Best low profile video cards available (October 2014)

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Best low profile video cards available (October 2014)

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:36 pm

[updated 21 October]

Recommended low profile card: GIGABYTE GV-N75TOC-2GL G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB ($155) (Newegg link) ($155)

Recommended low profile, single slot card: VisionTek 900702 Radeon R7 250 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 (Newegg link) ($107)

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Here we are about a month into the fall GPU refreshes, with the Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 and 970 having launched on September 18, and the Radeon R9 285 with Tonga prior to them. So far we haven't had any news about the mid-range or lower end parts (or, in AMD's case, anything at all about the 300 series). I'd been expecting to see a "960" or whatever they decide to call it show up around this time, but some recent rumors have pointed to a later launch for those. And, typically, we know nothing about the low-end part of the spectrum, which is what we're all interested in - otherwise you wouldn't be reading this and I wouldn't be writing it, eh?

My pessimistic prediction? The new GPU technology filters down to this low-power, low-profile market segment in early 2015, once all of the expensive cards are out for the holidays. I was already wrong about the timing of the 960 launch (well, there's 10 days left in October, so I could still be sort of right, but I had it pegged for this past weekend), so let's see how that one holds out.

I built myself a low power mini-ITX system in an Antec ISK 300-150, with a Core i3-4130T (35W) as its heart and a Pico PSU 160W for power. Intel's IGP is sufficient for now, but I'd eventually like to be gaming on it at 1080p, with middling quality settings (lightweight stuff like Diablo 3, Team Fortress 2, etc). The ISK 300-150 presents an unfortunate dilemma for this, in that there's only 20mm of space from the center of a board's PCIe slot to the edge of the case - single slot video cards only. For height, the case takes low profile only. It's a small case with good ventilation, but heat generation is always a concern - especially without the ability to have outside exhaust. And of course, it can't require an additional PCIe power connector. So my options are few.

That said, as I've been looking at the available options I wanted to post something that might be useful to others with similar space requirements, or those who are just limited to low profile and don't have a width restriction (some OEM boxes, Dell, HP, etc, might be low profile but have room for multiple expansion cards). Some have a GPU preference, so I wanted to cover both camp's available options.

The list:

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Low Profile - NVIDIA

GeForce GTX 750 Ti - 60W power draw and the full capabilities of GM107 (as far as we know, at least) makes this the best option for a low profile gaming card right now. And yes, there are low profile GeForce 750 Ti cards.

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 ($155)
Amazon link ($160)

GeForce GTX 750 - with excellent performance for its segment and a mere 55W power draw, a few vendors have already pushed out low profile versions of the GTX 750. While a 750 Ti is going to get you better performance, maybe your budget is really tight, or maybe you're just going to be casually gaming, not enough to make the extra cost for the Ti version worthwhile. So here are a few 750 options:

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 1GB (ZT-70702-10M)
Newegg link ($120)
Amazon link ($120)

GIGABYTE GV-N750OC-2GL G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 750 2GB - Gigabyte's version of the 750 in low profile comes with 2GB of RAM. it also carries a $20 price premium over the Zotac card - whether or not that is worth it is dependent on what you'll be doing with it, because for another $15 you can get their 2GB 750Ti (linked above). So where do you draw the line?
Newegg link ($140)


------

Low Profile - AMD

Radeon R7 250 - 384SPs, with GDDR5. Good memory bandwidth, about 800GFLOPS/sec of power... so the question becomes: is the 512SP card so bottlenecked by the slower DDR3 that it can't keep up with a lower-end card with faster memory? It's possible. There are a lot of single slot solutions for these cards, so scroll down to the "low profile, single slot" section for R7 250 cards. However, there is one specifically worth mentioning here.

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.
Newegg link ($103)
Amazon link ($93)

For other R7 250 cards, the rest of which I have listed are single slot, see below.

Radeon HD 7750 - you can still occasionally find Radeon HD 7750 cards available in a low profile form factor, and since the R7 250 "XE", with the full 640SP Cape Verde GPU, appears to be a Japan exclusive product, this remains the best best for performance from AMD in this form factor. The 7750 uses the same version of Cape Verde as the R7 250E, with 512 SPs. It's got a little more oomph than the R7 250, but not as much as you'd think: the 250's Oland GPU has higher clock speeds that keeps performance very similar, benchmarks here.

