My laptop runs excessively hot even after I cleaned the heatsink

A few months ago, I realized how hot my laptop was getting at full CPU usage (over 80C!) so I cleaned out the heatsink, which was clogged with dust, and the temps dropped to around 50C. Now, I realize the thing is getting hot again, with temperatures in the 70s so I cleaned out the heatsink which was already clogged with dust again. However, my temperatures are still the same, perhaps a few degrees lower, instead of the 30C drop the first time. so I think I screwed up something. My laptop is a Dell Latitude D820, anything that could help me solve this dilemma would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Hello fb39ca4;

    Are those load or idle temps?
  2. Load. Don't tell me 70C is still acceptable, I was able to get it down to 50C load in the past.
  3. 70C is still acceptable in the 65nm Core 2 Duo CPUs with a TJ Max of 100C.
    What are the idle temps at startup after a good cool down (about an hour)?

    What speed is the case fan running?
  4. The case fan runs at what I'm guessing is full, based on the noise, by the time the temperatures hit 70C. Idling, It is around 50C. Did I somehow damage the heatsink when cleaning it?
  5. It could have detached from the chip itself.

    I was hoping you'd tell me the idle temps along with the load temps. If the idle temps are also high I'd maybe suspect that type of detached heatsink problem.
    If the idle temps are low, but load temps high - then I'd thing about some type of airflow blockage, by a twisted cable or something like that.
  6. I just posted the idle temps ^ up there
    So do I just reinstall the heatsink and hope it fixes the problem? Because then I have to put thermal paste on the CPU, GPU and something else.
  7. If 50C is your idle temp it's too high.
    Yes, you'd want to replace the thermal compound or thermal pad.

    Do you feel up to working inside your laptop that way?
  8. Yes, I can do that. Is it fine to use Arctic Silver 5, which I already have, or do I have to use a nonmetallic paste?
  9. Best answer
    My personal preference is using something non-conductive like Arctic Cooling MX-2 but since you have AS5 on hand there is no reason not to (carefully) use that.

    Have you found any guides or posts from owners who have already gone down that road?
    Some laptops use thermal pads vs thermal compound on some components. You might need gap filler material if your laptop has a gap between the heatsink and chip.
  10. Best answer selected by fb39ca4.
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