My 2 cents
I had the same problem.
Before we begin I want to apologize for the bad grammar, excessive length and any misspelled words.
That being said, about 16 months ago, I bought the Prostar 8880. I don't know if Sager has a similar match, but the outside is identical to your 8890 (except mine has a AGP monitor adapter, only a 15.7 inch screen and Sony memory stick slot).
My processor is only a 2.2 p4 which had just come out and was the only one available with a 512k cache using 13 micron tech. The biggest HD was a 40Giger and it has a super slow DVD/CDRW. It also only has a Radeon 7500 embedded GPU. I had to hack the drivers to play Rise of Nation (which is simply amazing). Sure as you now it, 4 months after I bought it, they came out with a 2.8 w/ 533 fsb, 16 inch screen and a Radeon 9k.... anyway.
When I first got it the fan switched on and off like it should so I don't think you have the same problem. The more I used it the longer the fan would stay on and around the time my warranty expired it was on constantly from the time it started.
I use my laptop for everyday for watching DiVX movies and sometimes DVD’s. I need movies or TV to fall asleep. Currently I am without cable in my room, so I watch my DiVX movies on the laptop. Needless to say the noise of the fan was very annoying.
So when I was sure I didn't have a warranty to void anymore I cracked my system open. Sadly, I only found this website a couple of days ago, so I was guessing my whole way through. Obviously the problem centered around the processor and heatsink. When I took the heatsink off I noticed all the micro fins were completely clogged with dust an hair. I used my notebook a lot over the last year so this was no real surprise and I am sure your computer shouldn't have this problem yet.
So I cleaned out the fins which I am sure was a big help.
Anyone who has held the heatsink, knows it is heavy. I was confused because it looks like steal with copper fins. Maybe it is silver or something, who knows. I do know the thing ways a ton, so I knew it wasn't aluminum. It certainly didn't look anything like aluminum.
To support this beast Prostar and I am sure Sager, use a kind of metal bracket. Now I can't imagine that this bracket is exactly the same height of the processor and it hardly flexes. With this in mind I decided either the weight of the heatsink is on the processor making this hunk of bent sheet metal useless or all the weight is on the bracket restricting full contact with the processor. After some careful consideration (about 2 sec) I ripped the bracket out. It has been 4 months and I am not at all gentle with my 8880. The processor and Mother board have shown no signs of stress. Maybe I am just lucky though.
Then I notice the bottom of the heatsink where the processor sits, was covered with gunk. Not sure what it was I started to clean it off. I then realized it was some sort of double sided thermal contact pad. it was nothing like the phase change pads that come with HSF in retail packages. It was a sandwich of gunk with a thin slice of aluminum foil. Well that crap had to go.
After cleaning it completely, I noticed how rough the bottom of the heat sink was... AHHH it was terrible. I decided to file my nails, seeing that had lost my nail file months before (joking). But seriously, I could use it as a nail file, if I had any interest in personal hygiene. I decided to leave the heatsink alone for the time being.
I didn't have thermal compound and where I live none could be had. I decided it was just poor planning on my part and I would just order some online and wait. After trying to sleep, I knew I had to do something. So I tried some peanut butter as a thermal paste……..No I didn't
I decided to try the heat sink with out any thermal compound and if it gets too hot the system will just shuts it's self down. I knew this because using the computer on top of your comforter completely blocks the air flow.
To my surprise not only did it work like I hoped, but the fan actually shut off. It only came about half the time while watching the movie. Watching A high quality DiVX movie on a 2.2 GHz laptop w/ the Radeon 7500 chipset is not an easy task.
I was happy and forgot about ordering the thermal compound. I did stop by the local radio shack (only option) and bought some silicone thermal grease which was all they had. First I used a lot of it, then I used only a little. Both ways there was only a minor improvement in fan usage.
After you silence the beast which is the computer fan, you really start to notice that little fan inside the Power supply. It ran at high speed from the moment I first plugged it in. From what I have seen from this site, this is not normal.
Either way, I didn't want to hear it any more. I opened up the block and ripped out the fan. I should not have remind anyone, doing this is NOT smart. I do NOT recommend anyone open up their block, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That being said. I noticed there was just a lot of crap going on in there. I ripped out the aluminum "box" which everything sits in. I then removed all the "Condoms" on the voltage regulators. I made some make ship heat sinks out of the copper tape around aluminum and the thin aluminum lid on the box. After a securing them in way that didn't create sparks, I closed up the block and tried using it.
