Best Passively Cooled Graphics Card for Silent PC in 2018

Almost all graphics cards come with active cooling solution which consists of one or more fans and a heatsink. Most of the graphics cards come with only one fan but higher mid-range or high end overclocked graphics cards comes with dual or triple fans. These fans helps in faster cooling and keeping the graphics card temperature under control especially during heavy gaming and overclocking. Graphics Cards fans can be very loud sometimes and can be distracting for some users who want their PC to be silent in operation. So for a noiseless PC you will need a graphics card equipped with passive cooling i.e. only a heatsink and no fan. You can also call these passive video cards as fanless graphics cards or silent graphics cards.

There are not much graphics cards with passive cooling available in the market. You can find some entry level graphics cards and low profile graphics cards with passive cooling but it is very difficult to find a powerful and mid-range passively cooled graphics card. This is because more powerful graphics cards generate a lot of heat which is difficulty to be cooled down by a passive cooler or only heatsink. There are few powerful graphics cards that are passively cooled but they have bigger heatsinks and they may occupy more space inside your PC case. Passively cooled graphics cards are great for building Home Theater PC (HTPC) because noise can really spoil the movie viewing experience.

Here in this post I am going to list the best passively cooled video cards or passive GPUs for users who want to build a quiet and silent PC.  You can expect to see good number of low profile graphics cards in this list because generally consist of less powerful GPUs and can be cooled down easily using a passive cooler i.e. only a heatsink.

Advantages of Passive Graphics Cards

  • Completely Silent in Operation (0dBA noise)
  • Maintenance free because of no moving fan

Disadvantages of Passive Graphics Cards

  • Can have large & bulky heatsink
  • No room for overclocking
  • Difficult to find higher GPUs
  • Not meant for gamers

 Check out these Important Resources:

Best Silent or Fanless Graphics Cards from Nvidia

Here are the best passively cooled graphics cards from Nvidia that are super quiet in operation.

Zotac GeForce GT 710 2GB DDR3 Low Profile Passive

Geforce GT 710 is an entry level graphics card that is powerful than your integrated graphics. Here we have Zotac GeForce GT 710 which is a low profile graphics card and comes with 2GB DDR3 memory. It is not a gamer’s card but you do casual gaming on it and play older games on decent graphics settings and resolution comfortably. You can even play the latest games like GTA 5 on low settings and resolution. The card comes with 192 CUDA cores which I think is way too god for a budget graphics card.

Zotac-GeForce-GT-710-2GB-DDR3Even with the passive cooling the card temperature remains well under control. You can also do fair bit of overclocking but do not push it hard because their is no fan and passive cooling is not designed for overclocking. It is a great budget card if you want to upgrade your PC graphics from onboard to something better and up the performance of your computer. It is also a very good card for multiple monitors setup. The card has lower power consumption and requires only a decent 300W power supply for its working. It includes VGA, DVI and HDMI as Display Ports. You may get this graphics card under 50 dollars and do check out the link below for its availability.

Zotac GeForce GT 710 2GB DDR3 Specifications
CUDA Cores 192
GPU Clock 954 MHz
Memory Clock 1600 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB DDR3
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 2.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports VGA, DVI, HDMI

Buy Zotac GeForce GT 710 2GB DDR3

Other Good Passive GeForce GT 710 Options:

EVGA GeForce GT 730 2GB GDDR3 Low Profile Passive

GeForce GT 730 is also a budget graphic card but is more powerful than GT 710. Here we have EVGA GeForce GT 730 2GB GDDR3 Low Profile graphics card with passive cooling. This is the 64-bit DDR3 version of GT 730 and it comes with 384 CUDA cores which is double of what present in the GT 710.

EVGA-GeForce-GT-730-2GB-GDDR3-Low-Profile

This is a fairly powerful card and you can play latest games at low settings at HD resolution. Games like CSGO, Far Cry 2, Skyrim etc. should run fine on decent graphics settings and with playable frame rates. The card has a bit larger heatsink and it can occupy two slots on your motherboard. This card is great for casual gaming, video editing, photo editing, Full HD (1080p) playback and for running multiple monitors. It does not require external power connectors and needs a 300W power supply for working. Connectivity options include DVI, HDMI and VGA port. Highly Recommended by me. You may get this graphics card under 100 dollars. Another good passive GT 730 card that I recommend is Zotac GeForce GT 730 2GB Zone Edition.

