My system crashes when I play MW2

So the short story is that my PC completely shuts down instantly (and usually reboots) after I play MW2 (and CoD4:MW) for about 15-20 minutes. It doesn't crash when I play WoW though. Here are my system specs

Gigabyte motherboard (not sure exact model)
AMD Phenom II 3.0GHz x4 (Recently upgraded from AMD Athlon 64 x2 2.5GHz)
GeForce xfx 8800 GT graphics
Windows 7 x64

I've been using this comp for a while and didn't have this problem when I ran CoD:MW on Windows XP. After I upgraded to Windows 7 and a few weeks before MW2 came out I started playing CoD4:MW again and started seeing this problem, but I ignored it until I got MW2. But I have the same problem in MW2

One of the things I noticed at first is that when the computer doesn't immediately reboot after a crash, I have to switch off the supply and let it sit for a while before I power back up, to me this suggests a circuit breaker maybe tripping (dunno what to do about that).

I've been running speedfan to monitor my temperatures. My graphics card typically sits at around 78-85C (this has always been the case and seems to be fine). My new CPU is now at about 57C (old one was 42C). Temp1 and Temp2 are nominal, in the 40's. Temp3 hung out at 85-92C until last night (it only got to 90C in WoW, 92 in MW2). Temp3 seems to correspond to a chip that sits between my CPU and graphics card which can get quite hot to the touch.

Last night I upgraded the CPU and decided while I had the case open to replace the thermal paste with the superior Arctic Silver brand paste. While I played WoW for 4.5 hours last night, temp3 sat at 104C all night and didn't seem to be a problem at all (no crashes or anything). The heatsink on it didn't seem as hot, so I think there may be something wrong with the way I applied the paste. When I played MW2, it crashed after about 15 minutes. So the increased temperature didn't seem to affect the problem at all.

Anyways, sorry for the wall of text, any ideas would be appreciated.
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  1. My first thought is about that temp3 sensor, however it could be the chipset. Either way, 104C is way way to hot whether its crashing or not. That tells me that the heatsink on something isn't seated properly, or there is not enough airflow through the case to keep things properly cool. First thing I would try is open the side of the case and set up a large fan to blow into the side to make sure there is a lot of air going through there. Then Run MW2 again and monitor the temps. If your temps drop significantly and/or the game stops crashing. If the problem goes away and the temps drop its definitely a temp problem. If the temps don't drop much you probably have a poorly mounted heat sink somewhere (I would start with the one associated with the temp3 sensor.) Also, make sure you don't have too much dust caked in your heatsinks and fans as that can cause overheating problems as well. If you have a lot of dust buildup in your case, get a can of compressed air and blow it out (Don't let the compressed air spin up the fans though as it can be hard on them.) Hope this helps.
  2. Hey thanks for the reply. I think it may have alot to do with poor air flow. I also wonder if it has something to do with windows 7 because I never had the problem with MW1 until I got windows 7. I never saw it past 92C until I upgraded my processor also. That may partly be due to the fact that the new processor produces more heat and is right next to the hot chip. I also wonder if maybe my motherboard wasn't meant for a Phenom II x4 processor even though it fits the socket and has no problems with it.

    Anyways, I've found that by turning off most of the graphics options in MW2 and keeping the case open with a fan on it, the crashing problem goes away. It still gets as high as 106 under those conditions. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I need a bigger case with better air flow and a new motherboard (My current is mini-ATX and has poor air flow). Here are the two I have in mind:
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