7077 (1.00) - graphics 7968 - physics 5087
i5-4670K / 8GB @ DDR3-1866 / HD 4600: 7403 (1.05) - graphics 8435 - physics 5184
i5-4670K @ 4.0GHz Turbo / 8GB @ DDR3-1600 / HD 4600 @ 1500MHz max: 8244 (1.03) - graphics 9488 - physics 5651
i5-4670K @ 4.0GHz Turbo / 8GB @ DDR3-1866 / HD 4600 @ 1500MHz max: 8564 (1.07) - graphics 9986 - physics 5717

That 25% increase in GPU clock speed, paired with the extra 266MHz on the RAM, made for a 25% increase in the graphics score, although the overall score didn't jump by much - just 7%. That might make a difference in gaming performance, but I don't know that it would be enough to keep me from wanting to install a discrete card. It might be enough to hold me off until all the new cards have launched, though!

-----

The list of cards:

After looking through the results above, I've got a few suggestions:

Low Profile - NVIDIA

GeForce GTX 750 Ti

GIGABYTE GV-N75TOC-2GL G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB - 2GB of RAM and readily available at the egg, here's your fastest low profile video card currently available.
Newegg link ($150)
Amazon link ($135)

MSI N750ti-2GD5TLP GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB - The GPU clocks on this are ever so slightly lower than the Gigabyte card: 1020 core and 1085 boost, vs 1033 core and 1111 boost; memory on both is the same at 2GB of 5400MHz, 128 bit GDDR5. However, I think more important than that: it has a dual-fan cooler setup, instead of the single fan on the Gigabyte. I'd expect less noise and better cooling, and as a result I'd recommend this over the Gigabyte card. Also, MSI has significantly dropped the price, possibly in anticipation of the GTX 950 launch next month.
Newegg link ($120)

------

Low Profile - AMD

Radeon R7 250 The Oland-based R7 250 is able to mostly keep pace with the earlier HD 7750 (which was rebadged as the R7 250E), but the 7750/250E is a little faster overall. Some single-slot R7 250 cards appear to actually be R7 250E in disguise, so while the below card may end up being very quiet, if you don't mind a little extra noise, a single-slot solution could end up getting you slightly higher framerates (and possibly do so while costing less, depending on sales).

Radeon R7 250 Core Edition - Low Profile (R7-250A-ZLF4)
A dual slot solution (incorrect heatsink height listed on their website specs, at the time of this writing it showed 14mm, actual height is about 36mm), with a shrouded heatsink/fan, so it's possible you'll get less fan noise and better cooling with this than you would with a single slot solution. XFX specifically lists the card with 384SPs and a clock speed above 1GHz, so it's pretty likely this is an Oland-based R7 250.
Newegg link (currently out of stock)
Amazon link ($95)

------

Low Profile, Single Slot - NVIDIA

GeForce GT 740

EVGA GeForce GT 740 2GB 02G-P4-3740-KR

While browsing Newegg a couple weeks ago I spotted a single slot GeForce GT 740, much to my surprise. This is easily a much better option than the GT 730 cards I'd had listed here previously, as it's a little more capable GPU with more bandwidth available. Expect performance to be close to the R7 250E (below), possibly a tiny bit lower. But if you're in the NVIDIA camp, or want an NVIDIA card for whatever reason, and you're limited in space, this is your best choice. And it's available for much less than most R7 250/250E cards in this form factor, so that slight drop in performance might not be too big of a deal for the price.

Be careful! They make a version that looks exactly the same but has DDR3 instead of DDR5.

Newegg link ($87)
Amazon link ($87)

------

Low Profile, Single Slot - AMD

Radeon R7 250E

SAPPHIRE R7 250 1GB GDDR5 Low Profile MICRO HDMI
This card has a mini displayport output, a mini HDMI output, AND a DVI output, so that port cluster may be useful to you in some respect compared to the Visiontek card above. Also, it is cheaper by a decent amount. There's also a user review on Amazon mentioning that the card may be a 250E - which is to say, a rebadged HD 7750 "Cape Verde" 512SP config. The specs on Sapphire's website mention an 800MHz clock speed and 4500MHz effective GDDR5, which again match the 250E for specs. The port cluster, higher performance and lower price than other R7 250s make this the recommended low profile single slot card.
Amazon link ($110)


PowerColor AXR7 250 2GBD5-4DL
Powercolor's card is worth pointing out for a few reasons. It has 4 mini displayport outputs, which is pretty awesome. Powercolor's specs page, like the Sapphire above, list the same 800MHz GPU clock and 1125MHz GDDR5 clock of a Radeon R7 250E. It also has 2GB of GDDR5 (which I expect you'd want with four displays). Also, fellow forum member arunphilip reports that GPU-Z is showing his as a Cape Verde card, with the 512/32/16 config.

