forgot to mention the Corsair 520w PSU and windows 2000 if it helps at all.
I am 100% positive my heatsink and fan is placed correctly and working. the room ranges from 27-29c
my case also has an air duct built into it that feeds fresh (albeit 27c) warm air to the CPU. from what I've read on various forums, people seem to have much lower idle temps with the stock HSF. it is very concerning.