Best GPUs without External Power in 2022


The modern graphics cards are power-hungry, making it expensive for the user to play high-end games. That’s why almost every buyer considers this factor very important before selecting a card. At the same time, a GPU without external power needs less power to be operated. Ultimately it saves the gamer from paying more money to get an appealing gaming experience. Instead of having a power connection to the PSU, such cards draw energy uniquely from the mother circuit. Hence, your rig can perform very effectively while utilizing lesser power. A graphics card helps you have better graphics, visuals, video scenes and improve the rig’s performance. With the best GPU without external power, you get all these benefits and power-saving convenience. The bottleneck is a famous term between researchers and gamers in the gaming community. The phenomenon happens when you connect a light-weight GPU with an efficient CPU, and due to performance mismatch, the bottleneck occurs. We have listed numerous components in this article where all are very good to play with load and power. Furthermore, you might hear that lower power requirements of a video module might cause a lesser performance than those with a higher power. It is true in some cases but not for all. Our team has researched a lot to find out the cards that are energy efficient but still provide the next-level performance boost to the games. We have reviewed eight of the best masterpieces that can take your issue while being pocket-friendly for you. Read the entire article to get a better grip over the concept of various varieties.

Quick Shopping Tips:

For ease of finding a perfect bad-boy card for your rig, consider the factors listed below. You can fastly figure out whether a card will fulfill your needs or not by looking at these must-have factors. Memory size: The first and foremost crucial factor that someone can check is the total memory a card offers. Cards with higher memory can load more data and perform better by rendering fast. Also, more significant memory can permit a more fantastic in-game depth view and results in good quality visuals and scenes. You can decide the memory size depending upon the game load you’re going to put on. Cores: A core is like a pathway inside a card to process an instruction. The cores are the main brains of the component that process the data being fed into the GPU and calculate information regarding gaming graphics to show the user. Make sure you get a significant amount of CUDA cores for more detailed and more realistic pictures. Core Frequency: The clock speed is the measure of how fast a core can process an instruction. In general, a GPU operates fast if it has a higher clock frequency and can process multiple instructions every second. It is usually measured in GHz (gigahertz) and sometimes in MHz (megahertz). Make sure to buy a card with as higher clock speed as possible. Budget and Brand: How can we ignore the customer’s budget and the brand? Try to find out a card according to your pocket and budget. You can find one that is affordable for every user and customer with a slightly lower budget. Choose the brand with the specialty it is famous for; if you need more core, buy a brand that offers more cores.

8 Best GPUs without External Power in 2022

Award Image Model Price
Best Budget GPU Without External Power VIEW MAX Biostar RADEON RX 550 VIEW MAX Biostar RADEON RX 550 See On Amazon
Best Mid-Range Graphics Card Without External Power Geforce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G Geforce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G See On Amazon
Best Graphics Card for Cooling MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti X 6GB MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti X 6GB See On Amazon
Best Graphics Card for Esports Gaming MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC See On Amazon
Best Overall GPU Without External Power MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti See On Amazon
Best All-Rounder Graphics Card Without External Power ASUS Radeon RX 460 4GB ASUS Radeon RX 460 4GB See On Amazon
Best Enthusiast Low Power Graphics Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G See On Amazon
Best Entry-Level Graphics Card With Lowest Power Consumption ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 2 GB GDDR5 ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 2 GB GDDR5 See On Amazon

Top 8 Best GPUs without External Power You Can Buy Today

VIEW MAX Biostar RADEON RX 550 (Image credit: Amazon)

VIEW MAX Biostar RADEON RX 550

Best Budget GPU Without External Power

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable

Low-power card

Offers 4K resolution for low-end games

AMD Radeon FreeSync technology

REASONS TO AVOID

No G-Sync technology

Build might be not impressive

VIEW MAX is one of the leading manufacturers of graphics cards, especially when it comes to making one that consumes less power and is extremely affordable. Biostar Radeon RX 550 is proof of this fact. The manufacturer offers this economical and best-budget GPU without external power and 50 watts of rated power consumption. Compared to the top model high-end cards with external power connection, such low utilization is very environment and pocket friendly. Out of two variants, 2GB and 4GB, the 4GB variant on our list offers GDDR5 type memory with a 128-bit data transfer bus.

Despite being low-power, the card can operate its 512 CUDA Core processors at 1183 MHz of clock frequency. Three different types of ports are given for output connection: Display port 1.4 HDR, HDMI, and Dual-link DVI-D port. Most importantly, we can use all three connections simultaneously with AMD Radeon technology and play low-profile games on multiple screens. Whereas the HDMI supports a digital resolution of 4096 X 2160 and VGA connection up to 2048 X 1536. The card supports PCIe 3.0 interface, and we can connect this with any motherboards that offer the same interface connection.

