Standard PCs usually have enough room for any add-on parts such as audio and graphics cards. Slim PCs, on the other hand, sacrifice extra space for the smaller size. Low-profile cards are usually half as tall as standard graphics, and this allows them to fit easily into smaller component space in PCs with a low profile.
Generally, low-profile cards consume less power than their standard counterparts. They draw as low as 25watts compared to 75wats that standard cards draw. However, they may draw additional power like standard cards if directly connected to your PC’s power supply. These cards require less power than their standard counterparts since they are slower and less powerful.
Low-profile graphics cards can connect to the motherboard of your piece, just like standard ones. A low-profile card can be mounted on a case designed for a standard card by connecting a standard profile mounting bracket. Irrespective of the bracket type, it is impossible to mount a standard card in a low-profile card case because of the space limitations.
The biggest distinguishing factor between standard profile graphics cards and low-profile ones is the height. Standard cards can go up to 4 inches in height. On the other hand, low-profile cards have a maximum height of 2.5 inches. Low-profile cards designed for MD1 have a length of about 4.8 inches, while those designed for MD2 are 6.7 inches long. However, there is no standard with graphic cards as those with fan assemblies are usually wide enough to block access to PCI slots.
Due to their small sizes, low-profile cards are usually fitted with smaller fans than the standards ones. For this reason, their ability to cool is the GPU is limited. Also, their processors are smaller than the standard ones. This is to help avoid producing high heat generated by more powerful processors hence keeping the heat in a range that the small fans can dissipate.
These are some of the features that define low-profile graphics cards. With this in mind, you will be aware of what you are buying.