Hi, I havn't been here in a while, but when I started having problems with my computer the first place I thought of was the place where I've seen some of the best pc advice on the internet.
When I got my x2 3800+ it had that grey stuff that melts when the processor heats up on it. I ended up heating it up and wiping it off so I could take the processor off when it was cold. At that point I had some clear greasy electrically conductive "thermal interface" that I used.
After wiping the heatsink and heatspreader, I put some on the heat sink wiped it off, then spread a small amount over the heatspreader with a credit card. The processer overheated and rebooted as soon as windows started. I tried again with less grease and eventually though the temperatures seemed kind of high, the computer worked and I left it alone.
Recently my northbridge died when the fan failed so I just wiped the old grease off thinking It should be easy to get another giant tube and replace it to prevent air bubbles and whatever might contaminate it while it was disconnected. All I could find locally was Arctic Silver's ceramique. I tried spreading it with a credit card and it was so thick I couldn't get it smooth. So after reading the instructions on their website I cleaned it as thoroughly as possible. The first time with 70% isopropyl alcohol, the second time with denatured alcohol. Then I rubbed some arctic silver into the heat sink, wiped it off and put a rice grain sized amount on the middle of the heat spreader twisted it and clamped it down.
I've done this several times these are roughly average for temperatures I get with speedfan when the computer is idle:
"cpu": about 1 degree below ambient near 32 degrees celsius
"core": maybe 5 to ten degrees above cpu
I also noticed the hard drives are hot @ about 45 degrees
Remote seems to correlate best with the temperatures I get from the bios and if I try to use the pc it still gets hot enough to spontaniously reboot.
I also noticed that the fans speed up when the processor load increases, but not nearly soon enough to keep it at a good temperature.
The other problem is that this:
motherboard was apparently manufactured for compaq and didn't come with a backplate. Out of frustration I covered the holes with tape.
I can think of a few things that could effect the temperature, but none of them seem to me to be capable of having a big enough effect to cause that kind of problem.
The difference between cpu and remote suggests to me that the heat sink isn't conducting well enough. Which seems to mean that I'm either doing something wrong, I need something better to clean it with, it is permanently contaminated with the waxy interface that came with the processor.
The ceramique seems incredibly thick and chunky, but it is supposed to be thicker than average.
The high hard drive temperatures make me think there could be a problem with the case.
The low fan speeds and disparity between cpu and remote make me think that possibly there could be a problem with the sensors or cool and quiet.
I don't remember ever haveing so many problems with something that should be so straightforeward.
Hopefully someone can help