Best graphic card without external power 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

These days the PC enthusiasts and the ‘tech-savvy’ community consider power consumption as one of the most important factors while choosing the PC components. These days, PCs are not PCs without components like CPU coolers, sound cards, high quality RAMs, and graphic cards. If you want your machine to execute all types of functions, such as digital editing and gaming, you must invest in high-end components and accessories.

Graphic card is an important tool if you’re doing graphical representations, playing high quality realistic games, and doing VFX of high levels. When choosing a graphics card, you must pay attention to the power consumption as it will affect the overall productivity of the system. All the graphics cards require power from the power supply apart from that delivered to them by the PCle slot. However, there are some graphics cards that can work without an external power because they take power directly from the motherboard. If you’re looking forward to choose the best graphics card without external power, this post will guide you how to make an informed decision.

Top-Rated Graphic Card without External Power

Our top picks for the Best graphic card without external power

The best graphics cards reviewed in this post are the ones that don’t need any external power. These graphics cards are quite affordable and powerful and have low power consumption. The features and size of the graphics cards depend on the manufacturers; AMD and Nvidia sell reference cards while there are some brands that offer custom versions of the graphics cards too. Check out our round-up of the best graphics card without external power, which is as follows:

1. EVGA GeForce GT 740 2 GB Super Clocked GDDR5– (Best overall)


  • CUDA cores: 384
  • Core clock: 1085 MHz
  • Interface type: PCle 3.0 X 16
  • Max resolution: 4096 X 2160
  • API supported: OpenCL, OpenGL 4.4
  • Direct X: 12

EVGA GeForce GT 740 2 GB Super Clocked GDDR5 Review

The GeForce GT 740 is a low power graphics card and is good for those who are looking for entry-level ones. The card features 384 shading units, 16 ROPs, and 32 texture mapping units. The chip is designed well with good quality materials and operates at a frequency of 993 MHz and a memory that runs at 1253 MHz. The chip size is an average one with a die area of 118 mm2 with 1,270 million transistors.

xThe EVGA GeForce GT 740 2 GB is a single slot graphic card and it draws power from the 1X6 pin connector. Its power requirement is maximum 64 W and thus it is an ideal option if you’re looking for a card that consumes less power. The card is 145 mm long and there are display outputs too which include 2 X DVI and 1 X mini-HDMI. It is equipped with a single slot cooling solution and overall it delivers good performance for an entry level graphics card.


  • It has a solid build quality.
  • Heat generation is less.
  • Power consumption is very low.
  • It delivers excellent value for money.


  • Fan is a bit loud.
  • Not good for high-end games.

2. MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GDDR6- (Best graphic card for cooling)


  • Boost GPU clock: 1875 MHz
  • Memory interace: 192 bit
  • ROPs: 48
  • Video memory: 6 GB GDDR6
  • Board power: 130 watts
  • Output ports: 1 X HDMI 2.0b 3 X Display Port 1.4

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GDDR6 Review

The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GDDR6 delivers a moderate-cost GPU performance to those gamers who are in search of 1080p gaming. The graphics card is design on Turing architecture and has some good upgrades to the previous 1060 line. The card features MSI’s custom cooling hardware and boosted clock speeds from the factory.

The GTX 1660 Ti is 9.7 inches long which is good for most of the configurations. However, if you find it large, you can choose the shorter ones with single fans. There is aluminum plate at the back and there are LED strips located at the underside of each fan. The graphics card is equipped with good cooling solutions, a scatter of RGB lights, and overclocked settings for better performance.


  • It features superb cooling
  • It delivers a good price-to-performance ratio for 1080p gaming
  • It features solid overclocking potential
  • It is better than the previous generation GTX cards in terms of its price


  • It is not good for 4K gaming

3. Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 Low Profile 2 GB- (Best quite graphics card without external power)


  • CUDA cores: 384
  • Memory: 2 GB GDDR5
  • Core clock: 1252 MHz
  • Boost clock: 1506 MHz
  • Interface: PCle X 16
  • SLI: No
  • Outputs: DVI, HDMI

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 Low Profile 2 GB Review

The Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 graphic card is designed for casual gamers. It is equipped with advanced architecture that allows you to play graphic intensive games. The graphics card provides overall good immersive experience so that you have a lag-free gaming experience. It is equipped with a custom designed fan cooler which keeps the noise at a low level and optimizes the air flow and makes sure that the heat dissipation is efficient.

