Whoa whoa WHOA!!!!!!
I completely and utterly did not realize what I was saying when I wrote "passive heatsink"
. I was simply making reference to the fact that a heatsink has no moving parts, and to my knowledge cannot malfunction the way a mechanical device can. I certainly did not mean to imply that I have no processor fan! I DO have a fan, and it is currently working fine as far as I can tell. Holy cow.... you guys were off and running with that before I could post again!
The problem was that I had about 5 metric tons of dust in the heatsink
. It looked awful! I took a can of air and the vacuum cleaner to the heatsink and totally cleaned it out. Now, after running about 5 minutes of HL2 and then opening up Mozilla to post, the CPU temp is stabilizing at 52* Celsius (with the side of my case still off). I'm not sure if this is still a little too hot, but it'* certainly better than 80 degrees!
If you guys think I should still do thermal paste, I will. If you want me to do it, is there any certain procedure to follow? Scrape off the old stuff before putting on the new?