Folks, the issue is not really the 2W Atom overheating. It is the Intel 950 northbridge. Because both Atom and Northbridge sink their heat into the same chassis for passive heatsink, the heat from the Northbridge raises the heatsink temperature reference the Atom also references. If the chassis (heatsink) is heated by the Northbridge, the Atom will get hotter too. The OS running off the Atom does not gets throttle as much as the Northbridge is throttling its own processor within. Don't quote me, but the Northbridge I believe is a 8W chip vs. Atom's nice 2-3W. The temperature readings from the thermal diode is that of the Atom. If 2W Atom is at 70 degC, guess what the unmonitored 8W Northbridge core must be! Northbridge core could easily be over 100 degC. My solution is to use Mini for light duty on the go, at home, the bottom cover is removed to receive a cooling fan gadget for netbooks. The tiny slits seriously limit air flow into the hot stuff, like a wall over the fan. Once the cover is removed, the temperature plummets when used with fan. The heat from the pads of the Northbridge is also sinking heat into the main board itself. Cheers.
---------- Post added at 06:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:17 PM ----------
The case study for above post is my Ubuntu Mini 9 running Doom II (for Windows) running in Wine support. When Mini is used as designed sitting on desktop, after 10 minutes of play, the temperatures reach steady state max readings. Atom tops off at 73 degC. The Atom does not throttle down to the 800 Mhz clock because it doesn't have to. The Atom is operating well within spec so all other apps run well, even if the desktop graphics a bit jittery. The game graphics stutters noticeably when critical point reach, and if the game is not saved and ended, the stutter can get unbearable, while the all other OS functions are fine. Only graphics suffer. I am pretty certain the Northbridge had to throttle down to save itself. Another good reference is the Intel D945GCLF Atom motherboard (for nettops). The tall heatsink with fan is on the Northbridge. Atom gets only a shallow passive heatsink.