Last year I fried an Athlon XP processor. While moving a PC around, somehow the whole heat-sink and fan assembly came off. This got me to wondering if processors have a fail-safe mechanism to shut down the processor beyond a certain temperature. The answer is that many OLDER processors especially AMDs will fry if atleast a heat sink is not present. Newer processors from both Intel and AMD have a safety shutoff mechanism built in.
Check these videos out to see how this impacts you: