ive been having issues with my i7 build...its probably one of two things. one is that my bios say that my NB temp is at 60c. Speedfan says that is too high with a lovely flame symbol. i dont know what a normal northbridge temp is for the evga x58 sli mobo...so i dont know if that may be causing some of my errors. my comp crashes during games before they boot up if the settings are on high....and will run very chuggy if i play with the graphics lowered. the other, seemingly more obvious problem is that my hd 4850 is too hot. it temps out at 80 while idle...which ive heard is actually normal. the weird thing is that i played crysis on my old comp with the same card and it ran without crashing. ive bumped up my fans and and am waiting for it to cool down, but id like some adivce while i wait. is the nb temp alright? or is this probably a graphics card issue?
When I built a i7 920 computer a few months ago, I was also shocked at the high temps. It runs nearly 20c hotter than my QX9650. Then I learned that this was normal, that with the hyperthreading, it is reminiscent of the old Prescott CPU. So your northbridge temp seems normal. You might try adding an additional fan to cool it. Don't know if it would help your overall situation with the crashes, but it wouldn't hurt. You can adjust Speedfan and raise the temp on it, by the way. Just click on "Configure" and that will take you to a screen that lets you set it as you want.
As to the computer crashing, a lot of that has been happening with the X58 boards. Make sure you have the latest BIOS. Some of the early ones were terrible. In fact, the present ones aren't the best yet. Go to EVGA, download and then install the latest BIOS. That alone may solve the problems. You didn't mention if you have an aftermarket heatsink on the CPU. If you don't, I'd suggest that you get one. I have a TRUE on mine with one fan and will be adding a second fan before summer. Like I said before, the i7 CPU makes a lot of heat. After that, I'd suggest you check the ram, one stick at a time.
I doubt that your graphics card is causing the crashes. Do download the latest CCC from ATI, 9.2 or 9.3, though I haven't tried 9.3 yet. With 9.2, you can adjust the fan speed easily and bring the temp down. I did that with my 4870 and it helped a lot with the temp. Stock temp with these cards runs around 80c, as you've heard.
Hope this gives you a start in the right direction.
Choppy graphics and crashes kinda point to gfx card for me. 80 Celsius at idle???? Maybe your vga heatsink came a bit loose or something. Take the card out and have a proper look. My sapphire 4850 runs at 34C idle and around 60C under load(stock speeds) never exceeds 72 even when OCd to 680/1080
I missed the temp at idle part for the graphics card. Too used to seeing temp under load. Still would try the 9.2 drivers and see what happens. Same with getting the latest BIOS on the mobo. But if those don't help, yeah, the graphics card may have developed a problem.