I have a CM Bench (another stupid purchase) where I test my new components before putting into enclosures (sometimes even up to two months): if ambient temp is above 26-28°C and I run FurMark/Prime95, even my Scythe Orochi can't stabilize the CPU temp (not to mention less massive GPU heatsinks).
Just the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks.
I imagine what I'll do then is install the fan rack with a pair of Slip Streams @ 5V or 7V, running constantly, and mount a good PWM fan to whatever CPU heatsink I end up with, having SpeedFan (or perhaps just the BIOS) kick the CPU fan in whenever it reaches a certain temperature threshold. My only concern would be producing significant-enough (and adequately directed) airflow to satisfy the cooling requirements of the GPU, RAM and motherboard components, but that's something I'll just have to roll the dice on if I'm going to stick with the bench case. If it ends up not panning out, I can explore other options.
A GTX430 is not a big improvement on the integrated graphics, for multimedia or light gaming a socket FM1 system with an AMD A-3800 would be very cost efficient. You might need a slow fan for this CPU.
The GT 430 isn't a great performer, no. It is, however, marginally better than the GT2 graphics in the i5, supports 120 Hz refresh rates from its DVI outputs (which the GT2 doesn't, regrettably) and it's — and this is really just a personal preference thing here — not an AMD graphics product, which is something I find incredibly
pleasing (as a current HD 5850 owner).
produce a passively-cooled GTS 450, which is quite a bit faster than the GT 430, but it's currently unavailable in the U.S. and would probably be completely unusable in my situation with its 105W TDP.
I don't have any particular issue with AMD's CPUs, though I do for the most part prefer Intel's offerings right now.