CPU heat problem - rookie builder

Hey guys,
I recently built my first computer. An excellent learning experience, and I was pretty jazzed when it didn't blow up when I first turned it on. I am having a problem right now with heat. I was hoping someone could help me figure out what the problem might be.

When I play games (in my case, city of villains) or get the CPU going under heavy load, the temps dramatically increase to the point where I turn it off out of fear (steady rise from about 32 up to 60, at which point I power down). I am using PC Probe II (comes with Asus boards) to monitor temps...I usually log out of COV when the temp is on a steady rise past 55 degrees.

The chassis fans are on and working, the heatsink fan is on and working...I can't figure out what it might be. I had read that the stock HSF on the E6600 Core 2 Duo's was more than adequate. Is there something obvious I'm missing? Or does anyone have any more in-depth suggestions?

Here are some things I thought of or got advice on, I'd love comments/suggestions.

1) re-seat the processor

2) remove stock thermal paste and apply arctic silver paste, then re-seat HSF

3) install optional fans that came with mobo (this shouldn't be a requirement for stable temps, though)

any other thoughts, advice, encouragement for a rookie trying to soldier on? thanks in advance..

I'm a moron, I forgot to mention the most important part of this. When I need to do a soft restart, for instance after I've installed a driver, the computer won't load up. It does the one long beeeeeeeeeep for 20 seconds. I've checked on the internet and found this seems to be related to heat? I have to physically unplug the computer, give it a minute, and then boot it back up. I couldn't specifically find ASUS mobo beep codes, but thats the consensus from my net research.

Thanks again guys, this really helps me out more than you know.
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More about heat problem rookie builder
  1. 1) It's true that the Intel 4-pin hsf mounting system is notoriously easy to not-quite-completely install. The post may help on your re-install (step 2.5 onward):

    2) Since a fan-based air cooler can't cool something to a temp lower than the cooling air's temp, there's also the possibility that your internal airflow isn't good. A hot item (like a graphics card) may be "pre-heating" the air before it gets to the CPU cooler. There should be something like a "SYS" temp in addition to the CPU temp reported in your software/BIOS. Use this SYS temp as a baseline to compare with the CPU temp. If the SYS temp is only a few degrees C above room temp, you have good airflow/cooling in the case.

    3) The third issue is the "smart" nature of modern Intel CPU coolers. Responding to customer complaints about the fan's noise, they changed the behavior of the cooling fan so that it allows the CPU to run hotter, and reaches its maximum rpm at a higher CPU temp. Most mid- to high-end MBs allow you to control the CPU (and other) fans' speed in the BIOS, so you can modify the behavior.

    It would help a lot if you would list what model number MB, case, power supply, and graphics card you have.
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