A few years back, small form factor desktops were deprived of installing any gaming graphics card. Moreover, the Nvidia and AMD were more interested in making graphics cards for large PC cases. And in those times, it was hard to find a decent GPU that could fit inside a tight PC case. But now, there’s a huge demand for SFF graphics cards in the market.
And if you own a mini-ITX or small form factor PC case, then you need a smaller dimension graphics card that could easily fit inside that PC case. It’s hard to fit standard size GPUs inside a smaller computer case. An alternative is to pick a graphics card that is shorter in length (up to 211mm) and width.
In the case of mini form factor GPUs, the maximum length of a card is not more than 211mm, which makes them the right fit for smaller and tight PC cases.
By doing our research, we’ve curated the list of the best small form factor graphics cards for mini-ITX motherboards and PC cases. These cards can easily let you play games at higher resolution, however, you cannot expect them to perform similar to high-end gaming graphics cards.
A Quick Comparison of All GPUs on the List
Best Small Form Factor Mini-ITX Graphics Cards
Here are the top SFF graphics cards for small and tight PC cases:
1- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Mini – The Overall Best GPU for Mini-ITX Builds
Video Memory: 8GB GDDR5X | Memory Interface: 192-bit | Boost Clock Speed: 1759 MHz | CUDA Cores: 2560 | Video Outputs: 1x dual-link DVI, 3x DisplayPort (1.4), 1x HDMI (2.0b)
Reasons to Consider:
- Ideal 1080p gaming performance
- Compact size
The Nvidia’s Pascal architecture graphics cards have been rocking PC gaming until now. The GTX 1080 Mini delivers almost similar to that of a bigger-sized GTX 1080 graphics card. Although the GTX 1080 Mini is crammed into smaller dimensions, it still sticks close enough in performance to bigger GTX Series cards.
This mini version of GTX 1080 comes with 8GB of GDDR5X memory and 2560 CUDA cores to crush any complex workload you throw on it. Also, this GPU has a boost clock speed up to 1759 MHz to keep up with the pace of high-end gaming CPUs.
With 8GB of memory, this graphics card can let you play games at 1080p without any issue. We managed to play Fortnite on Epic settings on this graphics card with fps between 100 to 144 on average. Moreover, it’s VR compatible right out of the box. Even in some AAA titles, you can game at 4K by adjusting the game settings.
Furthermore, this is one of the most power-efficient GTX 1080 graphics cards that you’ll find in the market. A 500W power supply would be more than enough to power up this beast.
There’s plenty of headroom to overclock this graphics card up to 1870 MHz.
On idle, the temperatures on this graphics wobble around 30 Degrees Celsius. And under peak load, the temps do not climb over 70 Degrees Celsius which is surprising for a compact form factor graphics card. But there’s is a little bit of fan noise when you overclock this GPU, but it won’t bother your gaming experience at all.
All in all, the GTX 1080 Mini is a worthy chip for small form factor PC cases. Although it lacks some bells and whistles when compared with bigger-sized 1080s, it still delivers the same kind of performance in gaming and other types of workloads. This GPU packs lots of power in its tiny form factor.
2- EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC – Best Budget Small Form Factor Graphics Card
Video Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Memory Interface: 128-bit | Boost Clock Speed: 1468 MHz | CUDA Cores: 768 | Video Outputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
Reasons to Consider:
- Price to performance ratio
- Compact size
- Silent fans
The GTX 1050 Ti is a low TDP graphics card built on Nvidia’s Pascal Architecture. This GPU is around 4.4-inches in height and 5.7-inches in length. These compact dimensions make this graphics card the right deal for PC cases with less space.
The GTX 1050 Ti shows 10 to 15% improved performance over the normal GTX 1050. It comes with 4GB of GDDR5 of video memory similar to that of modern entry-level graphics cards in the market. You can expect this GPU to play less demanding titles at 1080p settings.
We tested a few games on the GTX 1050 Ti at medium-high settings. In games like GTA V, Fortnite, Witcher 3, and Unreal Tournament, this GPU managed to climb over 50 fps at high settings. The GTX 1050 Ti is an ideal small form factor GPU to enter the world of PC gaming without putting a hole in your wallet.
If you need a compact graphics card that easily fits inside your PC case without upgrading your PSU, then GTX 1050 Ti might be the right pick to go with.
It’s a great deal for budget gamers or HTPC enthusiasts who don’t want to spend an extra pile of cash to get a decent-performance dedicated GPU.
3- Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 OC Mini ITX – Best Low Profile Graphics Card for Small Space PC Cases
Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5 | Memory Interface: 64-bit | Boost Clock Speed: 1506 MHz | CUDA Cores: 384 | Video Outputs: DVI, HDMI
Reasons to Consider:
- Occupies single slot
- Low power consumption
Although the GT 1030 is an outdated graphics card to consider on the list, it still holds great value for mini-ITX builds where there is less space for installing extra peripherals. Not every one of us is a gamer, so this graphics card is truly meant for someone who wants to jump from an integrated chip to a dedicated one.
With 2GB of GDDR5 of video memory built on a 64-bit interface, you cannot expect high-end gaming performance out of this GPU. But it will let you play some 5 years old Esports titles at medium-high settings without any issue. In games like Borderlands 2, DarkSouls 3, Fallout 4, and War Thunder, you can expect this graphics card to maintain over 60 fps at medium-high settings.
However, for dealing with a light graphical workload, this might be the cheapest graphics card to get for an SFF PC build. Especially, if you watch videos on Netflix and YouTube at 4K quality, this is the right chip to do that without spending piles of cash to buy an expensive graphics card.
Also, this compact width of this GPU occupies only a single slot on your motherboard, leaving behind more space for other peripherals to settle in.
Moreover, this small form factor GPU doesn’t need any external power connector from your PSU. So even if you have a 240W PSU on your PC, you can easily run this graphics card without any issue.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spare buying a decent graphics card for your HTPC or mini-ITX build, then it’s worth considering GT 1030 to get the best bang for your buck.
4- EVGA GT 710 – Cheapest Graphics Card for Ultra-Small Form Factor Dekstops
Video Memory: 2GB GDDR3 | Memory Interface: 64-bit | Boost Clock Speed: 954 MHz | CUDA Cores: 192 | Video Outputs: VGA, DVI, HDMI
Reasons to Consider:
- Very low TDP
- VGA monitor support
The Nvidia GT 710 is the cheapest graphics card to install inside a tiny PC case. The GT 710 shows 10x improved performance over an integrated graphics chip from AMD or Intel. This low-budget graphics card is good enough to meet your basic computing needs. It shows faster performance as compared to a GT 610 1GB video card.
With just 2GB of GDDR3 memory, it isn’t possible to play modern AAA and Esports titles on this graphics card. But if you are just upgrading from an onboard graphics chip, then it’s worth upgrading to this GPU to see a little bit of improvement in your video playback and content creation tasks.
If you have an ultra-SFF desktop like the Dell PowerEdge r610, then this is the right video card to pair with such a desktop. It comes with a low profile bracket to easily install on a mini-ITX or ultra-SFF build. You can drive 2 to 3 monitors with this graphics card at the same time.
If you looking out for a single-slot GPU at a fairly low price, then GT 710 gives you the most bang for your buck at this point. If you need a graphics card that is significantly cheaper and faster than your onboard graphics card, then GT 710 is the one to go with.
5- ASUS AMD Radeon R9 Nano – Powerful SFF Video Card for HTPC Builds
Video Memory: 4GB | Memory Interface: 4096-bit HBM | Boost Clock Speed: 1000 MHz | Shading Units: 4096 | Video Outputs: x3 DisplayPort, x1 HDMI
Reasons to Consider:
- Higher bandwidth
- 4K display support
- Great performance
This beast from AMD perfectly sits inside a mini-ITX build to deliver optimal gaming and graphical workload performance. It is armored with 4096-bits HBM (high bandwidth memory) and 4GB of video ram to deliver smooth performance. Higher bandwidth memory means you can get the most out of this GPU in video content creation if you are a professional video editor.
Although this is an expensive small form factor card to get, it gives kind of makes your mini-ITX PC future-proof for at least some years before you need an upgrade. The AMD R9 nano shows better performance than Nvidia’s entry-level GTX 1660 graphics card.
If you need a reliable graphics card for your HTPC, then AMD R9 Nano is compact enough to be a part of your build. This graphics card can handle whatever you throw on it even at a higher resolution, it will not disappoint you at all.
The AMD R9 Nano is 158mm in length, which is well below our cap of 210 mm for mini-ITX builds. However, this graphics card swaps dual-slots when you install it inside your PC case. So make sure there is an extra slot behind to properly accommodate this GPU.
