First time overclocking ! (amd 5000+/8600gt)

I'm writing as I'm testing. My specs- Asus M2N-sli, a delux or something edition, 1 gb of ddr2 800 ram, amd athlon X2 5000+, 8600 gt, 650 w no-name PSU.

I'm new to OC, but I think I did a fairly good job OC'ing my cpu and gpu. I used a stock HSF on my cpu, but I put a cpu fan over the heatsink of the gpu. The gpu (8600gt), was originally intended to be a "silent" card.
The gpu's core is running at 680, the memory ar 2*853. I am running linux, so I used the nvidia-settings with coolbits enabled. There was no option to clock the shaders, should there be any ? I started with autodetecting the optimal clocks, then I lowered them a bit. Now, the card idles @ 48 C. While playing nfs:ps with wine (at 1024 * 768) during a race it hits 56-60. When showcasing a car or just browsing through the garage it can hit up to 66, which imho is weird. While I ran unigine tropics benchmark, around half through it, the system froze to a standstill for a few seconds, then, it ran fine for 3 seconds, then the whole screen was filled with artifacts, even though I ran the benchmark windowed. Restarted and clocked the memory to 800, about 100 hz slower than the "Auto Detect" suggested. And again, a massive slowdown, 3 secs of "life", and then artifacts. It never ran past 63 C. Ran tests with stock speeds, a 5 fps drop, but it worked, phew, haven't screwed the memory. AFAIK, the only difference between a 8600gt and a 8600gts is that the gt models don't have any cooling system for the video memory. This is weird, because I ran the tests when OC'd yesterday, and they ran fine. I don't remember the clock speeds though, and it was unigine sanctuary, running at a higher resolution, but it ran fine.
My stable tropics run results and settings:
Binary: Linux 32bit GCC 4.3.3 Release May 26 2009
Operating system: Linux 2.6.31-14-generic i686
CPU model: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5000+
CPU flags: 3003MHz MMX+ 3DNow!+ SSE SSE2 SSE3 HTT
GPU model: GeForce 8600 GT PCI Express 185.18.36 512Mb
Render: opengl
Mode: 1024x768 windowed
Shaders: high
Textures: high
Filter: trilinear
Occlusion: disabled
Reflection: enabled
Refraction: enabled
Volumetric: enabled

That's enough about gpu. The cpu is a 5000+ non BE, stock speed is 2,6 ghz. My goal was 3,0. I set everything but the ref speed on auto and just increased it by 5 to 10 clocks at a time till I hit 231, and I achieved my goal. I think the vcore is running at 1,35v. I am using the stock cooler, replaced the thermal grease with zalman "Super-thermalk grease"(the best I could find in the shop :D ), the idle temps are 31 C, while running the Unigine benchmark- 47. I managed to get the temps as high as 50 while running nfs:ps and burnP6 at the same time. Running stress -cpu 32 made it heat up to 49. I am planning on getting a better cooler once I get enough money.

So, my questions are:
1) Are these temperatures stable ?
2) Is a new cooler a nececity ?
3) Should I try and find a OC on my 8600gt ?
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  1. Yes to the first two, no to the third! Worry when things go above 70C, get more cooling to keep those temps low and increase stability. No, try to save for a better GPU instead.
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