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The absolute BEST CPU cooling is...?

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Jun 27, 2001
I've got about $100 at the most to spend on a non-modification type of cooling (I'm not very good with tools) so tell me which kinda of cooling is the best for Socket A (Thunderbird) that I can use to drop temperatures. I'm not too fond of water cooling, so I guess I should ask this...what's the best HSF? Also, is it better to have a super-heat-conductive pad or thermal paste, and which kind for that?
My guess would be the Glaciator and Arctic Silver thermal paste. I could be wrong, but it's been a while since I've looked at air-cooling solutions. If you want to seriously overclock that Tbird, then I suggest you start saving for water cooling because that chip will get HOT!
Just like in real life, anything "on a pad" is hard to live with.
Seriously, never use a pad when you have access to thermal grease.
For a non-modded setup, I think you will have to look far and wide to beat the ThermalRight SK-6 at high wattages.
Good case ventilation is just as important.

I just finished testing one of the new Millenium Glaciators. I used it on a Celeron 600 (@ 1008 ) mounted on a slocket. Compared it against an Alpha PEP66T, using a Delta 38cfm 60x60x25mm "hair drier" I posted some test results in my thread "Noisy Delta 38 cure" here in the "Cooling" topic.

As to your other question, thermal paste is the way to go, and the best stuff you can get, hands down, is Arctic Silver thermal compound. There's three versions of this now, A.S. 1st version, small contact area (good for intel Coppermines, etc...small contact areas), A.S. 1st version, large contact area (good for stuff like PPGA Celerons, Northbridge "greenies", sinks on the GPU of your vid card, etc), and now there's A.S. II, which can be used on either small or large contact areas.

Mr B
Thanks for the information so far. As it is, I'm running a Thermal Take mini copper orb (I didnt know how lame it is when I bought, I swear to God!) and some normal thermal grease. The guy who built my computer was talking to my dad at work (They work for the same company) and was talking about something called a pelter (?...this is how my dad explained it) that dramatically lowered CPU temp and went inbetween the HSF and the CPU, so I assume it must be a pad, but theres nothing that beats good ol' Arctic Silver it sounds like so I'll get some of that. And I'm not too favorous of putting water in my computer, I just dont have the guts to risk it.

As far as case cooling goes, I havent found much about that because I leave the case off, but I have used the same setup for an Athlon 900 and it ran pretty cool (Motherboard was usually 70F, CPU stayed at 90F =D(Massive heat sink, good thermal paste, and powerful dual fans on the heatsink for the CPU)) so I am pretty sure it should work well for this thing. There dont seem to be any air voids near the CPU so fans would probably get good air.
An adequately sized peltier for an AMD CPU will overwhelm an air-cooled heatsink. I've tried it with my MC-462A and for all the energy needed to run it, the temp, at load, was only 6 or 7C cooler than without the peltier. Water cooling is where they really shine.