CPU Overheat: how to fix?

The CPU in question is an Intel E8400 Wolfdale 3.0 GHz Dual Core. It is running in a headless Ubuntu environment and idles at around 44-53 degrees C and under a load, it jumps to about 90. Eventually, the system shutdown.

I removed the CPU fan (stock, came with the CPU), blasted it with some compressed air, and then blasted various other places in the computer. This has not helped.

Anyone have any ideas?

Remove the heatsink from the CPU, and clean the top of the CPU and the bottom of the heatsink with alcohol. reapply some silver heatsink paste and refit the heatsink and fan.

Better still, buy a third party CPU cooler, such as the Arctic Freezer 7 pro, and fit that instead of the existing cooler.

gotta agree with Dee, I myself like noctua coolers and arctic cooling MX-4 for the thermal compound.

I reapplied the paste and put the stock fan back on. It turns out that for some reason the heat sink wasn’t seated right and was loose in the corner (the “locking” mechanism was working right) . If it starts to overheat again, I’ll simply replace the fan like you guys suggested.

Now it idles at 23C and loads at around 50.

Just sounds like the fan is no longer working correctly? How long have you had that CPU setup? I would agree with the others if the reseating didn’t work your CPU fan most likely isn’t working properly anymore and needs to be replaced.

The fan works fine. I think the contact area of the heatsink portion of the fan was touching at an angle and wasn’t getting maximum coverage. I think I may have seated it wrong because I’m scrub. Totally my fault.