The CPU temperature seems to have dropped by 9degC, whilst the performance (12Gb video encode using Expression Encoder) is within a margin of error the same. The Q9300 is 4% faster. I think there might be something else at play as the benchmark results from xbitlabs seems to show 11% or so improvement.
Installation: 10 minutes; and 6 minutes of this was spent chasing screws around before I relented and grabbed a magnetised screw driver. The Zalman fan makes CPU replacement a little more difficult.
I expected that the General would have dust throughout. None. The first rear fanâ€™s filter has grabbed the dust bunnies and holds them steady. w00t!
The strategy is to overclock the new Q9300 a little; with a lower temperature starting point itâ€™s all upside from here!