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SLI Reference vs non-reference?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I've been looking and researching this question I've had for a while now, but I wasn't able to get a definite answer.

From bits of what I have gathered, it is better to SLI with reference vapor chambers due to their rear heat dispersion method as oppose to aftermarket coolers, such as the Twin Frozr III, which propels a lot of the hot air inside the case which get sucked up by the card it's SLIing with.

However, the reference coolers get very loud, i.e. the 580GTX and by extension the upcoming 680GTX. I do like the quiet operation from aftermarkets but definitely not willing to let the cards heat up too much and destroying any overclocking headroom. tongue.gif

Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with aftermarkets to confirm these temperature reports? These cards will be installed on an ATX board on a full tower, with a side intake 230mm.

Thanks in advance smile.gif

Btw, as kind of a different question, are the factory overclocked versions of cards worth getting if I intend to oc myself? Thanks.
post #2 of 7
I run 2 580 lightning extremes on a z68 ud-7 which has quite a bit of space between the pci-e slots because I use the topmost slot and the one at the very bottom. (It has 3 total) With fans at 80% and a 72 degree farenheit ambient temps @ 100% load the top card runs anywhere from 78-81 and the bottom card is usually just about 10 degrees exactly cooler. This is with the benefit of 2x scythe slipstream 110cfm fans installed in the side panel of my lanboy blowing right in between the two cards. That's the only way I can manage temps that I feel comfortable with even though I am well within the cards safe zone. I prefer reference cards myself because noise doesn't really bother me. I had a pair of XFX 6970's in crossfire with less space between the two and neither card ever exceeded 75 degrees. This was with the fans ramped up to 80% as well. In my experience, reference cards stay cooler and also keep the inside of your case cooler. Raising the overall temp in your case can also start to affect your cpu overclock depending on what cooling you are using.

As far as the factory overclocked cards go, there's no easy answer. Do your research is my advice. Some of these "superclocked" type cards can have an additional benefit besides the lame 5-10% factory overclock. Sometimes the gpu's are binned or the card itself is of higher quality. Check around to see what other people have to say about the card you happen to be looking at and make a judgement call. I hope this helps. thumb.gif
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielwiley View Post

I run 2 580 lightning extremes on a z68 ud-7 which has quite a bit of space between the pci-e slots because I use the topmost slot and the one at the very bottom. (It has 3 total) With fans at 80% and a 72 degree farenheit ambient temps @ 100% load the top card runs anywhere from 78-81 and the bottom card is usually just about 10 degrees exactly cooler. This is with the benefit of 2x scythe slipstream 110cfm fans installed in the side panel of my lanboy blowing right in between the two cards. That's the only way I can manage temps that I feel comfortable with even though I am well within the cards safe zone. I prefer reference cards myself because noise doesn't really bother me. I had a pair of XFX 6970's in crossfire with less space between the two and neither card ever exceeded 75 degrees. This was with the fans ramped up to 80% as well. In my experience, reference cards stay cooler and also keep the inside of your case cooler. Raising the overall temp in your case can also start to affect your cpu overclock depending on what cooling you are using.
As far as the factory overclocked cards go, there's no easy answer. Do your research is my advice. Some of these "superclocked" type cards can have an additional benefit besides the lame 5-10% factory overclock. Sometimes the gpu's are binned or the card itself is of higher quality. Check around to see what other people have to say about the card you happen to be looking at and make a judgement call. I hope this helps. thumb.gif

That was actually quite helpful, thank you. smile.gif

I do want higher quality cards with premium caps such as the lightning/lightning extreme; the marginal premium on top of these cards is only about 10-15%, which to me is well worth it when stacked ontop of being able to run much quieter.

But none of these come with reference design, which I guess makes sense for the majority of buyers.

I guess it's not a myth that non reference cards' design isn't best suited for SLI then, even with such a large gap in between like your setup (and proper airflow).

I'm using and going to be using a D14, so it will definitely hinder my cpu temps. Especially true as I intend on using only 1 rear exhaust with a TY140.
post #4 of 7
what card/s are you looking at getting ?
post #5 of 7
For CF/SLI setups I've always preferred blower-style (reference) coolers.
Yes, they're louder but unless your case is a viable wind-tunnel, it's just easier to have them exhaust out of the case rather than dump warm air all over eachother.
Stugots III
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Stugots III
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 4.5GHz ASUS Maximus V Gene EVGA GTX 780 SC 2x8GB G.Skill 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
250GB 850-EVO | 1TB EZEX | 2TB F4 It BURNS! H100i | NB Pros Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VE258Q Filco Majestouch I Seasonic X-560w Fractal Arc Mini R2 
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Logitech G502 Vengeance MM200 HT Omega eClaro SHURE SRH-840 | Audioengine A2+S8 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielwiley View Post

what card/s are you looking at getting ?

The 680s. Going to get them prob late April with Ivy. I think non-reference coolers will be out by then if I choose to go that route.
Quote:
Originally Posted by candy_van View Post

For CF/SLI setups I've always preferred blower-style (reference) coolers.
Yes, they're louder but unless your case is a viable wind-tunnel, it's just easier to have them exhaust out of the case rather than dump warm air all over eachother.

Yeah I'm hoping the 680s won't be too loud. Really hoping that the more efficient power draw equates to some temp improvements.
post #7 of 7
Yeah, unfortunately that's pretty much the trade off. I would prefer a non-refernce TFIII type card for a single card setup. But for xfire or sli, reference all the way for me. It makes quite a difference in temps. It just depends on how much noise you can stand.
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