Builders of slim HTPCs with gaming aspirations have never had it better. Low-profile graphics cards built with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti chips are already available from Galax, Gigabyte, and MSI. AMD loyalists can pick up a small Radeon RX 460 from MSI, too. Buyers with a little space to exchange for quieter operation can opt for a fanless GeForce GTX 1050 Ti from Palit. Zotac is now joining the dogpile with its GeForce GTX 1050 Low Profile and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Low Profile cards.
Zotac's cards toe the Nvidia party line with respect to clock speeds, with a 1290 MHz base and 1392 Mhz boost clocks for the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti card and a faster 1354 MHz base and 1455 MHz boost clock for the pared-down GeForce GTX 1050 model. For comparison's sake, MSI's low-profile cards are also clocked to Nvidia's reference specs, while the Galax and Gigabyte cards are a wee bit faster.
Both of Zotac's cards look identical, with the same cooler design and port cluster bearing one DisplayPort 1.4 connector, an HDMI 2.0 port, and one crusty old dual-link DVI-D connector. The cards have a pair of 40-mm fans atop and measure 5.7" x 4.38" x 1.5" (14.5 cm x 11.1 cm x 3.7 cm). As with other similar low-profile offerings, these cards don't require a PCIe power connector, but will take up a pair of PCIe slots. Zotac helpfully includes standard and half-height brackets in the box, too.
Zotac didn't talk pricing or availability, but the fact that the product gallery is full of 3D renders suggests that actual cards might not hit store shelves for at least a couple of weeks. We don't expect pricing to deviate much from existing offerings, though. For example, MSI's low-profile GeForce GTX 1050 goes for $120 and Zotac's half-height GTX 1050 Ti can be purchased for $155. It's a great time to build small.