View Full Version : Any SLI guru's out there ?

14-12-2010, 02:32 PM
So having recently got a new job I decided to celebrate and upgrade the pc for the first time in about 18 months. I decided on graphics as the target and purchased 2 Palit GTX460's deciding to give SLI a go.

I have it all up and running but I'm a little concerned about the temperature of the top card under load, so far the highest temp recorded by GPU-Z has been 80 degrees but I worry that it will go higher as my current games don't stress it that much. Also there is a 10-20 degree difference in the temperatures of the two cards.

The problem lays with the PCIe slots placements on my P6T motherboard meaning the two cards are virtually touching, I have tried attaching various side fans to direct cool air towards the cards with little success and a lot of noise. Case is a CM690 and can have up to 7 fans including 2 12 or 14 cm side fans.

so my questions/options are:
1. Live with the heat and noise and hope it doesn't fail

2. Shift the 2nd card to the bottom PCIe slot that only runs at 4x I don't know how much of a performance impact this would have ? Also I would need a longer SLI bridge cable anyone know where I can get one ?.

3. Replace the motherboard, not really an option I wish to pursue. (Expensive for a start)

4. Use an aftermarket cooler of some sort on the upper card, suggestions anyone ? bearing in mind the Palit card is not using the reference design and is considerably shorter than many cards.

5. Go back to a single card, I game at 1680 x 1050 and so far one card would probably handle it. Be a big let down though :(

I would like any suggestions, recomendations etc you might have.

I am regretting this decision a little, in the past I have always stuck with a single card and upgraded as necessary. The GTX 570 just came on the market and would have been a better option IMO but oh well.....

14-12-2010, 03:11 PM
My SLI system runs fairly hot but not too hot.
To be honest I am not even sure the 2nd card is running lol, I dunno how to test both of them.

pablo d
14-12-2010, 03:26 PM
80 degrees aint that bad IMO. My 4850 used to run in the 90s :(

Still, I'd personally opt for a better single card instead. SLI/CF has less gains than it does at 1920x1080 or higher.

14-12-2010, 03:41 PM
I agree.
I would not do another SLI system, I am hoping nVidia puts out a single kick-ass card soon.

14-12-2010, 03:43 PM
I still have a 4850 in my other machine, it's always run hot they were designed that way.
Even at 80 degrees they control panel is still reading in the yellow and the fan is at < 50%

For the GTX 460 though after about 5 mins the fan starts to crank up. I dont think 80 will kill it, but a single card rarely exceeds 65 so it's an airflow issue.

Maybe it's just me being paranoid, I'd just rather it ran cooler but not at a performance penalty. If I was starting again I'd go with a single card, but I have these now.

pablo d
14-12-2010, 04:00 PM
Yep, well it's an issue that almost every multi-card system suffers from, so up to you if you want to put up with it or not.

14-12-2010, 04:13 PM
The only way to do it would be to get a different board with more spacing between the cards.

Or perhaps watercool the top one, or both.

14-12-2010, 04:25 PM
Its really not a issue with those 460's they all run hot.

14-12-2010, 04:39 PM
But the cooler, the better.

14-12-2010, 05:12 PM
Its really not a issue with those 460's they all run hot.

Really? I dont think so mate....otherwise his other card would be hot too!...

I think the closeness is affecting the 2nd card temps....however @ 16x10, do you really need a 2nd card, if you do, sell both and get the 560 due out soon!

15-12-2010, 06:51 AM
no I probably dont need a 2nd card, just wanted it :)

intersting to note that chart you posted is right on the money with my temps, 65 for single card and around 78 for SLI

15-12-2010, 08:36 AM
Really? I dont think so mate....otherwise his other card would be hot too!...

Opps my bad, I didn't read it properly (not thinking), its the 480's that run hot. He has 460's.

15-12-2010, 08:52 AM
I have 2 480's running in SLI. One runs about 60 and the other about 80. I have a DSI lan party motherboard, which give me a 3 inch space between the two cards. If I turn off the hot card the other one jumps up to 80.
To me , it seems that one card does most of the work. which is why it runs hotter.

29-12-2010, 10:18 AM
No1 will always be hotter. Also with the 400 series using ecc ddr5 they rely on on the 1st card as a hub to feed the other cards. Found this out the hard way modifying sli profiles to work for games that were currently unsupported...

29-12-2010, 12:05 PM
Ohi Cronicash. :D

29-12-2010, 04:37 PM
As an update, I managed to get the two cards running at identical 78-80 degree temps under load but only with a 90 CFM fan blowing in from the side of the case directly onto these cards. Any lower CFM fan or if I try sucking air out instead of blowing goes back to one card in the 70's and one hitting 90+

The trouble is that the noise is extremely irritating, in any other position in the case the fan is relatively quiet but install it on the side panel and it's horrendous even using rubber mounts.

The lesson I get from this is if you want to run SLI do some research before you start, my problem is a combination of motherboard design and graphics cards that vent into the case.

ther are a few possible solutions:
1. A new motherboard (ouch expensive for 1366 platform)
2. A single more powerful graphics card ( double ouch )
2a. A single one of these cards, TBH it is probably more than adequate for now
3. putting up with the noise, but I don't think I can
4. Letting it run hot and hoping it survive
5. An aftermarket cooler for the top card, trouble is finding one that fits this card and the space available in the case. Many people end up modding coolers to fit these particular cards :( it would need to be a cooler that has the radiator part above or behid the card as otherwise it either would have the some problem or simply not fit.