Does A Vertical GPU Mount Affect Performance?

By Aaron Mickunas
February 4, 2022

If you’re a new PC builder, you might be curious about all sorts of different build configurations and designs. 

Should you go liquid cooling? If it’s custom, which pumps and water blocks should you use? What about laser etching for your case? There are countless ways to customize your rig during the building phase, but only some of them can actually alter how your PC runs.

Typically, the only customizations you have to worry about that affect your PC in a significant way are those that change or otherwise impact your build’s air flow, and your GPU can play a big role in that. 

More specifically, how your GPU is mounted inside your PC can impact how cool your system stays. But which way is better for your PC?

Vertical vs. Horizontal GPU mounting

When building your PC, if you’re concerned about performance and airflow above all else, you might be used to installing your GPU horizontally. 

A horizontal GPU is the tried-and-true preference for most builders because, normally, it utilizes space in a PC case the best to keep parts nice and cool. 

This is because pushing the hot air down from the GPU allows it to get caught in the airstream from your case fans, out and away from your CPU and RAM, which are already generating their own heat. 

For the aesthetic builder, however, that can really suck.

The GPU is one of the best-looking components of the whole machine, and when you install it horizontally, the vanilla way, it hides the entire cooling setup and any RGBs installed on the card almost completely, even if it’s the more practical way to do it. 

This has led many builders to opt into vertical GPU installations, despite it maybe not being the most ideal for performance, just because it looks way better.

Fortunately, there are some PC cases out there that can mount a GPU vertically in a way that’s actually beneficial, you just have to know what to look for.

Find a case built for vertical mounting

The Y60 from HYTE is built specifically to shift the ideal way to mount a GPU. 

The case itself was constructed with a “cold floor” design, meaning no heat is being pushed down into the bottom of the case, and lateral vents are in place to actually pull hot air up and away from the bottom, where a horizontal GPU would normally be pushing it into. 

This means that the usual problem of a vertical installation—the fact that it clogs up airways and can push heat directly back into the GPU’s cooling system—is fixed.

Things like PCIe extensions that allow your GPU to sit away from your motherboard help a lot, too. Some cases come with one included, especially cases that are built specifically for vertical mounting, and it can be a game changer.

Show Off Your System

If you have your heart set on a vertical GPU mount, whether it be to look at the pretty lights or just because your GPU looks good on its own, make sure your PC case is built specifically to handle it, and can show off the rest of your system well, too.

The Y60 does more to help display your hardware. Its side panels wrap around the case completely with tempered glass, meaning there’s little to no bezel work to interrupt your view of all sides of the GPU.

Not only that, but it also gives you a great view of your cooling system, which is a big win if you’re a fan of custom looping, too. 

For full information on radiator and CPU cooling size compatibility, check out the case’s official spec sheet.

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