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Do Tri-CF/SLI GPUs really require water-cooling for quietness (not overclocking)?

post #1 of 28
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Can a Tri-CF or Tri-SLI setup be relatively quiet without water-cooling, or will a water-cooling setup always be quieter? I have read a lot of mixed things about this. Some people say that water-cooling pumps and rads are just as noisy (if not noisier) than air-cooling solutions, and that water-cooling GPUs is only for overclocking purposes. Others say that water-cooled Tri-CF/SLI setups are much quieter than air-cooled Tri-CF/SLI setups even when neither setup is overclocked.

So what is the truth concerning this?

Thanks.
post #2 of 28
Water cooling always trends to be quieter then air.

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post #3 of 28
Depends on your definition of quiet, stacking cards wih their stock air coolers is a bad idea in general. It will be loud and hot no matter what. Watercooling removes the loudest part of the card i.e. the air cooler, and increases overclocking potential.
    
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post #4 of 28
When you have three stock cooled cards sandwiched together, the noise and heat are enough to get them on water
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttoadd.nz View Post
Depends on your definition of quiet, stacking cards wih their stock air coolers is a bad idea in general. It will be loud and hot no matter what. Watercooling removes the loudest part of the card i.e. the air cooler, and increases overclocking potential.
Well put! H20 cooling is your friend and it looks better too!
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post #6 of 28
it depends on the card... i can see running 3 gtx 570s or 580s on air as long as you have good enough airflow.

However if you have 3x6970s which are significantly hotter, then i would consider it... if you have 3x480s then it might be necessary if you plan on overclocking and keeping temps bellow the gpu's thermal limit
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by badatgames18 View Post
it depends on the card... i can see running 3 gtx 570s or 580s on air as long as you have good enough airflow.

However if you have 3x6970s which are significantly hotter, then i would consider it... if you have 3x480s then it might be necessary if you plan on overclocking and keeping temps bellow the gpu's thermal limit
I owned three 6950/70s and I have three 580s, they run pretty much the same in terms of temp, but the amds are far noisier at any fan level. So its the same heat issue non-the-less, its worse on the amd since you have to put up with a noisier cooler.

Bottom line imho, any reference cooled high-end card deserves an alternative cooling solution. Water happens to be one of the best, if not the.
post #8 of 28
pump's are near silent, only thing u can hear is it vibrating if you have it mounted wrong.

and aircooling gpu's suck, they are really hot, and loud no matter if their in sli or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badatgames18 View Post
it depends on the card... i can see running 3 gtx 570s or 580s on air as long as you have good enough airflow.

However if you have 3x6970s which are significantly hotter, then i would consider it... if you have 3x480s then it might be necessary if you plan on overclocking and keeping temps bellow the gpu's thermal limit
my GTX580 on stock cooling in a HAF932 ran almost 95*c with 100% fan speed, i don't see how you could get any hotter then that lol
Edited by ShortySmalls - 8/18/11 at 8:43pm
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post #9 of 28
I feel sorry for people running tri/quad rigs on air. That's just unbearable man, oh the agony.
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post #10 of 28
i have two 3gb lightning extremes that beg to differ

it's air cooled.. i doubt they'll change that much when i add a third one
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