Ah, the lonely stock cooler. No enthusiast wants the stock cooler, thus the reason you’re reading this, but in order to know what you’re gaining you need a common starting point. The Core i7 920 CPU we are using has yet another incarnation of the tried and true stock Intel design, just bigger. I will say this about the Core i7 stock cooler; it is much quieter than the coolers of the past. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still loud, but it won’t make your ears bleed under full load.
To help those get a feel for the size of the stock cooler I lined up the stock coolers I had — from left to right, stock cooler for Core2 E8200, Core2 Q6600 and the Core i7 920.
The design still uses the push pin retention system, aluminum fins and copper core. The base of the stock cooler is the same size as the base for the Core2 Q6600 cooler, the fins are just bigger. This is most likely why coolers that could handle Core2 CPUs can work with Core i7 with new mounting hardware. This is good; it saves money for those that already have a high end air cooler. That is as long as the manufacturer sells a retro fit kit for LGA1366 socket, and most do. Cooler Master, Noctua, OCZ, Thermalright, Thermaltake, Zahlman, and others have all released some form of LGA1366 bracket. So, if you have a high end air cooler and want to use it on your new Core i7 system then head over to your manufacture’s site and take a look to see what they have. Chances are they have something for you.