turns out that the GPU cushion had not been thoroughly tested by thermalright before putting it on the market. So they have NOW released a new one.
Please see this link for details:
Anyway, I installed my HR-03 ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT WERE PROVIDED IN THE BOX
. The result was that my 7600GT expired within a couple of minutes! I managed to obtain another 7600GT under warranty. This time I fitted the 7600GT without the inadequate cushion and all was fine. The moral of the story: "don't use that white cushion under any circumstances what-so-ever".
I hope the link I have supplied will alert others to the possible damage this cushion could cause and prevent them from destroying their own GRX cards with the possible chain reaction in-turn taking out other components too.
think that thermalright products are very good despite this little exception
...I will continue to buy them!