With power of modern graphics cards, many equipped with stock OEM heatsinks tend to run at the verge of conventional thermal limits. If not taken seriously, heat can degrade lifespan and performance. Also, an increase in noise output is likely as the blower or fans throttle to try and keep up with the demand. In most cases, overclocking is limited by the cooling system, so manufacturers sometimes offer custom heatsink setups (at a price). With better cooling solutions, it may be possible to push the speed further.
Just as there are aftermarket CPU heatsinks, there are aftermarket graphics cards heatsinks. Most are air-to-air designs, but some higher-end solutions are liquid-to-air; also known as water cooling. Usually, water cooling kits are either a full-cover water block that cools the entire card, or a cheaper GPU core-only block. The core-only design is usually paired with air-to-air heatsinks for the memory and power circuits. Futhermore, most water cooling kits are intended to be installed with a pre-existing or custom cooling loop. With that said, more and more companies are releasing affordable closed loops for those who want an all-in-one solution – a system already plumbed and has a pump, heat exchanger, tubing, and so on. Today, ARCTIC COOLING has provided its new Accelero Hybrid 7970 graphics card cooler for testing!
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