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How To Watercool GPU: Everything You Need to Know

In this blog, we will explain everything you need to know about watercooling graphics cards and help you choose the best cooling system for your needs.

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Watercooling GPU uses water as a coolant to remove the heat generated by the graphics card and keep the card running correctly. As the water circulates through the radiator, it captures the heat produced by the GPU and cools it down, consequently prolonging its durability and optimizing performance. One thing to keep in mind when learning how to watercool GPU is that you should proceed very carefully with the PC components.

Key Takeaways
  • Graphics cards can heat up to high temperatures and, therefore, need cooling.
  • There are three main types of water cooling: air, liquid, and conventional.
  • You may need water cooling if conventional fans are not doing the job, especially if you are a rigorous gamer.

Important: Verify that the waterblock you are purchasing fits the size of your graphics card. The manufacturer’s website usually contains details about the size.

Things Required
Waterblock | Water Pump | Radiator | Thermal Paste | GPU Kit (GPU Bracket, Fans, Connector, Foam Pads) | Tubing | Reservoir

Watercooling GPU

These are all the steps I used to watercool my GPU without significant trouble:

Step 1
Remove GPU: Start by shutting down the PC. Once turned off, remove the GPU from the motherboard and place it on a clean, flat surface.

Install GPU Into Motherboard Slot
Removing GPU From Motherboard PCIe Slot
Step 2
Unscrew Coolers And Fans: Disassemble the component by disconnecting the GPU fans. Then, proceed to unscrew the screws and stock coolers at the bottom of the GPU.

Disassemble GPU
Disassemble GPU (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Step 3
Clean Thermal Paste: Remove the old GPU thermal paste on the processor with a clean microfiber cloth. Perform this step with very light hands and avoid putting pressure on the component.

Old Thermal Paste On GPU
Old Thermal Paste On GPU (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Step 4
Attach Waterblock: Re-apply thermal paste on the GPU. Then, place the waterblock on the GPU and align the components correctly for maximum cooling effect.

Installing Waterblock On GPU
Installing Waterblock On GPU (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Step 5
Screw The Backplate: Once it is set, screw the backplate with gentle hands. Remember not to fasten it very tightly, or you may damage something.
Step 6
Connect To Other Components: After the waterblock is set up, connect it via tubes to the radiator, water pump, and reservoir (if separate).

Connecting GPU With The Watercooler
Connecting GPU With The Watercooler (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Test The Setup

I made sure to test the watercooling setup after finalizing all the connections, and it worked fine. However, if you cannot get it right in the first attempt, ensure you have placed the GPU and waterblock in proper alignment and fastened everything else correctly. Furthermore, tweaking fan speeds and water pump settings to test different configurations on the setup. Lastly, I overclocked my GPU and noticed its thermal performance before and after the watercooling to test its effectiveness.

Important: Make sure to optimize graphics card performance by checking its cooler’s thermal status and adjusting accordingly. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cooling System

Choosing the best cooling system for your gaming rig can be daunting. Here are some factors to consider:

๐ŸŸฃ Test Before Buying: Run various benchmarks and games on max settings to understand how the cooler performs.

๐ŸŸฃ Should Be Compatible With GPU: Make sure the graphics card you choose will fit your cooling system. Larger cards need more powerful cooling systems, which may not work well with smaller ones. 

๐ŸŸฃ Consider Noise Levels: A loud system will affect your gaming experience and may cause you to sleep poorly at night.

๐ŸŸฃ Note Size Restrictions: Many graphics card coolers require that the card be placed in an expansion slot on the motherboard, which might not be compatible with all cases or computers.

It is essential to test the coolers for compatibility before buying them. This will help ensure the cooler works well with your graphics card and doesn’t block airflow.

Pros And Cons Of GPU Watercooling

โœ… Lowers GPU temperature and noise levelsโŒ Needs periodic maintainence
โœ… Protects the GPU against thermal stressโŒ Complex and time-consuming installation
โœ… Allows GPU overclocking without significant overheatingโŒ Water leaks can damage other components

Wrap Up

While watercooling the GPU is valuable in controlling the GPU temperatures, the process can be technical. If you are a beginner, I advise you to get assistance from someone experienced with PC handling because there are risks involved when tackling delicate components. Besides, the above guide breaks down each step well so you do not face difficulties installing the watercooling unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Watercooling Better Than Cooling Fans?

Water cooling surpasses air cooling in PCs with improved heat dissipation, quieter operation, and overclocking capabilities. However, it’s more complex to install and maintain and can be costlier. The choice depends on your build requirements and budget.

How Much Does A Watercooling System Cost?

In most cases, they cost around $200 to $500 but may cost upwards 1000$ in more HighTech builds.

Should I Buy A Secondhand Watercooler?

We at tech4gamers do not recommend buying used components as they may have some malfunction you may be unaware of.

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