My question is with the chip set on my mobo should/do I have to stick with nvidia or can I go with ATI? The reason I ask is that I am having problems with the 280 and have been since I got it when they were new. Either it's a overheating issue or a hardware issue. I sent it into get repaired/re-placed already and it came back and some of the problems were gone and some new ones appeared. I was looking at the fermi 460/470 cards but all the reviews I read say things about overheating. I know ATI runs cooler but again...mobo and chip set. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
Your motherboard can definitely use an ATI card but only 1 of them as it is SLI instead of crossfire.
The current generation of ATI cards do indeed use much less power/give off much less heat than the comparable Fermi cards. That said you shouldn't lump the GTX 460 in with the GTX 470 in that regard. The GTX 470/480 are GF100 based cards while the GTX 460 is based on the new GF104 chip which has a much nicer power/heat profile and doesn't have the same issues. The GTX 460 would be a slight upgrade at stock over your current card but it can also OC a much larger amount(30-35%) and when you do that it really pulls away. For a more substantial upgrade go for an HD5850 which can also OC a very large amount, especially if you get one that allows for voltage control of the core.