The Corsair A70 was delivered after the rest, so I initially threw the system together with the stock AMD cooler.
Several issues were immediately obvious.
1) SpeedFan (and others) reported the CPU temperature to be around 40 degrees C (~25-28C ambient temp) idle, whilst the Core (As I understand, there's only 1 core temperature on the Phenom IIs) sensor read around 30 degrees.
2) Under load, core would reach 45C+, whilst CPU would hit the 60 mark. The throttling of the CPU was immediately obvious. The AMD fan was screaming!
These values are surely too high (even for the quite high ambient temperature?) and the temperatures were flipped from my expectations of a higher core temperature than CPU. I upgraded my firmware, but to no avail.
I initially assumed that the CPU/heatsink had been badly seated somehow, and resumed building the system the following day when the Corsair A70 arrived. After some entertaining times getting it all to fit (the Define XL has an angled fan at the top of the case to watch out for), I booted it up and saw no noticeable difference in CPU/Core temps.
Note: I had not lapped the cooler and applied the A70 stock thermal paste, as per the directions. The thermal paste was inadequate due to the HDT design, so I went the route of several thin strips of thermal paste along the heatpipes themselves.
The CPU still throttles. The core/CPU sensors are still flipped. The system reset during a brief (few minutes) Prime95 run. I am very much confused.
Short of assuming a dodgy CPU... I'm not really sure how to fix, or even diagnose, the problem.
To clarify, I have applied it as in the bottom but one photo on http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Except that I deposited the lines on the heatpipes rather than between each heatpipe (I have not draped TIM along the length of the heatpipes exposed to the elements, if that's what you think). Having observed the resulting spread, it's nigh on identical to that of the bottom photo.
Does that not seem adequate? Or could you be more specific about what I'm going for with TIM on an HDT cooler, I haven't seen much in the way of material that disagrees with this approach.