I'm looking into running dual GTX 480's in SLI mode. I was told that I should get a five slot motherboard. I understand I should get a space between them but I don't no what the extra two slots are for. If someone could help it would be much appreciated. Also because I live in New Zealand I have to get my components from Australia when I go there for a holiday (to avoid huge shipping prices). I was looking on ebay for 480's and there are a lot of different brands. Does it matter which ones I get as long as I get 2 480's??
Simply take a look at the layout of the expansion slots for the prospective motherboards. There should be a top down view of the board. Since the 480s are usually dual slot, there should be at LEAST a slot between the pcie x16 slots, which can be anything. Best case scenario, there is space between the cards. This would need an extra slot between the cards (so 2 slots between the pcie x 16 slots).
Count up the number of PCIe slots and make sure there are at least 5. Install the first card in the #1 slot, covering the #2 slot. Leave #3 open. Install the second card in the #4 slot, covering the #5 slot.
In the image provided above, the two blue full PCIe slots are separated by two shorter PCIe x1 slots. You would use the two blue slots and still have plenty of space in between.
The smart move is to get cards with an aftermarket cooling and then make sure you have plenty of case ventilation to keep noise levels down. Do not get the Asus Direct CU version, which is a triple slot card.