How To Mount GPU For Your Gaming PC: Vertical Or Horizontal?

Choosing the right GPU mount for your gaming PC can significantly impact both its performance and appearance. In the world of custom gaming PCs, one of the critical decisions is whether to mount the GPU vertically or horizontally. Each method has its unique advantages and considerations, influencing not just the aesthetics but also the cooling efficiency and overall functionality of your setup. This blog post delves into the intricacies of GPU mounting, providing insights to help you decide between vertical and horizontal orientations for your gaming PC. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or assembling your first custom build, understanding these mounting options will empower you to optimize your gaming rig for both performance and style.

When building a custom gaming PC, the decision of how to mount the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is crucial. This choice affects not only the aesthetics but also the performance of the gaming rig. Let’s dive into the nuances of GPU mounting, focusing on the two prevalent methods: horizontal and vertical.

Horizontal GPU Mounting

Horizontal mounting is the classic approach. Here, the GPU is installed with its front facing down towards the bottom of the computer case. This method may not win any beauty contests, but it’s functional and has stood the test of time.


  • Optimal Airflow: In this orientation, GPUs aren’t obstructed by the glass panel and don’t block other components, ensuring better airflow.
  • Enhanced Performance: Better cooling directly translates to improved performance, particularly when overclocking.
  • Durability: GPUs mounted horizontally generally have a longer lifespan, thanks to efficient temperature management.

Transitioning to Vertical Mounting: However, vertical mounting has gained popularity, especially among enthusiasts of custom build PCs.

Vertical GPU Mounting

In vertical mounting, the GPU faces the side panel of the case. It’s a choice that elevates the aesthetic appeal of the gaming PC, allowing you to showcase the GPU in all its glory, especially if it features RGB lighting.

Recent Advances:

  • EZDIY-FAB PCIe 4.0 GPU Mount Bracket: Known for its RGB capabilities, this bracket supports up to PCIe 4.0, offering both style and functionality​​.
  • Antec Vertical GPU Mount: This mount is celebrated for its durability and high-speed performance, supporting full PCIe expansion slot chassis​​​​.
  • EKWB EK-Loop Vertical GPU Holder: Provides improved aesthetics and cable management with its Gen4 Riser cable​​.


  • Aesthetics: Vertical mounts let you showcase the GPU’s design, especially with RGB lighting.
  • Prevents GPU Sag: Vertical mounts often include physical support, reducing stress on the PCIe slot and preventing GPU sag.

Both horizontal and vertical GPU mounting options have their merits. For a custom gaming PC where looks are as important as performance, vertical mounting is an attractive option. However, for those prioritizing cooling and longevity, horizontal mounting remains the go-to choice. Ultimately, the decision hinges on the specific needs and preferences of the PC builder.

This exploration into GPU mounting techniques shows that the choice can significantly impact the overall experience and performance of a custom build PC. Whether you prioritize aesthetics or functionality, understanding these mounting methods is a key step in creating your ideal gaming rig.

Source: Lian Li

When building a custom gaming PC, considering how to mount your GPU is crucial. Horizontal GPU mounting, the traditional method, offers several advantages, particularly for custom build PCs and gaming rigs.

Improved Airflow

Firstly, horizontal GPU mounting is renowned for its superior airflow. The graphics card, not being positioned against the side panel, allows for better circulation inside the case. This setup ensures that the GPU’s cooling fans, directed towards the case’s base, generate adequate air that flows over the components. Consequently, the interior temperature remains lower, enhancing the performance of your custom gaming PC, especially when overclocking​​​​.

Enhanced Performance and Longevity

Furthermore, the better airflow directly translates to improved performance and long-term durability of the GPU. For gaming enthusiasts and custom build PC builders, this is a significant advantage. Overclocking, a common practice to boost performance in gaming PCs, is safer with horizontal mounting due to the efficient cooling system. The reduced thermal stress on the GPU also contributes to its increased endurance and longevity​​​​.

Simplified Installation

Additionally, installing a GPU horizontally is relatively straightforward. This method doesn’t require any complex steps or special equipment. Unlike vertical mounting, there’s no need for additional mounting hardware or a riser cable. This simplicity saves both time and potential costs, making it an appealing option for those assembling a custom gaming PC​​​​.

In summary, horizontal GPU mounting remains a popular choice for its significant benefits in airflow, performance, and ease of installation. These advantages make it a solid choice for custom build PCs, especially for those focused on gaming performance and hardware longevity.

For custom gaming PC enthusiasts, considering the advantages of horizontal GPU mounting is essential. It ensures that your gaming rig not only performs at its best but also stands the test of time.

While horizontal GPU mounting is popular in custom gaming PCs, it does have some disadvantages. Understanding these drawbacks is essential for anyone building a custom gaming PC or custom build PC.

