Best GPU Cooler: Is there any GPU cooler?

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Written By Dominic Howard

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Graphics cards produce a lot of heat. This heat needs to be dissipated to prevent the GPU from overheating and thermal throttling its performance. Using a good graphics card cooler is essential to getting the most out of your GPU.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best GPU coolers available and discuss what to look for when choosing a GPU cooler.

Do GPU Coolers Exist?

Yes, GPU coolers definitely exist! GPUs generate a lot of heat when running graphics-intensive applications like games or 3D modeling software. Without proper cooling, GPUs can easily overheat which leads to thermal throttling where the clock speeds are lowered to try and reduce temperatures. This results in worse performance.

Aftermarket GPU coolers help provide better cooling to allow the GPU to sustain higher boost clocks for longer and maintain maximum performance. There are air coolers with large heatsinks and fans as well as liquid coolers that use a waterblock to cool the GPU die. GPU manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD also design reference coolers to pair with their GPUs, but most enthusiasts prefer buying aftermarket coolers for better temperatures.

So in short, yes GPU coolers are very much real and are a vital component to getting the most performance out of your graphics card!

Air Coolers vs Liquid Coolers

The two main types of aftermarket GPU coolers are air and liquid. Air coolers use a heatsink and fans while liquid coolers utilize a waterblock and liquid cooling loop. Both have pros and cons:

Air Coolers

  • Less expensive than liquid coolers
  • Easier to install
  • Generally sufficient for most users
  • The heatsink/fan combo can be large and heavy
  • Airflow dependent for heat dissipation

Liquid Coolers

  • Better cooling potential than air
  • Fans can run slower/quieter at the same temps
  • Smaller size and weight than air coolers
  • More complex installation
  • Risk of leaks and maintenance required
  • More expensive

For most users, a good air cooler is recommended as they offer decent cooling at lower cost and complexity. Liquid coolers make more sense for enthusiasts pushing extreme overclocks or building in small form factor cases where airflow is limited.

Best Air GPU Coolers

Here are some of the top air coolers for GPUs:

Noctua NH-D15

Noctua is known for making some of the best air CPU coolers and their expertise translates well to GPU cooling. The mammoth NH-D15 has two 140mm fans and six heat pipes running through a dense fin array to give exceptional cooling. It offers roughly a 10°C drop in temperatures over stock coolers. The dual tower design means it’s huge so make sure your case has the clearance. But for max air cooling, the NH-D15 is hard to beat.

ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV

Another excellent air cooler, the Accelero Xtreme IV from ARCTIC offers great performance at a more affordable price than Noctua’s cooler. It has a thick heatsink array paired with three 100mm fans for tons of cooling capacity. It also has a backplate to help cool memory chips. The cooler is large at just over 300mm long so make sure you have room. Reviews show it keeps even hot GPUs like the RTX 3080 at reasonable temperatures. If you don’t want to pay Noctua prices, the Accelero Xtreme IV is a great alternative.

Raijintek Morpheus II ‘Core Edition

Morpheus II from Raijintek takes a different approach. Rather than coming with fans, it’s a heatsink and mounting kit that lets you attach the fans of your choice. This provides flexibility to customize the cooling to your needs. It can handle up to two 120mm or 140mm fans. Reviews show that with good high airflow fans, it competes with or beats the other air coolers on this list. The modular design makes installation and compatibility easier too. If you want an open and customizable air cooler, the Morpheus II is a great pick.

Best Liquid GPU Coolers

Liquid coolers can extract even more heat from hot GPUs. Here are some of the top liquid coolers:

NZXT Kraken G12

Like the Morpheus II, NZXT’s Kraken G12 is a mounting kit that lets you add an all-in-one (AIO) liquid CPU cooler to your GPU. It works with most AIO coolers from major brands like NZXT, Corsair, Thermaltake, and others. The benefit is you can choose a high-performance cooler that fits your budget. Just make sure the AIO cooler has a round cold plate for compatibility. You’ll also need to buy heatsinks for the memory and MOSFETs. While more complex to install, a Kraken G12 with a good 240mm or 280mm AIO will provide exceptional GPU cooling that rivals any pre-built liquid cooler.

Corsair Hydro H100i RGB Platinum SE

For an all-in-one liquid cooler that’s ready to go, the Corsair H100i RGB Platinum SE is a great choice. The 240mm radiator has two RGB 120mm fans to provide excellent cooling while looking great through your PC case window. Corsair’s software lets you customize the RGB lighting effects. And the cold plate uses a micro-fine copper contact surface for efficient heat transfer. Just make sure to get the right mounting kit for your particular graphics card. The H100i delivers low noise levels and GPU temperatures even when overclocked. It’s more expensive but one of the best plug-and-play liquid coolers.

