The prices on high quality heat sink fans have come down. I recently converted the old Intel e5200 htpc/server into an “OSX”86 server. It turns out that you can now fill the 4 SATA drive slots with about 12TB of storage now for like $100 (I’m joking, but storage is cheap). Right now it only has a single “green” Seagate 1TB drive, but at least I don’t feel constrained any longer. In theory I could’ve continued running 10.04 Ubuntu and Netatalk, but I figured it was worth trying to get a native AFP server going. Lifehacker had a really easy to follow post and it’s pretty quick now as a 1GigE backup/media server (my original build used “compatible” hardware). Faster than the 4 year old Time Capsule when transferring large files, that’s for sure.
But yeah, Intel’s stock coolers, at least in the LGA 775 chipset models appear to be terrible. The 212+ cooler requires a backplate, so I’ll have to pull the motherboard, but once this thing is installed I should be able to run Handbrake 24 hours a day and hopefully the CPU won’t go above 50C. Currently this thing idles at 57C, as the stock heat sink just doesn’t seem to mount flush.