The graphic card allows you to customize the card settings according to your gaming needs. You can do overclocking with a single click via AORUS graphics engine. You can easily decide whether you need a high or low clock speed for your gaming needs. Though you can’t play the latest AAA titles using this card, but it is good to go for light games on max setting of 100 fps.


  • It is a low profile card and can easily fit into a compact case.
  • The fan is quiet and works efficiently.
  • It features one-click overclocking software.
  • It is a budget graphic card with low power consumption.


  • It has slow multi-rendering functions.

4. ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 2 GB GDDR5- (Best entry level graphics card)


  • CUDA cores: 384
  • GPU clock: 1227/ 1468 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 6000 MHz
  • Memory size: 2 GB DDR5
  • Memory interface: 64-bit
  • Bus Interface: PCl Express 3.0
  • DirectX: 12
  • OpenGL: 4.5
  • Output Ports: DVI, HDMI

ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 2 GB GDDR5 Review

The ZOTAC GeForce graphics card is an entry level one from Nvidia. The card is equipped with 2 GB DDR and 384 CUDA cores. The graphics card is powered by Nvidia and it is capable of accelerating your PC experience by far. It is a Pascal-based entry level chip that allows you to enhance your gaming performance in most of the competitive gaming titles.

The graphics card is available at a low price and features a power-friendly architecture. The user-friendly interface allows you to tune and tweak easily. You can use the clock speed adjustment, GPU monitoring functions, fan control and a lot of other options to customize your experience. The good thing is that the card features a low profile bracket that can easily fit into small systems.


  • It is very affordable
  • It delivers excellent performance in DirectX9/11 and eSports based games
  • It has a compact design


  • It doesn’t gives good performance in DX12/Vulkan-based games

5. MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC- (Best graphic card for eSports gamers)


  • CUDA cores: 640
  • GPU clock: 1518 MHz/ 1404 MHz
  • Memory clock: 7008 MHz
  • Memory size: 2 GB DDR5
  • Memory interface: 128 bit
  • Bus Interface: PCl Express 3.0
  • DirectX: 12
  • OpenGL: 4.5
  • Output Ports: DVI, HDMI, Display Port

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC Review

MSI GeForce is a budget graphics card and is based on the latest Pascal GPU architecture. It is more powerful than the GTX 750 Ti and is equipped with 2 GB DDR5 memory. The graphic card is also overclocked for excellent performance. The graphics card is one of the cheapest Pascal-generation cards and is perfect for eSport gamers.

The graphics card is well-suited for ultra-budget PCs and can be used as an upgraded to those graphics cards that are now outdated and don’t have an external power connector. The graphics card is present in most of the high-end laptops such as the Dell G3 15 and the Dell XPS 15 because of its low power consumption.


  • It offers very low power consumption
  • It allows you to play many AAA games at medium settings
  • It delivers superb eSports performance


  • 2 GB memory is limited

6. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G- (Fastest graphic card without external power)


  • CUDA cores: 896
  • GPU clock: 1710 MHz (Boost)
  • Memory clock: 8002 MHz
  • Memory size: 4 GB GDDR5
  • Memory interface: 128 bit
  • Bus Interface: PCle 3.0
  • DirectX: 12
  • OpenGL: 4.6
  • PCle power connector: NA
  • Output Ports: Display port 1.4 X 1, HDMI 2.0b X 2

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G Review

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G is one of the fastest graphics card on our list that doesn’t require an external PCle power connector. The graphics card is designed on the Turing GPU architecture and comes with 896 CUDA cores and 4 GB GDDR5 memory. The card performs a lot better than the GTX 1050 and can run all the modern AAA titles with good frame rates.

The graphics card is mildly overclocked with a GPU boost clock of 1710 MHz and it is equipped with WINDFORCE 2X cooling system which features dual alternate spinning fans. The fans have a unique blade design that allows good heat dissipation and smoother airflow. The maximum power consumption of the graphics card is 75W.


