If you are looking into getting a new cooler then I suggest a Zalman VF1000, they aren't cheap but I wouldn't recommend a cooler that I haven't first tried and used my self on my own nickle and dime. You can also dismount the cooler and remove then fan then re-grease/oil the bearings on the fan that may go very far as to improving the condition of the fan.
Well the one that you linked still has 4 screws on the back but the one that newegg used to take snaps of has stripped screws and from reading your posts it seams as though they may as well be stripped. You can still do a few tricks to get the cooler off. Do you have any pliers?
Yeah - I guess I can use the pliers to unscrew them. I disconnected the fan and the thing actually runs at exactly the same temps. How screwy is that? I am running it at stock speeds and not really a hard core gamer, so I guess I am not pushing it very hard. It's running at 61C under a standard web gaming situation and only gets to 70C running Civ 5, Combat Arms and MLB 2k10, which are the game I play.
Is it possible the stock fan is that inefficient???
Yes very if the card is working passively without it but I would try to put a fan near the rest of the card to keep the vram and power vrm from failing. The core may be stable and cool but the same can't be said about the rest of the card for the long term. A slow running 80mm or larger fan would suffice.
I've got an Antec 900 case, so the 2 stock fans are pulling air out of the case. I just ordered a pair of Sythce Gentle Typhoons (120mm running at 1450 rpm and 20dB) to pus air into the case. One will blow directly onto the video card. Think that will do it? Or should I be looking at something else?
That will be good but make sure that nothing it getting to hot during use even if you had to pat the card down with the back of your hand. The reason is to make sure that there isn't any thing that can be a problem later down the road but beyond that I think that you are ok.