In a bit of a dilemma

I know I will get flamed for this, or at the least, receive looks of "WTF", but here it is:

I have a Dell Optiplex 380 Minitower. I decided to turn it into as much of a gaming PC as I can, buying parts one at a time, saving it for later when I get the chance to put it all into a true gaming PC.

So I bought a 750W corsair PSU, a Radeon 6870, and a Q9550 Quad Core LGA 775 that replaced the original Core2Duo E7500. I didn't plan on buy the quad core at first, but a friend sold it at a super cheap price ($90) so I figured it wouldn't hurt.

Now onto the problem. I installed the Corsair PSU and everything ran fine. I then tried to install the 6870 but it didn't fit because the CPU heatsink and back cage was in the way. A little tinkering later and I cut out the metal cage, and took off the plastic cover for the CPU heatsink. The 6870 fits perfectly, albeit it sticks out the back of the PC by about half an inch. With the CPU heatsink plastic cover off, it can't stay on if I put the PC standing up, so I lay it on its side. Everything is still normal, temperature stays in check.

Now the dilemma, I put in the Q9550 and everything works perfectly. Except, it runs way too hot. When I'm gaming, it's constantly in the 90-100C range, sometimes hitting 102-105. Ive been running it for 5-6 hours everyday, with the average temp at 80-90C, for the past 6 months. No problems at all except that the fan case gets rather loud (headphones negate that).
I'm just worried that I'm reducing the lifespan of the CPU and increase the chance for a problem.

There are no 4 pins on the motherboard (supplied by Dell) in order to hold any of the LGA 775 CPU heatsinks/fans. Not to mention there's no 4 or 5 pin connector for the fan.
If I put the Core2Duo back in, the current heatsink will the temps in check but I lose performance going from a quad core to a dual core. If I keep the quad core on, I get performance but risk doing harm to the PC (although no harm have come in the past 6 months of heavy gaming sessions).
I have looked around for a decent fanless heatsink (remember, I have no 4/5 pin connector) and cannot find any that will sit on top of the CPU without the pins to hold them in place (Dell motherboard doesn't have the slots for the pins). I'm also restricted by size as well, so I have to keep it fairly small. There's no heatsink that fits my requirements so I'm not quite sure what to do. Advice?

P.S. I reapplied the thermal paste after installing the Q9550 and it's still at the same temp under load (90-100C).
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  1. Most likely you are going to have a molex connection on the PSU (Power Supply Unit). Now the difference between a 3 pin fan and a 4 pin fan is the ability for the fan to be adjustable. So maybe you would find some success with using something like this to run some additional fans.
  2. Yup, you can use a Molex connector to power your fan. But if I were you, I'd just get a cheap mid-tower case with some better air flow, but also get a newer bigger heatsink for CPU to keep temps down. Stock coolers can get loud when they have to work harder especially with the smaller fan they have.

    Another option is a fan controller to control voltages (and thus speeds) of your fans.
  3. Best answer
    ^^^^ Their both correct. Dells don't really have any value to them gaming wise other than the $10 case (not joking, if your lucky you can actually get a $20 cheap metal case on sale) because it's just a cheap plastic shell. I would say that you can get one of these which could fix your problem. I would recommend investing in a new case.
  4. Awesome, thanks guys. I do have the stock cooler that came with the Q9550, so I'll use that. It does fit, but I'll have to leave the PC on its side still, since there are no slots to screw the heatsink in. Just ordered it the cable. Thanks for all your suggestions.
  5. Best answer selected by Titanic3.
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