6- MSI Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX – An Affordable Graphics Card for Low Profile PC cases
Video Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Memory Interface:128-bit | Boost Clock Speed: 1196 MHz | Shading Units: 1024 | Video Outputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
Reasons to Consider:
- Low TDP
- Silent fan
The RX 560 is one of the best budget video cards for small form factor builds. This GPU makes use of Polaris architecture to deliver ideal performance in modern Esports games.
Equipped with 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface, the RX 560 shows great improvement over the previous RX 460 AMD cards in 1080p gaming. You can play PUBG, Fortnite, GTA V, and some other open sandbox games on this graphics card at medium settings.
Also, the RX 560 is a fairly quiet and cool GPU as compared to its predecessors. It makes use of PCI Express x16 3.0 slot for faster data transfer as well. You can connect up to three monitors with this GPU at a single time. There’s an HDMI port on this graphics card to scale the resolution up to 4K as well.
Although this is a compact dimension graphics card, it needs dual slot space and one six-pin power connector to run properly. So you will need a 450W power supply within your HTPC or mini-ITX build to power up this video card.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Small-Form Factor Graphics Card
Here are the important things to keep in mind:
Size of your case
Before you make your purchase, it’s worth knowing about the clearance that your desktop case gives you to install a graphics card. Generally, you can find this information on the product manual page of your PC case.
Another way is to roughly measure the available inside your case to see if the graphics card would fit inside it. The most important thing to measure at this point is the maximum length. Place the measuring tape at the GPU bracket and then up to the PCIe slot where you will install the card.
An entry-level SFF graphics card would take not more than a single slot on your mini-ITX motherboard. But for high-end graphics cards, make sure there are at least two slots available on your motherboard.
Location of your PSU
The routing of PSU cables plays a great role in upgrading your graphics card. Usually, in mini-ITX builds, the power supply cables are not long enough to reach the other side of the case. Therefore, if you pick a card that needs an extra power connector, then make sure it has the power connection port at the top of it.
However, most compact graphics cards do not need any extra power connection from your PSU. But if you are opting for a mid-range or high-end graphics card, then these might need an extra 8-pin or 6-pin connector to run.
Height of your GPU
Some mini-ITX and HTPC cases only accept shorter-height graphics cards. Such types of low-profile cards are shorter when measured vertically and they need a half-height or low-profile bracket to fit inside your PC case.
If the frame of your PC case is vertically smaller in dimension, then you will need a low-profile bracket to install a dedicated SFF graphics card. Half-height bracket graphics cards are ideal for HTPCs or ultra-slim PC cases.
Verdict – Which SFF GPU You Should GO With
Finally, you now have read about some of the best small form factor graphics cards for compact PC cases. The choice is yours to go with the one that fits in your budget and available space inside your SFF build.
No matter whichever compact graphics card you are buying, just go through the size, power, and cooling demand of that GPU before putting it inside your compact PC case. It’s better to roughly measure the inside area of your PC case to see if there is enough space to fit in your GPU.
Some ultra-small form factor PC cases have a power supply without PCIe power connectors. In that case, make sure the card that you choose does not need any external power connection. If you don’t have any taste for gaming, then our recommendation would be to go with GT 710 or GT 1030 OC edition. Both of these chips sit perfectly in tight PC cases and tackle general computing workloads without any issue.
Can Mini-ITX fit GPU?
Well, it entirely depends upon the clearance inside your mini-ITX PC case. Some mini-ITX cases have tight room for bulky graphics cards to fit in, in that case, you have to go with single-slot GPUs. However, some small form factor PC cases do have enough room to fit in dual-slot GPUs.
Does GTX 1060 fit in Mini-ITX?
Yes, the GTX 1060 is a compact graphics card and is ideal for a mini-ITX desktop. But before installing the GTX 1060, make sure there’s at least 6.85-inches clearance inside your mini-ITX PC case to keep up with the length of this graphics card.
Will an RTX 3060 fit in a mini-ITX PC case?
No, the RTX 3060 is a dual-slot graphics card with a length up to 7.94 inches. In tight PC cases, there isn’t enough space to fit in a standard RTX 3060 graphics card. Also, the RTX 3060 needs a 1x 12-pin power connector and draws up to 170W from your PSU. And in most mini-ITX PC cases, you won’t find high-wattage PSUs to power up bulky graphics cards.
Hi, I’m the author and founder of this blog. I have more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Throughout my journey I’ve tested and reviewed hundreds of graphics card for custom PC builds. I believe my knowledge and experience will help you choose the card that really falls to your needs and budget.