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3way SLI GTX 680 Vs 2way SLI GTX 680 - WATERCOOLED

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February 14, 2013 5:28:02 PM

Please help me!

I am looking to upgrade my system by adding another GTX 680 SLI, and also add watercooling for 2 or 3 of the cards.

I only play one game - TF2, in 5760x1080 - 3D surround across three 24" monitors. I'm not interested in any other games!

With my current system, I'm unable to max my settings and keep the action perfectly rock-solid. In fact I have to put some things on 'Medium'. I need the gameplay to be perfectly smooth...

I heard about some driver glitches for 3way SLI setups. Anyone know if these problems have been ironed out yet?

Each card takes up three slots currently. I was advised to buy these watercoolers (for less heat and to make smaller):

EK Water Blocks EK-FC680 GTX+ - Nickel

If I add these watercoolers, AND the 3rd 680:


Will I be able to max my settings?

Will it all fit into my case?

Will I need a new PSU?

Is it worth going watercooled even if I don't add the 3rd 680?


One more question - I currently use 'Auto-select' for the Phys-X settings. It selects the second 680. Is there a better way of doing this?

Last question :D  - anyone know the best Nvidia/game settings for playing TF2 on this system?


Thank you very much for any help!
a b U Graphics card
February 14, 2013 5:34:46 PM

I would think just two cards would be sufficient for three screens in 2D. If you are using 3D though, you probably do need three cards. I have used both SLI and Crossfire and am not a fan of either. But you do need some serious gpu muscle for your settings. Watercooling will get you a better OC, cooler temps and will run quieter, especially if you use three cards, but it is very expensive and takes up a ton of case space. You don't list your current psu or your case model. What are the rest of your system specs?
February 14, 2013 9:51:58 PM

Thanks for the reply maestro!

Yeah, it runs three screens in 2D very nicely, but I think it needs a bit more for 3D.

I love 3D! I can't go back to 2D now, it's like watching colour TV then going back to black-and-white (to show my age a bit too much :D )
Case is HAF-X, PSU is Corsair AX850W, rest of specs in my signature.
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a b U Graphics card
February 14, 2013 10:01:16 PM

dude, tf2 doesnt require 2 gtx 680s. one can most likely run it properly.
a b U Graphics card
February 14, 2013 10:02:27 PM

Tri SLI is meant to be watercooled, pick up your EK nickel Plexi blocks and connect them with the new EK FC bridge. I would definitely recommend a 360 rad for this, not sure about you watercooling setup!
a c 216 U Graphics card
February 14, 2013 11:28:40 PM

zaffita said:
Thanks for the reply maestro!

Yeah, it runs three screens in 2D very nicely, but I think it needs a bit more for 3D.

I love 3D! I can't go back to 2D now, it's like watching colour TV then going back to black-and-white (to show my age a bit too much :D )
Case is HAF-X, PSU is Corsair AX850W, rest of specs in my signature.


I also love 3D Vision. I hardly play any games in 2D if 3D is an option. Btw, do you know about Helix Mod? He has a fix for many games which normally have issues, particularly shadow issues.
http://helixmod.wikispot.org/gamelist

Anyways, I have heard a rumor that 3D Vision doesn't work in 3-way SLI, but I am not sure if that is the case. SLI works great though, giving 1 680 for each eye. I am not sure how a 3rd one would function or improve that situation, as one eye is left without help. Remember, in 3D, two images are created for each frame.

EDIT: according to this, 3-way SLI is supported for 3D Vision: http://www.wsgf.org/book/export/html/1504
According to this, in 3-way SLI, the 3rd card is dedicated to physX only. This is from a Nvidia employee: https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/491394/3d-visi...
February 20, 2013 11:20:15 AM

Thanks for the advice, redeemer & bystander!

I've read tons of threads and stickies on this now. Still feel a bit over-whelmed and have loads of questions ;) 

Ok, so I have two of these coming now:

EK Water Blocks EK-FC680 GTX+ - Nickel


Can someone recommend all of the rest of the parts I will need please?


I'm looking for maximum performance and minimum noise. Noise must be less than it is now! (3 fans on each GPU can get noisy when gaming).


I'm guessing I'll need this for Rampage IV Extreme:

EK Water Blocks EK-FB KIT RE4 - Nickel CSQ

Is Nickel the best choice? Considering the GPU blocks already on order are Nickel?

Do I keep my H100 or do I ditch it and get a new CPU block?

My CPU and H100 are lapped, and mounted with a High Pressure Bolt-Through Mount. Will this make any difference if I go for a new CPU block? Can I use the new CPU block as a High-Pressure Mount?



Thanks in advance for any help!!

a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 6:52:43 PM

nickel means its copper that has been plated with nickel for anti-corrosion.
!