I'm looking to do some moderate overclocking w a Q6600. I'm just dabbling, so I'm gonna spend something like $1100-1200 on the system (w/o monitor). Clearly for that price, I'll be looking at a mid-to-low range graphics card.
When looking at price tradeoffs, should I:
a) get the best air CPU cooler money can buy, with a cheaper case
b) get a cheap aftermarket CPU cooler, but a better ventilated case
More about :overclocking cooling money case fans cpu cooler
IMO you shouldn't 'cheap' out on anything. A case with excellent colling will prolly run you near 100 dollars or more, while the best cpu coolers can be had for half that. So it all depends on how much money you are willing to spend. If it had to come down to one or the other, get the case with excellent cooling, as this will help keep your entire system running at the best temps. It will also help your Q6600 OC even if you used the stock cooler.
I would disagree with annisman (sorry mate) a good cpu cooler will always be a good investment but cases are just boxes and its easier to modify a case than to change a cpu cooler and the cheaper the case the less it hurts if your mods don't quite go according to plan that and I just feel that cases are becoming way overpriced these days for what they are which is just a box!
Get youreself an Arctic Colling Freezer Pro 7. They are suprisingly cheap, a friend ahs one and I only ever hear good things. Good reviews generally everywhere its reviewed.
For case cooling you dont have to have "the best". Most cases with a few 120mm fans will be more than enough cooling! Antec 900 I believe is generally regared by most as one of the best air cooled cases for its price.
But if you cannot afford that. Have a little look on newegg. Plenty to choose from just make sure it has a few 120mm fans and theres no problem!!