An unusual question I know. But I decided its time to put to rest if stock coolers are really THAT bad still. After modding my stock cooler some more (yes I know I shouldnt of wasted my time and just fitted the VF900) and running 3dmark05 the core heated to 63c with room temps of 27c. I've really pushed the stock cooler just because its worth knowing how manufacturers are recieving critisism of stock coolers being so poor and in a lot of cases leading to premature death even when operating at stock frequencies. Its safe to say that manufacturers have gotten better. But, and its a big one, manufacturers still feel the urge to produce these fairly respectable stock coolers and finish the base with the most piss poor finish humanly possible they can achive. To add insult to injury manufacturers also use extremely poor thermal compounds. I'm not even talking sillicon crap here either. Its all too often I take stock coolers off and find whats supposed to be thermal compound, that in all essence, is little more than hard wax on the core and spongy thermal pads for the memory. Terrible. Is asking for some standard sillicon compound to be used really asking so much? No. Its also worth noting that manufacturers should add aluminium or copper memory inserts on their HS, doing away with those spongy thermal pads is essential in ensuring memory does not overheat. I'm sure switching to sillicon compound and some aluminium inserts would not cost a manufacturer much more, and when a consumer pays £200-300+ for a top of the range product or close to it, expecting a little quality from the stock HS is NOT too much to ask. So to summarise: + Stock coolers have improved - Extremely poor excuses for thermal materials used - Undescribably poor base finishes, especially on these stock so-called "bling" coolers - Severe lack of copper or aluminium BGA sink inserts, instead reverting to spongy, near useless, thermal pads. Well there is the analysis. So whats \ was your stock cooler like? primarily on cards such as X800\X850\X1k series\6800 series\7800\7900 series.