How to modify your heatsink for lower temps.
Better Thermal Interface Material (TIM)
The most common way's to lower your temperatures are to buy better fans or to apply a better Thermal Interface Material (TIM).
The best TIM's are MX-2,OCZ Freeze or IC7 Diamond.
A 5mm "Pea Sized" amount of TIM is recommended for best performance.
There is a guide on how to apply TIM for a HDT style heatsink here.
The best fans for heatsinks are 38mm thick fans such as Delta's, San Ace's or Panaflow's but they can be loud.
Heatsink & CPU Lapping
This can lower your temperatures by 3-10*C (depending on how concave/convex your CPU/HS are to begin with). Lapping works by making the contact area between the CPU and Heatsink as flat as possible.
Here is a guide on how to lap your CPU and Heatsink.
You can find the sandpaper at a local home improvement store or here.
There are videos here on how to lap.
This does void your CPU and Heatsink's warranty
Using A Bolt Through Kit
This can lower your temperatures by 3-7*C. Some CPU Heatsinks use Push-Pins which don't give enough mounting pressure. You can increase the mounting pressure by modding a store bought Bolt Through Kit. This technique works on the Arctic Cooling Pro 7 and OCZ Vendetta 2 Heatsink's. Here is a guide on how to do this. I didn't want to pay $15 for a pre-made kit so I made my own.
What you need are 4 bolts, 8 rubber washers, 4 metal washers and 8 hex nuts.
*will post pictures later*
The Washer Mod
This can lower your temps by 6*C or so. The original mount on the True 120 doesn't apply enough pressure on the CPU. (After lapping you lose pressure too.) By adding a Washer or grommet you increase the pressure on the CPU which lowers the temps. Here is a thread with pictures about it.
This idea would work on any heatsink that doesn't have enough mounting pressure.
This mod can lower your temps by 2*C. This helps by reducing the dead spot of the fan and by directing the air over the fins. Here is some pictures of a Dark Knight with fan shrouds. Here is a guide on how to make fan shrouds.
This would work on any cooler like the Dark Knight or True 120.
Covering Up The Sides
This mod can help lower your temps by 1-7*C. This mod helps by ensuring no air is lost out the side of the heatsink. You could also do it with any type of tape.
This mod can help lower your temps by 2-4*C. It helps by increasing the air flow through out the heatsink. The only thing you need is an extra fan and some fan clips to mount it on your heatsink.
Increased Surface Area
This mod adds little heatsinks to your big heatsink. It helps by increasing the total surface area of your heatsink which help dissipate more heat.
::Sources::~Crimson Mango (The Lapping Guide)
~LaoFX (The Push-Pin to Bolt-Through Guide)
~Marin (The Washer Mod Thread+Picture)
~apt2vanish (The Dark Knight with Fan Shrouds+Lapping Videos)
~born2killU (How to make the fan shrouds)
~Audi (TIM Application)
~Petra's Tech Shop
~adrienspawn (Push+Pull Picture)
~ORCACommander (HDT TIM application Link)
If you have comments or other ideas PM me!
Edited by Angmaar - 5/3/10 at 2:13pm