True enough. I need to be more risky and go for a water cooled system when I upgrade next.
So, it turns out it's probably not a heat issue at all. One of my two GTXs (or both, who knows) just doesn't like to run too high. I did some testing tonight to see what I could run at:
Since I know I can run 626/1053 with the fan on Auto, thought I'd up the core and leave the memory.
Using Futuremark Vantage on High:
Test 1: 702/1053 fan Auto - System froze just a few seconds into Jane Nash.
Test 2: 670/1053 fan Auto - Visual artifacts noticeable in Jane Nash. Quit test.
Test 3: 702/1107 fan 100% - System froze a little farther into Jane Nash than before.
So, at this point I realized it's probably not a heat issue, just a stubborn card that doesn't want to be a hero. Then I set out to find where I can set my fan and not have anomalies:
Test 4: 666/1107 fan Auto - Confirmed visual anomalies again.
Test 5: 666/1107 fan 65% - Test completed with a score of H11945
Weird thing about it, though, is with the fan at 65% my GPUs didn't register a temp above 60C, which says to me that they have no idea what the temperature is, or the auto fan adjust is WAAAY off and it should be scaling a lot sooner.
Either way, I'm happy getting the speed of an EVGA FTW card... I don't want to monster overclock, just get my money's worth. Thanks.