My cpu is at 30% at best when both cards are at 100%, I'm not sure how adding an external video card to drive a 4th display would put the video cards at greater risk. They're made to be worked, why get a high end video card if you don't use it, and why have the SLI option if it fries cards?
I don't know if I'd call it NSA spec'd super computer, it's a simple intel i7 950 with 12gb ram and dual gtx 580's in SLI, output to 3 28" 1920x1200 monitors.
However since my case is a microatx case with microatx board, i don't have space to add another video card internally, so I was looking to drive a 4th monitor with a usb card, however I've read a lot of mixed reviews, so I was hoping to hear from someone who had tried it.
hey bud. sounds to me like your just straight up overheating. try undervolting your videocard and cpu as low as you can while not reducing performance too greatly. It will decrease your heat, but also your power bill. not by much, but it helps.
Also. i know it's nice to have a super tiny, super computer. but alas, when it comes to cooling, bigger is always going to be better in my opinion.... (and science's i think too.) ;)
with a bigger case, you can load in more fans or even liquid cooling if you don't have that. also, a bigger case will allow for heat to dissipate further from the main components that your trying to cool, before leaving the case itself. board size doesnt matter for cooling as far as i see it though. it's not your board that gets hot, but you probably knew that.
get a better cooling fan if you cannot upgrade the casing. if that cannot be done either, due to size restraints. try dremel tooling a new slot for a auxillary fan to increase airflow. and other than that, make sure to re apply cooling past to the underside of your heatsinks every year or so. i find it help tons.
oh.... and get rid of any dust buildup. dust is the devil.
edit- from looking at the photo supplied of your game running. i would also like to add, to decreasing any anti aliasing and other graphical extra's until you find a "happy place" in your temp range. then work up from there. I know it's nice to be able to play games at highest graphics capable, but just because it CAN run it at Max, doesn't mean it should be run at Max. I could speculate more, but anything i say isn't going to be truly helpful till i can see more detailed specs as to what your running. and even background programs in some cases. Fraps for example, while being used to figure out FPS of a game, also slows stuff down, and i found contributed to a heating issue in my gpu a few years back. got rid of Fraps and the issue practically dissapeared.) Edited, Sep 5th 2013 10:00am by YggdrasilSlepnir