Water cooling offers the best way to cool graphics cards and they are perfect for all the gaming geeks out there. Though all the latest graphics cards are powerful enough and can easily handle the latest AAA titles, but in case you decide to overclock your GPU to make use of its full potential, water cooling will help you all the way.
The overclocking of GPU improves the performance of the graphics card, but at the same time, it also makes it consume a lot of power.
When a graphics card draws lot of power, it gets over-heated and thus there should be a solution that can keep the GPU cooled throughout the process. A water cooled graphics cards remains cool and even if the GPU gets overheated, the water cooling system cools it down immediately.
So, if you’re planning to go for a good solution to keep your graphics card cool, in this post we will review the best water cooled graphics cards available on the market.
Top-Rated Water Cooled Graphics Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming Hybrid
Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo 8G HBM
Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hydro Copper Gaming
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Hybrid Gaming
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB Xtreme Gaming Waterforce WB Graphics card
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra Hybrid Gaming
Things you MUST KNOW before choosing your Best Water Cooled Graphics Card
Water cooled graphics cards are one of the best ones as they are equipped with an efficient cooling tysystem. Water cooled graphics cards are further divided into two types based on the type of cooling, these are:
- Hybrid cooling graphics cards
- Water block cooling graphics cards
The hybrid cooling graphics cards use a radiator and fan along with a cooling unit for maintaining cooling. The water clock cooling system uses a water block to maintain cooling. Since water can transfer and dissipate heat at a faster and larger rate as compared to air, the water cooled graphics cards are very efficient and they operate quietly too.
GPUs are one of those components of a system that get over-heated easily and if they aren’t dealt effectively, they may damage the system. The GPUs get overheated because the air inside the graphics card and the computer is not dispersed properly. Normally fans are used to disperse the heat, but fans are too noisy and they aren’t as efficient as the water cooled systems. Following are the components of a water cooling system:
- Water clocks
Benefits of a Water Cooled Graphics Card
A water cooled graphics card improves the overall performance of a GPU. These cooling systems are not new and over the years they have proven to be very effective in maintaining cooling of the GPU. Following are some of the advantages that water cooled graphics cards offer:
- The running hardware remains cool
- The heat soaking capacity is increased
- Power consumption is reduced
- Allow you to overclock the GPU for a higher performance
- The radiator fin area gets an increased space for operation with reduced noise
If you combine a water cooled graphics card with a high-end gaming rig, there is no doubt that you’ll be able to achieve high-end gaming experience for all the latest AAA titles. These graphics cards operate very quietly too so that you have a peaceful gaming experience till extended hours. There are a lot of water cooled graphics cards available on the market, but we are going to review the best available on the market.
Top picks for the Best Water Cooled Graphics Card
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid – (Best Overall)
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming Hybrid- (Best for gaming)
- Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo 8G HBM- (Best for VR experience)
- Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hydro Copper Gaming
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Hybrid Gaming
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB Xtreme Gaming Waterforce WB Graphics card
- EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra Hybrid Gaming
Reviews for the Best Water Cooled Graphics Card
Following is a list of the best water cooled graphics cards; our choices include hybrid and water block cooling solutions, both. Following are the product reviews:
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid Review
If you’re looking forward to buy a great graphics card with for high-end gaming, this advanced liquid cooled graphics card is the best option. It is equipped with Nvidia’s Pascal technology and designed using ultra-fast FinFET that is quite power efficient.
It supports a resolution of 7680 X 4320 and features multi-media projection of maximum 4 monitors simultaneously.
It works on a frequency of 1721 MHz base clock and 1860 MHz boost clock. Talking about its cooling feature, it is equipped with hybrid water cooling; the EVGA ACX 3.0 cooling. The cooling system has an excellent soaking capacity and keeps the GPU temperature maintained all the time.
It is equipped with a 120mm radiator and fan that lowers the heat of the GPU to a large extent too. The water cooler of the GPU is self-maintained and thus you don’t need to maintain the fluid levels.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming Hybrid Review
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 is also equipped with the latest Pascal GPU technology of Nvidia. The card is equipped with 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM and comes pre-overclocked from the company. The graphics card has a compact design but the radiator is large and it needs some space in the system’s case.
The card is also equipped with a heatsink and blower for the cooling of VRAM and VRM.
With this high-end card, you’ll be able to play all the latest titles on maximum setting at 1440p. You can also play the older titles on 4K resolution. The card has a power consumption of 170W and it needs one 8-pin PCl Express power connector from the PSU. The card also features LED light and overall it depicts amazing cooling performance.
Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo 8G HBM Review
The Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo is a powerful and advanced water cooled graphics card from AMD. It is equipped with two GPUs and features 8 GB HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) which is more powerful and faster than the GDDR5 memory. It features closed loop water block cooling system which keeps the powerful duo GPUs cool throughout the operation.
The Pro Duo is based on the Capsaicin graphics processor and it supports DirectX 12. The graphics cards is very efficient and it features increased performance due to the combination of two GPUs. The GPU operates at a frequency of 1000 MHz and memory runs at 500 MHz. the card is a dual slot one and it draws power from the 3x 8-pin power connectors too; the rated power is maximum 350 W.
Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Review
The Radeon RX Vega 64 is the water-cooled variant of the Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card. The graphics card is a powerful one that features 4096 stream processors and 8 GB HBM2 memory. The good thing is that the liquid cooled variant of this graphics card is more powerful and efficient than the air cooled one.
