Two or so weeks ago I started experiencing a problem where my CPU would overheat while playing games. Before then I never had any problem with overheating(I've had this desktop for ~2 or so years.)
My CPU is an AMD Phenom II x4 955 3.2mhz
It idles around 45-55c... however I've seen it get up to around 100c while playing a graphically intensive game, at that point I generally shut the game off and allow it to cool. Otherwise it shuts off automatically. The problem is I can only play these games for minutes at a time, as it heats up incredibly quickly.
Thus far I've tried completely cleaning out the computer(it's as clean as possible). As well as taking off the heatsink, cleaning the thermal paste from the processor and heatsink, reapplying and remounting it. As far as I know I properly applied the thermal paste, so I doubt that's a factor.
I have 4 case fans(2 intake and 2 outtake), whether or not that is a factor I'm not sure.
At this point I'm not entirely sure what is left that I can do, aside from replacing the heatsink. However if there is a way I can avoid doing that... or if there is another solution then I would like to know, as I'm pretty much at a loss as to what to do.
Take off the heatsink again and clean everything completely. Get some NEW quality thermal paste and reapply just the right amount. Too much is as bad as not enough paste. Reattach the heatsink making sure all the hold-downs are evenly tight. You do not say if the heatsink has a fan. If it does not then get a new unit and use the new heatsink. Perhaps the old heatsink has a fan but the fan is failing (slowing down) and not moving the air fast enough. That requires a new heatsink.
I would even suggest a failing temp sensor giving false highs so try the above first to eliminate all hardware but the sensor.