I have a Dell vostro 410 for about 1,5 years now. Since a week or two, I'm getting those artifacts during gameplay (GTA 4 and Max Payne) and one time even while I was browsing the internet. The computer crashes completely with artifacts and the sound doesnt go further. There was 1 time that I rebooted my PC because of artifacts, and then some artifacts showed up during the restart, followed by a BSOD which went too fast to read because my computer shutted down.
Temperatures @ idle: 73 degrees.
Temperatures @ load: max 87, during artifacts it was 83.
The problem is that the artifacts arent coming all the time. It's sometimes.
I called Dell today and they will send a techician will come to replace my videocard soon.
But I'm really scared that the problem wont be my videocard. But it could be the videocard right? I mean, there wasnt any sound, the sound was stuttering..
Thats definitely a video card issue. 8800s are hot, but 73C at idle is HOTTT with a few extra T's on there. The artifacts won't always be there, but its possible that when your card gets above a certain temp and tries to access certain parts of the memory or a particular portion of the GPU, something different happens. its not uncommon for those types of things to be a little intermittent with a dying GPU. If it was consistent, then it would either be a DEAD GPU or a particular problem with a particular situation.