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580 SLI - reference or non-reference?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about getting two 580s for SLI, but I was wondering if it would be better to do this with two reference cards or two non-reference cards. I'm wondering because I'm worried about the temps that a non-reference card can put out (generally lower temps, but exhausting heat into the case) as opposed to the heat that a reference card puts out (generally higher temps, but exhaust heat outside of the case).

More specifically, I'm wondering if I should get x2 MSI Lightning 580 cards or x2 EVGA SC 580 cards. I plan on using the two cards on a MIVE in a HAF X case, so I would only end up having about 1 empty slot of space between the two cards as well.

So for both questions, which one would be better?
post #2 of 11
get the lighting they are always crazy good OC cards and have really good power phases!
post #3 of 11
If you plan on Watercooling, get Reference.

If not, Get the Lightnings
post #4 of 11
Well most non-reference have more VRMs, OC better and most have better coolers.
And of course, they cost more.

EVGA SC is a reference card with a binned GPU. So you get same heat and same VRMs, with just a bit better GPU.

If they cost the same, I would say go with a non-reference card, unless you plan to put them under water, in which case first check if there are blocks for them.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmrballer123 View Post
get the lighting they are always crazy good OC cards and have really good power phases!
Yeah, I've heard nothing but good things about the lightning cards in terms of speed/OC potential. But I'm more concerned with the kind of heat they'll be exhausting into the case, especially with x2 of them with only 1 slots worth of space between them.
post #6 of 11
What resolution/monitor(s) will you be running at?

EVGA is about to do 3GB cards, and the lifetime warranty would be worthwhile...
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Apocalypse- View Post
What resolution/monitor(s) will you be running at?

EVGA is about to do 3GB cards, and the lifetime warranty would be worthwhile...

I'd be running it on a single 1080P 3D monitor, so 3GBx2 might be overkill I think.

EDIT: I'd also like to clarify that I'm more concerned about temps than I am speed. I mean regardless of the brand, or reference or non-reference, it's still a 580 (or in my case x2 580), so the speeds will be fast no matter what. It's the cooling/temps that concern me, and which type will provide the best/lowest kind (I only plan on running air cooling).
Edited by wubikens - 4/26/11 at 2:04pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubikens View Post
I was thinking about getting two 580s for SLI, but I was wondering if it would be better to do this with two reference cards or two non-reference cards. I'm wondering because I'm worried about the temps that a non-reference card can put out (generally lower temps, but exhausting heat into the case) as opposed to the heat that a reference card puts out (generally higher temps, but exhaust heat outside of the case).

More specifically, I'm wondering if I should get x2 MSI Lightning 580 cards or x2 EVGA SC 580 cards. I plan on using the two cards on a MIVE in a HAF X case, so I would only end up having about 1 empty slot of space between the two cards as well.

So for both questions, which one would be better?


go for msi gtx580 lightning,
its the best gtx580 out in the market,the card runs cooler than other gtx580
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post #9 of 11
The coolest running 580 will be the DCII, especially if noise is a consideration. If I'm not mistaken, the HAF X's front airflow duct is only 4 slots tall, so having a space between the cards wouldn't allow it to be used regardless of your decision, making 3-slot cards more viable.

With the side fan however, the DCII's reduced space between cards won't be an issue. I'm guessing that the side fan acting as exhaust would probably be better temps here (on the MSI too, reference would be better as intake).

If your choice is only between the lightning and SC, I'd go with the SC just for the warranty on such a setup, despite the lightning being the superior card. With two cards on one monitor, the difference in performance will be extremely negligible.

tl;dr: DCII>TFIII>SC on cooling (and noise).
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Apocalypse- View Post
The coolest running 580 will be the DCII, especially if noise is a consideration. If I'm not mistaken, the HAF X's front airflow duct is only 4 slots tall, so having a space between the cards wouldn't allow it to be used regardless of your decision, making 3-slot cards more viable.

With the side fan however, the DCII's reduced space between cards won't be an issue. I'm guessing that the side fan acting as exhaust would probably be better temps here (on the MSI too, reference would be better as intake).

If your choice is only between the lightning and SC, I'd go with the SC just for the warranty on such a setup, despite the lightning being the superior card. With two cards on one monitor, the difference in performance will be extremely negligible.

tl;dr: DCII>TFIII>SC on cooling (and noise).
Thanks for the advice.

I had actually considered getting the DC2 card, but yeah, the 3-slot thing had kind of worried me. On the MIVE, they would be sandwiched together with no space in between them.

I also thought about going for the SC for the 5-year warranty that EVGA offers, but I tried looking up what the temps are like in SLI on the stock coolers for the card, and it seems really high (~80-90c in normal conditions). Thing is though, with the SC card, I could use the GPU duct thing that the HAF X has, in addition to the intake side fan, so I'm thinking that might help out quite a bit too. It's just a shame that the lightning card is too long to use the GPU duct fan on the HAF X as well, otherwise this choice would probably be a bit easier.
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