This Best GPU without External Power is Vulkan Optimized, HDR Ready, and has other technologies like AMD Radeon FreeSync technology AMD XConnect, DirectX 12. The FreeSync technology permits a smooth display under the action of high-end games, overcoming the tearing across the display. DirectX 12 enables the gaming developers to customize the graphics effects of the games based on the Window system. On the other hand, the card has a plastic build that feels cheaper and low-end. We get heatsinks to dissipate the heat, but no heatsink pipe can be slightly on the lower-performance side.

Geforce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G (Image credit: Amazon)

Geforce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G

Best Mid-Range Graphics Card Without External Power

REASONS TO BUY

High-quality build

Effective cooling

4K and 8K resolution

REASONS TO AVOID

Maybe slightly expensive

The GIGABYTE G1 series graphics cards are very famous for providing a fast, more smooth, and power-efficient gaming experience. The series is powered by NVIDIA Pascal architecture that brings incredible gaming performance with its revolutionary updates and features. The card offers the same 4 GB GDDR5 type memory as the previous Biostar Radeon RX 550, but it has way more memory clock speed of 7008 MHz. Also, there are 768 CUDA Cores with this best Mid-Range graphics card without external power. In OC mode, cores can run up to 1506 MHz of clock speed, reducing to 1430 MHz in gaming mode.

The expansion slot is significant for any card to connect with the mobo. We get PCIe 3.0 x 16 interface that is a pretty fast 3rd generation card bus that can reach up to total bandwidth of 16 Gbpsps. You will be impressed with its multi-display feature, with which it can accommodate up to four monitors at a time. It offers three types of outputs: dual-link DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and Display Port 1.4. With an HDMI slot, the screen resolution can reach up to 4K at 60 Hz and 8K at 60 Hz.

The product offers a rigid and protected build with a metal backplate that provides a sleek and clean look. The PCB sheet of the card has an ATX form factor, while the card has overall dimensions of 40 mm x 219 mm x 118 mm based upon the sheet structure. The cooling system is the ultimate solution to keep the heat dissipation under control. There are two 90 mm unique blade fans based upon WINDFORCE cooling technology. The alternate spinning direction of the fans and two copper heat pipes provide an ultimate solution to minimize the heat effect.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti X 6GB (Image credit: Amazon)

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti X 6GB

Best Graphics Card for Cooling

REASONS TO BUY

Excellent price-to-performance ratio

Amazing cooling capabilities

Can be overclocked

REASONS TO AVOID

May be expensive

The MSI GeForce 1660 Ti GDDR6 is a GTX based graphics card that offers similar features as other RTX cards do while being less expensive. For example, powered by Turning architecture, the component comes with a 12 nm fabrication procedure that runs the RTX line of the cards. The only difference is that it offers lesser ray-tracing and tensor cores that set this GTX card from other RTX cards. Compared to the GTX 1060 and 1070 lines, you get minimized die size of 284 mm², more transistors (6.6 billion), and a low power requirement of 130 watts.

The card offers 6 GB of GDDR6 type memory with a 192-bit memory bus to store and transfer the data with a memory speed of 12 Gbps. The 1536 cores are running at 1875 MHz are more than both Geforce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G and Biostar Radeon RX 550 we reviewed earlier. We could use 3x DisplayPort v1.4a type outputs and 1x HDMI port to connect where HDMI supports 4K resolution at 60 Hz if specified in the 2.0b version. It has 247 mm x 127 mm x 46 mm dimensions and a weight of 869 grams.

Looking at the product’s design, you’ll find that black is mixed with gunmetal grey, providing premium aesthetics. Also, the classy brushed metal backplate highlights the attractive look and provides a more substantial and rugged build. A bit more to amaze you is its magnificent and smooth RGB lighting that is capable of making your overall rig worthy and jaw-dropping. This best graphics card for cooling provides the ultimate heat-killing thermal solution, evident with a fantastic masterpiece. The 7th generation MSI TWIN FROZR design is paired with TORX FAN 3.0 technology to guarantee a stable and efficient performance.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC (Image credit: Amazon)

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC

Best Graphics Card for Esports Gaming

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable

Low-power card

Can overclock

REASONS TO AVOID

Don’t have RGB lights

The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC has 2 GB of GDDR5 type memory, which is offered in all GeForce GTX 1050 series and has a 128-bit memory bus. The card has 640 CUDA Cores at a boost clock speed of 1518 MHz based on the advanced Pascal architecture. It is an affordable card that runs on Pascal-based build and the best graphics card for eSports gaming. Compared to the GTX 750 Ti, you get more advanced and latest features that make it more powerful. This low-power GPU requires only 75 watts of power to provide you with its peak performance.