EVGA GeForce GT 730 2GB GDDR3 Specifications
CUDA Cores 384
GPU Clock 902 MHz
Memory Clock 1800 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB DDR3
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 2.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.4
Output Ports VGA, HDMI, DVI

Buy EVGA GeForce GT 730 2GB GDDR3

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 Zone Edition 1GB GDDR5 Passive

This is one of the most powerful passively cooled graphics cards in this list. GTX 750 is a midrange GPU that sits in between GT 740 and GTX 750 Ti. Here we got ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 Zone Edition 1GB GDDR5 graphics card that is passively cooled. The heatsink on this GTX 750 is quite big and it spreads all over the graphics card PCB. There are two copper heat pipes which I think are in direct contact with GPU for better heat dissipation. This is the Zone Edition of Zotac GTX 750 which means it has been slightly overclocked. The card is built on the relatively newer and advanced Maxwell GPU architecture.

ZOTAC-GeForce-GTX-750-Zone-Edition-1-GB-GDDR5The card has dual slot design which means it will occupy two slots of space on the motherboard and PC case. The memory on the card is only 1GB which may seems a little lower for some users but the powerful GPU and faster GDDR5 VRAM makes up for it.  You can play latest games at medium graphics settings on decent resolution. This card does support 4K resolution and you can hook it up with your 4K monitor without any issue. It has all the required display connectors including DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. This is a good card for high-end HTPC (4K) where you don’t want any unwanted noise due to fans. It support Nvidia G-SYNC technology for eliminating display stutter or tearing of the screen. It has power consumption of 55W and does not require external power connectors from PSU. The recommended PSU for this card is 300W. The exact model number for this card is ZT-70707-20M.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 Zone Edition 1GB GDDR5 Specifications
CUDA Cores 512
GPU Clock 1033 / 1111 MHz
Memory Clock 5000 MHz
Memory Size 1 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.4
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy Zotac GeForce GTX 750 Zone Edition 1GB GDDR5

ASUS GeForce GT 1030 2GB GDDR5 CSM

GeForce GT 1030 is an entry level graphics card from Nvidia in the Geforce 10 series graphics card lineup. This budget graphics card is the based on the Pascal GPU architecture from nvidia. GeForce GT 1030 comes with 384 CUDA Cores and on this card you can play eSports titles at good graphics settings with comfortable frame rates. GT 1030 offers better performance than the older GeForce GT 710, GT 730 and GT 740 graphics cards.

ASUS-GeForce-GT-1030-2GB-GDDR5-CSM-Passive-Low-Profile

Here we have passively cooled variant of GeForce GT 1030 graphics card from Asus that comes with 2GB GDDR5 memory having memory interface of 64-bit. This is the CSM or Corporate Stable Model variant of the GT 1030 card which means it offers rock solid stability in gaming and other graphics related work. This card generates 0dB noise and is completely silent in operation. This graphics card is best suited for casual gaming, video editing, watching blu-ray movies, HTPC, running 4K monitor and for normal day to day work at home and office. The heatsink on this card is a little bit taller which makes the card to occupy two slots in your PC case or on your motherboard. This is also a low profile graphics card which means it can fit in low profile or slim cases too. On the connectivity front, it comes with DVI and HDMI ports. This card has very low power consumption and does not require external power from the PSU. It comes bundled with one year license of XSplit Gamecaster which is a very popular game recording and live streaming software. MSI also offers a similar low profile and passively cooled GeForce GT 1030 graphics card. On the rear side you will get DVI and HDMI ports for connectivity.

ASUS GeForce GT 1030 CSM 2GB GDDR5 Specifications
CUDA Cores 384
GPU Clock 1506 MHz
Memory Clock 3004 MHz
Memory Size 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI

Buy Asus GeForce GT 1030 2GB GDDR5 CSM

EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC Passive Low Profile

This is a low profile and passively cooled GeForce GT 1030 graphics card from EVGA. The card comes with a massive heatsink that is quite effective in keeping the card’s temperature to safe levels. It comes with 384 CUDA Cores, 2GB GDDR5 Memory and is built on the Pascal GPU architecture from Nvidia. This is a great card for building a HTPC, silent workstation or a silent budget gaming PC.

EVGA-GeForce-GT-1030-SC-Passive-Low-Profile

EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC Passive Low Profile graphics card is an overclocked card and it comes with higher frequencies compared to the stock GT 1030. This translates into better performance than a reference or stock GT 1030 card. The power consumption is on lower side as it draws maximum 30 Watts of power from the PCI-E x16 slot. Connectivity options include one HDMI and one DVI port. A low profile bracket comes bundled with this card and you may get this graphics card under 200 dollars. Highly Recommended by me.  

P.S. – Another good passive and silent Geforce GT 1030 card that i recommend is Gigabyte GT 1030 Silent Low Profile 2G.

EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC Passive Low Profile Specifications
CUDA Cores 384
GPU Clock 1290 / 1544 MHz
Memory Clock 6008 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI x 1, HDMI x 1

Buy EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC Passive Low Profile

MSI GeForce GT 1030 2GH LP OC

Here we have another passive GT 1030 card but this one is different from other passive GT 1030 cards. This is because it comes with HDMI and DisplayPort while other passively cooled GeForce GT 1030 cards have got DVI and HDMI ports only. Also, it is a bit more compact in size compared to other GT 1030 cards.

