I recently built a new system around an Asus P5E (bios 402), C2D
E6850, ATI 2600 XT, and a CoolerMaster 534 case. I ran Prime95 last to
load test the system and about 25 minutes into the test, Asus PC Probe
was reporting a CPU temp of 91 deg Celsius and MB temp of 192 deg
Celsius ( yes, those numbers are Celsius not Fahrenheit... I'm not
making this up). Needless to say I immediately shutdown Prime95. The
CPU temp slowly came down to the mid 80's C and stayed there for about
3 or 4 minutes until I rebooted. I entered the Bios and went to
Hardware Monitor and the CPU temp was 40-42 deg C and MB temp was 35
deg C. I reran Prime 95 this morning for about 20 minutes and the CPU
temp never rose above 53 deg C and MB temp never went higher than 36
Any opinions on what might have been going on last night. I should
also add that I am not overclocking the CPU nor the memory. Everything
is running at stock frequencies and voltages. Could this have damaged
the CPU in anyway?
I doubt any damage was done. I'd say you had a temporary spike or reading that froze. If you're not taxing your cpu for daily use, I would skip prime 95 anyway. Better to monitor your room temps, and decide if a better heatsink is necessary. If my system overheats, it's from a high summer temp when the a/c is off. My old p4 northwood hit 80c at least twice, and it still works.
Careful with the 'finger assessment' test - anything over 40°C will feel painful, over 60°C may hurt - over 100°C is, inded, boiling water - your skin cells' water included.
I'd say it 'more a problem of sensor misreporting temperatures. Sometimes, sensors will have a glitch, causing a misinterpretation of their results by software monitors. I'd say your soft merely multiplied all inputs by two - making your graphic cards reach 96°C, which is high but not unheard of: my old Geforce 6600 is passively cooled; it routinely reached 95°C under heavy gaming, and MSI confirmed me it was normal. I didn't like it, so I overhauled it: adding better thermal paste, memory chip heatsinks, slightly increase the sink's pressure on the chip, and pointing a system fan at it dropped temp under heavy load under 80°C.