Here the specs, just got this today and installed core temp 0.99....
HP Pavilion dv6t Quad Edition customizable Notebook PC
* • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* • 2nd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2720QM (2.2 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz
* • 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 6570 graphics [HDMI, VGA]
* • 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
* • 640GB 7200RPM Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
* • 15.6" diagonal High Definition HP BrightView LED Display (1366x768)
* • Blu-ray writer & SuperMulti DVD burner
* • Intel 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth(R)
* • Backlit Keyboard with HP SimplePass Fingerprint Reader
Anyways, it is running at 50-55C at idle, around 65 while browsing the internet or doing anything like listening to music, and during my windows assessment score it ran up to 87 with fan running heavy! My house is only 68F degrees inside. (during summer keep thermostat around 80) I never seen any computer go this high. Could it be due to having the new 2nd gen sandy bridge quad core in a laptop? Tj. Max says 100. This is getting awfully close.. My old HP laptop ran much cooler, then again it had a core 2 duo.
Yes that is too hot, a laptop should fire up at about 35° C, operate at 40-60° C when under normal conditions and up to 75° C under heavy stress. May reach 80° with prolonged activity (such as running a CPU benchmark overnight or something).
Ensure your laptop is placed on an area that allows for heat dissipation. For example, a smooth glass desk is good, a blanket is not. Then ensure that your fans work properly (you say you heard them so they should be OK), ensure you can feel hot air coming out of the heat sink somewhere on the side of your laptop). If nothing did the trick, try and elevate your laptop over your desk, using two books under both extremities of the laptop and check if it still runs hot during the assessment. Try and clean inside the heat sink as well using compressed air, it might be dust-clogged.
Still nothing? Try and slow down your CPU temporarily to see if it comes from that piece of hardware. To do this, you can go into your Windows advanced power settings in the control panel and temporarily limit the CPU to, say, 50% of its normal activity. Then redo the test and check the temperature (your final score will be lower but you can retake it later). Don't forget to restore the CPU to 100% once you're done (that would be a shame for such a processor).
It may also come from the graphics card, since it is somewhat stressed during the windows assessment. Try and disable it and redo the test (do to this, go into your device manager and disable the ATI mobility radeon driver, you will lose your native resolution and fall back to a generic VGA driver, but the GPU will be disabled or at least not used as much - the results will be horrible, probably like 1.5 but that doesn't matter). Try the test again and check the temperature. Don't forget to enable the driver when finished (it'll make the screen come back to normal and everything).
Note that excessive heat is not the result of faulty software - the CPU can regulate itself to suit the system load, so it's the hardware. In any case, you probably can't fix the hardware yourself, so I guess try and use the warranty to get it repaired for free ... faulty computers happen.