E7200 temp questions and Fan Setup

I am working on overclocking a e7200 on a Gigabyte P35 Motherboard. I currently have it overclocked to 3ghz---300fsb. I am using an Arctic Cooler 7 heatsink and MX2 paste. I don't know much about oc'ing.

1. I have the motherboard set to auto regulate the voltage. I believe it raises and lowers the voltages accordingly. Should I allow it to do that or control it manually?

2. What is the best way to apply the MX 2 paste? I applied it by putting a small amount on the surface of the CPU and spreading it evenly.

3. The Cpu temps idle around 42C and 60C running OCCT. Should the heatsink and paste be able to keep it lower than that? The case temp reads around 35C.

4. I am using a COOLER MASTER CAC-T05-UW Centurion case. It came with an 80mm fan in the lower front and a 120mm fan in the back. I cut out the back because the 120mm fan wasn't pushing very much air through the stock holes. I have the cpu fan blowing into the 120mm. I have changed the 80mm in the front with a better fan, and I have mounted two fans on the side. Should the side fans be blowing into the case or out? Should I try to mount another fan in the front? The case is a little loud so any ideas on fan management are welcome.

----I know I am asking a lot but I would mainly like to know about the case fan setup and the best way to apply the thermal paste. An answer to any question or any suggestion would be appreciated.----

Thanks for any help or at least taking the time to look. :)
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  1. There's really no "best" way to apply the thermal paste -- the two key things are to avoid having any air bubbles and to have the compound layer as thin as possible. I use the "dab and squish" method.
    I'm not sure how you are measuring the "case temp", but if the internal air temp is more than a few degrees C higher than room temp, you can definitely use improved case airflow. In general, you want mostly fans blowing out; the air will be "sucked" into the case on its own. I'd get rid of the side fans and also the front fan (unless it is directly blowing on hard drives), and think about adding another exahaust fan to the top or back of the case. If you're worried about noise, invest in a quieter exhaust fan that can still move enough air (Arctic Cooling has quiet and affordable fans). You might also consider a temperature-controlled exhaust fan.

    PS - Turn off the "auto" CPU voltage setting; if you're overclocking, such settings often overvolt the CPU too much. Go manual.
  2. The side fans biggest contribution to this scenario is noise, I would remove them given the type of CPU cooler you are using. With this case, you are only going to be able to do so much on the cooling front. I would suggest using a Scythe Slipstream 120mm 1200 rpm fan for exhaust, quiet, high air flow fan. I replaced all the case fans in my P182 with these, and now I have a nice quiet system running with 5x 120mm fans, and my temps have dropped by about 5C. I amcurrently running core temps of 49C with Q6600 @3.2G all four cores running 100%. This is with a room temp of 20C.
    The thermal compound application method is optional, however you should have a very thin even layer applied to the heat spreader of the cpu. I normally use a plastic straight edge, such as an old credit card, to achieve a very thin even layer of compound. Prior to applying it, ensure that the surfaces of the heatspreader and the heatink are clean of any skin oils, etc. Normally the best way to do this is to use a 70-90% alcohol and a coffee filter (no lint) to clean the surfaces. Make sure they are completely dry before applying the thermal compound.
    If noise is a big concern, then I would suggest that the 80mm front intake fan might be replaced with a Scythe Slipstream 80mm, very quiet and efficient, although sometimes difficult to find in some locations.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010110573+50002108&name=Scythe+USA if you are located within the US.
  3. Thanks for replying. Removing the side fans sounds like a must for noise reduction, so I will start with that. If I mount a scythe fan in the front and exchange one for what is in the back now will that increase air flow or at least match what is there now? Can I remove the 80mm in the front if I mount the 120 there or should I just test it out and compare added cooling (if any) to the added noise of it?

    Mondoman suggested getting rid of the front fan, but I can't really mount another exhaust fan on the back unless there is a way to mount it at the card slots. Putting one on top is doable, but I'm worried about scratching the case when I try to dremel it. It always jumps out of the cut once or twice. Ideas there? Or should I even try it?

    Does anyone know about the IHS on this processor? I read on another forum it is suppose to pop off pretty easily, but it seems like it is on there pretty good. I read a guide that said to use a razor blade to pry it off, but I can't even get under it. It scratched the edges of the chip a little, so I quit while I was ahead. If someone could help me understand how much pressure and force is needed (and safe), I'm sure I could do it.

    Thanks again.
  4. Bad idea to take the IHS off. You risk destroying the cpu itself.
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