Well, if you are gaming at 1080p, Ultra in most games won't be a problem. Got the best reasonable Cpu for gaming, and one of the best video cards out right now. The 280x is the equivalent to the 7970, and it has a base clock of 1ghz, so it's about as good as a baseline 7970 ghz edition.
I've been looking around at thermal compound application and idk what would work the best. what way would u suggest?
First of all, use the paste that comes with the cooler.
Simply apply a small dot (about the size of a pea) to the center of the CPU, then stick the cooler on top and strap it down. NO smearing, NOT lines, NO weird shapes, NO spreading. This ALL creates air bubbles with ruin your temps.