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Build an Awesome PC, 2014 Edition by Mike Riley

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Pushing Pixels

Today’s high-end graphics cards are often more powerful than the computers they are installed in. That’s because they are performing a massive amount of real-time computation to render photorealistic images and animations onscreen. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is a purpose-designed chipset that pipelines graphics data to make it seamlessly render display data.

Just like the CPU we installed earlier, high-end GPUs generate a lot of heat—so much that they require larger fans and thermal conductive metal surfaces to cool them down. And just like CPUs, high-end GPUs can be overclocked to push their rendering speeds. The faster they perform, the hotter they operate. When air cooling fails to adequately keep GPU operating temperatures ...

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