8 ways to keep your gaming system cool
Proven tips to maintain a chill rig when you’re in the heat of battle
Gaming hard and dominating opponents can raise your system’s temperature to higher than normal levels and put your system’s components at risk of overheating. Here are eight proven ways to keep your system cool, listed from easy to complex.
1. Close your system’s case
While it may seem counterintuitive, an open case doesn’t help regulate internal temperatures – it actually does the opposite and restricts them. A closed case helps your system remain cool because it reduces the impact of dust and debris on the cooling fans. Too much dust can make your fans slow down or quit working altogether, which is why it’s also important to clean the filters and dust out of your rig. Cases are designed for effective air handling, and with fans and proper intake, you can best maintain your system’s components.
2. Upgrade your CPU fan
Your CPU is one of the most sensitive and expensive components in your computer, and it has the highest potential to overheat. Most CPUs come preinstalled with lower-end fans that are engineered to cool your processor just enough to keep it running – and nothing more. For this reason, you’ll want to consider upgrading to a better CPU fan, which can help keep CPU temperatures down. Keep in mind, however, that your CPU fan can only cool to the lowest temperature in your case, regardless of how well-designed your CPU fan is.
3. Add a case fan
Upgrading your CPU fan is a start, but adding case fans can also be a big help. Since performance-enhancing memory and graphic cards generate a lot of heat, case fans can help increase airflow to your components by attaching to the front and back of your system. Most gamers install two case fans: one to move cool air into the PC, and another to move warm air out of the PC.
If you decide to add case fans, make sure that the intake and exhaust levels match. Why? If you install an 80mm fan in the front of your case and a 120mm fan in the back, the differential will create dead air and negative pressure, leading to an increased potential to overheat.
4. Add a memory cooling fan
Memory is one of the components that’s most likely to overheat, especially when overclocking. A cooling fan directed at the memory helps eliminate dead spots of airflow within your system’s memory area.
5. Check your system’s power supply fan
A PC’s power supply has an integrated fan. If you don’t have a case fan, the power supply fan is the only thing pushing hot air out of your system. If it’s not working properly, your system will heat up quickly. If your power supply fan isn’t working, replace it as soon as possible.
6. Monitor memory temperature in real time
While overclocking can maximize the performance of your components, it also pushes your system’s capabilities to the limit, which almost always results in higher temperatures. If you’re overclocking with Ballistix® Tactical Tracer or Ballistix® Elite modules, you can use our custom Ballistix® M.O.D. Utility to monitor memory temperatures in real-time.
7. Use the latest technology
The improved energy efficiency of newer memory technology also helps keep temperatures in check. Ballistix DDR4 memory modules use lower voltages than DDR3 modules, and using an SSD is significantly more efficient than a typical hard drive. Lower voltages help reduce the amount of heat inside your system.
8. Get a water cooling kit
For gaming systems with high-end CPUs and overclocked components, often the fastest fans can’t keep up with increased temperatures. To solve this problem, many gamers opt for water cooling kits as a way to cool the CPU.
In a water cooling kit, a pump cycles cold water down to the CPU in self-contained tubes, then pumps the water out of the system where it can be cooled before returning to the CPU for additional cooling. If you’re comfortable performing a technical installation, water cooling kits are safe and relatively affordable. You can add life to your build and get extremely creative with water cooling, too.
When using a water cooling kit, make sure the memory is getting plenty of airflow from cooling fans since a water block does not move any air in this area.
With a few simple steps, you can quickly lower system temperatures to sustainable levels. Take action now to cool your rig – your system is worth it.