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With the release of the Ampere and Big Navi graphics cards virtually every card, starting from upper midrange, is a hulking dual-slot (at least) beast with three-fan design and ITX unfriendly length. There are RTX 3070 and 3060 Ti models with two-fan cooling systems but the bulk of models are quite chunky. And when mounting a two and a half slot, three-fan card with its heatsink heavy enough to crush small animals to death the card will probably bend a bit when slotted, it’ll start sagging.
What’s GPU Sag And Can You Prevent It?
GPU sagging isn’t anything new. Back in the day when we started getting dual-slot GPUs with massive cooling systems, many people started noticing their graphics card bending a bit. They were too long and heavy for the screwed-in bracket support on the PC case. And today, the issue is as widespread as ever thanks to the ungodly sizes of cards such as the RTX 3080, RX 6800 XT, or the RTX 3090.
As for the GPU sagging having detrimental effects on your GPU or motherboard, GPU manufacturers perform intensive bend, flex, extreme drop, and other sorts of torture tests on every GPU. in most cases, you shouldn’t worry about it. A bent GPU will only hurt your system’s visual impression. Graphics cards with backplates, especially made of metal, should experience a smaller degree of GPU sagging, so that’s something.
Now, if your card’s experiencing extreme GPU sag well, constant bending combined with massive size and multiple years of applying a constant force on the PCB, PCIe slot, and GPU components could lead to a malfunction. No matter the reason why you want to prevent your graphics card from going crooked, the best way to do that is by getting a GPU brace, or a GPU bracket. Whatever you want to call it. It’s easier and more pleasing to the eye than most DIY solutions and it’s pretty cheap, too. Below you’ll find five of the best GPU braces that will prevent GPU from sagging.
Best GPU Braces – Our Picks
|Best Budget GPU Bracket||EZDIY-FAB GPU Bracket|
|Best Vertically Adjustable GPU Brace Support||MHQJRH Brace Support|
|Best Budget ARGB GPU Brace||DeepCool GH-01|
|Best Premium ARGB GPU Holder||Cooler Master ELV8|
|Best GPU Brace Support For SLI Builds||Glotrends Brace Support|
Best Budget GPU Bracket
EZDIY-FAB GPU Bracket
If you want something simple but effective just get the EZDIY-FAB GPU Bracket. It’s simple to install, it’s cheap, and it’ll hold your GPU straight, which is its primary purpose. The bracket has an adjustable rubber pad that provides support making this GPU bracket more or less a universal size.
The installation is pretty simple. All you have to do is some screwing and you’re set. As for the downsides, it would be great if we’d had multiple rubber pads of different sizes. Other than that, this is the best budget GPU bracket you can find.
As for the alternatives, check out the CloverTale GPU brace support. It has a very similar design but it comes with rubber pads in two sizes. On the flip side, it’s pricier. Finally, there’s the upHere GL05 GPU brace, which is completely the same but comes in four colors (the EZDIY-FAB comes only in red).
Best Vertically Adjustable GPU Brace Support
MHQJRH Brace Support
You have the regular, horizontal GPU braces. They are the most popular but there are also vertical GPU braces, which come with a few neat tricks. Firstly, the support can be freely vertically adjusted to your liking, making it great for any card no matter its thickness. Next, you can place vertical GPU braces anywhere, making them perfect for graphics cards of all sizes.
The best choice here is a vertical GPU brace from MHQJRH (whatever that means). It’s affordable, made of anodized aluminum, and it comes with a small rubber pad on the base of the support in order to prevent damage to the GPU. The foot isn’t magnetic and it doesn’t have a rubber sole, but it stays pretty firm once installed.
If you want a vertical GPU brace support with a magnetic foot, check out the best GPU holder for SLI builds, which you can find below.
Best Budget ARGB GPU Brace
Of course that RGB GPU holders are a thing. And the best of them, at least when it comes to the budget models, is the DeepCool GH-01. Not only does it come with a nice ARGB LED array, but it can also hide the PCIe cables, improving the looks of your build on multiple levels.
The holder can be freely vertically adjusted and you can install it both in cases with and without a PSU shroud, thanks to the base extender. The support has small rubber pads on the top, to prevent damaging the card. As for the base, it isn’t rubberized or magnetic, but it looks like it won’t be moved that easily. Do note that this is an ARGB device so you’ll need addressable RGB headers on your motherboard.
If you want a horizontal GPU brace support with ARGB LEDs, there’s the EZDIY-FAB ARGB holder bracket. We’ll be honest, this one looks much better than the DeepCool model but it’s also pricier. And while the support has a vertical adjustment, the installation is trickier and you’ll need lots of space below your GPU for this one to fit.
This model is also available in a regular RGB version, which is a bit cheaper. Finally, there’s the upHere GS05ARGB, another ARGB GPU holder, that has subtler RGB effects and more or less the same design as the EZDIY-FAB ARGB holder bracket.
Best Premium ARGB GPU Holder
Cooler Master ELV8
Cooler Master is known for their CPU coolers, case fans, and pretty solid PSUs but the company started to diversify its offering and now we have the Cooler Master ELV8, an impressive-looking ARGB GPU support brace.
It’s made of quality materials and its RGB strip looks wonderful and it’ll be an excellent addition to any RGB build. Now, this brace isn’t made for the longest cards on the market. If you have an AIB RTX 3080 or pretty much any RTX 3090 model, it’s better to skip this one.
The Cooler Master ELV8 is quite expensive, much pricier than our budget RGB picks. Also, the plastic support found here is of lower quality than metal ones found on most other models. But, it does look the best of them all and has the best RGB implementation we’ve seen in a GPU brace.
Best GPU Brace Support For SLI Builds
Glotrends Brace Support
Finally, if you’re rocking an SLI setup, here’s a couple of GPU braces for you. The first one comes from Glotrends and it’s pretty much the best GPU brace support you can find that doesn’t come with fancy features (you’ll see what we’re talking about in a minute). It has two metal supports, both fully vertically adjustable. It also comes with a magnetized base, perfect for not slipping around.
Both GPU supports have a small rubber pad on the top and it looks like screws for adjusting the height are firm and quality made. If you want something similar there’s the upHere G205. It looks the same and has the same features so it’s a great alternative if you cannot find the first one.
Finally, there’s one GPU brace support that’s clearly over-engineered and, consequently, overpriced. It, of course, comes from MSI. Now, MSI usually has great hardware and poor software but in this case, the MSI Bolster is an exception that proves the rule. Now, we’ve included it here because, when it works, it’s amazing. It also comes with three supports, if you need that many.
The thing is, this brace support comes with a gas spring design. In theory, that sounds awesome. It can absorb shocks and prevent the GPU from moving. But, it also tends to break very easily. Many users report the gas spring going down after some time. Also, this one costs almost as much as the Cooler Master model, with an ARGB strip and everything. Finally, the brace is pretty tall. Too tall, in fact, for many smaller cases. But we simply had to include it, all because that gas spring looks awesome and comically inappropriate in a device like this at the same time.