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Is water cooling really essential for GTX TITAN 3-way SLI? Or is it just a waste of money?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 25, 2013 5:22:22 AM

So i managed to get three titans in my budget (which is $5500 maximum) along with an i7 3930k six core cpu (was going for i7 4770k cuz it was cheaper, but now i've decided to go with this one since its gonna give me better performance and its not even that expensive). i'm not going for the i7 3970X cuz its way too expensive and will put a dent in my budget.

I'm only gonna get my CPU water-cooled (Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler with 240mm Radiator) and leave the titans alone because i have 6 zalman performance chassis fans. is it really OK to do this? or do the titans need to be water-cooled too? i hope the answer's NO cuz its going to shoot me with another $999 dollars to go with the CPU and Tri SLI\quadfire water cooling system (Frostbite Liquid Cooling Dual Loop [CPU & Triple SLI/CrossFire Video Cards]).

Will it give me any performance issues if i don't get the titans water-cooled? because i could get another titan with that money or even go for an i7 3970X.

Please help me out here. i don't have a single buck to waste. just tell me if it really is important, will it make any difference if i dont get that water cooling system? will it effect my games on an 5760 x 1200 display? in any way, i dont think i'll be able to afford it.
a c 116 à CPUs
June 25, 2013 5:30:22 AM

I'l see if I can make my point just using quotes.

waqaransari said:
So i managed to get three titans in my budget along with an i7 3930k

waqaransari said:
i don't have a single buck to waste


Spoiler
Your build is pretty much the definition of excess, get 780's and that will get you identical (but still very overkill) performance and save enough to water-cool the whole thing

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June 25, 2013 5:33:52 AM

+1 to manofchalk for the irony

also 3 x gtx780 would save about $1000

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June 25, 2013 5:44:04 AM

Why would you want 3 Titans in SLI? Unless you are using the 3 Titans for code or password decryption you would be better off with 3 GTX 780s, or even a pair of GTX 690s. Titans are great for CADCAM , code breaking/password decryption, but not the best choice for gaming graphics.

Is it just conspicuous consumption or a real need for the compute power of the Titans?

In any case the need for water cooling will depend on the case housing your rig and the programs that you run. If you are running the Titans constantly at 90% + then water cooling is needed to avoid thermal fatigue, but there are few programs that would run 3 Titans at 90% (even with 5760 X 1200 resolution).
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June 25, 2013 5:46:12 AM

Haha what a smart ass you are manofchalk (but I agree with you) :D 

Why not just go without any watercooling for your Titans to start with? Frankly, I don't hink you will find many people here, who have experience with 3-way SLI Titan setup ;) .

It all comes down to the airflow in your case I guess. No doubt there will be alot of heat in there...
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June 25, 2013 5:46:46 AM

waqaransari said:
So i managed to get three titans in my budget (which is $5500 maximum) along with an i7 3930k six core cpu (was going for i7 4770k cuz it was cheaper, but now i've decided to go with this one since its gonna give me better performance and its not even that expensive). i'm not going for the i7 3970X cuz its way too expensive and will put a dent in my budget.

I'm only gonna get my CPU water-cooled (Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler with 240mm Radiator) and leave the titans alone because i have 6 zalman performance chassis fans. is it really OK to do this? or do the titans need to be water-cooled too? i hope the answer's NO cuz its going to shoot me with another $999 dollars to go with the CPU and Tri SLI\quadfire water cooling system (Frostbite Liquid Cooling Dual Loop [CPU & Triple SLI/CrossFire Video Cards]).

Will it give me any performance issues if i don't get the titans water-cooled? because i could get another titan with that money or even go for an i7 3970X.

Please help me out here. i don't have a single buck to waste. just tell me if it really is important, will it make any difference if i dont get that water cooling system? will it effect my games on an 5760 x 1200 display? in any way, i dont think i'll be able to afford it.



To be honest I have never run 3 way's I would look on the internet at some stats for the GPU in 3 way as another crazy person might have brought three also.

BTW are you planning on running a submarine or a robot army ? or taking over the world as three titans seems a lot for your system.

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June 25, 2013 12:03:39 PM

Ok first off guys, getting 3 titans really does make sense in my case. why? because my previous gtx 680 setup gave me 7-9 fps when playing FARCRY 3 maxed out on my 5760 x 1200 display. Also, Tomb Rider was even worse. When i set TressFX on in this game, i got 3-5 fps. To be honest i never tried Crysis 3 on it. i'd just get more upset then.

Also, for those of you saying that the gtx 780 would be the better choice, it still has problems. what are those problems? video memory. it has only 3 GBs of vram. I'll definitely have problems when playing MAX PAYNE 3. I know this because my cousin has an MSI gt70 laptop with 4GBs of vram, when we maxed out MAX PAYNE 3, there where only 34 MBs left to spare. there's no chance i'll be able to max out this game with a 780.

Trust me 3 titans wont be an overkill. just someone planely tell me that is water cooling these titans really important? can i go ahead without it? or will it damage the card and lower the performance or something? i do have a lot of fans in my case.
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June 25, 2013 12:26:38 PM

You won't be damaging the cards if they overheat a few times. The system will shut down as a safety feature before taking any serious damage. Just don't overclock them with increased voltage. If they do turn out to overheat then go buy a watercooling system.
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a c 116 à CPUs
June 25, 2013 11:05:20 PM

You realize that once your playing at ridiculous resolutions that you have to sacrifice some settings. Put your Anti-Aliasing down to something like 2 or 4x and I bet you will see a dramatic rise in performance for no loss in visual quality.
TressFX can work on Nvidia cards, but are far more optimized for Radeon being an AMD technology. This is simply a result of AMD offering better OpenCL performance than Nvidia.

