Have an old HP xw4600 workstation, Core 2 Duo 3 GHz, putting in a Q9300 instead. Stock CPU and cooler it gets something like 20C idle, 50C under load (Prime95, SpeedFan). A Q6600 in another non-brand machine is 30C/60C. Plopping in the Q9300 in the HP gets me an idle of about 50 or 60C, max of 80C.
Decided on getting an aftermarket cooler. The mobo has a screw bracket already in place and I'm too lazy to rip out the entire mobo to let plastic standoffs work. I got me a Zalman CNPS9500AT but now I've discovered that not only are the screws the wrong thread, but the bracket, when screwed down, is hitting capacitors and voltage regulators and not actually making contact with the mobo.
Time to hit the hardware store to 1) get the same thread as OEM cooler (same as what holds the faceplates on light switches or electrical outlets, actually), 2) get longer screws (I have said screws and they are too short), and 3) get spacers or washers or something so the bracket can be attached to the mobo and not be crushing on the components on the mobo. I only hope the springy piece that holds the heatsink to the bracket and CPU has enough spring in it to keep good contact even after I raise the bracket from the mobo/CPU 1/8" of an inch or so.
And really hoping this solves my temp issue, too. Have some Xeon coolers plus the one that came with the retail Q9300 but they all use plastic standoffs and that would entail ripping out the mobo to remove the retaining bracket on the back of the CPU socket. Blah.
Not really a problem that I am looking for advice on, I just wanted to whine a little. I picked up the Zalman at a local Micro Center because it was available (along with 50 other brands/types), it fit LGA775, and it was purty. I wonder if I made a mistake on this due to the bracket and I should just return it and try something else. Gah. I dork around with CPUs so rarely, no real good concept on applying thermal grease or what's even good. I tried looking at heat conductivity as a metric but not everyone quotes that. Just punted and got some Arctic MX-4, hopefully that's quality goop.
Oh, and the OEM heatsink, HP part 460285-001, part of the CPU/heatsink kit KD174AV for HP's Q9300 offering, looks identical to the heatsink I already have. Makes me wonder if they naturally run hot or if I just suck in applying thermal grease.