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How many types of sizes are there for the form factor of graphics card?

I am refering to the L-shaped metal part that juts out from the casing, allowing external connection to the monitor.

I have a casing which is about half the width of a standard ATX casing if looking from the front panel and standing up. I am not sure if it is the "microATX" casing. The ports on the back panel where the audio, on-board graphics, USBs are at similar relative location to the ATX form factor but the PCI slots (the panels/bracket openings) looks shorter.

I am looking to buy a a "low profile" (which I believe to mean low power, low end) card that supports dual monitor but I don't see the specs that mention about the size of the L-shape metal plate.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks.

EDIT: I will mark the best answers after I get the cards. Thanks for you help!

EDIT: As a side note, do you think http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/ati_hd_3470/ will work fine in a 250w PSU running 2x 1GB RAM, 1HDD, 1CD ROM?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Low profile" refers to the physical height of the graphics card, as in it should be able to fit in a machine with half height backplate slots. Generally low profile cards tend to be lower power (due to reduced space) but this is by no means the definite rule.

Generally most low profile cards will come with two PCI "fingers", one for a full height backplate and one for a half-height backplate.

Matrox low profile cards (such as this one) tend to have one connector and a special cable to connect multiple monitors, I haven't seen a low-profile, dual slot graphics card yet.

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Not seen a dual slot card yet? Then I need to be cautious. I am aiming for this overclockersclub.com/reviews/ati_hd_3470 looks like low profile and dual monitors to me... –  Jake Jun 8 '11 at 3:21
    
@Jake To me that card is not low-profile (low-power yes, but not low-profile), the fact that it has 3 connectors means it will be a full height card. You may well be able to get a 3470 in a low profile format but that particular card is not it. The constraints of of fitting the low-profile means that generally only 1 connector can fit on the card and as I mentioned those cards generally will have an adaptor cable to split that one connector out to two or more monitor outputs. Compare the height of your card to tinyurl.com/6yybnhj your card is double the height and is NOT low-profile. –  Mokubai Jun 8 '11 at 7:28
    
@Jake aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Cards/ATI/… is an ATI low profile card that actually does have the double width PCI "finger" I mentioned. Judging by your reply to JourneymanGeek your card slot is low profile and whatever card you get should mention low profile. –  Mokubai Jun 8 '11 at 7:33
    
I bought the ASUS 8400GS eventually. Thanks for your help! –  Jake Jun 11 '11 at 4:20
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The bracket size is supposed to be standardised, with systems with not enough room using risers to turn the slot sideways. The difference between mini/micro/full atx cases is not in the size of the brackets but in the number of them.

I vaguely recall half height or low profile cards meant for servers - but those should generally not be seen in a desktop form factor (wikipedia has a brief mention of this) Presumably they should follow the sizes that the PCI low profile cards followed

Height: 1.42 inches (36.07 mm) to 2.536 inches (64.41 mm)

Depth: 4.721 inches (119.91 mm) to 6.6 inches (167.64 mm)

If its a proprietary form factor, then its plausible.

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I just measured the plate longer-side, depending on where I start to the L-shape bend, it measures, 3.3 inch, 2.85 inch, 2.7 inch. I hope it is the half-height standard and that the ATI 3470 comes with both standard and half brackets. –  Jake Jun 8 '11 at 3:36
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