Skip to main content

Reader poll: How are you keeping your gaming PC cool?

Digital Storm Aventum 3
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
As we swing fully into the summer months, the weather is starting to heat up, and that makes cooling a gaming PC trickier than normal. Intake fans are pulling in warmer air than they’re used to, and may even be pushing your room up to above-average temperatures thanks to formidable exhaust. We’re struggling with the same issues in our homes and test lab, so we’re wondering how you keep your PC cool when it starts to heat up outside.

How are you keeping your gaming PC cool during the summer?

Related Videos

— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) July 3, 2017

The first option is also one of the simplest. More fans, or better fans, can often mean better airflow, although that isn’t always true. Your case may not have enough intake vents to actually experience a noticeable reduction in operating temperatures. Even with plenty of ventilation, adding more fans may not create enough pressure to actually improve airflow or lower heat buildup. In that case, you may have to take more aggressive options.

That often involves liquid cooling. Whether it’s an all-in-one cooler with a closed loop for your CPU, or a complex series of hard-lined tubes and extra radiators, liquid cooling doesn’t just improve performance temperatures, it can also keep a system consistent through exterior temperature fluctuations. It’s becoming cheaper than ever to include liquid cooling in a gaming rig, and it’s an excellent choice for keeping cool.

Another option is to simply use central air conditioning or a window AC unit to keep the whole room cool. It’s not the most direct answer to the problem of high CPU and GPU usage generating a lot of heat, but it’s certainly an effective one, assuming you don’t mind paying a bit extra on your power bill for the month. Plus you’ll just be a nerd — and not a sweaty nerd.

Finally, there’s the easy way out. Just don’t worry about it! Hardware is generally capable of running upwards of 80 degrees Celsius without issue, so if the weather isn’t too extreme when you are, there’s no need to stress about it. That said, there may be some adverse effects that come about through apathy, the largest of which is that important components like the GPU and CPU may have to throttle, or hold back on speed, in order to keep cool enough to stay within recommended temperatures.

Editors' Recommendations

You can buy this LCD mod for one of the best PC cases now
Hyte Y60 LCD DIY kit installed in a case.

The Hyte Y60 is one of the best PC cases on the market, and it's getting a big upgrade in the form of an official DIY mod kit. The Hyte Y60 LCD DIT kit is available now for $120, allowing you to replace one of the tempered glass panels of the case with a programable screen.

If you frequent PC builds on Reddit or Instagram, you've probably seen this mod before. For months, community members have bought screens that fit in the gap in Hyte's case and used community 3D-printed mounts to attach them. In a Reddit thread several months back, in fact, the company responded to a user's build with "THIS IS SO COOL."

Read more
Alienware finally improved PC gaming controllers, but this one’s still not perfect
Scroll wheels on the Concept Nyx controller.

Dell is expanding its Concept Nyx efforts with a vital piece of kit: an Alienware-branded controller. A controller isn't something I'd normally write about; they're a dime a dozen. But this concept has some unique ideas, even if it still needs some work before it's ready for prime time.

First, let's discuss Concept Nyx. Alienware debuted this idea at last year's CES, and it's expanding on the idea this year. Nyx is a whole-house server, and the idea is that you can carry your gameplay to any screen you have. Move from the desktop onto the couch and pick up immediately -- and I do mean immediately -- where you left off. If someone else is playing a game or using the server for anything else, you can even split the screen and enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 while someone else is ranking up in Overwatch 2 or chatting on a video call.

Read more
End your year on a charming note with this adorable Zelda-like game
An alligator tightrope walks on telephone lines in Lil Gator Game.

After a long 12 months, 2022 is almost over.  It's been a busy year on the gaming side, with demanding games like Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok eating up hundreds of hours. If you're looking for a quick low-stakes come-down before the ball drops, Lil Gator Game is the perfect adventure for your New Year's weekend.

Lil Gator Game - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Read more