This graphics card is available from various brands including MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte, XFX, and Powercolor.
The card is completely water cooled, which means that all the components including GPU, VRAM, and VRM are cooled using the water cooled system. The card consumes around 345 W and requires two 8-pin PCle power connectors along with a 1000 W PSU for operation. To make sure that your card works properly at its full potential, you must make sure that you have the right power supply for it.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hydro Copper Gaming Review
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hydro Copper Gaming is equipped with copper water block for maintaining the temperature of the GPU, VRM, and memory. The card is pre-overclocked and is good for playing high-end games. The card consumes maximum 215 W and it needs two 8-pin PCle power connectors. It also features Dual BIOS and RGB LED which can be customized using the EVGA Precision XOC software.
The graphics card is equipped with 10 + 2 power phases which make sure that the card remains stable even if it is overclocked to higher frequencies. The GTX 1080 hydro copper gaming card is equipped with the latest Nvidia Pascal architecture and it has a support for DirectX 12.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Hybrid Gaming Review
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 is an effective water cooled graphics card and is equipped with a built-in Pascal GPU architecture. The GPU is equipped with iCX technology that provides even better cooling. This technology features 9 thermal sensors and MCU’s that are present on the PCB. These sensors are intelligent enough and they easily sense the most heated components of the GPU and then cool them down.
The new cooling technology keeps the temperature of the GPU to a low level, and the good thing is that these sensors can also be monitored in real-time. The graphics card features a hybrid cooling system which allows you to overclock the GPU temperature efficiently. The dedicated memory plate includes a fan unit and a heatsink that keeps the temperature of the GPU controlled.
The VRAM and the GPU are cooled down by the water cooling unit. The hybrid cooling system of this GPU is highly efficient and it can even lower down the temperature of the GPU by half to achieve perfect water cooled GPU.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB Xtreme Gaming Waterforce WB Graphics card Review
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 is equipped with WaterForce water block cooling system. The water block features an optimized liquid flow and it removes the heat very fast from the copper plate. This copper plate is in contact with the VRAM, VRMS, and the GPU and thus it transfers the heat generated by these components to the liquid. This allows you to have a smooth and fast gaming experience for extended hours.
The graphics card features advanced gaming technologies such as the Xtreme VR link which is perfect for 3 X 4k monitors. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 allows you to capture 360 degree image even in VR which is a revolutionary feature.
The card is packed with smooth gameplay features, ultra-high resolution, and multi-monitor display too. There are several lighting effects and 16.7 M customizable color options. It has a gorgeous black metal plate which is very sturdy and is quite suitable for hard core gamers.
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra Hybrid Gaming Review
The RTX 2080 is a powerful and capable GPU that features an AIO water cooler that makes sure that you get a low temperature along with high performance. The GPU is equipped with high quality and advanced features that allow overclocking and it also comes with features such as Nvidia Ansel, EVGA precision X1 software, Nvidia GPU boost, and G-Sync compatibility.
The card is powered by the Turing GPU and gives you better performance as compared to other previous generation graphic cards. The card also features hydro dynamic bearing fans, 2 slot cards, and 2.75 slot cards. The noise profile is lower and the cooling is enhanced using a single fan. There is an adjustable RGB LED too that is equipped with configuration options for all of your gaming rig requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can any GPU be water cooled?
Yes, you can cool down any GPU by installing a cooling system. If you do intense gaming, rendering or video editing then a GPU must be water cooled. However, keep in mind that water cooling is not the only method that you can use for cooling a GPU. In fact, there are other cheaper methods like fan cooling that can be used for lowering down the temperature of the GPU. However, water cooled graphics cards are the most efficient and with this cooling system, you don’t have to worry about the GPU being damaged.
Should the liquid cooling be maintained?
Liquid cooling is a perfect way to cool the GPU but there are some things you should consider too. Maintenance is one thing that is needed for a liquid cooled system. However, maintenance is needed only once a year which requires you to check the fluid leakages or replace the pump. You need to replace the pump because the fluid gets older and it can damage and degrade the components over time.
Does water cooling save space?
When you install a water block for water cooling, it allows you to change the graphics card to a single slot card. A single slot card draws double power from the system within this form factor. A water block cooling system cools down the GPU itself and it doesn’t need a fan, thus reducing the space of the fan. This way water cooling system saves space which can be utilized to add other parts in the system for an upgrade.
Is 120mm liquid cooling enough?
No, a single 120 mm liquid cooling arrangement is not enough for cooling a GPU especially if you have intense usage. Even if the 120 mm liquid cooling system is of good quality, it won’t be able to cool down the entire graphics card. For efficient cooling you’ll need a 240 mm radiator or at least two 120 mm radiators. A bigger radiator will always provide better cooling that would be enough for cooling down your GPU.
Is water cooling worth it?
Yes, water cooling is worth it because a GPU is the most heat-generating hardware in a system, and if it isn’t cooled efficiently, it would damage the graphics card and cause damage to the system. Water cooling allows you to do intense gaming for extended hours.
If you’re going to build a high-end gaming PC and looking forward to buy the best graphics cards with a nice cooling solution, then the ones that are reviewed above would be enough to make you form an informed buying decision.
Our top pick is the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid, as it is equipped with all the best features that you need in a water cooled GPU. Apart from that, other choices like the Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo 8G HBM and EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming Hybrid are also perfect if you’re looking for a high-end option.