Not sure which one you should get but when the fan on my northbridge packed up the Evesham engineer took the whole mobo out and fitted a brand new 277 straight out of the box which uses a heat-sink and not a fan.
No. A heatsink should be adequate in most instances.
Just take a look at the fan/cooling section of somesuch site as overclockers.co.uk, fans are priced around £7 and you'll need thermal paste also plus you'll need to remove all traces of thermal expoxy adhesive used to attach the presently fitted heatsink.
If you can identify a valid need, (overclocking)then go for it. Otherwise, the effort of doing so is entirely your choice.
My temp monitoring program tells me that on average the northbridge via chipset (fitted with heatsink) runs at 32, but fluctuates from 29 to 35 depending on ambient room temperature (depending on the weather) - I'd only fit a fan if I thought system stability was suffering.
Kustom click here have some interesting fans and things for this sort of job. Another is click here and another good place to get such items click here.
I've read guides about doing this - Tom's etc - it's a bit more than just a bit fiddly to do. Ironically, my own system has reported oddly high running temps for the northbridge via chipset, and I am left wondering if the system instability during a particular demnading game i play is related. Having looked at my own heatsink I can confirm it is firmly stuck on to the chip - and I mean 'firm'. A fan would cool it better yes.
The A7N8X-D mobo is rated very highly and raved about. The nvidia nforce 2 chipset is entirely different from my asus A7v333 one, ViaKT333 so perhaps it runs much cooler? I don't know but I strongly suspect it would and that if it is supplied with just a heatsink for chipset cooling, then that will be more than adequate in normal circumstances.
Kustom, given earlier have some great links from products - taking you to detailed instructions from not just manufacturer's own site but more pro reviewers, who've experienced fitting that particular product so worth a look. I can't vouch for the other 2 since I've never used them, though they do a wider range.
PS - the first link, you'll see that specialist products do exist and are required for the job of cooling all sorts of chipsets. You could tackle any potential cooling problems as you say, by adding case fans, exhaust blowers etc. The links given will show you some of what's available...
Whether or not a fan is required depends on the speed / temperature of the Northbridge and the surface area of the heat sink. Very fast boards tend to have either large heatsinks or smaller heatsinks with fans.
My advice would be to stick with whatever the mobo comes with. It ain't worth mucking about and it won't help performance.
These fans often whine like mad.
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