Arctic Video Card and GPU Cooling

Advanced video cards can deliver superior graphical performance, but they can also require more cooling than the stock parts of your computer can supply. They use a significant amount of power and give off considerable heat, so you may have to install dedicated cooling systems in order to avoid damage to the unit or your computer. Arctic supplies several types of heat-control equipment for GPUs and video cards.

What is the difference between liquid cooling and air cooling?

Liquid cooling is one approach to keeping a computer's components at a safe temperature by using a liquid, usually water, as a heat sink. The water flows in tubes through the computer and sits inside water blocks mounted to the CPU, GPU, and other key areas. This water is cooler, so it absorbs the heat around it. Fans or pumps then push the warm water out of the system to a stock cooler, so it can be replaced by cool water again in a continuous cycle.

Air cooling relies only on fans to keep components at the right temperature. These include fans mounted on the case of the computer and those on the components themselves. High-end graphics cards and CPUs will come with fans already attached. The fans provide a steady flow of cooler air over the hot circuits, and the exit vents in the back of the case give the hot air a place to exit. The more powerful the GPU is, the larger the fan it will likely require.

What kinds of cooling solutions are available?

Arctic has an inventory of fans, heatsinks, and fans with heatsinks. Fans alone can do enough to keep a video card cool. Most cards come with fans, but additional ones might be required if you intend to push the card's limits or overclock it. Heatsinks are masses of metal, sometimes connected to a water-cooling system, which absorb heat and draw it out of the card. Arctic offers them both separately and combined. Each model lists its specifications and gives examples of compatible cards to help you determine what you need.

Does my graphics card need a fan?

If you use a desktop computer and you have decided to upgrade your GPU, then you will probably need a cooling mechanism. Some computer parts perform with more power, but those can and often will generate much more heat than others.