This is my first build:
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC
Antec earthwatts EA500
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
BFG Tech GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB
Western Digital Caviar SE 250GB
SAMSUNG Black 20X DVD+R
Windows Vista Home Basic 32 bit (OEM)
I just got done overclocking the video card:
70% fan speed
Core: 802 mhz
Shader: 1966 mhz
Memory: 972 mhz
The card now runs ~20C cooler than it did stock (was 67C idle, 78C loaded).
Before OCing the Q6600, I ran coretemp and hwmonitor, and they both show my cores to be 54, 52, 54, 51 C at idle. When I ran Prime95, the cores were at ~65C loaded.
I used Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. I DID NOT use sandpaper on either the HSF or CPU surfaces. It sounds like I can drop 10C doing this, but it seems like my cores are hotter than they should be.
My room is ~70F. None of the case vents are blocked....
I know everyone seems to love the freezer pro 7... but it really doesn't look like it will give you massive cooling. I myself have the Thermalright IFX-14... and I don't think I have ever seen the machine get much past about 40-45 C (at stock speed... can't OC... sigh!)... doing things like video encoding, rendering, and the like. I do play games but nothing cutting edge (AoE3 Asians probably current higest demand game I play)
The main thing I like is the fact it should really last for 10 - 20 years... assuming don't change the mounting brackets. No moving parts... and takes nothing to replace the fan. That was one of the two reasons I bought it... the other was because it was tops in the cooler lists here on toms... outside of water (which I am not brave enough to even look at).
It is a bit of a pain to install if you follow their directions... but it really is not so bad. Plus, if don't have the room for the IF-10 don't need to put it on.