Well, similar to a lot of other people's questions about temps. I'm just confused about it.
I have a gaming rig built in 2011, my CPU is the i7-950 3.06, it's fantastic, never had a problem with it. Running (2) AMD HD 5870s in Crossfire, massive HAF X case, 5 case fans, massive amounts of air flow and air movement. Video cards set to fast fan profiles to keep those cool.
Been running the i7 for three years with nothing but stock cooling, and also this ASUS auxiliary fan mounted on the motherboard: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/121135571217?lpid=82 It sits perpendicular right next to the processor stock fan, and moves more air across both the motherboard and CPU.
My CPU idles in the high 30s to mid 40s. Online and doing other normal activities it goes to low 50s. Under more serious load when gaming it ranges from the low 60s up into the high 60s and can hit low 70s when playing WOW, Empire Total War, Lord of the Rings Online, etc. Just recently I started playing the beta for Elder Scrolls Online, and that keeps the processor right around the 69-70 c. mark.
My question is, what is too hot for a processor of this kind? I've never had a single problem in three years running it, and it stays up in the high 60s for hours at a time when gaming. Is high 60s c. too hot for an Intel? Is it a question of it shortening its life as opposed to keeping it cooler with aftermarket cooling? Is it a matter of it lasting 3 years running hotter vs. 5 years running cooler?
Intel is usually a little conservative on that though, but cooler is always better, and an aftermarket cooler is always a good choice.
You can also try applying new thermal grease, if the grease was cheap or dried out or put on poorly, then cleaning and applying new paste might be a cheap way to shave a couple C off the temps.
I just blew out my entire case and cpu heatsink/fan with a small wet/dry vac a few days ago, as I was installing a new video card. I noticed a huge reduction in cpu temperatures after blowing all of the dust off of the cpu heatsink fins. Before I cleaned it, the fins were almost completely blocked by dust which prevented proper airflow from flowing over the heatsink. I recommend buying a small wet/dry vac from lowes or home depot for around $20 which has a reversable hose on it. On one side of the vacuum it will suck up old dust. Switch it to the other side of the vacuum and it will blow out high pressure air to displace all of the dust caught in your system. Give this a shot and let us know how it works out ( check before and after temps).