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SlI dual slot cards, prone to over heating?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 3, 2009 5:09:57 PM

I'm curious for anyone who has a couple dual slot cards in SLI do you notice any heat issues? From what I have seen it seems the top card would be blowing right onto the second card. I can only see this getting worse with the fermi line as new cards almost always produce more heat do they not? I know for some motherboards it's not an issue because the PCI-E slots are spread out with a PCI in the middle. What about guys like me though, where that isn't the case? If I were to SLI a couple dual slot cards they would be right on top of each other. I know the simple answer is don't SLI then, but I just wanna! lol so what does everyone else think?
a b U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 5:29:41 PM

Actually, clock for clock, new cards on smaller processes usually produce far less heat than previous generations. The card makers are limited in their top offerings to 300w at stock speeds (thus the downclocked 5970). A good example is how a 5770 will match or beat 4870 performance, with less power and heat.

Any multi-card setup needs special attention to heat evacuation, and is not a sole problem for SLI. Having the space on the Mobo for the cards to fit with room for airflow between is the biggest factor, but most heat issues can be resolved with serious attention to airflow through fans and cable management. Sometimes though, the space between the cards is too small, and short of liquid cooling, heat will be a performance issue. There has been members here (names not coming to mind) who have tried multi-card but ended up going to single because of this.
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December 3, 2009 5:57:22 PM

Thank you that was very helpful. I miss the old days when cards were all single slot, I know there's no way they could fit all the power into a single slot solution though. One can dream right?
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 5:58:15 PM

Dual card setup just require more "attention" than single card setups. I had an issue trying to Crossfire (2) 4870's as the top one kept overheating and I did not want to deal with getting more air to move in the case and over the cards. I had a buddy who had run 3 way SLI on 8800GTX's for a while and he ended up keeping the side off his case and had a 120mm fan zip tied in pace to keep air between the cards. He even eventually just ran 2 cards, but still had to keep the fan in place because of the heat. You just have to SLI and see where you are at and check temps. If you are heating up during gaming, you need to figure out how to move more air where it is needed. Dual cards can be a little work or alot of work. You just have to be willing to do it.
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a b U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 6:00:57 PM

jay2tall said:
Dual card setup just require more "attention" than single card setups. I had an issue trying to Crossfire (2) 4870's as the top one kept overheating and I did not want to deal with getting more air to move in the case and over the cards. I had a buddy who had run 3 way SLI on 8800GTX's for a while and he ended up keeping the side off his case and had a 120mm fan zip tied in pace to keep air between the cards. He even eventually just ran 2 cards, but still had to keep the fan in place because of the heat. You just have to SLI and see where you are at and check temps. If you are heating up during gaming, you need to figure out how to move more air where it is needed. Dual cards can be a little work or alot of work. You just have to be willing to do it.


This is the guy I was referring to who had recent issue with dual cards. :D 
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 6:20:23 PM

JofaMang said:
This is the guy I was referring to who had recent issue with dual cards. :D 

Ohhhh Now I'm THAT guy? haha :p 

Anyways, all I say is yeah it will work. But be fore warned that you may have heat issues and be prepared to deal with them. Do you have 1 or 2 slots between the 2 PCI-E slots you plan to SLI? If you have 1 that means the cards will be right up against each other. If you have 2, then you will at least have an open slot to help circulate air. The more space between the cards the better.
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