So I'm building up a new ivy bridge build and my mobo can support up to 2600MHz RAM. It's only $50 extra dollars for these sets vs DDR3 1600 so why not, even if it has very little real world performance boost. Am curious what the actual difference is between these though, or if I would have any issues with a cooler such as Noctua DH-14 or Coolermaster 212+ / Evo
The difference is in the chips. The extreme performance Trident X series will perform tremendously over the standard RipJaws DDR3-1600. You're talking 1000MHz (effective) between the two, so that's quite a difference.
No issues with CPU coolers. For the Trident X, you can remove the fins and they will fit like normal memory.