My assessment in 2 parts:-
1) Solving the local problem
PNY GTX570 non reference cooling has a cooling design of exhausting hot air via its rear, top, bottom and front. According to the fins orientation and layouts and the fact that 2 of the 3 heatpipes are on the front side, I estimate that 60% of the total heat is exhausted out via the front. Perhaps 30% via the rear (out of the case), 10% via the top and the bottom. So, the main portion is through the card's front. See pic 1.
This amount of hot air should be extracted out of the case without going through and warming up
other components. The 3 possible escape routes (as shown in my previous post #7) all contribute negatively and ought to be avoided. However, as you are not using an air cooler for your CPU and that the rad is placed at case bottom, escape Path 3 is the least-harm-done route.
So, I suggest you to rearrange the cards as shown in pic 2 below.
a. non reference GTX570 in 1st PCIex16 slot. A strong cardboard paper or plastic 'elbow' is put at its front to direct the exhaisting air to turn right and upward. This Path 3 minimizes/eliminates the harm.
b. reference GTX570 in 2nd PCIex16 slot
c. sound card in 1st PCIex1 slot
2) Dealing with the global problem
As the triple rad is placed at case bottom, all uprising air is warmed. This more or less violates the basic design feature of RV02, IMHO. This stream of warmed air will now affect negatively all
components inside the case. See pic 3.
To solve this, you may consider ditching the triple rad at the bottom and 'downgrade' to a single rad (eg Corsair H80) to be installed at the case top. A triple rad cooling your CPU alone is a little wasteful, IMHO.
If you make this change, cool ambient air will be able to cool both your cards better. See the green
arrows in pics 4 and 5. Other arrangements need to be made (eg placing a PCI slot fan extractor, shown blue
in pics 4 and 5, to intercept the hot air from non reference GTX570 so that those air will not go through the rad at case top).
Basically, it all boils down to a choice between better cooling for the 2 cards or for the CPU.
' warming up' is deleted above as this is not an accurate description. Even the warmed up air (after passing through the rad) is not hotter than other components and so the direction of heat transfer is still from a component (eg graphic card's heatsink) to the warmed air. More accurately put, the cooling capacity is reduced.Edited by windfire - 6/15/11 at 7:33pm