I've gotten to a point in my life where I don't play many pc games (pretty much just league of legends), but I still use my pc heavily for internet browsing, netflix, etc, as well as needing it to do my job. This evening I had my computer lock up while watching netflix streaming, and when I reloaded there were red lines on everything, and the computer no longer recognized my graphics card (Specifically when trying to load into the Nvidia utility, getting the error message to the effect that I was not using an Nvidia product.)
I removed the graphics card from the case, blew it out a bit and put it back in. Everything started up fine. The moment I loaded any sort of video/game however, the lines reappeared and occasionally lock the computer up. I can lessen this by having the case open with a fan pointed directly at it, but the card is obviously mostly dead at this point.
So here's what I need help with, I need a new card as soon as possible. Unfortunately I just had about a grand of work done on my car, and am dead broke. As I mentioned I don't do much that is graphically intensive anymore, so I tried to re-buy another 8800, and obviously those have been discontinued. I tried to find a similar card, but I find graphics card version numbering to be one of the most convoluted mazes of information on the planet.
Can someone please help me find a comparable card? I really can't spend more than about $100, but if its a tad over I may be able to handle it. If the specs provided are not enough I'd be happy to elaborate, and any help you guys can provide I would be extremely grateful.
Might be at the top end of your budget but i'd consider a 6770. With mail in rebates they're around 90 bucks and i'd say they're a significant upgrade over your gt 8800 with good power consumption. here's a link for a newegg xfx 6770, which includes a lifetime warranty if you register the product.