NVIDIA has mentioned the “OC” in the component’s name, which means it is ready to overclock. You can boost the 1404 MHz of rated base frequency to 1518 MHz, which is quite a small overclock gap. As GPU Boost 3.0 technology has been added into the components, it will be able to boost the speed beyond the rated one. By looking into the cards of other brands in the same price point, MSI has not included the “one-click” features that used to overclock the component by just taping an overclock setting in the software program.

You get a DisplayPort 1.4 version, one HDMI 2.0b, and one DL-DVI-D type output port. Also, an PCIe x16 3.0 type expansion interface bus. This pocket-friendly and best GPU without External Power is tight in size and offers a single fan design with a heatsink. Despite having a dual-slot structure, it can be fit into mini-ITX cases due to its compact PCB length. Since it is a very basic GPU, we have not got a lot to discuss. There is no fancy RGB lighting, and it is not VR-ready. You can consider this card if you need a card for mid-end use within a tight budget.

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Image credit: Amazon)

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Best Overall GPU Without External Power

REASONS TO BUY

Silent performance

Best price-to-performance ratio

TwinFrozr VI cooler

REASONS TO AVOID

No SLI support

The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a more advanced version of GTX 1050, and NVIDIA has built these cards based on Pascal architecture. The brand has included the same GPU architecture in the topline GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 series cards. The card offers 4 GB of GDDR5 type memory that runs at 7000 MHz of memory frequency with a 128-bit memory bus. Also, there are 768 CUDA Cores, and 1290 MHz of clock speed can boost up to 1392 MHz. For your knowledge, compared to 1050, the 1050 Ti has 128 more cores, 2 GB higher memory capacity, and the same power consumption.

The card is renowned for being the best overall GPU without external power on our list due to numerous reasons. You can buy this budget graphics unit to play AAA title games at Full HD settings. In simple, it can tackle possibly every game in the market. For connectivity purposes, the component’s rear has been installed with 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.0, and 1 x Dual-link DVI connectors that come with higher-end GTX 10 series. The HDMI can support 4K resolution at 60 Hz, and anything above 4K or 60 Hz is impossible with this card.

The MSI uses highly effective and advanced Twin Frozr technology VI to dissipate the heat in no time. Looking at stats, the Twin Frozr VI is 40% quieter and provides 20% more cooling compared to its previous version, Twin Frozr V. Despite the excellent cooling capabilities, the silent fan movement is the key spec to make the gaming experience more appealing. Moreover, the G-sync ensures the non-teared screen result by perfectly wisely playing with frequency and graphics FPS rate. On the other hand, some downsides include no backplate, no SLI support, and a rise in temperature for OC mode.

ASUS Radeon RX 460 4GB (Image credit: Amazon)

ASUS Radeon RX 460 4GB

Best All-Rounder Graphics Card Without External Power

REASONS TO BUY

Impressive eSport gaming performance

Excellent for 1080p gaming experience

All-rounder performance

REASONS TO AVOID

May be expensive

We have chosen the ASUS STRIX Gamin edition as the best All-Rounder graphics card without external power. There are two variants of the card, 4 GB and 2 GB, where we will review 4 GB, which is the most predominant standard. The card offers an effective memory clock speed of 7000 MHz and can boost up to 1256 MHz of frequency. AMD’s Polaris architecture powers the RX 460 and other expensive cards like RX 470 ( Amazon ) and 480 ( Amazon ) series cards. This architecture is standing against NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture, but it consumes more power making it slightly less efficient.

The gamers can play eSports and low-end AAA titles games at Full HD settings and every other, which requires a fair amount of processing power. The rear panel of the card exposes one dual-link DVI-D output port, one HDMI 2.0b, and a DisplayPort 1.3 connector. The other features and specifications show that the card can deliver 4K quality at 120 Hz plus 5K at 60 Hz. You might have to compromise on 8K resolution at 60 Hz. You may feel some tearing on display during the rapid movement inside the game.

Other features with this are DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6, and OpenCL 2.1. The brand has submitted numerous features to tackle the heat issue. We get Direct-CU II which offers heat pipes directly contacted. To properly transfer the heat, the two heat pipes loops are installed to keep the temperature below 60 °C. As I mentioned earlier, this product could be an effective option for you if you put a moderate level of gaming load. Otherwise, you can look for the higher-end variants of the brand.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G (Image credit: Amazon)

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G

Best Enthusiast Low Power Graphics Card

REASONS TO BUY

Temperature-controlled fans

Good entry-to-mid level 1080p performance

One of the Fastest GPUs

REASONS TO AVOID

No SLI support

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4G is introduced by NVIDIA as a mainstream graphics card based upon Turning architecture. This card is a successor to GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti-powered by Pascal architecture. Stats stipulates that this card performs 30% more efficiently than GTX 1050 Ti and can run modern AAA title games with a reasonable FPS rate. You get a new TU117 GPU incorporating 896 CUDA Cores and 4 GB of GDDR5 type memory running at 8002 MHz of memory clock speed. The card is built on a custom PCB with an ATX form factor and has dimensions of 191 mm x 112 mm x 38 mm.

