I've got an Antec 900 case and still have to crank the gpu fan up to 75% to keep it's temp below 70-71 degrees Celsius at full gaming load. It's fairly loud at that level, but I always wear headphones so I don't notice.
That card's operating temps are about 80ish... tops of 90C or so..
If you have a side vent panel you should add fan pulling fresh air into the card. it has a reference cooling desing which sucks the air and blow it at the back of the case, so you wont have heat building up inside of it. Thats why its better an intake than a side exhaust...
If I am not overclocking a gtx 480, just using it regularly, would I need to invest in a cooler for it?
I was originally looking at a gtx 560 ti, but this is obviously way more overpowered.
Ill be running an i5-2500k and 16gb of ram.
Thanks for the help!
GTX 480's are notorious for running hot, I have 2 personally. I have overclocked them both but I have aftermarket coolers on mine. They don't start thermal limiting until 102C area. If you are seeing 70-80's you should be fine.
The easy way to test the max temps you would see is get Furmark and run that for 30mn. That would be the max you could possibly see for heat and power draw. You will almost assuredly never see those temps in normal gaming/usage.