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This new Nvidia graphics card could change GPU cooling forever

A Palit Game Rock graphics card teaser shows off a brand new cooling system, which doesn't just use the heatsink and front three fans.

Palit Game Rock graphics card with hybrid cooler

PC component maker Palit has just teased an Nvidia GeForce graphics card that the company says represents the “future of graphics card cooling.” At first, it looks like one of the company’s standard Game Rock cards, with a large heatsink and three fans, but then the camera reveals a hidden surprise inside the cooler.

Palit’s Game Rock cards already have a distinctive appearance, with the translucent shell on top of the cooler combining with the RGB lighting to make a gem-encrusted appearance. The lineup is also reserved for its very best graphics cards using Nvidia GPUs, starting from the RTX 4070 Ti and going up to the flagship RTX 4090.

With this new card, though, Palit looks as though it’s going beyond just making a standard air cooler. In a teaser video shared on X (previously Twitter), the card turns round to reveal a pair of water-cooling barbs, implying that this graphics card has a new hybrid cooling system that offers the best of both worlds.

Palit Game Rock graphics card with hybrid cooler showing water cooling barbs

We’ve seen graphics cards that come with both heatsink fans and a closed-loop AIO cooler before, such as the Sapphire Radeon RX 6900 XT Toxic Extreme Edition, and MSI’s Suprim Liquid X cards, but this card looks as though it has the option of connecting to a full custom water-cooling loop. This isn’t an entirely new idea – previous cards such as the Asus Poseidon GTX 780 have combined a waterblock with an air cooler, but possibly not in the same way.

We don’t have any details of how the Palit card’s system works yet, but it looks as though this card functions on its own as an air-cooled card, but has the option of being plumbed into a water-cooling system too.

Why would you want such a card? One potential reason is that dismantling a graphics card to install a waterblock is quite an involved process, where silly mistakes, such as a screwdriver scraping a PCB trace, can end up making your card a very expensive paperweight. It could be aimed at people looking for an air-cooled card that they can easily transplant into a water-cooling loop at a later date.

Palit Game Rock graphics card with hybrid cooler - water cooling barbs and backplate

Another potential use case is reducing the need for the fans to spin at full load, by water-cooling the card, without needing a whole second radiator for the GPU. If you want to water-cool a GeForce RTX 4090 and a high-end CPU right now, you’ll want to use two radiators, as a single one won’t have enough cooling capacity. If you have some help from the graphics card’s cooling fans, though, you could potentially add this card into a small loop with just one radiator, which also cools the CPU, reducing the noise of the graphics card’s cooling fans.

We’ll only know for sure, of course, once Palit gives us all the details. The company says it’s going to unveil its “new concept of graphics card thermal solution” at Computex 2024, and we’ll hopefully be able to take a look at it while we’re there.