Report: graphics cards and thermal characteristics
by Damien Triolet
Published on April 20, 2010
GeForce GTX 460 SLI
Like any multi-GPU system, the GeForce GTX 460s in SLI add additional heat to the system, especially as the stock cards don't expel heat from the casing.
System at idle.
System in load.
Graphics card at idle.
Graphics card in load.
Although the system is very well cooled at idle thanks to the low consumption of the GeForce GTX 460 in this mode, in load it heats up quite a bit, especially as a good proportion of the hot air isn't expelled from the casing but rather directed towards the hard drives, which therefore heat up.
Temperature and noise readings
The readings taken confirm the above. You'll have to keep an eye on your cooling for the hard drives as their reliability is affected when temperatures increase. If your casing doesn't doesn't allow you to do this, you'll need to go for GeForce GTX 460s that aren't the same as the stock model and which expel more hot air out the casing.
You'll also note the high temperature of the northbridge which is due to performance levels, size and the fact that it must supply more PCI Express lanes. Active cooling is therefore very much advised on this type of platform.