I have read almost all posts i can find about this topic, but there is still a few questions i havnt found an answer to.
1. i have an ATI X800XL with the zalman VF700-CU. I did not remove any of the fins on either the nb zalman cooler or the gfx zalman. The two coolers just touch and the gfx last few fins gets pushed together and touch the nb. is it ok for them to touch?
If you want, you can mod the nb cooler with a pair of pliers (the metal is very soft). Also, while it's off your motherboard, it might worth it to lap the heatsink - my zalman nb cooler was far from flat or smooth. Modding it gave me the perfect fit.
2. How do i know when it gets too hot?? the Asus A8N-E reporsts a motherboard temp of 34 degrees, but im quite sure that sensor is not the nb. when i hold my finger to it, its really warm, cant hold it on for much more than 5-10 secs.
My northbridge is the same way. As a general rule, if you can't hold it for more than 5-10 secs, that's around 70C. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not. Try prime95 and memtest86 to stress the northbridge a bit. If there are any errors, it's too hot.