Hello, I have a few questions about cpu cooling

So I want to push my Q9650 to higher limits, as in over 3.4 ghz. However I'm not sure what safe temperatures and if my current heatsink is good enough to get more out of the cpu without damaging it.

RIght now this is my current heat sink

When I use intel burn test, my stress temps ran at about 66c for all 4 cores. At that point I stopped it.

Was looking online and read from more than one source that going higher than this is not a good idea.

So I'm not sure if I should overclock this past 3.4ghz or buy a new heatsink.

I was looking at this heatsink because a friend of mine recommended it but I'm just not sure if its going to be a dramatic improvement.

So I could use some other opinions. I'm looking to overclock this thing to at least 3.8ghz or 4.0ghz. But I need a heat sink that isn't going to screw me over and I don't think my current one can handle anything over 3.4.

Need some pro advice// heatsink suggestions
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  1. The Zalman does cool well.

    The H70 seems good also but for serious cooling power look at Noctua DH14, Thermalright Silver Arrow and Venomous X.
  2. The Zalman 9500/9700/9900 series, though neat looking, are by today's standards mediocre coolers - especially considering their relatively high cost.

    Whatever you choose, do not exceed 70 C load temps and 1.45 volts core voltage.
  3. I question the 'need' for a new heatsink...99% of overclocking problems are due to either incorrect settings in the BIOS, or simply the limitation of the hardware. Remember, it isn't simply the CPU that is being stressed here...the motherboard, RAM and PSU are all part of overclocking. Any single component could cause you to fall short of your desired clock speeds. With your issues of 3.4 ghz and the temps you are seeing, i'm betting its due to incorrect voltage settings and/or poor case air flow causing the heat issue.

    Simple test: take the side panel off your case, blow a house fan on high into your case...re-run your benchmarks, etc. If your temps go down, you have a case air flow issue. If your temps remain the same, you have issues with the BIOS settings and maybe inadequate cooling. However...if you have that high of an air volume in your case (during this test) and still have high temps...and still struggling with OC'ing...I'd say your BIOS settings were suspect.

    What components are in your build? PSU, motherboard, RAM, case, etc.?

    H70 is ok, but performs as well as high-end air coolers costing $30-$40 less. It requires fans in push/pull and high CFM due to high FPI (fins per inch) spacing on the radiator. That = loud.

    What is your budget? That will be the biggest factor in deciding...

    Edit: +1 to jsc...Zalman coolers are sub-standard compared to most coolers. http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
  4. ^+1... i attribute case air flow as one aspect which most people overlook... If you are overclocking by the book (if there is any LOL!!!) then its presumed voltages are correctly applied...

    But seriously for the OC level you are looking i would suggest you invest in a decent cooler... for your Q9650 i wouldn't recommend more than Hyper 212+... if you are willing to shell more then go for the best of the lot what beanoslim suggested... makes you covered for upgrades later...
  5. Its an antec 1200. Trust me its not bad air flow. I just don't think this heatsink is good enough to achieve anything over 3.4
  6. There you go then, set your budget and invest in some quality cooling.

    The Hyper 212+ is probably the best budget cooler going but not the quietest.

    I read some reviews where the Ven X outperformed it by 8C and the Noctua and Arrows even more, they are also quieter, you gets what you pay for. :D
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