GeForce GTX 580 SLILike any multi-GPU system, the GeForce GTX 580s in SLI make for increased internal temperatures.
Note that in an attempt to contain energy consumption, NVIDIA has integrated components onto the PCB which allow the drivers (but not the GPU itself) to monitor the energy consumption of the GPU, or rather the intensity of the current which passes down each of the three 12v power supply channels (PCI Express bus and connectors).
NVIDIA hasn’t however activated global monitoring and, to avoid reducing performance in games or 3Dmark, only puts its system in action in the latest versions of Furmark and OCCT, namely in the extreme load tests used by testers to measure energy consumption. In these applications, if the driver measures energy consumption beyond a certain limit, it lowers clocks by half, and then by half again if this hasn’t been sufficient. We set things up so this didn’t kick in during our tests.
System at idle.
System in load.
Graphics card at idle.
Graphics card in load.
This very extreme system is well cooled both at idle and in load and the impact on other components is quite contained, with most of the hot air expelled from the casing.
Temperature and noise readings
After the catastrophic results of the GeForce GTX 480 SLI, NVIDIA has managed quite a feat here by containing the temperatures on these similar and more powerful GeForce GTX 580s. Of course, in such an extreme system, a lot of heat is produced, but it stays within reasonable limits. Don’t expect the cooler to be quiet in load however!
Note also that the northbridge gets very hot, a natural result of the high performance of the system, the available space and the fact that it has to supply additional PCI Express lanes. Active cooling for the northbridge is therefore very much advised on this type of platform.