SLI gtx 460 overheating help/ Alternative

Hello Guys,

I recently acquired another GTX 460 from a friend for $70 and decided to try my luck with sli. However I have run into a serious problem. I tried to play Skyrim and within a minute or so the top card was at 100 C while the bottom card was about 40C. This was with the fans turned up to 85%. They are 1G Galaxy cards and I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do my motherboards PCI slots leave them zero room to breath the two cards are basically touching. So my question is what can I do about this? I was considering selling both cards and getting new one/ones but what would get me near/same performance as sli gtx 460 at around $220-250.

Thanks,
21 answers Last reply
More about overheating help alternative
  1. one card doing more work and that one card getting hot has been a problem since inception. think someone would have made them work together more along the way.. ??

    however, not sure if this would work but.......... one of my old BIOS' had options to configure what slot the main card would be when running dual cards. Look in the BIOS for that option and try enabling the lower card as first device. Plug the dvi cable into that and see how it goes......... if it works.

    enough fresh cold air getting to these cards or is there no room between them ?

    option/one new bigger card to exceed the performance of what you have.

    Are you sure the second card is good ? did you try it alone in the machine ? is it, or are they free of lint in the fan and heat sinks. Did you try reapplying thermal paste ?

    just guesses at this point. good luck.
  2. Yeah the top card nearly touching the bottom card won't work, it needs room to bring air in.

    SLIing gpus at that performance level is known to cause issues with microstutter.
    That being said if you want single card performance near that level you could go with a gtx 480 at $200
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130617
    or a radeon 7870 at $280
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127662

    keep in mind the 7870 will only increase performance over the gtx 480 by around 20%.
  3. a long time ago in the nvidia control panel there used to be something along the lines of alternate frame rendering or something. maybe look into that also.. ??
  4. let me tell you what I did in this situation once.

    first SLi set-up was on a mATX board (P55 EVGA E652), the cards were so close that I had to add a rubber spacer between them.
    I had SLi N460GTX Hawks TwinFrozr II models so I had optimal cooling and fan control.
    besides the spacer and the fans up high i had to add a case fan to the side panel to blow on the cards.
    now this is with matching cards like I said with no issues running in perfect harmony.

    I switched to better case with dual side panel vents and dual vents up top and the temps dropped dramatically
    but before I got to that point I also got a bigger ATX (AMD 990FX) motherboard and split the cards up having more space in between..
    but with the bigger motherboard BEFORE the upgraded case temps still got kinda high and I even had to dial down my CPU overclock.

    finally I sold the SLi N460GTX Hawks and bought a N570GTX TwinFrozr III PE/OC.
    overall at stock settings I lost minimal fps in gaming but I noticed a slight difference.
    SLi 460's in gaming are slightly better than a GTX 580, and my 460's were overclocked.
    the GTX 570 is a hiccup off the GTX 570 but with the right version of 570 I was able then to clock it to GTX 580 (reference) performance.
    so that's why I say fps was a minimal loss..

    but switching to the (equal) single card is better cause the advantages are/were:
    * less power consumption
    * less heat and heat across entire unit
    * less noise from fans not being in overdrive
    * eliminates (I didn't have many) SLi compatibility issues

    now I'm not saying upgrade to a GTX 570.....
    I'm just giving you a personal example on what I went through last year when i was in this situation.

    cheers.
  5. Thanks for all the advice i did some things such as running the video from the bottom card and making my 2 case fans right above the cards pull air insted of blow air. There was a small change the card stayed around 80C on skyrim and took longer to get there. However isnt that still a little hot? Also if it helps this is my case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153 i have fans in all spots.
  6. fans on the side panel are to blow in on the video cards..

    front - in
    sides - in (bottom for GPU's specifically)
    back - out
    top - out
  7. don't forget bottom-in, an oft overlooked spot to put a fan because most cases don't have the option.
  8. edit up top.. :)
  9. Those Galaxy models are terrible when it comes to cooling in general, improving air flow in the case as others have suggested and making sure there is at least a decent gap between the two cards make a world of difference. Sadly your options are very limited when it comes to aftermarket cooling on a small budget. The best thing you could do is go liquid for both cards but not cheap.

    Your second option is to try to force air between the cards and it almost always works.
  10. there's a fan control program that nvidia released a while back. the fans always blow too slow to give the impression the cards can be kept quiet while running.. ( nvidia cards are the hottest )........ use the program to make the fans on both cards run constantly at 40 or 50 percent ( for starters ) and see how it goes.
  11. Ok i set up all the fans as you said....and i know the Galaxys suck at cooling they where however the cheapest 460s i could fine...As for forcing the air hehe well i took out some tape and a spare 140mm fan and stuck it right on top of the cards :D im about to go test it out so lets see if this jerry-rigged cooling system works..

    Ok so with my new setup here the card seems to stay right around 74C is this a safe temp?
  12. how much better is that than before.?
  13. verbalizer said:
    how much better is that than before.?



    Before card reached 100C then improved to 85ish now about 74C So much better than where i started
  14. now were getting somewhere....
  15. verbalizer said:
    now were getting somewhere....


    Indeed trying to think if there is any other things i can do currently have the 2 side fans blowing on cards and the 140mm taped on top of cards blowing and the front, rear, and top fans blowing air out of the case. Also have the fan speeds on the cards at 90% (sounds like a freaking jet)
  16. only thing to do now is get a water-cooling set-up.....;)
    (kinda just kidding..)
  17. verbalizer said:
    only thing to do now is get a water-cooling set-up.....;)
    (kinda just kidding..)


    Haha well time to go jerry-rig some water cooling just need some ice and... :na:

    Oh looking on newegg i found this beast http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130653
    Would it be better to sell my cards and buy this?
  18. nutmanmatt said:
    Haha well time to go jerry-rig some water cooling just need some ice and... :na:

    Oh looking on newegg i found this beast http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130653
    Would it be better to sell my cards and buy this?

    HD Radeon alternative:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127662

    nVidia alternatives:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121480
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127682

    but honestly skip all those listed above.
    wait for this:

    http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4873/nvidia_geforce_gtx_660_ti_2gb_reference_video_card_overclocked/index1.html
  19. verbalizer said:


    Hmmmm those are all a lil more expensive than i was hoping however from what ive heard when the 660 is out the 7800s will get a decent price drop if this is true i may pick up a 7870.
  20. if you go Radeon you gotta go 7870 or higher.
    7850 will be too much of a downgrade.
    (in my eyes anyways..)
  21. nutmanmatt said:
    Haha well time to go jerry-rig some water cooling just need some ice and... :na:

    Oh looking on newegg i found this beast http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130653
    Would it be better to sell my cards and buy this?


    Don't buy that piece of crap, as they hardly even run. Just go for one good single gpu card and don't look back.
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