Help resolving high CPU temps! Zalman CNPS7000, x2 4400+

i built a socket 939 pc a couple of years ago with an a64 3200+ winchester cooled with a Zalman CNPS700B-Cu. the 3200+ always ran hotter than i thought it should, since i'd read that it was a pretty cool core and that the Zalman cooler was pretty efficient at removing heat. i'd say that core averaged in the low 40s without load and got up to around 50C with load, modestly OC'ed to 2.2ghz from the stock 2.0. this is a good bit hotter than others seem to have done with the same chip.

my problem recently became more severe, however, when i upgraded to an x2 4400+. just after i installed it, this chip idled at around 46C, and it's gone nowhere but up ever since. it's now IDLING at 55C, and i'm considering taking it out until i can get a new cooler to avoid damaging it. does anyone have any idea why both the CPUs i've used with this system configuration have idled far hotter than they're supposed to with this HSF?

a bit more supplementary info on my system and installation: MSI K8N Neo2 Plat; Thermaltake Tsunami Dream case (the case probe reads a max of 25C, despite the high CPU temps, so it doesn't seem that case ventilation is the problem); i used AS5 thermal paste - it had separated a bit since last use and wasn't stored upright, so i squirted out the runny stuff before using it; last, i've undone the modest OC from my previous chip, so the high temps are all at the stock 200mhz FSB. any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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More about help resolving high temps zalman cnps7000 4400
  1. Well if your AS5 lost it's "runny stuff" then it is probably drying out quickly and that could be part of the rising temp problem. Is your HSF dusty?

    Try taking off your case side and if temps drop a fair amount (more than 5-6C) then you know airflow in your case could be an issue. What is the rest of your system specs and what is your airflow layout?
  2. taking off the side of the case barely dropped the temps at all. i have 120mm front intake and rear exhaust fans and a side 90mm intake fan that blows directly down on the CPU. the front intake is largely obstructed by four HDDs, so that could be a bit of an issue, but i'd think the side intake fan would help somewhat. otherwise, i have an x800GTO flashed to x800XL, but it doesn't run too hot, and a couple of sticks of corsair TWINX 3200c2 running at stock speeds, as i said above. i'll think about ordering some new thermal grease... is AS5 the hands-down winner, or are there any others i should consider?

    EDIT: i do think that the thermal contact between the HSF and the CPU is the problem, whether it's mounted improperly or the grease is bad. i just gave it the old touch sensor and it's nowhere near the 52-53C that the CPU probe is reading.
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