Thanks for answering. Yeah, so I used the small pea size dot in the middle of your CPU method to apply the thermal paste. I also reseated the heatsink about three times over the past week (while cleaning and reapplying the thermal paste) and I have been getting similar temperatures. One thing that I noticed was that some of the paste had spread into the cpu socket crevices on the motherboard. I was able to get to most of it with a q-tip and alcohol but a very small amount did remain that I couldn't get to without lifting the metal CPU socket plate. I assumed it wouldn't affect things to much. Was I wrong?