I'm fixing up my dads PC, after finally installing windows 8.1, I decided to check the CPU temps in the bios, and they are pretty high (I'll add an image when I can, but basically the processor is at 57c whilst idle).
The thermal paste on the processor is pretty old (as old as this PC in fact, so around 4-5 years old). The CPU cooler is also pretty ancient, I don't have a model name but it's a Cooler Master, and has some sort of cone attached to it, which is channeling air from outside of the PC (via a vent in the side panel) to the CPU.
Basically all I want to know is whether or not cleaning off the old paste and replacing it with new stuff will make enough of a difference, or whether my dad is going to need a new CPU cooler
Oh and just so you know, the PC is an Advent QC5003 (Intel core 2 quad @ 2.33GHz, intel LGA775 motherboard, 3gb DDR2 RAM, 500gb GreenPower WD HDD)
It would not hurt to give the PC a bit of a touch up. This may require to get in there and get your hands dusty. I mean a new application of thermal paste after 5 years would help 2-3 °C or there about....depending on which Thermal paste you use of course. Also like SchizTech clean out the dust. You may need an air can as well as taking out some components...even your motherboard maybe.
EDIT....The Core 2 Quad CPUs did get hot. I am guessing your using a Q8200 as that is clocked at 2.33GHz. I never used a 45nm Core 2 Quad but my Q6600(65nm) did get hot at stock speed. I dodn't think I ever saw a temp reading below 30°C. got up to 65-70°C in the summer.
I've already dusted the whole thing out, I was basically giving this thing a tune up lol, clear out as much dust as possible (I even removed the cooler and cleared out all of the dust that was in the metal Heatsink), add a new fan, upgrade to 8.1 from Vista etc. I didn't realise that this CPU ran so hot, what's the normal idle temp then?
Also the bios says PROCHOT next to the temp, a little root around google revealed that this means Processor Hot (who knew? )
Ok so I think the bios may be a bit faulty or something, just opened real temp and the temp are 43-34-37-40 which seem fine I may still apply new thermal paste just in case but since my dad would be paying for the paste/cleaning solution (isopropyl alcohol) I'll leave it up to him
One thing to keep in mind when looking at BIOS temps: the power-saving features of the CPU aren't enabled in the BIOS setup utility. It idle in the BIOS, the CPU runs at full clock speed but in the OS it downclocks due to SpeedStep.
At full load in the OS it would probably get a bit warmer than that, though the tasks you describe wouldn't push that CPU to full load at all. If you want to be sure you can monitor temps while running a stress tester like the Intel burn test (which will push the CPU to full tilt for a number of minutes depending on how long it takes the CPU to complete the run).
For the kind of uses you describe though I wouldn't expect it to get much warmer than that BIOS temp