CPU running hot

my issue is as follows.

i have a pc i built about 2 2/3rd years ago. about a week ago, the red overheating light came on.
I booted the pc, and ran CoreTemp. It registered around 56c idle, which is obviously WAY too hot.
I turned it off and cracked her open. i removed and cleaned all the fans, and removed the heatsink to check
the thermal paste. It was quite crappily installed, so i cleaned it all off properly and applied a new layer.

all this work chopped my idle temp to 50-51c. still way too hot, as its going up to 70 under a moderately full load
of WoW, some notepad docs and a couple of firefox's, with WoW in maximized mode and the other stuff just running
in the background.

i then purchased and installed a new 120mm fan to install on the back grate, which has a slot for it. it has
made no noticable change, but see the fans section later, im not sure its doin much atm.

im not sure if the cooler is bad, the psu being overpowered is doin it, the airflow sucks, or some combination
of these or other issues is doing it. another possibiility is that running for this long with such a bad paste application may have hurt the cpu.
i suppose in theory its possible i applied the paste badly, but ive done it on about 20 pcs to date and have had no issues, including a brand new build i just did for my gf (its a beast) that runs at 33-35c for each core idle on a quadcore, and i applied the paste to the same thickness and with the same tube of paste.
i will note that the cables are very neat and not obstructing much flow (i had my gf help with that part so itd be pretty lol). any thoughts?

my pc specs:

mobo:
intel D975XBX2 desktop board
i bought this new in some store, i dont remember, and have no
link to it, there is a very similar model, D975XBX2kr, on newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121059&cm_re=intel_D975XBX2-_-13-121-059-_-Product

case: apevia x-dreamer II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144026

psu: sparkle 400w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817103516

cpu:
core 2 duo 2.4g e6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115003

cpu cooler:
an asus aftermarket cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835101003

ram:
2.5 gb, 3 sticks
1 512 mb kingston ddr2 pc26400
2 1gb kingston ddr2 pc6400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134114
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134115

hd:
i had 2, an older 80gb hitachi deskstar EIDE drive,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145126
and a 500gb western digital caviar drive SATA drive,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

the 80gb is currently the only drive in the machine, as the sata drive crapped out
while under warranty and is currently being replaced.

video card:
ATI radeon x1600 512mb pcie card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102682


i assume the speakers, monitor, keyboard, mouse, tv tuner card, wifi card and dvd burner are all irrelevent to this discussion.

fans:

one 80mm on top, blowing air out of the case
one 80 mm on the left side, blowing air into the case, about halfway up towards the back, very close to the cpu
cpu heatsink fan, blowing in towards the cpu (if you hold your hand above the fan, you dont feel it)
120 mm fan that i just installed, it has a 4 pin connector and the mobo only has a 3 pinner for the back fan, its not very high atm. i think its blowing in, but its really not strong at all.


from my bios:

processor fan speed: 2700
aux fan speed: 0000
front fan speed: 0000
rear fan speed: 1080

processor temp 67 C
internal temp 44 C
remote temp 37C

V12.0 12.062 V
V5.0 5.058 V
V3.3 3.336 V
V1.5 1.516 V
Vccp 1.300 V

i didnt think there was a way to get this without booting into the bios, so i did, after having it run for about 1 hour, and took a screenshot with my phone to type up.
2 answers Last reply
More about running
  1. I'm thinking you didn't apply thermal paste properly... check and see if contact between the CPU and CPU cooler are good.
  2. great news!

    i removed the sink again and took a good look at the thermal paste. about 1/4 of the paste was undisturbed on the cpu, and the corresponding portion of the heatsink was clean metal. it definitly wasn't making a connection.

    i then tried, just to see, and put that same sink it and screwed all 4 bolts in. it felt REALLY solidly in there, and i wiggled it and felt no give. i opened it up, and the result was the same... 1/4 of the paste wasn't touching the sink at all.

    it seems to be a given that the manufacturing of the sink was faulty; what im wondering is how i got to almost 3 years without either a)damaging anything and b)noticing anything, with this.

    anyway, i installed a new coating of thermal paste after cleaning off the old stuff, and used the stock heatsink/fan that came with my core 2 duo. i talked to a few friends, and apparently the stock sink is a really solid one, and not just for a stock item. im now down to 30c idle, a 20c drop, so im quite happy.

    im just wondering how the hell i made it this loing without this biting me in the ***.

    thanks all!
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