  • It doesn’t require any additional power
  • It features dual fan cooling system
  • The fans are temperature controlled
  • It is a perfect entry to mid-level with 1080p performance
  • It is one of the fastest GPU


  • The NVENC encoder is Voltabased

7. MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC 2 GB DDR5- (Best gaming graphic card without external power)


  • CUDA cores: 640
  • GPU clock: 1163 MHz/1085 MHz (OC Mode)
  • Memory clock: 5400 MHz
  • Memory size: 2 GB GDDR5
  • Memory interface: 128 bit
  • Bus Interface: PCl Express 3.0
  • DirectX: 12
  • OpenGL: 4.4
  • Output Ports: VGA, DVI, HDMI

MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC 2 GB DDR5 Review

The MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti is a popular graphics card of mid-range. The graphics card is packed with handy features and it is powerful enough to run most games at 1080p. The card is based on the Maxwell GPU architecture and is overclocked for enhancing the gaming performance.

The GeForce graphics card is equipped with Twin Frozr Dual fans that keep the system cool and card’s temperature in control even when the workload is too much. The good thing is that the two fans are silent and when there is low load, they are almost unhearable. The card allows you to play most of the games at high settings and at good frame rates.


  • It features low noise and temperatures
  • The factor overclock is aggressive
  • It delivers good value for money
  • It features low power consumption
  • It delivers strong gaming performance


  • There is no SLI support
  • The NVIDIA power limiter restricts overclocking

Things you MUST KNOW before choosing your Best Graphic Card without External Power

When people choose graphics card, they mostly consider the memory bandwidth and the GPU clock speed. However, the best graphics card is one that consumes minimum power. Power consumption is a critical factor that you must consider while choosing a Graphics card.

The good thing about low power consuming graphics cards is that they are affordable too because they don’t need any external power supply. Following are the factors that you need to consider before choosing the right graphics card without external power:

Form factor

Form factor is very important as you need to make sure that you have enough space for the card. Graphics cards are available in single slot, dual slot, triple slot, and half-height forms. If the Graphics card is not compact enough, its fan shroud and heatsink will come in the way of any adjacent slot. So, it is very important that you look at the height, length and thickness of the card.

If you have a small PC case which has still some space for a full-height graphics card, you’ll need a sgraphics card that is air-cooled and is not more than 8 inches long.

Consider the power situation

Another factor to consider is the PSU cable routing. Most of the cards have power-pin connection ports present on the top of the card while some of them have the pin connector on the rear-facing edge of the graphics card. There are many compact cards that don’t require PSU power connection because they already pull enough watts from the PCle slots. In this post we are going to review all such graphics cards.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate depends on the monitor. If the monitor’s refresh rate is in triple digits, then you have to select a powerful graphics card to meet the ends. However, if you have a monitor that features resolution of up to 1080p or 60 Hz, then you don’t need to invest in an expensive graphics card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a PCle x4 card fit in a x16 slot?

Yes, a PCLe card can fit into x16 slot but can’t fit in a smaller slot. For example, if you have PCle x16 card, it won’t fit in a x8 slot. Some PCle slots use open-ended sockets too that allow you to fit any types of cards.

Can I replace DDR2 graphics card with a DDR3 one?

Yes, you can replace them. The graphics cards are compatible with previous ones too and all you have to do is to get an expansion slot for the new graphics card.

Do I have to change my PSU for new graphics card?

If you have a PSU that is not compatible with your graphics card, then you’ll have to change it. For example, if your graphics card has a 400W PSU rating and your PSU delivers only 300W, then you’ll have to change it for a higher one. It is always a good idea to have a PSU of higher rating than the one recommended for the graphics card.


If you’re looking for excellent-performing graphics cards without external power, then you won’t be able to find any better options than the ones that are reviewed in this post. The graphics cards reviewed above are all low power consuming cards and they draw power from the PCle slot. The graphics cards are not expensive and deliver superb performance in games.

Our top picks are EVGA GeForce GT 740 2 GB Super Clocked GDDR55 and MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti as they are best overall in terms of power consumption and gaming performance. These graphics cards are powerful and fast and deliver a smooth and stutter-free gaming performance.

Read Also: Best Gaming Motherboard with WiFi

6 thoughts on “Best graphic card without external power 2021 – Buyer’s Guide”

    • Hi,
      Most of the graphics cards reviewed in this post draw power from the PCle x16 slot on the whole and do not need any external power connector. The GeForce RTX 2060 draws power from the PCle x8 slot from the system’s power supply, which is not external. However, the card requires 500W PSU for it’s working, so if your system isn’t able to provide that, you can connect an external power supply to add some more graphical oomph to the whole setup.
      If you need more info, don’t hesitate to ask.


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