I have two gigabyte geforce gtx 460 1gb running in SLI powering 3 24inch monitors for 2d surround gaming. I want to overclock the cards a bit with msi afterburner. My question is should I find an aftermarket cooling system or can the stock coolers handle overclocking? In SLI the cards are a bit close as they always are in SLI. Any recommendations as to a stable and appropriate settings to overclock the cards in SLI?
I have one my self and you need to force a lot of air through the cooler to keep the power vrm cool enough to not degrade over time. Most noobs out there are having them die with in a few weeks after first getting it due to not keeping the whole card cool. Other brands are to a different extent are having the same issue. So if you want to get a third party cooler than don't hold back and go for it as it is better for the cards in the end but keep the old coolers some ware in case of future sale or rma ect.
Overclocking is ok on these but not top gear. I get 850 on the core on stock volts and not much more with the original bios. Yes there is a modded unlocked bios floating around that allows for higher volts for overclocking. I don't bother nuking the vram as there is plenty of bandwidth for my needs however you might want to look into it after swapping the coolers out to put ramsinks on the vram to keep it cool from the start. The power vrm gets rather hot. The chokes are some what hot but not scorching how. The caps to the rear do get very hot as does the mosfet stages. Compared to other models and brands this one already has one advantage that it already has one small heatsink to cool them and have modded mine for even better cooling. You can read my review on newegg (debase) a few pages back.