I have a AMD athlon xp 2400+ processor running on a ECS L7VTA motherboard and i'm finding that, over a period of 9 months, the processor is getting hotter and hotter. The heatsink and fan are correctly rated for the processor and have in fact been renewed in case this was the problem. When I take the heatsink and fan off the processor I find that the heatsink compound has 'evaporated' and when I apply new, fresh compound it runs much cooler but over the next 9 months the processor gradually runs hotter and hotter. Any ideas as to why this is happening? Thanks.
Don't forget that the heat sink compound is only to fill surface irregularities and not form a layer between the metal surfaces, so after 9 months there shouldn't be much to see as the excess will have squeezed out. However most cpu fans only come with cheap silicon paste, you may find some improvement with a good compound like Ceramique click here don't let the mickey mouse price fool you, it really is a good compound, gets better results in some surveys than the trendy silver compounds.
Don't forget too that air temperatures are much higher generally.
During the recent hot weather my PentiumIII would reach 121 degrees F (well within limits) - this morning is cool and cloudy and it's reading 86 degrees F (30 degrees C).
You should be able to set a maximum temperature in the Bios that the CPU can reach before shutting down - I have mine set one step below the 80 degrees C limit of the CPU purely for safety in case of fan failure.
You could consider buying a CPU Fan that runs at a higher RPM than your existing one, suggest you visit the coolmaster site to suss out the options. I know ebuyer sell coolmaster fans as I bought one from them 2 weeks ago for £7 including heatsink.