Computer shutdown High cpu temp

I recently bought a used computer. It runs good except that when I run a graphically intensive game, it shuts down. I monitered my cpu temp and when I'm running just regular apps like the browser, poker, etc it runs fine at between 38c and 50c depending on how many I have open at one time.

I notice that when I run the high graphics 3d game (online game also if that makes any difference) it quickly goes from 38c to the mid 50's right before the computer turns off. Now I opened the case and the inside is pretty dusty so I know I have to clean it but I have no compressed air at the moment. My question is, is it the dust that's causing the problem and if it is not, what can I do that is FREE to try to get rid of the problem?

Any ideas as to what is causing this would be appreciate it. Also any solutions.
My cpu is AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.37 ghz.

Comp is Dell inspiron 531s
2 gig ram DDR2
ATI Radeon 2400 HD Pro graphics card.
Windows Vista 32 bit.

Thanks in advance for any help. I'd also like to hear any ideas that are cheap as I am old and broke lol.
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  1. Only free thing you can do is open it up and blow the dust out of the heatsink yourself, there are a few things you can do on the cheap though. The cans of compressed air are pretty cheap, i picked one up at staples for $2.50 a while ago, you can also get a small tube of thermal grease and reapply your heatsink, that should drop your temp a few C. Small tubes usually arent too much, $5-10.
  2. Also, do the cleaning in the garage, because the dust and lint inside the computer can fill a room and make a huge mess.
  3. mid 50's for CPU, not sure (I have Intel CPUs) but that may not be your problem. BUT still good Idea to Blow the dust out. A paint brush also comes in handy. IF carefull can also use a vacumm - Stress carefull

    How is your GPU temps?? For 3D games the GPU is stressed more than the CPU. Also how is your +12 V rail holding up when stressed (ie running a 3D game, or use furmark in a window)
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