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580 SLI - reference or non-reference?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 27, 2011 12:28:35 AM

I asked this question over on another forum, but I was hoping to get some more advice before I pull the trigger on which 580 card to get.

Basically, I was thinking about getting two 580s for SLI, but I was wondering if it would be better to do this with two reference cards or two non-reference cards. I'm wondering because I'm worried about the temps that a non-reference card can put out (generally lower temps, but exhausting heat into the case) as opposed to the heat that a reference card puts out (generally higher temps, but exhaust heat outside of the case).

More specifically, I'm wondering if I should get x2 MSI Lightning 580 cards or x2 EVGA SC 580 cards. I plan on using the two cards on a MIVE in a HAF X case, so I would only end up having about 1 empty slot of space between the two cards as well.

So for both questions, which one would cool better?
April 27, 2011 2:19:36 AM

Bump - no one has any input on this? GPU exhausting inside the case as opposed to outside for a 580, any opinions on which one might be, overall, cooler?
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 4:55:01 AM

Are you running triple 1920x1080/1200 monitors?

Since SLI'd 580s are so formidable, I'd probably opt for stock clocked/reference models...

I think I'd also check out 6950 Xfire results too, at roughly half the price...
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a c 125 U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 5:03:37 AM

Honestly I wish I had bought non reference 5850s back when I was purchasing. Reference is fine for some things, but your case shouldn't have a problem dumping that heat out and the non reference ones will be quieter and cool better. I ended up buying aftermarket heatsinks for my cards just to quiet them down. Really, the only good think about reference is they generally support overclocking pretty well - I know some non reference cards can have the VRM locked so you're stuck at stock voltage. Not really sure how that applies to the 580s though, this was with AMD cards last year.
April 27, 2011 6:41:55 AM

mdd1963 said:
Are you running triple 1920x1080/1200 monitors?

Since SLI'd 580s are so formidable, I'd probably opt for stock clocked/reference models...

I think I'd also check out 6950 Xfire results too, at roughly half the price...


No, just a single 1080p 3D monitor. I wanted to throw on a second 580 to help when I run some games in 3D, since the fps gets cut nearly in half.
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 4:26:06 PM

lol, 1 580 is imo more than enough for 1 1080p monitor, even 3D enabled, also sometimes 6950CF performs close to 580 SLI, while 6970 CF is running head to head with 580 SLI, while costing less.
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 4:33:20 PM

^Umm... no... 580 SLI is easily the fastest 2 card (single GPU each) config...

But that's not to say CF 6950s or 6970s are slow, they'd be killer at 1080p. Hell CF 6870s would push any game to the max.
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 4:37:18 PM

^i haven't said 6970CF beats 580 SLI in this post, i said it runs faster, but there are situations where even the 6950 CF beats 580 SLI, just like when GTX 460 beats 6870..
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