i ordered a barebones computer around 4 months ago and i notice that when i play a game now, after a few minutes the frame rate drags to a crawl. i eventually linked the problem to heat. it was the last thing i thought of because its a full tower, not crowded and it has 3 fans. for some reason my processor is just baking. i am currently running it at stock frequency. i'm not sure what the problem is as all the fans seem to be working fine. i was thinking maybe they didn't put the thermal compound or the after-market cooling i ordered is worse than stock.
Reseat your cpu heatsink and apply fresh thermal paste such as arCtic silver or ocz freeze. Make sure the pushpins click! You have to apply enough pressure, just don't break the motherboard. Better yet, get an aftermarket heatsink without pushpins.
EDIT: arctic silver or AS5
It really does look like your heatsink-fan is not seated properly. The push-pins can be a challenge to get seated properly. Try reseating it with fresh good thermal paste, as others have said (OCZ Freeze, Artic Silver MX-2, Artic Silver 5, etc.) Use just a little bit (instructions are on OCZ's and ArticSilver's websites). Also, you may want to remove the motherboard from the case when you re-seat the heatsink, so that you can see that the push-pins are seated properly.
If you can't get the POS stock push pin mountings to work, then get a good aftermarket HS with a back plate. It's not worth the aggravation and it's really hard on your CPU. Get RivaTuner or ATITool to check your in game graphics temps. They can both log temps and also raise the fan speed.
I don't believe that secondary cooling idea, I know I'm probably alone. I don't see how pumping hot air from the CPU onto the other components is going to cool them down. Just make sure that there is good flow through the case and you shouldn't have any problems.
Remove the cover of the expansion slot directly under the gpu (or two if you can spare them), this will allow trapped hot air (caused by having an intake but not enough outtake) to find it's way out of the case and not get sucked back into the gpu. This is just a temp solution and if your temps are reduced by 4-5c then you know you'll need to rethink your case's airflow.
so i went and checked to see if it had thermal compound. it did but it seemed to be really dry, maybe this is normal but i could of sworn it wasn't supposed to get completely dry. i took the heat sink off and put it back, made sure it was nice and snug. still no change in temps. should i scrape this thermal compound off and apply a new one? maybe my heat sink/fan sucks i dunno
Every time you remove the HS you are supposed to clean both mating surfaces and reapply the TIM. I suspect that with those temps your HS is not mounted properly, even though you think it is. Something must be in the way, like the capacitors or the HS is resting on the CPU retention clip and not getting the pressure on the IHS that it needs.
The temps you are reaching are causing the CPU to invoke throttling to protect itself. It is way too hot and you need to fix it. I would suggest fixing it before you run it any more.