I have an HTPC that's served me reasonably well for a few years, in a case that's the better part of a decade old. I'm hoping to get another couple years out of it -- it's plenty powerful for what I need, no overclocking involved -- but it's been having an overheating problem that's recently gotten to the point where it won't stay up more than ten minutes under any load. It's also had a longstanding problem with bending; if feet aren't quite right (desktop-style case), it won't start up or run long. We're talking the better part of an inch of vertical displacement at the mobo corners depending on how it's sitting, just due to poor case design. I only recently put the two problems together (duh), and realized that the bending is likely causing the HSF to lose good contact with the CPU; depending on how it's sitting, it'll overheat way faster -- and that's perhaps also causing the thermal compound to break down, or at least cease to stick right. At this point, it's nearly impossible to get it to the exact-right foot position, or stay that way for very long.
I'm hoping regreasing (again) will help ease the issue. Is there a type of thermal compound that'll be more elastic/adhesive/whatever than other types, and help hold the contact even as the components bend ever-so-slightly? Or am I insane and there's no way the HSF and CPU can be bending enough with respect to each other to cause this issue?
I'm not looking to sink that much money into this with new/different components -- this $600+ box is already being outperformed by a $100 AppleTV. If grease or other tweaks don't do it, this thing is going in the bin.