I'm new to this forum, tho I'm a loyal reader to Tom's hardware for the past 10 years and every computer I build (10+ most of them for friends) is heavily influenced by Tom's hardware's review.
Anyway, let me get to the point.
This is my build:
AMD Phenom 550 II black edition (running clock voltage and clock speed)
Gigabyte MA790-XT - UP4D
Sunbeamtech Core Contact CPU Cooler with 2 120mm fan + 1 80mm Fan attached.
Thermaltask Xerces II (very old case, I know, but its my dream case since 2002)
Now, I have thermal sensor attached directly on the head-pipe as close as I possibly can to the CPU. The reading of thermal sensor is shown on my Thermaltask Xerces II.
well if you think about it the heat pipes can be hotter because they are supposed to take heat away from the processor so they might bet hotters
If the heatsink were actually hotter than the heat source, presumably the cpu, then heat would be flowing into the cpu away from the heatsink as energy will not spontaneously flow from something colder to something hotter. Provided that there is no other heat source, then it is physically impossible for the heatsink to be hotter than the cpu itself.
I agree with mp30 that it is physically impossible for cooling device to be hotter then heat source. So it is very puzzling to me.
My CPU core reading is 26-28, ambient temperature is around 22 (depend on the time of day really, also some days is hotter then other). So my CPU temp is about 4-6 degrees above ambient temp, its just about what you expect from good cooler with good fans (I have 3 attach to it! one push and two pull).
When I touch the heat sink with my finger, it felt cool even when CPU is fully loaded, which indicate the heat sink is at least below body temperature (38 degrees).
So I guess the only explanation is the temp sensor I attached to heatpipe is not very accurate.