Alphacool Eiswolf 2


For a pre-built, expandable liquid cooling loop, Alphacool’s Eiswolf 2 AIO is a fantastic choice. It comes configured for your specific graphics card model with a full-cover water block and a 120mm copper radiator. Tubing and quick disconnects are included to connect the GPU to an external cooling radiator. This lets you cool not just the GPU but also the CPU and other components in a custom loop. Installation is straightforward and the Eiswolf 2 provides some of the best liquid GPU cooling performance on the market while giving room to expand later on.

What to Look for in a GPU Cooler

Here are some key things to consider when choosing a graphics card cooler:

  • Compatibility – Make sure the cooler physically fits your graphics card and PCB layout. Coolers are often model specific.
  • Cooling Performance – More heat pipes, fin surface area, and fans generally mean better cooling. Read reviews to see how temperature deltas compare.
  • Noise Levels – More fans can mean more noise so check reviews for acoustic performance. Liquid coolers tend to be quieter.
  • Budget – Prices range from $50 to $150+ for high-end liquid coolers. Get what makes sense for your setup.
  • Size – Large air coolers may not fit in all cases. Measure clearance dimensions.
  • RGB Lighting – Some coolers include customizable RGB LEDs if aesthetics are important to you.
  • Ease of Installation – Air coolers are generally easier while liquid coolers can be more complex.

Picking the right GPU cooler involves matching your needs with your PC build. But with this list of top options and buying considerations, you should be able to keep your graphics card cool and running at peak performance!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there any GPU cooler worth considering for my graphics card?

Absolutely! GPU coolers are essential for maintaining optimal performance and temperature levels of your graphics card. There are several options available on the market.

2. What is a GPU cooler, and why do I need one?

A GPU cooler is a device designed to dissipate heat generated by your graphics card during intensive tasks like gaming or rendering. It helps prevent overheating, which can lead to performance throttling and potential damage to the GPU.

3. How does a GPU cooler work?

A GPU cooler typically consists of heatsinks, heat pipes, fans, and sometimes liquid cooling components. These components work together to transfer heat away from the GPU and into the surrounding air or liquid coolant.

4. What are the benefits of using an aftermarket GPU cooler?

Aftermarket GPU coolers often provide better cooling performance compared to stock coolers that come with graphics cards. This can result in improved stability, higher overclocking potential, and a longer lifespan for your GPU.

5. Can I install a GPU cooler myself, or do I need professional help?

Many aftermarket GPU coolers come with detailed instructions for installation. If you’re comfortable working with computer hardware, you can likely install one yourself. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable, seeking professional help is always a good option to avoid damaging your GPU.

6. Are GPU coolers compatible with all graphics card models?

GPU coolers are designed to be compatible with specific graphics card models or series. Before purchasing a cooler, make sure it’s compatible with your GPU’s model and dimensions.

7. Are there different types of GPU coolers available?

Yes, there are air coolers and liquid coolers. Air coolers use fans and heatsinks to dissipate heat, while liquid coolers use a combination of water blocks, radiators, and pumps to cool the GPU.

8. Do GPU coolers make a lot of noise?

The noise level of a GPU cooler depends on factors like fan quality and speed. Some aftermarket coolers prioritize quiet operation, while others focus on maximum cooling performance. Check product reviews to find one that suits your noise preference.

9. Can I use a CPU cooler for my GPU?

While some CPU coolers might physically fit on a GPU, they are not optimized for GPU cooling and might not provide adequate performance. It’s recommended to use a cooler specifically designed for GPUs.

10. Are there any maintenance requirements for GPU coolers?

GPU coolers generally require minimal maintenance. Cleaning the fans and heatsinks regularly to remove dust buildup can help maintain optimal cooling performance.


In conclusion, there are indeed various options available for GPU coolers on the market. These cooling solutions play a crucial role in maintaining optimal temperature levels for graphics cards, thereby enhancing their performance and longevity. Whether you’re considering air coolers with robust heatsinks and fans, or advanced liquid cooling systems for more efficient heat dissipation, the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, budget, and system requirements. It’s important to research and select a GPU cooler that aligns with your hardware and usage patterns to ensure a smoother and more enjoyable computing experience.

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