If you're after one of these there are a few that still show up on the market occasionally, though the R7 250s are much easier to find. As such, I can't really recommend any one of these - last time I checked, the two models below weren't shown anywhere, and the ones that were are no longer listed on the usual shops.

HIS iCooler H775FN1G Radeon HD 7750 1GB
Newegg link ($90)
DIAMOND Radeon HD 7750 1GB - this one is interesting; it's got a mini displayport output and a DMS59 connector that gives you two DVI outputs. Dunno if that makes it worth the asking price, though.
Newegg link ($120)

------

Low Profile, Single Slot - NVIDIA

GeForce GT 730 GDDR5 - while these cards have a 64-bit GDDR5 interface, it's more memory bandwidth than the 128-bit DDR3 setup would provide (40GB/s vs 28GB/s). Further, those 128-bit DDR3 cards are Fermi-based, and have only 96 shaders/cores/whatever. 384 cores on the 64-bit GDDR5 versions, along with double the ROPs (8, vs 4 on the older Fermi one) will get you the best performance of all current versions of the 730.

EVGA GeForce 730 1GB GDDR5 low profile
EVGA GeForce 730 2GB GDDR5 low profile
The heatsink on these appears to extend past the usual "single slot" width, and while the pictures on their website make it seem single slot without any protruding past the bracket, Newegg's product photos show slightly differently. I e-mailed evga about the photo discrepancy and got back this, which is good enough for me:

It is designed as a single slot solution, so it should have no problems fitting in your computer. I'm not sure why the pics differ between our site and Newegg's though. Even as pictured on their site, it should fit in a single slot area according to PCIe industry standards.


1GB version:
Newegg link ($70)
Amazon link ($70)
2GB version:
Newegg link ($80)
Amazon link ($80)

PNY GeForce 730 1GB GDDR5 low profile
If, on the other hand, you prefer something with the very thin single slot heatsink/fan, PNY has you covered. PNY doesn't list it on their website currently, although it appears to be the same cooling unit as on their low profile 740 (see below), and while they did have a PDF posted that I found a couple weeks back with the details, it seems to be gone now.
Newegg link ($65)
Amazon Link ($65 from Amazon but with long delivery delay, other sellers may have it higher priced)

GeForce GT 740 - there are both GDDR5 and DDR3 variants of these cards, but the only single-slot low profile ones I've seen so far use DDR3. It's too bad, because with a 128-bit memory interface and GDDR5, this would be a preferable alternative to the 730. The GK107 used in these has the same shader count (384) but has double the texture units (32) and ROPs (16) of the GK208 in the GeForce 730.

I'm not sure where the performance would be between these two - a GK208 GT 730 with 64 bit GDDR5 (40GB/s bandwidth) and a GK107 GT 740 with 128 bit DDR3 (~ 28GB/s bandwidth) - sometimes the extra capabilities of the GPU need more bandwidth to really stretch their legs, but I couldn't say if the GT 730 is making use of all 40GB/s that it has (or if the 740 is being held back by having less bandwidth).

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Low Profile, Single Slot - AMD

Radeon R7 250 - As mentioned above. Based on AMD's "Oland" GPU which launched, as near as I can tell, as the OEM only Radeon HD 8500 and 8600 cards, these GCN architecture GPUs offer the processing capabilities of the onboard GPU in the A8 Kaveri chips (with 384 stream processors), but there are several sporting 128-bit GDDR5, giving them significantly more bandwidth than a system using DDR3 can provide. They've also been around long enough that there are a few good options:

VisionTek R7 250 1GB GDDR5 (900702)
I'd be curious to see performance comparison between this guy and one of the GeForce 730s, but I unfortunately don't have $175 lying around to do a comparison myself. IMPORTANT: There seem to be two versions of this card available. One is model 900685, which they list on their website, and one is model 900702, which is the one in the Newegg link. From what I can see from the product pictures, the 702 version has a low profile bracket, while the 685 version does not.
Newegg link ($107)
Amazon link ($93)


PowerColor AXR7 250 2GBD5-4DL
This one has 4 mini displayport outputs if you want to drive that many monitors off of a low profile card; 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, no idea if that's typical of this one.
Newegg link ($140)
Amazon link ($140)

Powercolor AXR7 250 1GBD5-HLE
1GB of GDDR5, with HDMI and Dual Link DVI-D outputs (according to their website).
Newegg link (currently out of stock)
Amazon link ($120)
Last edited by deruberhanyok on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:17 pm, edited 26 times in total.
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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.
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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...
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. :)
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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?
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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