At Computex, Nvidia issued an interesting statement, saying that it’s switching to liquid-cooled graphics cards. According to the company, the liquid-cooled version of its A100 compute card consumes 30% less power than the air-cooled version. Moreover, this is not a one-time activity. Nvidia is going to use liquid-cooled cards in other fields, such as in-car systems.
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According to Nvidia, data centers in the world use 1% of the overall electricity. So such technologies, especially the liquid-cooled graphics cards will have a huge impact on the field. Just imagine that one-third of that electricity is saved. It will not only reduce power consumption but also be helpful in terms of the environment.
In fact, not only graphics cards but also CPUs, storage, and networking equipment use power and need cooling as well. However, Nvidia claims that GPU-accelerated systems would perform much more efficiently than CPU-only servers.
Frankly, liquid-cooled systems are not new. It’s been used in various niches such as supercomputers and custom gaming PCs. The reason behind this is that liquid absorbs heat better than air. Moreover, when liquid gets hot, it is much easier to transfer heat elsewhere so it can cool off. As for the air-cooling system, it has to cool down not only the entire body of the device but also the specific components.
Another advantage of liquid-cooled cards is that they take up way less room.
At the moment, data centers are not the biggest consumers of energy. But they are a piece of the puzzle and we can’t ignore them. However, analytics think that reducing power consumption in data centers won’t solve the existing problems in the world. On the other hand, not only Nvidia but other big tech brands are working on the problem. For instance, Microsoft has experimented with submerging servers in the liquid completely. We know they have also put whole data centers in the ocean.
In this sense, Nvidia’s approach might become more “mainstream“, because it’s not going to use oceans for cooling graphics cards and other components. So we guess in the near future, there will be more GPUs supporting liquid cooling.