My 470's load temps drop nearly 20C by taking the side off.
BTW guys, I just installed Crysis (the original) and set everything to Very High, at 1920x1200, with vysnc on... and...
Wow... its actually playable!
I figured it'd be better than my 260, but not this good. I even turned on 4x AA and it was still playable. Of course, Crysis is one of those games that seems to be alright at 30fps for me, where as I prefer most games to be over 50... but still. I set Shaders to High and gained another 10-20fps. Its buttery smooth (40-60fps) at 1920x1200 with 4xAA and everything set to Very High except for Shaders. I'm quite impressed with this! It ran at 40fps through the intro. I remember that being a total slide show (less than 10fps) at max settings at 1600x1200 on my 8800GTX when I first played the game.
Upon exiting the game, I checked my GPU core temp and it was 81C (with the side still off). I think with a case that actually circulates air properly, this could be better.
Of course, I don't play Crysis all the time... but I am happy with this. The card that finally "brings down the giant" and makes Crysis playable with all settings maxed has come sooner than I thought, and it wasn't even that
So, with this, I'll hang onto the card. I'll keep playing games to see how it works with other titles, but I think it'll be alright. I knew that BFBC2 would be a weak spot for this card, I was just disappointed because I only had two games installed and neither of them impressed me.
I really wanted to be able to play Cryostasis with high frame rates with all settings maxed and lots of wonderful Physx effects, but I guess I'll just have to chalk this one up to a poorly optimized game engine. There's no reason it should be tanking into the 20s with so little going on. I'll just lower some settings and enjoy the game one way or another.
Hopefully STALKER: Call of Pripyat runs well. I just bought it at walmart for a measly $19 (possibly a pricing error) but I haven't installed it yet. I never played Clear Sky but I think I'd rather just play CoP first since the reviews have been much more favorable.
Anyways, I may have to consider getting a new case. I don't want to spend a bunch of money, but I want something solid with good ventilation (primarily for the GPU). If it was relatively quiet as well that'd be very nice.