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I recently installed dolphin emulator to play Goldeneye wii on my pc, but when I run it, I rarely get a steady speed of 30 fps. But, that is not the problem. I thought that my pc was taking too much load, and so I decided to check the CPU temperatures in AMD overdrive and HW Monitor, and check my CPU speed in CPUZ. It turns out that my CPU speed is fine (3.2 GHz: the stock speed, since I never overclocked it), but I was, and still am shocked to find that all four cores have a temperature ranging between 40-50 Degree Celsius. Not only that, when I ran Goldeneye and checked HW Monitor and Overdrive, I found the temps. to be ranging between 72 to 75 Celsius. One of the cores even reported a 76 degree temp. I thought that this was due to the load that the emu was putting, as it has to emulate the whole wii on the pc. So I ran Blood Stone, and checked the temps. again in both CPUZ and Overdrive. The highest temp. was still 75, and the average was about 73. I play a lot of games on my pc, that I built in May 09, and I've been playing demanding games like Crysis as well. I know that the maximum safe temp. zone for the 955 is somewhere between 62 and 68. Have I damaged my pc too much, and shortened its lifespan by many years? How do I fix this problem? My GPU was a little overclocked, but I had restored it to factory settings. I tried the auto clock function today in Catalyst Control Center, and my core clock went up to 690 MHz, and my memory clock went up to 1175 MHz. I tried both the games with this setting, thankfully the max. and the avg. temps. appear to be the same (I thought that they might go up, a foolish move, I know). My RAM speed is a little OC'd set to 667MHz, which means an overall 1333MHz from the stock setting of 400MHz and an overall 800 MHz. I really need someone's help with this.
What CPU cooler are you using (the boxed one)? Have you moved your computer recently? The cooler might have come loose.
My first suggestion is to remove the heatsink, clean off the heatsink and the CPU, re-apply thermal-paste, and re-seat the heatsink. Make sure the heatsink and fan aren't covered by any dust (use compressed air OUTSIDE the case if you need to clean-off the heatsink and fan).
Do you have auto fan-speed enabled in your bios? Using the HW monitor, what RPMs are you seeing on your CPU fan? Does it go up and down based on temperature (i.e. faster when the CPU is hotter)? Try setting your CPU fan speed to maximum all the time (in the BIOS), see if the CPU is any cooler.
What's the CPU core voltage look like (it should be less than 1.5V, probably closer to 1.3). This shouldn't have changed recently unless you updated the BIOS or modified something, but if it's too high the PSU or motherboard might be damaged.
I don't think 75C will damage your CPU, but you don't want to keep running it at those temps either. If it was too hot, the CPU should have started throttling itself, which I assume you suspected when you checked the frequency in CPU-Z. I think those thermal-shutdown protections kick in in the 80's or 90's. If you can't get the temps below 70, I'd look into a more powerful CPU heatsink and cooler. That fan on your boxed unit might just be dying and providing inadequate airflow.