After seemingly endless fan configuration changes in my new case, and , believe me, I changed just about everything possible-number, location, blowing in/blowing out, I had hit a brick wall concerning my chip temp.
Basically nothing made much of a difference.
Using a Zalman 7000cu Flower heatsink with a 92mm fan, my temps stayed very consistent at 40-42 degrees C.
The good news was that the temp variation between idle and load was minimal-approx. 2 degrees.
The bad news was that I couldn't get any lower.
While trying to straighten out my workbench, I happened upon my original OEM AMD heatsink.
Not terribly sexy, just a aluminum sink, not too many fins, a dinky 60mm fan, I had discarded this piece when I got my new motherboard as not being "good enough" for my new , cool setup.
I also just happened to have a 60 to 80mm fan adaptor laying about and several unused fans.
Hmmmm, I said.
It's now installed and the first run of burn-in/ stability tests are over.
These results are very preliminary...I understand that Arctic Silver thermal paste takes some time to set up and reach it's optimum results, but....
The AMD actually works better than the high dollar Zalman.
So far, by two degrees.
I will need to run much longer and monitor the results over a period of time, but I feel very safe in saying that even if it isn't substantially better, the stock AMD HS with a 80mm fan is at least as good as the aftermarket Zalman.
I am surprised ( and somewhat dismayed ).
Until I have more test results to verify my initial findings I hestitate to make a steadfast assertion in this matter, but for all of you thinking of a new HSF combo, right now my experience is that the AMD is not a shoddy performer at all, and it's hard to beat the price.
I was rereading several reviews last night and I was struck by the fact that many of the sites that review HSFs do so by artificial test methods. They use a regulated heat source ( which must give them very repeatable test parameters) and the set up is not in a case.
I thought that I had done my homework prior to buying the Zalman, it was getting great reviews and was supposedly very quiet.
My real world results were different.
My Asus board has a featured they call SmartFan which theoretically varies the fan speed in accordace to temp loads.
With the Zalman I can't really say that it ever slowed below 2500rpm. With it's 92mm fan this made the Zalman , while not obnoxious, not exactly quiet, either.
If I disconnected the fan from the board and hooked to a 5v power lead the noise went away, but the temps jumped almost to 50 degC.
I haven't tried this with the new setup yet.
The noise level seems to be about the same, it's hard to really tell cause the pitch is somewhat different.
I also have two other brands of fan that I can try.
I can't say about Intel heatsinks, but I would advise you to think twice before you chuck your AMD unit for something cooler looking and certainly more expensive.
You may be disappointed.