At what point do I need an aftermarket cooler? (3570K)


Pardon me for asking what are probably stupid questions- I'm a complete newbie at buildling comptuers. I'm currently working on my first gaming desktop, still in the purchasing phase.

I am wondering if I need to add a cooler? I have read that the i5-3570K stock cooler is decent enough for a stock cooler, and the case I've purchased (HAF-922 from Coolermaster) seems to be well suited to keeping the inside cool.

I am running a:
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 MoBo
And I'm still deciding on a GPU (trying to pick one from 7850/7870/660/660 Ti)
Inside the aforementioned HAF-922

I am planning on OC'ing slowly, I will probably start around 3.8 and move up to 4.0, and increase as I need it down the road.

My first question is will the stock fan be sufficient in that setup?

Second, as I increase the OC, at what temperature should I be worried and definitely buy an AM cooler?

Third (and this may be a very stupid question), is running without the side panels on the HAF-922 a terrible idea? I realize more dust can get in, but the sides are vented already. My tower will be sitting near a fan that has an air filter in it (I have allergies), so I can actually set it up so that it moves air through the case from the sides. It seems like this would provide a lot of extra cooling, so does that outweigh the problem of potential extra dust? Also, noise isn't really a factor, as I game with headphones on.

I'm not necessarily trying to take the "cheap" way out, as I know that good coolers are only ~$40, but at the same time if they aren't necessary, that's also about the price difference in upgrading from a 7850 to a 660Ti, so I want to put it where it's most beneficial.

Thanks All!
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More about point aftermarket cooler 3570k
  1. Only get the aftermarket cooler if you plan to overclock, which you do. The stock fan should be able to keep it cool enough up to 4.0 Ghz. I like keeping my CPU under 70C. As long as you don't go over 100C you'll be fine.
  2. Might as well get a good aftermarket cooler so you don't have to worry about it, rather than hoping for the best while you start to push your system.
    For air cooled go with a Noctua NH D14 or CM 212EVO, both are very good. I'd recommend a closed loop system from Antec, Corsair or Thermaltake. My pick would be H2O 920 from Antec.

    If your thinking about running without side panels, you should reconsider a different case. Is your house child and pet free? Is it very clean? If not, you need the side panels.

    If so, check this bad boy out:
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