Have you seen the monstrous dimensions of the newest top-tier Nvidia and AMD cards? Above midrange, systems that need four or more PCI slots are now the norm. That’s making it more difficult to locate a cutting-edge card that fits in those little mini-ITX PC configurations. For those who are to the point of breaking rulers in irritation, there is now a bespoke watercooling block available that reduces the size of the RTX 4090 to the point where it can fit into a single slot.
A new video from the channel Optimum Tech on YouTube (via PCGamer) highlights the discovery of the block. When the graphics processing unit (GPU) PCB is fitted, the Alphacool ES block grows in thickness to 24 mm from its default 209 mm. That said, not just any RTX 4090 will do; this block is only compatible with a select few Inno3D cards, as well as the reference design (but not the Nvidia Founders Edition). It lacks RGB and other eye-catching features since it is intended for business use.
Even if you track down the appropriate card, you’ll need a liquid cooling system with a custom loop strong enough to handle it, as well as the patience to deal with the rather tiny coolant line connections. But if you’re all for it, then installing the block surely won’t faze you, and neither will the part’s price of $166.36. Once everything is in place, the resulting card is about a fourth the size of a standard RTX 4090 and can be used in any PC with a water cooling system.
When testing the water-cooled RTX 4090, Optimal Tech didn’t notice a significant drop in thermal performance. You won’t receive the same level of cooling power as you would from a more substantial system, but you’ll still have more than enough to play the newest games at their optimal settings. Also, a mini-ITX case may be your best choice if you want to construct a high-performance gaming computer with the newest components.
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