I was able to get my hands on one of these and it is being reported as Cape Verde as well, making this another 250E / HD7750 in disguise. I can also vouch for noise levels - it's actually fairly quiet at idle, emitting a gentle whoosh that's audible but not whiny and irritating. For linux users, you may be amused to hear that, for some reason, it's quieter using the open source drivers than it is using the Catalyst Omega ones. Weird.

Originally sitting around $120 (when the premium seemed almost reasonable for 4 outputs and the extra 1GB of memory), the price has gone up a bit. I can't really recommend it unless you need 4 display outputs in a single slot, low profile form factor.
Newegg link (out of stock)
Amazon link ($180, only through Amazon marketplace sellers)
Last edited by deruberhanyok on Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:16 am, edited 54 times in total.
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:29 pm

Some good info here. I was recently shocked to see how poor the selection is for low-profile cards. If performance is of any importance, either variant of the GTX750 is going to be the hands-down best choice right now.

I also noticed lots of funny-business with the memory on low-profile cards. Either the amount of memory is low, or they're trying to slip in regular DDR3, which is going to be a very poor performer and should be avoided on any card intended for gaming. Make sure it uses GDDR5 first, and then try to get 2GB if possible. Having only 1GB of GDDR5 is preferable to any amount of DDR3.
2500k - P67 - GTX970 - Essensce STX - HD595
The Egg
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:46 pm

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:12 am

, or they're trying to slip in regular DDR3,
I don't think that's a video card manufacturer "slip in" per se, more like low-profile video cards tend to be based on lower-end GPUs and the specs from both AMD and nVidia (for the GPUs being used) explicitly list a possible DDR3 configuration. Still sucks, tho...
continuum
Gerbil First Class
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:42 am
Location: California

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:49 am

DDR3 is often used instead of DDR5 when there are power constraints. It is cheaper than DDR5 but on a low-profile board where PCB area is at a premium, the DDR3 may fit where GDDR5 would not.

The extra 5-10W of power drawer doesn't affect a mains-powered desktop like it would a laptop running on batteries, but the end result also requires less heatsink.

Basically, it's probably a cost-saving to use DDR3, but I think there are other reasons why the low-profile cards use it over GDDR5.
Some people ask me why I have always enclosed my signature in spoiler tags; There is a good reason for that, but I can't elaborate without giving away the plot twist.
Chrispy_
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2752
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:52 am

Chrispy_ wrote:DDR3 is often used instead of DDR5 when there are power constraints. It is cheaper than DDR5 but on a low-profile board where PCB area is at a premium, the DDR3 may fit where GDDR5 would not.

You could be right on all counts, but the reasons why are mostly moot to me. DDR3 gives far inferior bandwidth and should be avoided.
2500k - P67 - GTX970 - Essensce STX - HD595
The Egg
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:46 pm

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:13 am

Yes, avoiding the DDR3 solutions is advice I've seen given frequently and I'm in agreement.

The cleanest comparison I can see is with the GeForce GT 740 - both the DDR3 and GDDR5 versions use the same version of Kepler (GK107-425-A2) and are rated for the same TDP - 64W. The big difference is in available bandwidth - the DDR3 version sits at about 28GB/s vs. the 80GB/s of the GDDR5 one. I expect there is also less power draw / heat output from the DDR3, just from it running at lower speeds, but I've never done any direct comparisons to find out. But it may also be cheaper, given that it runs at lower speeds, is more common, etc.

The GDDR5 cards perform significantly better, of course - here's a 2012 review at HT4U (in German, I think) showing the performance difference between a pair of Radeon 7750s, essentially the R7 250E, equipped with the different RAMs (spoiler: at 1680x1050, easily a 50% performance boost with the faster memory).

