Video cards are basically mini-computers within a computer. They consume a lot of energy and generate a lot of heat. Gaming systems generally need all the cooling help they can get. Depending on the need, there is a notable difference between using a video card with a fan and using a fanless video card.
Starting in 1981 with IBM’s Monochrome Display Adapter (MDA), the video card has evolved into a crucial component for the desktop computer.
Modern day video cards generate a lot of heat that will damage the video card and nearby components if the heat does not dissipate.
Most video cards employ a passive cooling solution (heat sink) or an active cooling solution (fan). Water cooling solutions are also available, although rare, as they typically require that the entire computer is water-cooled.
Advantage to Going Fanless
Fanless video cards run more quietly than video cards with a fan. This is useful for systems in a shared space or systems designed for quietly reproducing multimedia content.
Advantage to Using a Fan
Systems that utilize a video card with a fan are more stable when performing video card intensive tasks over long periods of time.