Originally Posted by TekMate
My 600yg2 didn't have any thermal paste. Cleaning it out and applying some knocked the temperature down 11C and the noise in half.
If the machine had no thermal paste, I'm surprised that it was only 11 C that the temp was lowered by. Usually a computer with no thermal paste between its CPU and heatsink will overheat very quickly, especially with a hot chip like the YG2's P4-M and its pretty small heatsink. My 600YG2 had a thermal pad between its HS and CPU and removing that after four years of use and putting on some good thermal paste in its place did lower temps by about 5-8 C. The thermal pad comes applied on all of the 600YG2 heatsink/fan modules, so I find it hard to believe that yours had none. The thermal pad is a thin coating of black goo on a silvery foil-like sticker on the bottom of the copper heatsink/fan module.
By the way, I think that Gateway has largely improved its fan noise problems. I have a brand-new S-7125C tablet and its fan is pretty quiet when it kicks on. It rarely has to kick on as the little 1.06 GHz Core 2 Duo ULV makes only a small amount of heat. The usual idle core temps are 35-36 C and the motherboard temp is roughly 40 C. I have a classmate with a 15.4" Gateway notebook (unsure of model #) and its fan is pretty quiet too. The only notebooks I see any more with fans that are very audible are some Toshiba models, but they're more of an "I can hear air moving" rather than "Did somebody turn on a hair dryer?" like the 600YG2 was.
I put most of the blame for the loud fans on the fact that the Pentium 4 (and P4-M) was an extremely hot-running chip and far hotter than any previous chip had ever run, so there were teething pains in getting an adequate cooling mechanism worked out. Lots of OEMs between the middle of 2001 and 2004 stuffed P4s and P4-Ms into notebooks and had either massive overheating problems or extremely noisy fans or both. HP had a particularly bad time with their desktop P4 notebooks being both noisy and overheating. AMD sold very few notebook chips then, and the Athlon XP-Ms weren't exactly paragons of thermal efficiency either. Many of them ended up in desktop Socket A boards because of their unlocked multipliers, and more than a few got the bridge mod to become Athlon MPs. It really wasn't until around the time that the Pentium M Dothan debuted that most laptops abandoned the Pentium 4 for a chip that was actually suitable for a laptop. Thankfully today only a few enormous models from Clevo and Eurocom and the likes use hot-running desktop CPUs inside of them any more, so just about every laptop runs a reasonable CPU inside.