Board/CPU overheating - nForce?

Here are the specs on the new motherboard/system that I recently put together:

MSI K7N420 PRO DDR nForce 420D Chipset For AMD CPUs

AMD Athlon XP 1700 Processor 1.47GHz (OEM)

AMD Duron/Athlon Socket A CPU Heatsink & Fan


DVD player, TDK CD-RW
NO graphics card (just using on-board one)

I also purchased a case fan:
Innovative, Brushless Fan: 12V, 0.16 A

Here are my problems/questions: First off, the system absolutely flies. One nice feature is the included PC Alert III software that monitors the motherboard and some key aspects of the board, such as temperature, Fan speed, and voltage. One problem for me lies in the temperature category. There are 3 boxes, with alerts set for each of them at certain temps (Farenheit):
CPU: Alert at 130
Other: Alert at 160
Chasis: Alert at 140
These were the default settings, so I didn't touch them. However, the Other temperature is always running above the alert level, usually around 161-167 degrees Farenheit. The CPU temp is always right around the alert level, occasionally crossing it by a couple of degrees. THe Chasis temp is always way below the alert level, usually around 85 degrees. Do I have something to worry about, and if so, what can I do to remedy the problem? I also don't know what this "Other" category for temperature is measuring. I was thinking it might have something to do with the video chip working extra hard, but when I right click on the "Other" box as well as the CPU box to try and see what the alert level temp is, the dialog box says "CPU highest limitation: 140". So it looks like it's taking an average of the CPU temp and this "Other" temp and using that as a measuring stick. Well, any help and/or recommendations would be great. Thanks and sorry for the long post....

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  1. Your athlon shouldn't go much higher than 50 celcius (about 130 f) under full load. Either your hardware monitor is giving you false readings, or the heatsink isn't making full contact with the cpu core. Did you remove the plastic cover on the heatsink pad before installing it, or use a tiny dab of thermal paste? If not, you may want to re-mount your heatsink. You need only a tiny dab of paste in the center of the core. Too much makes a mess. You may also want to upgrade your heatsink. I just switched to a thermalright sk6, and my cpu temps dropped 3-4 degrees. If your system is stable, you can leave it alone until you get a better heatsink. The athlon can run up to 90 celcius, but 70 is as high as I would let it go. Another possibility is you have the heatsink mounted backwards.
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