Here's one thing you don't want to do: Run the processor without any heat sink. A friend was telling me today about how he was upgrading a machine at home recently, had the case open, machine half upgraded, etc., and found out that he needed to update the BIOS before he could install the next device. He figured "well, this will be quick, so it shouldn't be a big deal to run the proc for a couple seconds without the heat sink, right?".
Within one second of powering up the machine, the processor and motherboard were both completely shot, useless, dead. Just like that, a few hundred bucks, gone.
I'm just throwing that out there as an interesting anecdote, not because anyone had suggested doing away with the heatsink altogether, but just to emphasize what an important role the heatsink plays. Without that big hunk o' metal getting all cozy with your proc, the proc is basically just a big insulator, and it will fry like bacon within milliseconds.