Well I just installed a new heatsink, against my better judgment I've been running for about a year on a tiny little heatsink for a 80-90w CPU I had laying around when my liquid cooler died. The immediate results of installing it are fantastic. I had a small army of fans, internal and external, blowing on my system to keep it cool but with my new heatsink installed I'm down to just the one and its not even trying that hard rite now. I've had problems with my system getting to warm to do anything regardless of ambient temps but now things are cool enough that I can crank up the voltage and clock speed of my CPU back up to where it should be and not worry about cooking the most important part of my system.
I'm not to happy with the configuration of the heat sink because my Motherboard is really awkward in my case. I think of the 3-5 heat sinks I've had installed in this case maybe 1-2 where venting in the rite direction, i.e. out the back exhaust fan. Pretty much my fan is currently drawing air from up against the partition above my power supply and venting everything towards my video card. I'll come up with a way to work around that shortly so it doesn't run the risk of over heating my GPU during gaming or rendering when such a time comes around.
The options of orientation of the heatsink where much better for Intel socket types because the mounting plate is symmetrical in two axis however for AMD users the configuration of the screw holes prevents using the easy install plugs that would allow me to aim the exhaust of the small tower out the back of my case. I suppose its better than nothing because its doing a much better job by its self than 3-4 fans did in its absence. I had the CPU DC fan and a stacked fan of similar size on top of it with a fan controller plus a window fan outside my case blowing out any build up by keeping ambient air circulating, it was a high pressure vortex in my case. With the air pressure what it was before it was a wonder anything cooled off at all but it was effective enough to keep my CPU or Mobo from starting a weenie roast in my case. Now I see that it was all just a wonderful waste of time if I'd only been prepared enough before hand and gotten a heatsink that actually was designed to do the job of my jerry rigged solution to the problem.
I was a bit leery of changing out the heat sink in the first place because the history my CPU has had with the game of heatsink musical chairs I've played over the years. Prior to my liquid cooler I changed out the heatsinke with my room mate and bent a number of pins. When the liquid cooler died I discovered that my room mate (who installed it for me) slathered on to much thermal past to be efficient so I over taxed it and in the end killed it [the liquid cooler]. Further more when I pulled out the CPU to clean off the old gook I noticed that some of my pins have burn marks on them from repeated shorts in the bent pin territory.
While its working just fine now I had/have some very realistic fears that its not going to hold up to much longer. Hopefully it won't just start throwing errors out at me in spite of its user and give up the ghost to soon but we'll see. I haven't been to good to it over the years but at least its in better shape than its been for the recent past few months.
Update complete its time for me to go to work, I just got over a stomach bug that put me down for almost a week and now I have to live threw a 9 hour shift on a sabotaged sleep schedule. I came home yesterday and tried to take a nap which turned into me falling into a coma for 10 hours. I woke up this morning (?) at 11:30pm last night and I have to be to work at 6am (of which I'm leery I'll actually make on time but I digress)