Graphics Card Widths Explained

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When we talk about the width then there are generally two types of graphics cards: Low Profile (LP) and Full Profile or Full Slot graphics cards. A low profile computer graphics card is slimmer with a half-height bracket design i.e. it has a shorter width (69mm or 70mm) and is designed to fit in low profile or slim PC cases.

On the other hand, full-sized cards with full-size brackets and PCB width are used in standard ATX cases with full-size expansion slots. Having said that, a graphics card with a full-sized bracket can be wider than other graphics cards because of the extended heatsink and the shroud design, and may not be able to fit in all ATX cases.

It must also be noted that low profile graphics cards can also be used in standard ATX cases using the full-size bracket that comes along with them, but a full-sized graphics card cannot fit in a slim or low profile case.

Variation of Graphics Card

Single Slot Graphics Cards

Single-slot graphics cards are the ones that occupy only one slot on the motherboard and the PC case expansion slot. These cards do not cause interference with the expansion slot that is beneath it, which in most of the modern-day motherboards is the PCIe slot only.

A single-slot graphics card is about 18mm in width and comes with a single bracket. Single-slot graphics cards also come in low profile form factor, and such cards are mostly used in low profile slim PC cases or in budget PCs.

Graphics cards that come in single slot design are mostly entry-level or budget graphics cards that should not be overclocked because of their limited cooling capability.

1.5 SLOT GRAPHICS CARDS

Some graphics cards with a single bracket may occupy more than one slot on the motherboard because of their bigger heatsink, cooler, or shroud. These graphics cards can be called 1.5 slot graphics cards as they block some part of the second slot on your motherboard, which means you cannot fit an expansion card there.

A 1.5 slot graphics card is about 27mm to 30mm in width and has only one bracket at the rear. Most of the budget graphics cards with passive cooling fall in this 1.5 slot category.

Dual Slot Graphics Cards [2-slot GPUs]

Nowadays, most of the cards available in the market come with a dual-slot design. Also, all these dual-slot cards come with dual brackets at the rear and occupy two slots on the motherboard and the PC case expansion slot.

However, some single bracket cards also block the second slot completely on the motherboard and are also said to be dual slots in design. A perfect dual-slot card with a strict dual-slot design does not interfere with the third PCIe slot below it, which allows you to add an expansion card in that slot. In the current day and age, all the reference model cards from Nvidia and AMD come with a strict dual-slot design.

Most of them have a blower fan style cooler while some come with the standard fan on heatsink design. A dual-slot graphics card is around 36mm wide and may come with either a single or dual bracket.

2.2, 2.3 & 2.5 Slot Graphic Cards

These are the cards that consume up to 2.5 slots on your motherboard. These cards are very common nowadays as most of the custom AIB graphics come with 2.2, 2.3, or 2.5 slot designs.

These cards have only dual slot brackets at the rear but their shroud hovers a bit over the third slot on the motherboard, which makes the third PCIe slot pretty much unusable, especially with a 2.5 slot design.

These cards may come with a single fan, dual fan, or triple-fan cooler depending on the manufacturer. However, most of these cards have got dual fan or triple-fan cooler over them.

In the past, there were few reference cards that come with 2.5 slot designs and one such example that comes to my mind is the Nvidia GeForce Titan Z. Generally, mid-range and high-end graphics cards from AIB partners come with 2.2, 2.3, and 2.5 slot design with custom coolers.

2.2 slot graphics card is around 42mm wide, 2.3 slot graphics card is around 46mm wide and 2.5 slot graphics card has a width of around 50mm to 53mm.

2.7 Slot / 2.75 Slot Graphics Cards

A graphics card with a 2.7 or 2.75 slot design blocks almost three slots on the motherboard and most of the time, even on the computer case. These graphics cards come with either two or three full-sized brackets at the rear.

Generally, the high-end graphics cards from AIBs come with a 2.7 or 2.75 slot design but there are some mid-range cards too with a single fan from EVGA that sports a 2.75 slot design.

Almost all the 2.7 / 2.75 slot graphics cards come with dual fan or triple fans but some single fan 2.75 cards exist too and one such example is EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC BLACK GAMING. A 2.75-slot graphics card is around 55mm to 59mm in width.

Triple Slot Graphics Cards [3-Slot GPUs]

As the name indicates, these cards block three slots on the motherboard and the PC case completely. A proper triple-slot graphics card comes with three full-sized brackets at the rear end where you have video ports. These are massive cards with massive heatsinks and they come with either dual or triple fans on the top of the heatsink.

Nowadays, we don’t really see proper triple-slot graphics cards but only 2.75 slot ones for the flagship GPUs. A triple slot graphics card has a width of 60mm to 65mm.

Some examples of true triple-slot graphics cards include ASUS GTX 580 DirectCU II, ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II, PowerColor Radeon RX 590 Red Devil, AORUS NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB, PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X 8 GB.

Conclusion

It must be noted that slot design is merely an informal way to identify or specify graphics card height. This is because it is not an industry or official standard as graphics cards with the same slot type may have variations in their actual height.

So, to be on the sure side for compatibility purposes, you have to look for the actual height and overall dimensions of the graphics card on its specifications page on the manufacturer’s website. To visit Amazon.com to see the Best Graphics Cards.