I just completed my first build using the following components:
AMD Phenom II 965 BE
Crucial 1333 MHz DDR3 (2x2 GB)
PowerColor ATi Radeon 5850 PCS+
Samsung Spinpoint F3 (1 TB)
Coolermaster ATCS 840
Lite-On SATA DVD/CD Writer
I wanted an aftermarket cooler, but was running dangerously low on funds, so I decided to try the stock heat sink. I had just enough dough to buy a tube of Arctic Silver 5 at Radio Shack, so I scraped off the thermal adhesive that comes with the AMD cooler, applied AS5 according to the directions on their website, and went ahead with the build.
Went I powered on for the first time, I was surprised how noisy my computer was. Thankfully, it seems the CPU fan is the culprit, and the rest of my system is much, much quieter. The AMD cooler sounds like a drill, and it's no wonder since the fan operates well in excess of 4000 RPM under moderate load. The temperatures seem to be under control, at least.
Sometimes I read people's opinion that unless you're overclocking the stock HSF is fine. They must be deaf! As soon as possible, I'm investing in an aftermarket solution. I am considering the Scythe Mugen 2 rev.B, but I'm debating whether a heat sink with the fan mounted top-down would be better for cooling the surrounding components. I don't plan on overclocking right now, but would appreciate some headroom in case I want to later.
Well, my Mugen 2 arrived yesterday. I've read that the installation can be a pain, but it wasn't that bad. It does practically require two pairs of hands, though.
My temperatures have dropped some ten degrees Celsius, although my ambient temp has been somewhat cooler lately. More importantly, the stock fan ranged from about 2000 to 6000 rpm, while the Scythe fan stays around 450 to 850 rpm. My case fans seem to be producing more noise now, and my hard drive seems more noticeable. At least it doesn't sound like my computer is breaking a sweat every time I fire up a game or do anything processor-intensive.
Interestingly, on Newegg the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ is now priced over fifty dollars, probably due to supply and demand issues. For that price, it seems like a hard sell. From what I understand, it is a decent cooler from a value perspective, but now it's priced to compete with some much better coolers. My favorite website for heatsink comparisons is silentpcreview.com, by the way.
I have some plans for incremental upgrades to my case and fans. I should probably start a new thread, though, if I want advice.