Aesthetic Limitations

Firstly, horizontal GPU mounts place more emphasis on function over form. Unless a costly or custom-made backplate is added, this method is not as aesthetically pleasing as vertical mounting. In a horizontal setup, the most attractive part of the GPU – the fans – face downward, leaving only the plain backplate visible. This can be a significant drawback for custom build PC enthusiasts who value the visual appeal of their rigs​​​​.

Lack of Support and Potential GPU Sag

Another concern with horizontal GPU mounting is the lack of support for the graphics card. Many GPUs that are conventionally placed horizontally lack the space necessary for a support bracket. This absence of support means the graphics card is likely to sag over time due to gravity, which can affect both the appearance and functionality of the GPU​​​​.

Space Consumption

Horizontal GPU mounting also tends to take up more space within the PC case compared to vertical mounting. This can be a significant issue for those working with smaller cases or those who wish to include additional components in their gaming PC. The extra space consumed by horizontal mounting can limit the overall design and functionality of a custom gaming PC​​.

In conclusion, while horizontal GPU mounting has several benefits, especially in terms of cooling and performance, its disadvantages lie primarily in aesthetics and space efficiency. For those building a gaming PC where the visual appeal and efficient use of space are priorities, these drawbacks are worth considering. Custom gaming PC builders should weigh these cons against their specific needs and preferences to decide the best mounting method for their setup.

Source: GPU Mag

Vertical GPU mounting, a growing trend in custom gaming PC builds, offers several benefits. This method not only enhances the aesthetics of your gaming rig but also improves its overall performance.

Enhanced Aesthetics

Firstly, vertical mounting dramatically enhances the visual appeal of your gaming PC. It allows for a clear display of your high-performance graphics card, especially if it features attractive RGB lighting. This setup is particularly appealing for custom build PC enthusiasts who prioritize showcasing their hardware’s design​​.

Improved Airflow

Moreover, vertical GPU mounting can improve airflow within the gaming rig. This setup prevents the GPU from obstructing airflow to other components, allowing for better cooling. This is crucial for maintaining optimal performance during heavy-duty gaming sessions and when overclocking the GPU​​​​.

Space Efficiency

Another significant benefit is space efficiency. By mounting the GPU vertically, you can reduce the amount of space it occupies in your PC case. This is particularly beneficial for smaller cases, enabling you to fit more components without compromising on space​​.

Reduced PCIe Slot Strain

Vertical mounting also helps reduce the strain on your graphics card’s PCIe slot. This reduction in physical stress on the slot can be beneficial for the longevity of both the slot and the card, especially important for heavy-duty gaming rigs​​.

Latest Technological Advancements

With the latest advancements in technology, vertical GPUs are becoming increasingly popular and accessible. They are designed to support high speeds, up to 16GT/s, under the latest version of the PCI Express standard. This ensures that your custom gaming PC is equipped with cutting-edge technology, offering enhanced performance and reliability​​.

In conclusion, vertical GPU mounting offers a blend of aesthetic appeal, improved airflow, space efficiency, and reduced strain on the PCIe slot. These advantages make it a compelling choice for custom build PC enthusiasts, especially those focused on creating a gaming rig that stands out both in performance and appearance.

By opting for vertical GPU mounting, you ensure that your gaming PC not only looks great but also operates at its best, making it a wise choice for gamers and PC builders alike.

While vertical GPU mounting in custom gaming PCs offers aesthetic and spatial benefits, it comes with notable disadvantages. These drawbacks are crucial to consider for anyone building a custom gaming PC or custom build PC.

Restricted Airflow and Overheating

The primary drawback of vertical GPU mounting is the potential restriction of airflow. When the GPU is mounted vertically, it often sits closer to the side panel, which can severely limit the flow of air. This restricted airflow can cause the GPU to reach higher temperatures than normal, potentially leading to thermal throttling during intense gaming sessions. Such overheating not only impacts performance but can also reduce the lifespan of the GPU​​​​.

Blockage of PCIe Lanes

Another significant issue with vertical mounting is the blockage of PCIe lanes. In this configuration, the GPU takes up all available PCIe lanes, preventing the connection of additional components. This can be a serious limitation for users who require multiple PCIe devices in their custom build PCs​​.

Installation Challenges

Installing a GPU vertically can be more challenging than the traditional horizontal method. It requires precise alignment to ensure the card is securely mounted and does not obstruct other components in the case. Additionally, if the case does not have a native vertical GPU mount, it may require additional hardware and modifications, adding complexity and potential costs to the setup process​​.

In conclusion, while vertical GPU mounting can enhance the appearance of a custom gaming PC, it has considerable drawbacks, including restricted airflow, blockage of PCIe lanes, and installation challenges. These factors must be weighed carefully against the aesthetic benefits when deciding on the GPU mounting orientation for a custom gaming PC or custom build PC. It’s essential for builders to consider these disadvantages to ensure their gaming rig performs optimally and meets their specific needs.

