Gaming computers get some pretty heavy-duty use. They often run for hours processing high-def graphics and super fast data. Because of this, they tend to run hotter than regular computers, so extra care needs to be taken to keep them cool enough to prevent damage. There are two ways to accomplish this: air cooling and water cooling.
There are many benefits of water cooling your computer over using fans. Are you wondering whether you should water cool your gaming computer? Here are a few tips that we think might help you better understand how valuable water cooling can be.
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What Makes a Gaming Computer Different?
So what exactly is a gaming computer? Do we really need to have special computers just for gaming? Why not just use the computer you use daily for work or school?
A gaming computer works just like any other computer in the sense that it has all the same components and functions in the same way. But because gaming can be very demanding in terms of data and storage needs, they come equipped with much more powerful hardware. A gaming PC will have a CPU and video card that will meet the needs of gamers far better than a typical work PC. They may also have more RAM and storage on board.
Gaming computers can do just about anything you need them to do, including your simple daily work tasks, but it doesn’t go the other way. If you try to use your work computer for gaming, you’ll most likely find that it just won’t do the job.
Why Do Gaming Computers Run Hotter?
Gaming PCs have a pretty tough job to do. There are hundreds of parts inside the tower moving all at the same time and rarely taking a break. This inevitably creates a huge amount of heat.
If you’ve ever had the experience of having your computer get loud and hot while working or gaming, you likely know what we’re talking about. Luckily, gaming computers are equipped with cooling systems that work to prevent units from overheating and causing damage.
Multiple fans serve to draw the heat away from working components and out of the PC altogether.
Are Fans Enough to Cool a Gaming Computer?
Gamers have two options for keeping their gaming PC cool: air cooling (fans) or water cooling. Both options will do the job, but water cooling tends to be the more affordable choice.
So how many fans does a gaming PC need? The short answer is two but preferably three. A two-fan system serves the minimal need for intake and exhaust, keeping air flowing constantly.
But this usually isn’t sufficient to meet the demands of a high-powered gaming PC. Ideally, there should be two intake fans at the front of the case and one exhaust fan out the back.
Sometimes individual components like the CPU and power supply will be equipped with their own fans as well. Ultimately, the number of fans in a unit and their placement will depend on the size and layout of the case, but it’s important to understand that more isn’t always better when it comes to the number of fans in your cooling system.
Should You Water Cool Your Gaming Computer?
While fans will get the job done, water cooling is a great option for keeping your gaming PC cool.
Water is actually more efficient than air at keeping things cool because it transfers heat more effectively. This makes the whole setup more consistent.
Another benefit is that, without fans kicking on all the time, your PC will make less noise. This can make all the difference when you’re in the middle of an intense gaming session.
People who live in warmer climates should seriously consider a water-cooled PC because it does a better job of maintaining consistently cooler temperatures, even when ambient temps are higher than average.
Water-cooled systems are smaller. Rather than having several fans placed inside the case, the water flows through thin tubes to cool everything down, requiring less space.
What Difference Can Water Cooling Make in a Gaming Computer?
Aside from physical differences between water and air cooling, water can positively affect your computer’s performance as well. Here are some benefits:
- It improves overclocking potential. CPUs have the ability to work at a higher frequency to speed up PC components when called upon. While this is a needed feature, especially for gamers, it can damage the PC if it becomes overworked. Water cooling keeps overclocked hardware cooler, reducing the risk of damage.
- It sustains cooler temperatures over time. A breeze can cool you off on a hot day, but jumping into the pool will do a much better job. The difference between air cooling and water cooling is much like the difference between a box fan and central air.
- It offers cooling-specific components. A custom system can be created fairly simply that can keep things like CPU and power supply consistently cool without needing to worry about fan placement.
- It cools off high-performance GPUs. If your computer is equipped with high-end graphics components, the last thing you need is for your game session to be disrupted by the sound of fans getting louder. Water cooling eliminates this annoying occurrence.
Now that you understand the difference between air cooling and water cooling for your gaming PC, we hope you are better able to make a decision about which one is right for you. Did we answer all your questions? Let us know! Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below.