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First time doing SLI.. need some help please

Currently I own a GTX460 1GB from Zotac (this is the one).
I'm upgrading my system so I wanted to put in another 460 and SLI them. The only problem is that the current card that I have already draws a lot of power, and with the fan setup runs a bit hot. If I was to buy the exact same card and place them together I'm afraid they'll overheat quickly.

So since this is the first time I'll be doing SLI and I don't have much experience with it I wanted to get some advice from you folks. I know that the two cards have to be running at the same clock, but they don't have to be from the same manufacturer, right? So I could get another card that's got a better fan on it and stick it with the one I have now, and hopefully that will help me with the overheating problem?

Or should I just scrap this whole idea and get a GTX570 instead?

Thanks for any advice!
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first time please
  1. As long as they're the same model it'll be fine, so any 460 1GB would do.

    What is your PSU though? If it can't handle dual 460s, I doubt the 570 would fare too wel either.
  2. I bought a new 600watt PSU when I was buying the 460, but I never planned on SLI-ing back then, so I'll have to buy a new PSU anyway.
  3. Which 600W? A quality 600W handles 2 460s fine.
  4. The box says XION 600 Watt PowerReal

    But I'm looking inside my case now and it seems like it only has 1 connector for the card, so no way I can do SLI.

    Even on the box it says
    PCI-E - 6 pins x 1 (VGA).

    Putting the question of the PSU aside for a moment, I'm looking at newegg right now and the exact same card that I bought before is actually a little more expensive right now than a newer, OC'ed card being offered.

    Here's the one I bought before

    And here's the newer one from the same company

    It's got a higher clock speed, so in order to SLI them I'll have to either OC one or underclock the other. Would that be possible? Or is it even recommended? Would they stay stable SLI'ed together if one is overclocked or underclocked?
  5. They will work fine together. The only issue you will have is when you try to SLI different cards together, like a gtx 460 and a gtx 470.

    otherwise it doesnt matter what model of card you SLI as long as its in the same family. So you can do a Zotac gtx 460 with an MSI gtx 450 without any problems. As for the clock speeds, basically both will run at the lowest clocks whichever individual card has. In other words, the new card you are looking at will be down-clocked to the other one. A simple solution to this would be to overclock your old card to the speeds of the new one and you will be set.

    However, you would definitly need to upgrade your PSU. While 600W is plenty for two cards, that manufacturer is not a good one, which means that PSU is probably very much underpowered and wont handle them correctly, not to mention the fact that you don't have two PCI-E plugs for two cards.

    Even if you decide to upgrade to a single, better card, like a gtx570, you will first need to upgrade to a better PSU to be safe. 600W from corsair, antec, ocz will be very good quality and will be able to handle dual 460's or a single 570
  6. Best answer
    The new card is fine, and don't worry about the clocks either. I think the drivers should throttle the higher clock with the lower one. Any 460 will happily hit 720Mhz (the newer one's stock clock) though.

    Also your current PSU is actually *okay* and should go 2 460s with a splitter, given you have a modest CPU and dont OC. It should have 2 PCIe cables. Double check?

    However if you have the money, a new PSU would be ideal.
  7. phishy714 said:
    They will work fine together. The only issue you will have is when you try to SLI different cards together, like a gtx 460 and a gtx 470.

    otherwise it doesnt matter what model of card you SLI as long as its in the same family. So you can do a Zotac gtx 460 with an MSI gtx 460 without any problems. As for the clock speeds, basically both will run at the lowest clocks whichever individual card has. In other words, the new card you are looking at will be down-clocked to the other one. A simple solution to this would be to overclock your old card to the speeds of the new one and you will be set

    Yeah sure, this is Nvidia were talking about. :>
  8. Best answer selected by guitarxe.
  9. Great! Got everything answered. Thanks for your help!
  10. phishy714 said:
    So you can do a Zotac gtx 460 with an MSI gtx 450 without any problems.


    No you can't, they would both have to be 460's and have the same amount of memory.
  11. Mousemonkey said:
    No you can't, they would both have to be 460's and have the same amount of memory.



    Bah! sorry, mistype there. yes, any two 460's will work
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