MSI-GeForce-GT-1030-2GH-LP-OC

It is an overclocked GT 1030 card with GPU Boost clock speed of 1518 MHz and comes with 2GB GDDR5 memory @ 6008 MHz. It has got a black painted heatsink for better heat dissipation, and it covers the GPU, Memory and spreads over the entire PCB of the card. The card is low profile in design and has lower consumption figure of 30W only. You can use this card for building a budget gaming PC, HTPC, SFF PC and setting up multiple monitor 4K setup.

MSI GeForce GT 1030 2GH LP OC Specifications
CUDA Cores 384
GPU Clock 1265 / 1518 MHz
Memory Clock 6008 MHz
Memory Size 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy MSI GeForce GT 1030 2GH LP OC

Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX 4GB GDDR5

Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX is the latest and the fastest passively cooled graphics card. It is based on the GTX 1050 Ti GPU which is high performance mid-range GPU from Nvidia. The card is built on the latest Pascal GPU architecture and comes with 768 CUDA Cores & 4GB GDDR5 Memory. This passive graphics card features a dual slot design.

palit-gtx-1050-ti-kalmx

It has a huge heatsink with copper heat pipes for better dissipation of heat. This card is a treat for gamers who want to build a silent as well as powerful gaming PC. The card is way too powerful for an HTPC but if you want the best silent graphics card and have the required budget then you should get this one only. It can run latest games on high settings on 1080p with playable frame rates. The temperature of the card also lies within safe range and it does not get very hot even during hours of gameplay. The card’s availability can be an issue because vert few users prefer a passive graphics card. It has power consumption of 75 Watts and does not requires external PCIe power connectors. The recommended power supply for this card is 300W only. Display connectivity options include DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. So if you want the best passively cooled graphics card then you cannot find anything better than this one. Highly Recommended by me.

Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX Specifications
CUDA Cores 768
GPU Clock 1290 / 1392 MHz
Memory Clock 7000 MHz
Memory Size 4 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX

Best Silent or Fanless Graphics Cards from AMD

Here are the best passively cooled graphics cards from AMD.

ASUS Radeon R5 230 2GB DDR3

AMD Radeon R5 230 is an older entry level graphics card that comes with 160 Stream Processing Units. Here we have ASUS Radeon R5 230 with 2GB DDR3 Video Memory having 64-bit interface. The card is passively cooled using only a heatsink. Also, it features a low profile and single slot design and can be used in almost all small form factor and slim low profile cases. This is not at all a gaming card and is best suited as integrated graphics replacement and for setting up multi monitor setup. The performance of this card can be compared to the GeForce GT 710 from Nvidia.

ASUS-Radeon-R5-230-2GB-DDR3

The card supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 APIs. The power consumption of this passive graphics card is on the lower side (up to 75W max) and it does not require PCIe power connectors. It includes VGA, DVI and HDMI as display connectivity options. So, if you are looking for a budget silent graphics card having small form factor for your older PC, cheap PC or HTPC then this is a very good option. The exact model number of this card is R5230-SL-2GD3-L.

ASUS Radeon R5 230 Silent Low Profile Specifications
Stream Processors 160
GPU Clock 650 MHz
Memory Clock 1200 MHz
Memory Size 2GB DDR3
Memory Interface 64-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 2.1
DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1
Output Ports VGA, DVI, HDMI

Buy ASUS Radeon R5 230 2GB DDR3

Club3D Radeon HD 6750 CoolStream Edition 1GB GDDR5

To be frank Radeon HD 6750 is a much older graphics card as compared to others in this list, but for AMD fans I am mentioning it here. Despite of being an older card it is a fairly powerful card that is perfect for powerful HTPCs and for setting up multiple monitors.

Club3D-Radeon-HD-6750-Cool-Stream-EditionThis card has got a big heatsink with four copper heat pipes for better cooling. It has dual slot design and comes with four output ports that include two DVI ports, HDMI and DisplayPort. This card does have higher power consumption and you will need a 600 Watt power supply for it.

Club3D Radeon HD 6750 CoolStream Edition 1GB GDDR5 Specifications
Stream Processors 720
GPU Clock 700 MHz
Memory Clock 4600 MHz
Memory Size 1 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 2.1
DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1
Output Ports DVI x 2, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy Club3D Radeon HD 6750 CoolStream Edition 1GB GDDR5

XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB Heatsink (RX-460P2HFG5)

XFX Radeon RX 460 is the most powerful passively cooled graphics card from AMD. Radeon RX 460 is budget mid-range graphics card from AMD that has performance similar to that of GeForce GTX 1050 but has lower performance than GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Radeon RX 460 is capable of running latest games on high-medium settings @ 1080p.

