I'm helping a friend put together a new computer and I cant make my mind up about the model of the graphics. I've read alot about 580's in SLI put out alot of heat so I'm gonna go with a motherboard that has good spacing between the PCI-E slots. Right now its leaning towards the Asus P8P67 WS Revolution. And I know I cant put one card in the PCI-E 1 then the second in the 4th. Its the blue ones for the SLI. The powersupply will be a Corsair AX 850W 80+ Gold. Might be looking at something around 1000w here though but aslong as there is no overclocking 850 should be fine.
I know that in a really cramped space when you got the cards side by side reference is prefered. But here there is more space so wouldnt the Twin Frozr be a better choice? I looked at Asus Geforce GTX 580 DirectCU II also but since that one takes up 3 slots it might be pushing it.
The case will probably be a Fractal Define XL with fans on the optional spots aswell.
Yes I am aware that it will be better for a single card. However since it doesnt push the hot air out of the box like a reference one I wondered if it might be a problem when there is two cards in the mix.
I would go for reference. Non ref cards are fine for single card set ups but be aware that non reference cards like the MSI can have problems in SLI, because non reference cards dump the hot air inside the case (unlike reference cards like the EVGA that exhaust it outside of the case) non reference cards can cause a recycling effect were one card will dump the hot air and the other will suck that hot air back in, over long periods the heat builds up and negates the benefit of the cooler design. I'd only use a solution like that if it were totally open air with plenty of airflow and space between the cards.
The main reason to get non-reference is to OC, but with SLI 580 I doubt you will need to OC them.
This is just my opnion but I'm sure I will get flamed for saying this by non ref fan boys.
For SLI, get the reference cooler to vent hot air outside the case. The reference shroud design is also beveled (narrower) at the air intake end to allow better airflow between cards in SLI (GTX 580 pictured on the left below vs. the GTX 480 on the right).
Cooler GPU temperatures are a red herring on an aftermarket 580. The card is still producing that heat, it's just blowing it around inside the case. Get the EVGA's and take advantage of the imrpoved vapor chamber cooler and shroud, specifically designed to improve SLI heat management.
I agree go with reference, I had two 580 references slotted next to each on an MSi board. The temps were okay that close to each other, but recently I changed my board out to an ASRock and added a third card and the spacing that the board allowed between all 3 (1 slot gap between each card) really allowed those reference cards to exhaust that air into the back end of the card very well and actually turned out better than the MSi boards spacing.
The other thing to mention is that the reference vapor chamber coolers are a lot quieter than the old reference coolers on the previous generation. The main advantage of the aftermarket Twin Frozr II cooler is the GPU temperature, not necessarily the noise level.