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It's not really necessary unless you want to overclock.
I don't know about that. The first generation 8800GTX video cards with stock cooler idle at 60-65C. To me that is just ludicrous. Under load though, they only jump up to about 85C with a manufacturer max limit of 125C!
Being an old timer, I have never had a GPU idle so high. So, I for one am looking into 3rd party cooling.
Just build a new rig, 8800gts and it idles at 55-57 which I think is fine for a Graphics card. I think most cards should be fine with stock cooling, however some people just feel uneasy with these temperatures :P. You may feel better knowing your card runs cooler but for me personally I don't think it's worth the extra money.
Graphics cards tend to run hotter than CPU's these days. So idling at 50 or even 60C is quite normal. If it doesn't run properly with stock cooling at stock speeds, I'd be more concerned with a defective card. Why pay more when it runs fine?
Biggest change w/ a GPU cooler (3rd party) is being able to get a couple more frames through overclocking and reducing noise level/temperature. Zalman makes several excellent coolers if you need any. Hope that helps. :)
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