you could also replace the thermal compound on the card, it's usually pretty simply just unscrew the heatsink, then replace the compound and rescrew back on, I personally got a few degrees when i replaced my over the stock compound
I'm not that great with stuff like that so i most likely won't go to that extent. is there any danger at leaving my idle temp where it's at? or should i look for a way to decrease it, and if so, is there any other way than replacing the thermal? is this something i should contact xfx over?
well besides the normal clean your case out kinda of stuff, actually quite a bit of dirt can accumulate inside the heatsink, i've had entire fines blocked off by dust, and just cleaning it helped temps. you could also try to slightly decrease the voltage on your card, so it remains stable, but will reduced power draw, and therefore heat output
my whole setup is only 3 months old so i highly doubt there is enough dirt and dust buildup to be causing too many problems. is it possible the the stock GPU fan settings are too slow and cannot cool itself enough? how can i check the voltage and fan settings of of card?
well trust it it's builds up quicker then you think, but if you haven't changed the stock fan settings at all that's probably it. I'm pretty sure it should already be installed on your computer, so find and open ati catalyst control center, if you have vista or 7 you can probably do a search in the start menu then you can change the fan speed. As for voltage you'll probably need to install msi afterburner, but try finding the catalyst control center, and bumping up the fan just a bit