I just re-installed Windows 7 on my computer. Before doing this, I was always under 70% CPU usage no matter what I did. Typically, it stayed under 50% easily. Now, with 55 processes running, my CPU is staying at now LOWER than 50% usage. My questions are these:
What processes can I turn off and still run everything with no problem?
Is it safe to OC this processor without having extreme cooling? (I have 2 fans in, 2 fans out, and stock processor cooling)
What else can I be doing to increase the efficiency/performance of my CPU?
Is there a concern with the CPU usage? I'm not following... Bottom line is having a lower CPU usage isn't a necessary goal. Having low usage just for the sake of it will not mean anything. Still, in order to help you understand what you can turn off/disable, you'll have to tell us what is running.
As for the OC question, you can OC w/o aftermarket cooling, but don't expect to OC too far. With OC-ing comes heat. The stock cooler isn't designed to move enough air to be productive with the higher temps associated with OC-ing.
If you know the specs of your case fans, compare them to the fans available at Newegg or FrozenCPU .
Providing the best-needed environment for your system will help you increase the efficiency. Ensuring you manually configure your BIOS settings will help you increase the performance of your system.