3GB is more than enough VRAM for gaming, sacrifice the ridiculous settings and your good.
They put a 4GB graphics card in a 1080p laptop? That seems pretty pointless to me.

You have three graphics cards, packed tightly together (probably restricting each others airflow) and each putting out about 250W of heat under load (stock). So a total of 750W your dealing with.
I would say you want to get water-cooling, unless you enjoy the sound of jet engines and poor overclocking.
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June 27, 2013 1:38:00 PM

Mahisse said:
You won't be damaging the cards if they overheat a few times. The system will shut down as a safety feature before taking any serious damage. Just don't overclock them with increased voltage. If they do turn out to overheat then go buy a watercooling system.


Thanks. This is the exact answer i was looking for. I just wanted to make sure that would the cards be damaged due to overheating or not. if windows will shut down to prevent damage, then i guess there's no need for wasting an extra 1000 dollars since heating wont cause any performance issues.
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June 27, 2013 1:46:10 PM

3 Titans are still a waste. I'd bet the memory bus on the Titan won't be able to utilize 6GB of memory, and people run surround setups just fine on 7970's (3GB). Buy the 780's.
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June 27, 2013 3:07:03 PM

waqaransari said:
Mahisse said:
You won't be damaging the cards if they overheat a few times. The system will shut down as a safety feature before taking any serious damage. Just don't overclock them with increased voltage. If they do turn out to overheat then go buy a watercooling system.


Thanks. This is the exact answer i was looking for. I just wanted to make sure that would the cards be damaged due to overheating or not. if windows will shut down to prevent damage, then i guess there's no need for wasting an extra 1000 dollars since heating wont cause any performance issues.


This is not at all necessarily true, I have run 3 + sli and cross fire set ups and every time with out fail one card after a month would over heat due to the stress of controlling the other 1 or 2 gpu's you need to take in to account airflow your whole pc needs to support the air flow of your 3 gpu's,
I would also go with reference design cards as they push air out of the pc, 3 static air cards may work out in a open test bench but they will sit in hot air on a pc due to design limitations of most cases.

Also heat on the cards may/will causes them to throttle down there clocks.
a water cooled titan produces less heat over all because its cool enough to not need the extra energy to run at max performance. the colder you go to zero the gpu will use less and less power to preform normally.
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June 27, 2013 3:24:44 PM

I'd would definitely recommend water cooling. It isn't even a matter of heat so much as noise issues. I've never done 3-way SLI, but I have done 2-way SLI and crossfire many times, and when you place even 2 cards side by side with no spare slots between them, they get loud trying to push air through, even with cases with great air flow.

You are going to end up with a jet engine without water cooling. And TressFX works quite well on my Nvidia system, I don't know why people think AMD does it so much better, the benchmarks I've seen show them very similar, until you push SSAA, which is overkill imo.

I also think people tend to get overly focused on "Maxed out". Dev's put all those settings in the game because they can, and it is up to the PC user to use what they want. These settings are not even meant to all be used at once, but if you can use them, go for it. It does not mean you have to use them. Many settings have so little improvement in IQ, they aren't worth using. 8x MSAA is a waste, since 4x MSAA is almost equal in IQ. You can use SSAO instead of HBAO and hardly notice. In games like Metro 2033, the difference between high and very high is not noticeable, for the most part, the only difference is the use of real time calculations versus predefined calculations, but practically, you can't see a difference.

What I'm saying is don't get so focused on having to "Max out" a game, and work towards good performance with what you have.
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October 7, 2013 12:02:44 PM

Hi i'm from Holland and my english is not. bood but i have 4 titans watercooled for fsx without watercooling they became very hot and i buyed watercool stuff but for what you use them for home pc use a nvidia for gaming but one titan but 4 is overkill but my fps is 1200
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November 16, 2013 9:00:51 AM

just a question:
why Nvidia, why not AMD, that was desinged for 4k?
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November 16, 2013 9:11:47 AM

Nefos said:
just a question:
why Nvidia, why not AMD, that was desinged for 4k?


This is an old thread you resurrected.
He is not using a 4K resolution.
The new AMD cards didn't exist when this thread was made.
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November 16, 2013 1:32:34 PM

bystander said:
Nefos said:
just a question:
why Nvidia, why not AMD, that was desinged for 4k?


This is an old thread you resurrected.
He is not using a 4K resolution.
The new AMD cards didn't exist when this thread was made.


ohh, sorry, I was not checked the date.
anyway, he is using 5k*1.4k, that is nearly 4k resolution. but yeah, sorry for dead bump
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November 16, 2013 2:05:55 PM

Nefos said:
bystander said:
Nefos said:
just a question:
why Nvidia, why not AMD, that was desinged for 4k?


This is an old thread you resurrected.
He is not using a 4K resolution.
The new AMD cards didn't exist when this thread was made.


ohh, sorry, I was not checked the date.
anyway, he is using 5k*1.4k, that is nearly 4k resolution. but yeah, sorry for dead bump


The only reason Nvidia doesn't handle 4k well is that they are dual screens on the monitors tested. Nvidia doesn't offer a multi-screen option for 2 screens. They have added support for 4k, but it is still in the works.

His 3 screen resolution is not the same.
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November 16, 2013 2:54:30 PM

Just the name of the thread made me almost pee my pants! LOL
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!