54 months ago
Hi I am looking for the best cooler design for sli with a gtx 980 970 or 960
You are aware that the only GPU capable of doing 4-way SLI (as you mention in the title) is the GTX 980 right? The 960 can only do 2-way and the 970 maximum 3-way.
If you decide on 2-way SLI, it doesn't really matter, imo. All major manufacturers (MSI, ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte) have decent air cooling designs on their GPU cards, so it's just a matter of researching the differences between these cooling solutions in terms of noise and efficiency.
The same goes for 3-way SLI I believe, although I have no experience with this (and neither with 4-way, so anybody with experience might inform you about the following more correctly).
As for 4-way SLI, I believe that since you're already spending that amount of money on 4 980s, you best get a custom water loop which will greatly improve your GPU temps. It probably can be done with regular air coolers, but than you'll have to vent your case very well and deal with a lot of fan noise.
Thanks and yes I know that only 980 is 4 way. I will probably go with a coustom loop or I will only do 2 or 3 way
Or refrence design
4-way SLI usually doesn't depend on the CPU cooler... There are some large air coolers that block the first PCIe slot, but they're for high-performance air cooling.
If you're asking about the cooler type on the GPUs, I believe a "Reference" design, such as this, where the air is blown out the back of the computer, would be best, but you would lose some performance compared to non-reference designs.
SLI(Crossfire's not much better) has diminishing returns even at 2-way(not always, but on the whole), so your best bet would be a 2-way 980 SLI. A 3 way 970 would probably not perform that well. Some games even get unstable and can't run on 2/3 GPUs.
As mentioned by others - only 980 can do 4-way. 970 is 3-way. I would also get a x99 motherboard and cpu to make sure the bandwidth is not limiting the GPUs.
For 4 way SLI the best way to go would be closed-air cooling as in the reference design. However those are not the only ones.
Just a few examples:
This are better for 4 SLI than the more common open air coolers as they push the hot air out of the case at the rear instead of passing it on to the GPU above it. It is less efficient in single(maybe dual too) GPU configurations, but better for a quad GPU configuration.
If you are spending this much money, a water-cooling solution wouldn't add much(relative) cost, but would probably yield better performance and certainly better temperatures. A couple 280mm rads in a custom loop would easily deal with the heat. Would add only about half a 980 to the overall price.
This is if you are doing video rendering on an industrial scale. For gaming 2x980 is as good as it gets. Get 2 Kingpins if you are really into spending. Many games can even perform worse on 3 GPUs than they would on a single.
Eh, at higher resolutions (4-5k), gaming can benefit from 4-way, for example, a two 295x2 (dual gpu cards) is much better than one, (and quite a bit better than SLI980s). I will agree, that at lower res, <1440p, more than two is nearly worse.
For Quad or even Triple SLI I'd go custom waterloop. If you must do air cooling, the reference cards would be a better choice due to the blower style. For four cards, you MUST go liquid cooling; and the only card that does quad is the 980. Even under ideal conditions, the falloff performance and other issues with SLI and Crossfire the more cards added really aren't worth the extra cash. The absolute most I'd stash in a system would be 3 of an card.
Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler is good for 4-way sli video card.