Graphics cards are pretty complex pieces of hardware, and they are engineered to survive "normal" operation, but swapping buffers 500-1000 times per second with a very simple scene, which can happen in menues that is not capped is not really "normal operation".So you're basically saying it's normal that GPU is unable to operate at full power?
The cards did not need to be overclocked, nor did it require dust.
It's not game's fault if you have dusty graphics card or overclock it till it fries. That's not even a bug.
Following your logic Prime95 supposed to overheat and fry CPU as well. That's NOT normal, it's hardware/user issue, not software.
I imagine it puts a lot of stress on small parts of the hardware and create hotspots.
One could argue that the hardware or the drivers should be smart enough to not do things like that, but obviously they aren't.
I remember my old card starting to emit a high pitch noise (not from the fans) when the fps got above 200-300 or so... didn't dare to run it long like that.
I wouldn't call it normal, but it's the reality...