XFX-Radeon-RX-460-2GB-GDDR5-Heatsink-RX-460P2HFG5

This passively cooled RX 460 from XFX comes with 896 Stream Processors and 2GB GDDR5 memory. The top of the card is covered by a large heatsink with two heatpipes for dissipation of heat. The card is a bit longer compared to standard RX 460 cards because of the extended heatsink and has dual slot design. It does not require external power connector from the PSU and has relatively lower power consumption. Connectivity options on the rear include DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. So if you want the best passively cooled silent graphics card from AMD then you won’t find anything better than this. There is also a 4GB version of this card which you can check out from the link given below.

XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB Heatsink Specifications
Stream Processors 896
GPU Clock 1220 MHz
Memory Clock 7000 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Output Ports DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB GDDR5 Heatsink

Buy XFX Radeon RX 460 4GB GDDR5 Heatsink

Passive Graphics Card Cooler

If you want to cool down your existing graphics card passively or convert it into a passive graphics card then you can use the below mentioned passive graphics cooler for the same.

ARCTIC Accelero S3 Passive Graphics Card Cooler

ARCTIC Accelero S3 is an aftermarket passive graphics card cooler to cool down your graphics card without the need of any fans or active cooling solution. It supports number of Nvidia and AMD graphics cards that you can check in the specifications below. This Passive VGA Cooler comes with a large aluminum heatsink with four copper heatpipes that are connected to a copper base contact for the GPU. This passive graphics card cooler also comes with a backplate or backside cooler for VRMs and Video RAM (VRAM) for overall cooling performance.

ARCTIC-Accelero-S3-Passive-Graphics-Card-Cooler

The cooling capacity of this graphics card cooler is limited to 135 Watts passively and if you want to use it on up to 200W high-end graphics cards then you have to use Turbo Module or Fans with it. This passive graphics card cooler is completely silent in operation and working (0dBA noise). This passive VGA cooler can be installed without thermal glue and is not supported for low profile graphics cards and graphics cards with extended PCBs (such as: ASUS DirectCU II R9 290 or others).

It is only compatible with graphics cards using standard PCBs with a width 98mm. For installation, it comes with proper kit that includes mounting plates, screws, thermal pads, clips, washers, nuts, graphics card holder, instruction manual etc. This passive graphics card cooler is a bit on the heavier side as the main Heatsink weighs at 410 g and Backplate at 305 g. Also, don not try to overclock your graphics card on passive heatsinks or coolers because they are not designed for this purpose.  

Check out: Best Aftermarket Graphics Card Coolers

ARCTIC Accelero S3 Passive Graphics Card Cooler Specifications
Compatibility NVIDIA GeForce: GTX 1070** (Ti**), 1060, 1050(Ti), 960, 760**, 750(Ti), 680**, 670**, 660(Ti**), 650(Ti*,Ti boost**), 560**(Ti**,SE**),,550 Ti*, 465**, 460**(SE**), GTS 450*, 250**, 240(OEM)*, GT 740, 640, 630, 440,340, 330, 320, 240, 220

 

AMD Radeon: RX 580**, 570**, 480**, 470*, 460, R9 370X**, 280**, 270**(X**), R7 370*, 360*, 265**, 260(X*), 250(X), 240, HD 8870**,8760* ,8740, 7870**(XT**,GHz**), 7850*, 7790*, 7770*(GHz*), 7750, 7730,6950**, 6870**, 6850*, 6790**, 6770*, 6750, 6670(LP), 6570, 5850**, 5830**,5770*, 5750, 5670, 5550(OEM), 4890**, 4870**, 4850*, 4830*, 4770, 4730,4670, 4650, 4550, 4350(LP), 3870*, 3850, 3690, 3650, 3470, 3450, 2600 XT, HD 2600 Pro, HD 2400 XT, HD 2400 Pro, X1950 XTX*, X1950 XT*, X1950 Pro*, X1950 GT*, X1900 XTX*, X1900 XT*, X1900 GT*, X1800 XT*, X1800 XL, X1800 GTO, X1650 XT, X1650 Pro, X1600 XT, X1600 Pro, X1550, X1300 XT, X1300 Pro, X1300

Cooler Type Passive Heatsink with Copper Heatpipes + Backside Cooler
Cooling Capacity Up to 135 Watts passively, Up to 200 Watts with Turbo Module

* recommended with properly ventilated case only
** use with S3 Turbo Module only

Buy ARCTIC Accelero S3 Passive VGA Cooler

See also: Best Silent PC Cases to Build a Quiet PC for Gaming and Work

Final Words

Passively Cooled Graphics Cards are less common and are few in numbers especially the powerful ones, but here I have tried my best to list down the best passively cooled graphics cards that are completely silent in operation. If you have any queries or suggestion then you can reach me by leaving a comment below.

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