Ok I have a few questions..first of all I'm currently running two Nvidia Geforce GTX 560. Prior to that I was running two GTX 460s. I have an Alienware Area 51 computer and they replaced both of my GPU's do to heating issues that were causing artifacts while playing games. However, even with the new cards, I'm still have heating issues. I was told that the problem is the nature of the SLI configuration and the fact that more work is placed on the "primary card." Also, I guess when they first designed this system, they didn't place enough fans or didn't place them low enough in the system so the cards aren't getting the best cooling. I received the recommendation to go down to a single GPU, and my question is basically will I see a loss of performance? My concern with going back to one GPU is the fact that I also run two monitors, and was thinking about adding a third. I definitely want to run two for sure, the third I can live without. Will running two monitors on a single GPU be a bad idea? Is there a brand that is better with running dual monitors? I don't plan on doing gaming across the two screens. I usually play D3, Wow or SC2 on my primary 25" monitor and use the second monitor for browing/itunes/other programs. Basically my choice is to keep the dual 560's, or upgrade to a single GPU with 2gb or maybe 3gb. What do you guys think?
Also, just wanted to add, if I were to get a single card, is AMD or Nvidia better in regards to the type of gaming/dual monitors that I plan to do. And, if I were to go to a single card, knowing that I'm currently running GTX 560's x2, what single card would you recommend that might be comparable in terms of quality.
An EVGA GTX 670 FTW would be my choice of a single card, it's $400 and cost less than 2 GTX 560's but outperforms them even in SLI by a good margin. You will also avoid the issue of micro stuttering common with SLI/CF setups. I would suggest you sell both your GTX 560's, they should yield most of the money for the GTX 670. You may not be experiencing artifacts, it may be micro stuttering you are experiencing as the GTX 560's run pretty cool for the most part. The GTX 670 uses as much energy as a single GTX 560 but runs cooler and is faster than 2 GTX 560's in SLI. Also the EVGA FTW card shoots all the air out back unlike your GTX 560's that shoot it back into your case causing the temps to rise inside your case.
You can try running a Furmark Burn in test for about an hr and use MSI Afterburner and/or GPU-Z to monitor the temps of the cards to see if they are overheating. I used to have SLI GTX 560 Ti's and a GTS 450 crammed into my case and temperature was never an issue for me.
Well as I mentioned, the Alienware tech that I spoke with basically said that the design of the system in terms of where the GPU's are physically located and where the fans in the system are weren't really optimal for two GPU's and that was the reason why I was having heating issues. I'm supposed to speak with them again on Friday and talk to them about possible replacing the cooling system and the fans, so I'll know more by then. But they had mentioned the possible solution of switching to a single GPU and how that should fix my overheating issues..
The single GPU solution is better IMO, it would generate far less heat and would whomp your GTX 560's by a good margin. You can go out and buy a 120mm fan and mount it near the cards yourself. It's not rocket science and zip ties do come in handy, lol. Also, don't buy overpriced Alienware's next time, building one yourself with the same specs would save you hundreds of dollars too