Much thanks in advance to anyone that decides to give me any help they can in my last minute decision. I know both brands make a good product and are respectable, i just don't want to worry about heat issues because of factory OC's since i'm not upgrading my case anytime soon. Do you think i would truly benefit from External Exhaust or should i just stick with the normal?
If you want to OC the hell out of the GTX460 (or need a cooler GPU), get the Cyclone. If you're afraid to OC, but want more performance out of the GTX460 straight away (big factory OC) get the EVGA Superclocked. ( I think External Exhaust won't make big difference)
I can personally vouch for the MSI Cyclone GTX 460 1GB. It keeps the GPU very cool while being extremely quiet. It makes my old EVGA 9800GTX sound like a chop saw. Perhaps it is just my computer case, but it idles at 37C and maxes out at 55C running the unigine benchmark several times. Not in air conditioning - would be such a waste in Hawaii =p But I imagine it would run a lot cooler in an air conditioned environment.
Not only is it quiet but it overclocks like nothing you've ever seen before. Stock was 725 core, 1451 shader, and 1800 memory. I haven't even pushed this thing to the limits yet and with afterburner so far I have gotten to 850 core, 1700 shader, and 2100 memory.
I won't buy a graphics card that does not have direct exhaust cooling. Without direct exhaust, the cooler may do a fine job of getting the heat off of the gpu die, but it then dumps the heat back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it. That heats up both the gpu AND the cpu air used for cooling. If you are at all worried about the cooling capabilities of your case, go with the direct exhaust model.
Any of the GTX460 cards will be fine with cooling and noise. I have no problem paying a small premium for a factory overclocked unit.
Agree with Geofelt, if the case has just one 120 m.m. exhaust fan and no side vents it would be better to go with a direct exhaust card.
EVGA have one of the best warranties in the business if you live in the USA or Canada so if you plan on keeping the card for a while, paying a little extra for that would be a wise investment.