Installing a GPU in a custom gaming PC or custom build PC requires careful consideration to ensure optimal performance and compatibility. Below is a detailed guide to help you through this critical process.

Graphics Card Installation Checklist

Before installing your GPU, ensure you have:

Updated BIOS and Compatible Motherboard: Ensure BIOS is updated and motherboard is compatible.
Adequate Power Supply: The PSU should provide sufficient wattage for the GPU, especially for high-performance models.
Connector Requirements: Check for necessary connectors on the PSU, like 6-pin, 8-pin, or a combination.
Physical Space: Ensure the GPU fits in the case without obstructing other components. High-end GPUs might need more slot width.
CPU Compatibility: Verify that the CPU can support the new GPU to avoid bottlenecking.
Uninstall Current GPU Drivers: Remove any existing GPU drivers to prevent compatibility issues.

Horizontal GPU Mounting Considerations

Motherboard Slot Accessibility: Horizontal mounting utilizes PCIe slots directly on the motherboard. Ensure you have available slots that won’t be obstructed by other components.
Airflow Management: Horizontal GPUs have better access to airflow, but ensure other components aren’t blocking the GPU fan.
Physical Space: Check the internal space of your case to ensure the GPU fits without touching other components or the case.
Support Bracket: Consider adding a support bracket to prevent GPU sag, especially for heavier models.

Horizontal GPU Mounting Steps

  1. Prepare Your Space: Turn off and unplug the PC. Open the case.
  2. Locate PCIe Slot: Identify the appropriate PCIe slot on the motherboard.
  3. Install the GPU: Align the GPU with the PCIe slot and gently press down until it clicks into place.
  4. Secure the GPU: Fasten the GPU to the case using screws.
  5. Connect Power Cables: Attach the power connectors from the PSU to the GPU.
Source: YourPersonalGeek

Vertical GPU Mounting Considerations

Riser Cable Quality: Vertical mounting often requires a riser cable. Ensure it’s high-quality for reliable performance.
Airflow: Verify that the vertical position doesn’t choke the GPU’s cooling system by being too close to the case wall.
Case Compatibility: Not all cases support vertical mounts. Check if additional modifications or mounts are needed.
Aesthetics vs Functionality: Vertical mounting is aesthetically pleasing but might compromise airflow and cooling efficiency.
Access to Other PCIe Slots: Vertical mounting can block access to other PCIe slots, limiting expansion options.

Vertical GPU Mounting Steps

  1. Install Riser Cable: Connect the riser cable to the motherboard’s PCIe slot.
  2. Attach Bracket: Install the vertical mounting bracket in the case, if needed.
  3. Mount the GPU: Secure the GPU to the vertical bracket and align it with the riser cable.
  4. Connect Riser Cable: Attach the other end of the riser cable to the GPU.
  5. Secure and Connect Power: Fasten the GPU to the case and connect the power cables.
Source: Spudd Gaming Youtube


Driver Installation: Download and install the latest driver for your GPU from the manufacturer’s website. Ensure to restart your computer after the installation​​.

Testing: Once the GPU is installed and the driver is updated, test the system to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Following these steps will help you successfully install a GPU in your custom gaming PC or custom build PC. Remember, careful preparation and attention to compatibility are key to a smooth installation process and optimal GPU performance.

In summary, whether you choose to mount your GPU horizontally or vertically, each method has its own set of steps to ensure a successful and efficient installation. Remember, the right mounting method depends on your custom gaming PC’s specific requirements and your personal preference for aesthetics and airflow management.

If you’re planning to build a custom PC and need expert assistance, VOLTA PC is here to help. With expertise in custom PC builds, they can guide you through the entire process, ensuring your gaming rig is not only high-performing but also aligns perfectly with your gaming needs and style preferences.

What is a GPU mount? A GPU mount is a mechanism used to secure a graphics processing unit (GPU) inside a computer case, either in a vertical or horizontal orientation.

Is it better to mount GPU vertical or horizontal? The choice depends on your priorities. Horizontal mounting typically offers better airflow and cooling, while vertical mounting is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal.

Do you lose performance with vertical GPU mount? Vertical mounting can restrict airflow, potentially impacting performance, especially if the GPU is close to the case’s side panel.

Are vertical GPU mounts universal? Not all vertical GPU mounts are universal. Compatibility depends on the case design and the GPU model.

How do I stop my vertical GPU from sagging? Use a GPU support bracket or a vertical mount with built-in reinforcement to prevent sagging.

Does GPU position matter? Yes, the position of the GPU can affect airflow, cooling efficiency, and overall system performance.

Follow Us on Social Media

Scroll to Top