Re: Thermal Compund
Yes, you should use thermal paste. Especially with newer CPUs like the one you have. As for that particular combination, I would think that would be ok, but you should probably check with the vendor whenever in doubt, would be my suggestion. Air cooling is absolutely necessary at the very least, but is ineffective if:
1. The ribbons are in the way too much. Obviously they can't be totally out of the way, but any unused cables such as a never- or seldom-used CD drive cable could be taken out. But if you do something like that, make sure you update settings in the CMOS settings if necessary, if it was a master, for example.
2. Supposedly if the expansion covers are removed, that will still allow airflow, but according to the Mike Myers text I had in school, he says you should have all unused slots covered to maximize airflow. Some people debate this, by saying they don't ever have a problem with overheating. You can be your own judge on that. Just wanted to say what I had heard.