This is why I think the 64-bit GDDR5 GeForce GT 730 cards are a good choice for low profile, single slot NVIDIA - even with a 64-bit interface they still have more bandwidth than the 128-bit DDR3 cards, and you'll get better performance from them as a result. I'd be curious to see how they compare to the R7 250 cards (I expect the R7 250 would be faster, with double the bandwidth available, but GK107 is pretty capable as is).
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:16 am

Hello,

Thank you so much for this very useful summary !
I am exactly in the same situation, looking for a good low profile, except that I have a bit more margin for the height (1.5 slot can fit). What is really important for me is the behavior at idle (noise+power) as the computer will be active 24h/24.
I was going the Intel+Nvidia as it seems to be the best choice for linux compatibility.

I have just bought a Galaxy/KFA2 GTX 750 Ti low profile and I have mixed feeling about it. On one hand the power efficiency is really great and performance are quite good, on the other hand at idle, fan is quite loud and it draws about 10W.
I am not optimistic to find a software solution (BIOS flashing or else) to solve this.
I may return the card and try the Gigabyte GTX 750 low profile which was just released last week but I am not optimistic.

It seems that maybe AMD would be a better choice with their zerocore feature (<5W at idle) but power efficiency is quite far from Nvidia Maxwell.
desktop.ready
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:03 am

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:05 am

I'm cross-posting a benchmark from my thread, as you'd requested:

arunphilip wrote:
deruberhanyok wrote:arun, did you get your card yet? wondering how you like the performance on it. If you get a chance, can you run a quick benchmark or two on it? Curious to see how it handles 1080p on something like Unigine or whatever else is free these days.


I've run the Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark against both the Intel HD Graphics 4600 IGP (using the 10.18.10.3621 drivers), and the AMD Radeon R7 250 (using the Catalyst 14.4 drivers). Settings used for the Valley benchmark are:
  • Render: Direct 3D 11
  • Mode: 1920x1200 2xAA fullscreen
  • Quality: Ultra

Surprisingly, GPU-Z v0.7.8 reports the AMD card as being part of the Cape Verde family (and not Oland), and having 512:32:16 shaders:textures:ROPs (and not 384:24:8). I'm not sure if I should feel elated or otherwise.

Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • FPS: 3.6
  • Score: 149
  • Min FPS: 2.1
  • Max FPS: 5.9

AMD Radeon R7 250
  • FPS: 13.2
  • Score: 552
  • Min FPS: 8.1
  • Max FPS: 22.1
arunphilip
Gerbil
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:46 am
Location: India

Re: Best low profile video cards available (August 2014)

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:02 am

Thanks arun! a 4x increase in performance at 1920x1200 should mean 1080p with middlish quality settings is very playable on Cape Verde (7750 / 250E). Hopefully the Oland based 250 cards perform similarly.

desktop - yeah, noise is definitely a concern when you're going low profile, even moreso when you move to single slot. I'm hoping the next generation may be a little better about this. If power draw can be brought down to 40-ish watts it will be a little easier for companies to use slower fan speeds, or even try passive solutions (though I don't know if a passive, low profile, single slot would work). Thanks for the info, and good luck in your search.
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:40 am

Updated the list today - there's now a readily available low profile 750Ti from Gigabyte, so that has been added to the list. Alas, the R7 250XE has turned up as a Japan exclusive, so no major updates on the AMD front. But we could be close to the expected fall GPU refreshes starting.

I'd love to see 1 TFLOP of GPU power shrink into a low profile, single slot card that isn't exclusive to one country. Maybe soon!
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:06 pm

The low profile 750Ti from Gigabyte looks great considering it has 2 HDMI inputs along with DVI and DP giving you 4 outputs...I am sure you can run 3 displays off of it with ease. But i would never try surround gaming on it.

As for fan noise...If it is that big of a concern you could always cut the wires and wire in a switch so you can turn it on while gaming and leave it off when just browsing. You could have did that with your Zotac card also. When the fans are only 40mm it is kinda hard to keep them quiet.
2600k@4660mhz CM Nepton40XL 16gb Ram 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI@1280mhz Stock boost on a GAP67-UD4-B3, SBlaster Z powered by TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's Both w/i3 2120's,1xasus LP HD6570@850core 1000 ddr3mem 1xHIS hd7750@1125core1400mem
vargis14
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1625
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:03 pm
Location: philly suburbs

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:30 pm

Yeah, finding a 40mm quiet fan that can cool a card, even one that pulls 50W, isn't going to be easy. I like that HIS put dual 40mm fans on the 7750 I have linked there right now, as I can see that helping. But I think standard low profile height is just under 7cm, so it's possible someone could come up with a solution that uses a 60mm fan.