Wow what a difference getting rid of that little annoying fan made. The block did get a little warm, but then again it always got a little warm. Always on mind though was something would fail, the block would melt, and the house would burn down with me asleep. So to be, "Safe" (always a funny word for me to use). I would keep it on an old license plate or better yet my old computer case which never gets used anymore.
Not happy with that about a month ago I put the fan back in and took out all my make shift heat spreaders. I didn't replace any of the other crap I took out, mostly because all of it is now lost or was hacked to make the fins/insulators.
After a night (day for all you who work when the sun is up) the block was amazingly cool. Far cooler then it had ever been before with all that crap in there. I even opened it up to see what the voltage regulators were doing. They were just a little warm and not the blistering hot I expected them to be.
A couple weeks went by and I couldn't stand the noise anymore. Not to mention every once in a while the power supply would not work because in all my abuse I manage to loosen a tiny capacitor. I re-solder that and went to work on noiseless, "safe", power supply. First I hacked up an old desk top power supply that didn't work anymore. I ripped out the big aluminum fins and by rip I really mean rip. Pulled the voltage regulators clean out.
I then went to work attaching them to guts of the power supply. With the power supply resting on my dresser I plugged it in and tried it for a night (once again, day for most of you). Well it worked. Although the fins were pretty hot, they passed my test (as I could touch them with out getting burned).
Now to put it all back together. I cut down one of the Fins a bit, and then went to work on the plastic box. What a hack job. I was way too tired and didn't spend anytime measuring or planning. LOL You would of laughed to have seen me at work. Finally, I got everything back together. The thing was pretty flimsy and not suitable for travel.
I thought about gluing some plastic supports on and decided that would keep me from opening it up again. Standing next to the pile of scrap wood, it was decided. Yes I know wood burns pretty easily and not the best thing to use. In any case I made sort of a cross out of it and screwed it into the block and glued it to the giant fins. The thing looks rather like modern art. As to say it is really ugly, but interesting.
That being a success I decided to start working on the heatsink. I put an order in for some Artic Silver 5 a couple weeks ago. AS5 would do me no good if the base wasn't very smooth. On the 3rd trip to the local hardware store (25 miles away, 50 miles round trip), it was actually open. Looking through the sand papers for about an hour I finally accepted the fact that the best they had was some 400 grit sand paper.
How sad. I tried some automotive stores, but faired no better. I decided to head home and get some sleep.
The next morning, after work, yesterday, (Oct. 30) I ripped out the my heat sink, made a quick brace for it out of wood and grabbed the belt sander and a 80 grit belt. I quickly realized to my surprise that the core of this heat sink appears to be copper. This make sense seeing how heavy the damn thing is. I still wonder what they coated it with? Maybe silver I don't know. The 80 grit on the belt sander got rid of it and left me with a smother base. You could see the lines, but couldn't feel them, which is a ton better. Then on to the hand work. A half hour later I could still see lines, but I could also see myself. Having to settle with that I grabbed the buffer. After some work I managed to get a pretty respectable shine off the thing. I could use it to comb my hair and that is good enough for now.
The Artic 5 never came for some reason. I put the order in again 2 days ago. So I was forced once again to go with out thermal compound.
I can' not believe the difference that actually made. WOW. Now I don't have any numbers for you, because I am just not that devoted. I can say that this has been an amazing improvement. I was watching Hudson Hawk which is the best for putting me to sleep for some strange reason. Normally I fade away shortly after he is gets out of jail. Long before this point the fan would come on and stay on. As I said before it would run about half the time. Needless to say it was a good 20-25 minutes before the fan came on. It only stayed on for about 2 minutes and then went off again. It came on about 15 minutes later and then went off after 2 minute or so. I just couldn't believe it. I left it in idle and the fan did not come on for a second in 6 hours. Before the last step it would come on for 15 seconds ever couple of hours.
The AS5 is on the way so I should get if after the weekend. I figure by next Friday it will be good and set up and I will let you know if there is any difference. I really should get some 2k sandpaper and lap the thing right, but I am lazy.
Now I don't know if your brand new sager is much different then my now ancient Prostar. Nor would I suggest voiding your warranty by doing any of this. But if you are crazy, maybe some of this will help.
Next on the chopping block.
Those crappy little speakers.
Hopefully soon I will have some good news about changing out those speakers. To be honest I think I may just enjoy my system a while before I risk breaking it. Although it would be nice to have an excuse to by a brand new 8890.