There is a DisplayPort 1.4 type port and 2x HDMI 2.0b connectors for connectivity purposes. Like MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the graphics module carries no SLI support. It seems the company was well-aware of the cruciality of a long life of the component. All the elements that are being used have an ultra-durable structure. The rated power consumption of 75 watts and other features makes it the best enthusiast low power Graphics card. Despite the low power consumption, the energy losses are reduced to negligible by minimizing the core losses and EMI interferences.

The clock frequency can be boosted up to 1710 MHz with an effective cooling system, suitable for such a card. You get a dual WINDFORCE 2X cooling system where an aluminum heat sink is also connected to overcome the heat production. There are 2x 80 mm unique blade fans continuously rotating in opposite directions. If you noticed, this card offers pretty much the same thermal feature as Geforce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4G was offering. Consider this a precise option for someone who needs jaw-dropping 1080p experience before selecting a card without external power.

ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 2 GB GDDR5 (Image credit: Amazon)

ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 2 GB GDDR5

Best Entry-Level Graphics Card With Lowest Power Consumption

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable

Low-profile card

Quieter fan movement

Shallow 30W power consumption

REASONS TO AVOID

Slow in multi-rendering

This time, NVIDIA has played very wisely with ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030 and gives the users to buy an awesome performing graphics card at an affordable price point. The product has 2 GB of GDDR5 type memory that can run at 1500 MHz of memory clock speed with 46.1 GB/s of bandwidth. Also, the GPU has 384 CUDA cores and a 64-bit memory bus. The Pascal architecture power this entry-level chip and can help you enjoy lightweight games without spending much. Another plus point, you can connect up to two monitors with multi-display capabilities.

The card comes with 1228 MHz of the base clock frequency, which can reach up to 1468 MHz. For your knowledge, the GPU speed keeps alternating between the base and boosted ones for different temperature ratings during the Furmark stress test. Hence, you must maintain a suitable temperature to get maximum performance and keep the speed high. The component has 172.5 mm x 111.15 mm x 16 mm of dimensions. You can put this module into a vast number of the smallest PC cases due to its low-profile PCB build.

We are calling this card the best entry-level graphics card with the lowest power consumption due to a reason. The default TDP would be hardly 30 watts, making the product have the lowest power consumption on our list. Hence, this feature gives it an edge over others in the market. Users can connect the displays to one VGA and one HDMI 2.0b port, where HDMI can provide 4K content at 60 Hz. You would have to compromise on the DisplayPort connector with this.

Conclusion

We have reviewed eight graphics cards that allow you to take a power-efficient gaming experience. Our priority was to help you find the best-suiting graphics module according to your needs and requirements. If you are a user who needs an affordable GPU to power up your rig, you can go for ZOTAC GeForce GT 1030, MSI GeForce GTX 1050, or VIEW MAX Biostar RADEON RX 550. While the overall winner on our list is MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, a perfect combination of performance, build, and price. Choosing an ideal match for your rig is a highly complex task that needs a lot of research and homework. This article is full of expert opinions and reviews on products from various brands. If anybody is still double-minded in choosing the best GPU without external power, you should read the guide attached under the introduction section. Also, you can contact our team that is always looking for tech-enthusiasts like you to help and share their knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What GPU does not require external power?

The modern graphics modules required a very high amount of energy to function correctly. Every brand is trying to lower the power requirement of the cards to help users save their resources and power. The video modules that can run while directly connecting to the motherboard instead of PSU need no external power.

Can you use a GPU without external power?

Yes, we can use a GPU without external power. Every brand offers numerous graphics cards that can run while directly connecting to the motherboard. These chips utilize a meager amount of energy and still provide adequate performance. Hence, using such components is very power efficient.

Do all GPUs need a power supply?

Do all GPUs need a power supply? It is not valid that every GPU needs a direct power supply. The market is full of those chips which require no power supply but are connected to the mobo to fetch energy. Such cards are very effective while saving your day-to-day usage and expense. You should go for the cards without an external power to protect your bank from breaking.

Are mini graphics cards less powerful?

Saying that the cards with mini form factors are less powerful is not valid. Moreover, there is no direct connection of the performance to the size of the component. GPUs and their mini-equivalents use the same chips and software in the current era; the performance would be the same. Although, you may feel the difference in cooling capabilities of such pieces.

Arslan
Arslan Ashraf is Computer Expert. He developed his passion for reviewing the latest tech products. He likes to review every single piece of Hardware. If you have any questions related to Tech Products. He'll be happy to answer you.
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