Dunno that there'd be a way to cram that into a single slot solution, though. There isn't a lot of PCB real estate left if you do that.
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:55 am

Hello,

I follow this thread since a few weeks because I also hope for a suitable single slot+LP card beyond a R7 250.
Today I found a new GT 740 with 2 GB GDDR5 from Inno3D. This one is listet since today, at least here in Germany.

German link (sorry, can´t post complete URLs here):
geizhals.de/inno3d-geforce-gt-740-lp-n740-3sdv-e3cx-a1178281.html

Same price as an entry AMD R7 250, but more powerful, max. TDP 64 watts. I´m still waitung for a similar
GTX 750, but maybe it´s a good sign that this GT 740 is appeared now, because since the HD 7750 two years
ago, in all there wasn´t any newer SS+LP cards to buy. Sorry for my rookie english.
A-X
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:40 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:13 am

That's strange. Inno3D's website lists it here:

http://www.inno3d.com/products.php?refi ... showmore=1

Inno3D Geforce GT 740 LP
2GB 128-bit SDDR3
Part No.: N740-3SDV-E3CX


But if you click on the product page it says:

http://www.inno3d.com/products_detail.php?refid=42

Memory Clock (MHz) 5Gbps
Standard Memory Config (MB) 2048
Memory Interface GDDR5
Memory Interface Width 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 80.2


So... which is it? DDR3 or GDDR5?

I too hope we will see better low profile single slot cards soon - perhaps with the rest of the GeForce 900 series we will eventually see a "930" or "940", with performance better than an R7 250, available in this format. At the very least it should be faster than the existing 730/740 cards.

Also, welcome to tech report! I think your english is quite good. :)
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:21 am

Just so everyone knows, the Galaxy GTX750 Ti GC Slim 2GB (dual slot cooler) works fine with a single slot cooler, although finding standalone vga coolers seems to be impossible... and even more so for this card because the 4 screws holding the cooler are in the shape of a rectangle and not a square.

So I bought one of these: galaxytechus.com/__US__/Product6/ProductDetail?proID=146 before realizing it wouldn't fit the system I got it for. I figured I'd hang on to it and use it in a different system in the future, and continue looking for a powerful single slot low profile. Over the course of looking for an alternative, I saw a lot of information that implied the 750 ti would be able to work with a single slot cooler... if I could just find one.

Eventually I came across a Nvidia NVS 510 (ie: newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133479) that was unused which had the requisite shaped cooler, and switched the coolers between the two. The default Galaxy cooler was only a 2 pin fan (in a 4pin socket) and the 510 cooler used the full 4 pins.

Now I've only done limited testing, and am planning on doing more, but for now...

The new cooler proceeded to work great, although with a quirk... for some reason, the "auto" fan setting maxed out at 54% fan speed, which ended up throttling the 750 ti by 200ish mhz. Using MSI Afterburner to increase the fan to 80% manually (I just picked a random percent) stopped the throttling, and increased the fan noise a little, but the gpu stayed at 80c (which isn't a problem according to nvidia). Increasing the fan speed to 100% started bringing the temp down from 80c, but I didn't wait to see how low... and greatly increased the fan noise.

So... two questions for everyone here:

1.) Is there a place that sells aftermarket/replacement low profile video card coolers/heatsinks? My Google skills didn't help me here, and I imagine that with a more hefty single slot low profile cooler it would be amazing.
2.) Is there a way to change the "auto" fan setting so that it ramps up higher than 54%?

Sorry, can't post URLs, so gotta manually go to them. Also, can I mention how annoyed I am that no one released a single slot low profile cooler, especially since I know its 100% possible?
jackfrost
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:39 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:22 pm

I just built a Antec ISK 300-150 (kept 150W PSU) with a Core i3-4330 w/ Intel HD 4600 graphics.

I too am looking at boosting the gaming graphics and thought I'd chime in with some good deals (probably best $/performance):

Nvidia GeForce GT 740

ZOTAC ZT-71006-10L GeForce GT 740 2GB 128-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card - $89.99
Newegg Item = N82E16814500340
(presumably if the fan & shroud didn't fit, it appears there are screws to remove them.)

AMD Radeon R7 250

XFX Core Edition R7-250A-CLF4 Radeon R7 250 2GB 128-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card - $89.99 - $20 MIR = $69.99
Newegg Item = N82E16814150713
prospero
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:14 pm

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:07 pm

Hey,

Super helpful thread for what I'm looking into, but I have a question.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a Low-profile video card with a draw less than 50w?

I have a Dell T1700 and I need to up the NVS card to something that can manage more 3D modeling software. The T1700 only has a 255W Power supply and only has 50v dedicated to graphics.

Thanks everyone!

-Phil
PStorrs
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:03 pm

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:03 am

deruberhanyok wrote:I too hope we will see better low profile single slot cards soon - perhaps with the rest of the GeForce 900 series we will eventually see a "930" or "940", with performance better than an R7 250, available in this format. At the very least it should be faster than the existing 730/740 cards.


I think I will order this Inno3D GT 740 in the next weeks, if no new LP+SS 750 will be released. Most resellers
specify this GT 740 with memory "2 GDDR5 80 GB/s", seems to be a renamed GTX 650 which offers almost the
same technical data.

Curious: here in Germany all available LP+SS R7 250 are clocking with fixed 800 MHz GPU only and no boost,
the recommended VisionTek 900702 and its 1030 MHz GPU above isn´t purchasable anywhere here. So this
GT 740 is the best card I can get here, should bypass the time for a really new and fast LP+SS card.

I´ve looked in many forums, everywhere people asking for LP+SS cards of the latest generation, somehow
the manufacturers seems to oversleep a upcoming trend here.
A-X
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:40 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:31 am

A-X, let us know when you receive it if it is indeed GDDR5. That would make it an excellent option for those able to get it.

PStorrs, welcome to Tech Report! I'm glad you've found the thread useful so far. Since you're doing 3D modeling I'm assuming you will need to stick to a workstation-level card (Quadro or Firepro) and that a typical desktop card won't work. That may actually be in your favor, since it seems there are more workstation options in low profile than desktop (they're just more expensive than the desktop cards, which is why I don't normally recommend them).

I looked on Dell's website and I'm assuming you have the SFF version - it lists Small form factor: one low profile PCI Express® x16 Gen 3 graphic card up to 50W (total for graphics) which is in-line with what you were saying. You also mention an NVS card - Dell has been using a Quadro NVS 410/510 as an entry-level workstation card in a lot of their systems (we even have some here at work) and while they're great for 2D, I understand 3D performance can be lacking. Dell lists the Quadro K600 as compatible with the SFF version of the T1700, too, which might be slightly more capable than what you have, but I'm not sure by how much. The images in the manual also indicate that, in addition to the power and height limitation, you're probably also looking for a single-slot solution due to the proximity of the power supply.

Which card is currently in your system? I wouldn't want to suggest something that isn't worth the cost over what you currently have.

Prospero - thanks for the inputs, and welcome to TR! Those cards have DDR3, so they may wind up slower than their GDDR5 counterparts. I think the 740 with DDR3 is the most interesting of the two, as I explain in the top post - it's a question of whether the DDR3 can provide enough bandwidth for the 740 to really stretch its extra capabilities, vs the lesser capabilities but higher bandwidth of the DDR5 GeForce 730. I'd run tests to find out for certain, but I don't have spare cash lying around to just buy a few video cards right now. :)

jackfrost, welcome to TR! Excellent idea using the HSF from a Quadro card to cover a 750Ti. I wonder if it might have better luck cooling a regular 750, as they are slightly less capable from the Ti version but may produce less heat as a result - less than their thermal rating would indicate. Lots of the lower-end quadro cards are available in LP+SS format, so it's a ready source of those small heatsinks (if a more expensive one than we'd all like!)

I was looking with all the typical vendors to see if I could find an aftermarket low profile heatsink and didn't have any luck. It has only just now - literally while writing this very sentence - that I didn't think to check supplier listings on aliexpress, but that may be a good bet. Searching specifically for replacement Quadro heatsinks is also a good idea - I found a few listed there for different models of cards, so that may be a decent sort of source for heatsinks to try out.

As for the fan setting you have listed in there - I'm not familiar with how the card's bios may be configured. It sounds like it's expecting one type of fan, and delivering x amount of power to get it to an expected speed, but it's possible that the fan you are using right now needs different levels of power to get up to speed. Newer motherboards can "calibrate" PWM fans, but I don't know of a way to do that for a video card.

I too am annoyed at the lack of a LP+SS version of the 750/750ti. I'd take a "750le" with no turbo boost and lower clock speeds as long as it fit in the form factor needed.
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:09 am

Hey deruberhanyok

The card in there right now is a NVS 510. Price really isn't that much of a concern; I just would love to leverage this little guys performance some more without stepping into T3600 (read: $2500) territory.

I understand I'm shooting for a very narrow window...

Is there a step up version from the K600 that will fit into the SFF tower?

Thanks!
PStorrs
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:03 pm

Re: Best low profile video cards available (September 2014)

Postposted on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:16 pm

Near as I can tell, the best bet is the Quadro K620. NVIDIA has it listed on their website with a max 45W power use, and 384 "cuda cores" - double what's in your NVS 510.

Further, and this is a pretty big deal and not something I'd noticed before, it seems the K620, despite being a "K" Quadro, is actually using "M" - Maxwell:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/8374/nvid ... adro-cards
http://www.develop3d.com/reviews/Nvidia ... ray_review

TechPowerUp GPUDB entry for K620, nvidia quadro page (K620 listed near the bottom)
TechPowerUp GPUDB entry for NVS 510, nvidia NVS 510 page

While the memory bandwidth leaves something to be desired, Maxwell is far more efficient than Kepler, as you might have read if you keep up with articles about gaming GPUs - in particular the GeForce 750 and 750Ti.

This makes it a bigger upgrade than it would initially seem if you were going from the NVS 510 with 192 Kepler cores to a K600 with 384 Kepler cores - those 384 Maxwell cores will likely perform closer to 512 Kepler cores, so, assuming memory bandwidth doesn't become a limiting factor, it's possible you will see a 2.5x or more performance increase moving to a K620 from your current card.

Those K620 cards sit around $170 online, it seems, and I think that's going to be your best bet. $170 is a bit much, but if it winds up delivering on the expected level of performance I think it might be worth the cost. Disclaimer: I've not used these cards before, so I'm just saying that based on what I know of the tech and the available listed specs in the links above.

Here's a link to Newegg's listing for the PNY Quadro K620.

If you wind up picking one up, please post back and let us know how it worked out for you!
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (October 2014)

Postposted on Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:44 pm

What do you all think of this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487026&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL102414A&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL102414A-_-EMC-102414-Latest-_-DesktopGraphicsVideoCards-_-14487026-L04D

It's currently listed for $99.99 with a $10 MIR. Not a gamer but looking for a card that can handle 3 monitors and this looks pretty good. Well, I might play Witcher 3 down the road but will wait 2 months after the game comes out and see what the reviews say. The reviews look pretty good but you guys (and gals) here have more sense.
I'm clueless about computers.
Smoking catnip in the litterbox.
ThatStupidCat
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:18 am
Location: your litterbox

Re: Best low profile video cards available (October 2014)

Postposted on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:37 pm

ThatStupidCat wrote:What do you all think of this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487026

It's currently listed for $99.99 with a $10 MIR. Not a gamer but looking for a card that can handle 3 monitors and this looks pretty good. Well, I might play Witcher 3 down the road.

I don't believe that is a low profile card. How about this one?
http://www.amazon.com/Zotac-Computer-Vi ... 00JB1XJ4S/
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, 980Ti, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 16156
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Best low profile video cards available (October 2014)

Postposted on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:29 pm

Oops you are right. That is not a low profile card. Brain jumbled and was thinking short card vs longer card.
I'm clueless about computers.
Smoking catnip in the litterbox.
ThatStupidCat
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:18 am
Location: your litterbox

Re: Best low profile video cards available (November 2014)

Postposted on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:45 pm

Updated the first post - no new product launches so no real new info.

