i'm relatively a tech noob; i just downloaded a cpu temp monitor and i'm idling at 60-70, getting into 80 - hi 90s with load and i use the pc a lot. I have stock fan/sink and the system is two yrs old and i've never overclocked. I remember when i first got the system it would idle at 30-40. I don't know how long its been running those temps but i'd guess a year max. I clean the inside once every couple months, all case fans work that i know of and the case has decent airflow it seems. So i have a few questions:
how much potential damage can this have done? i haven't seen much if any signs of cpu failure (freezes, lockups, etc.)
should i just buy a cpu cooler or would it be better to buy a new cpu due to the potenitally sapped lifespan of my current cpu?
other info: 12 gb triple channel RAM, windows 7 64-bit, raedon 5850, cpu @2.67, evga x58 mobo
Check to make sure that your heatsink is fully seated on the CPU and it doesn't wiggle. 60-70 idle is way too hot. And I would be worried about getting into the 80s/90s. Something just seems like it's preventing the stock heatsink from functioning properly.
Everyone here is stating the obvious. Yes, a new cooler would help. But, he stated that his temps used to idle @ 30-40c and has degraded to the 70c he sees now. When was the last time that you reapplied Thermal Paste to your CPU? You say that you clean it often, have you mistakenly cleaned the thermal paste without replacing it? If you are for any reason removing your heatsink from the CPU, make sure that you reapply new heatsink paste, to avoid overheating that way. But not to be redundant, GET A CPU COOLER if the above doesnt hel pyour issue. 70c isnt going to cook your cpu, but its not very healthy either. GOOD LUCK!