GPU side fans don't exhaust heat towards the side panel. The push air toward the card, across its heat sinks. Half goes ou the back, half into the case. A case side fan is meant to be an intake to feed cool air to the gpu fans.
Edit: scratch that. Finally found an "SO". I see it has TOP not side fans. I wouldn't use a case side panel fan with that at all. unless you have a grill toward the bottom below the gpus for an intake. Wouldn't want an intake near them, I think an exhaust would be unnecessary or get in the way/disrupt their airflow
Quote "The fans are installed upside down. That is, they are going to blow the hot air out of the heatsink, sucking it in from below. And if your system case doesn’t have an exhaust fan on the side pane, the hot air from the graphics card will remain inside the chassis and will have to be exhausted by other system fans."
that also doesnt make much sense if you are going with 3 monitors. amd eyefinity is much better at that and its a known fact that 7970s perform better than 680s. plus a 7970 has more vram and and wider memory bus for triple displays.
with 2gb of vram, you willl easily run out. 4gb editions arent viable as well given the 680 doesnt have the power to use it all
The 680 SOC is a terrible card. Terrible cooling, especially compared to other dual fan solutions that kick its ass. Its horrible loud, and heavy too. Its extra overclock isn't even special, the 680 TOP would probably beat it all round.
+1 to Bigtroll on 2GB of Vram. 4GB is too much, and unnecessary, but 3GB is the sweet spot. Of course it doesn't really hurt to go 4GB if you have a tendency to go with Nvidia.
Have amd eyefinity (2x6970) and I've found pretty poor to be honest (and the latest 13.1 drivers have really screwed things up with break up visible)- also doesn't support DX11 in the games I play. So I'll be sli'ing 2 x 680's.
I'm aware of the noise issues with the SOC but that is at load and since the 2nd 680 will be slower the SOC won't be pushed that hard and therefore, hopefully, not that noisy. Again not a huge 2nd hand market for 680 so some comprise is the way forward.
faxfan from what I can see it looks like this card exhausts to the outside of the case (where the monitor ports are). Do you know if that's correct? If so you probably would benefit from side fans pulling air into the case. I have to OC'd 570's in SLI and they were running at 85 deg under heavy load before I added 2 side fans to my case that blow air directly at the 2 cards. After adding the 2 fans the load temps dropped to 78 degrees. It wasn't a huge difference but definitely beneficial in my case. By the way my case now has positive pressure.