PStorrs, did you ever pick up that Quadro card? How did it work out for you? I was thinking to add a workstation card item to the top post but wanted to get some user feedback on that before I did.
deruberhanyok
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:30 am

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:08 am

desktop.ready wrote:I have just bought a Galaxy/KFA2 GTX 750 Ti low profile and I have mixed feeling about it. On one hand the power efficiency is really great and performance are quite good, on the other hand at idle, fan is quite loud and it draws about 10W.
I am not optimistic to find a software solution (BIOS flashing or else) to solve this.
I may return the card and try the Gigabyte GTX 750 low profile which was just released last week but I am not optimistic.


Short feedback from my side: I deceided to replace my current Mini ITX tower Chieftec Flyer FI-01B-U3 with a
In Win BM639. This one offers enough space for a LP + Dual slot graphics adapter, and so finally a GTX 750 Ti
is possible.

But how desktop.ready (and many other users in several forums) wrote, the desired Galaxy/KFA2 GTX 750 Ti
is too loud at idle, because its fan runs with min. 40% and you can´t lowering it, neihter via software, nor via
BIOS.

Now I also found the Gigabyte Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti OC low profile (GV-N75TOC-2GL), but I can´t find any user
experiences for this card. So can any owner of this card drop a few lines as to 2D noise level? @desktop.ready,
have you tried out the Gigabyte like you wrote above? Is the fan calmer then the Galaxy/KFA2? Possibly with
adjustable fan speed by user? Thanxx for any info.

Man, never thought that a simple purchase intention can be such annoying over weeks. ^^
A-X
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:40 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (November 2014)

Postposted on Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:00 am

Go with a 2 gb card like that Gigabyte GTX 750Ti low profile card since free to play games like war thunder ground forces that I am playing now and love uses 1200-1200 mb of VRAM as do most newer games. So 150$ at the egg will get you the best LP card out right now.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125680
Another advantage the Gigabyte card has over the KFA2 card is the outputs you get 2 HDMI,DVI and DP where the KFA2 card only has one HDMI,VGA and DVI

You also get 150$ to use for in game purchases like war thunder with them giving you 50$ for each game. But if you do get the card and do not like war thunder I will gladly take the 50$ in golden eagles and a tank:)

Seriously though get a 2 gb card over a 1gb card.
2600k@4660mhz CM Nepton40XL 16gb Ram 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI@1280mhz Stock boost on a GAP67-UD4-B3, SBlaster Z powered by TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's Both w/i3 2120's,1xasus LP HD6570@850core 1000 ddr3mem 1xHIS hd7750@1125core1400mem
vargis14
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1625
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:03 pm
Location: philly suburbs

Re: Best low profile video cards currently available (July 2

Postposted on Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:35 am

A-X wrote:
desktop.ready wrote:have you tried out the Gigabyte like you wrote above? Is the fan calmer then the Galaxy/KFA2? Possibly with
adjustable fan speed by user?


No I think that a single fan would have the same problem as the KFA2.
The advice from deruberhanyok is sound: perhaps go with the double fan of the MSI N750ti-2GD5TLP.

I am personally waiting for either:
  • A Nvidia Maxwell low profile whose fan speed can be manually adjusted at idle, or perhaps an ASUS Maxwell Strix Low Profile ?
  • An AMD low profile with the zerocore whose power efficiency more or less match the Maxwell.

Still looking...
desktop.ready
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:03 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (November 2014)

Postposted on Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:12 pm

Hello,

of course I´d noticed the MSI, but I live in Germany and here you just can´t buy it anywhere.
Pffff this is Germany here, not Easter Island. And import it by myself isn´t lucrative because
of +19% import tax. :-?

I only can select between the KFA2/Galaxy, Gigabyte and Zotac GTX 750 Ti LP here. Just asked
at German MSI Facebook page why the MSI 750 LP isn´t available here. A quiet card @ 2D is im-
portant to me, after ~2 years in front of a Dell XPS 27 and it´s 3x hell-turbine-fans.
A-X
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:40 am

Re: Best low profile video cards available (November 2014)

Postposted on Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:26 pm

There is a fixed amount of intelligence on the planet, and the population keeps growing :(
morphine
Grand Admiral Gerbil
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 10619
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2002 8:51 pm
Location: Portugal (that's next to Spain)

Next

Return to Graphics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests