So, was working at my desktop the other night, and it BSODed with a warning about CPU heat. I've been monitoring since.
To me, 60C idle and 100C max seems high. This rig hasn't had a heat issue since it was built in 2008 (including before and after a case swap in 2010). No major changes recently, case is clean, house is a normal temp. Any ideas?
The mobo is an Asus P6T, which does seem to show up in a lot of heat related reports, but usually in OC rigs (I'm running stock speeds).
That does seem a bit off, especially with no major changes. Maybe check some of the other sensors using a different program. I don't know if CoreTemp can read them, but I know SpeedFan can check your south bridge and GPU and such. Maybe give it a shot? If they're all significantly different from what your CPU is reading, perhaps the CPU sensor is faulty and it tripped to cause the BSOD.
Also, just to be sure, you've double checked that your heatsink fan (if any) is working properly, yes? Also check that it is still secured to the board. I've had a CPU burn up on me once because the heatsink came loose and even though I could see the fan running, it wasn't actually secured to the processor any more. Poor thing just burned itself up.
Another thing I've noticed with processor eating issues (and experienced on my old box) is if there's a bit of a gap between the heatsink and the processor, even with thermal compound, is there's an air pocket that becomes very hot. I used a large amount of Arctic Silver, made sure the heatsink was as secure as I could get it, and that got my processor temp down another 5-10 degrees F.
There's also the obvious answer of making sure you don't have anything, like the video card, blowing it's exhaust on the processor. Good fan bring in air toward the bottom of the unit is always good, with an exhaust toward the top.
Ditto'ing PN's suggestion above - but figured I'd give some comparison numbers: I have an i7-920 on the Asus P6T Deluxe (same board you are using, just a few more ports). The only difference is I don't have HT turned on and I don't let it clock down (mine's always at 2.6ghz; yours was clocking down to 1.6 from the pictures above; my multiplier shows 20x, yours shows 12x).
My idle temps on all 4 cores are 42-44C. I have one of those all-in-one water cooling fan kits that pumps it to a radiator on the 120mm back case fan, but other than that, it's a fairly normal system; I remember when adding that cooler it only dropped the temperature about 3-5C (mostly I added it to make the rig quieter). I did a quick prime95 test to put it under load and the temps maxxed out at about 60-61C after a few minutes. When stopping prime95 it dropped to 48-49 immediately and then eventually got back down to 46C after a few minutes.
No real suggestions other than what's given above, just figured you'd find the comparative numbers on near identical hardware to be useful.
Glad you got it sorted. I'm curious if your old CPU cooler was using the silly plastic clips to secure it to the motherboard, as so many Intel-compatible models do, to include Intel's stock coolers. I've had horrible luck with those in the past, which is why I went all aftermarket years ago.
Zalman is my personal favorite, but Cooler Master makes some good stuff as well. That Evo is a beast. Anything that actually secures the heatsink to the motherboard with a proper backplate is better than the plastic clips!
I'm interested: what kind of trouble have you been having with the plastic clips on stock Intel coolers? I ask because the server you helped me design uses those. I'm not sure about the cooler for my i7 powered PC but it wouldn't surprise me if that was using one as well.
My experience is that they can pop loose just enough to break the seal between the CPU and thermal compound, raising temperatures. If your temps are fine, then you likely don't have an issue. But if you can afford a better cooler with a proper backplate, as mentioned above, then I'd definitely pick one up.
Interesting; whenever I have to undo those plastic clips the one thing they want to do is come off. I will keep a eye on the temps on my server CPU temperature though but I should imagine that it should be OK. It only really gets used once or twice a week.
I will have a closer look at the CPU heat-sink on my i7 and determine exactly how that it fastened to the motherboard. I'll keep an eye on the temperatures but last time I checked and it was holding steady at a low temperature. I'll only replace the heat-sink if I think that it isn't doing it's job anywhere near as well as it does now. I don't want to break something when it is working, you know what I mean? :-)