The other day playing while playing Starcraft 2 my computer suddenly shut down on its own with a continuous beep emanating from withing the CPU. I rebooted my computer and immediately checked its temperatures - my q9550 processor, even after having the reboot time to cool down, was showing 74C.
I then ran a game (Heroes of Newerth), and even right in the start, when the graphically intensive parts hadn't really kicked in, my CPU hit 82C. I immediately exited the game, shut down my computer, and delivered it to a nearby shop who are keeping it overnight to troubleshoot it.
Meanwhile I'm getting really paranoid because I know nothing about CPU heat issues. My processor is a q9550 at stock speed with a stock fan. At this point in time, I want to educate myself. What are the main causes of a functional CPU suddenly starting to heat up like this? Could it be the thermal past has gone bad? Something wrong with the fan? Has my CPU gone bad and will I have to purchase a new one (this is what I'm really scared about ).