The GPU is an amazing triumph of technology. Graphics cards allow us to perform tasks that would have been impossible before the 3D accelerator came of age. They can spit out lifelike, real-time rendered three-dimensional scenes millions of pixels in size hundreds of times every second. They can transcode video at a much higher framerate than what the video actually plays at. The mere fact that they are able to snappily render modern GUIs, with all their bloat, is fairly incredible. But the best thing of all may be that for all this computation, they consume huge amounts of power, spit out equally massive amounts of heat, and make enough noise to send your vacuum cleaner squealing back to its closet!