Several graphics question from an ignorant newbe

First, I am not a gamer although my son does play Minecraft on my PC sometimes.

I am having problems with my display. I get vertical green lines and a reduced viewing area the vast majority of the time. I opened the PC and it was fairly dusty so I cleaned it pretty good, removed the graphics card and cleaned it as well. Put everything back together and it all worked perfectly for about 12 hours, then - poof - green lines and smaller viewing area again and "new" screens seems to freeze and my CPU usage seems to increase for about 30 seconds. I figured it is either a bad graphics card or a bad DVI cable or a bad monitor. I changed the monitor out with a standard 17" and seemed to have no issues, but I imagine there is less stress on the card now. Also the card seems to be rather hot to the touch. Reading through the forum gave me a few more questions, so here they are:

Is there a fairly simple way to determine whether it is the monitor (I dont have access to another HD monitor at the moment) or the card (or the cable)?

How do I monitor the temp of my card? Is there a program - I searched but couldn't find one that specifically mentioned graphics card temps?

If I do need to replace the card, is the PNY "VERTO" GEFORCE GT 630 a decent replacement, as I happen to have access to one - new in the box - for about $90 from a friend?

Anything else you can tell me or explain to me that might help? I'm trying to keep this fix as inexpensive as possible.

I have a HP Pavilion Elite M9450f with the original NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT card.

LG M237WD HD monitor

Windows Vista Home Premium (x64) Service Pack 2 (build 6002)

Main Circuit Board b
2.50 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
3072 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded

Bus Clock: 1333 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 5.29 08/21/2008

8192 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT [Display adapter]

PSU is 460W (but then it says 385W max, so I'm not sure there)

Thanks for all your help!

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  1. Not sure of answer to some of these questions. But a 17" monitor would only put less load on the card with a reduced resolution. If the rez did not change, then I expect the monitor.

    If you are using a digital connection, a "reduced viewing area" seems unlikely to be a video card issue, to my thinking.

    Why not try theoretically bad monitor on another PC if you have one available? That seems to be the simplest diagnoses.

    Your issues don't seem related to a bad cable either, not with how you described them.

    A bad power supply might explain some of the issues...maybe. But I would first do the simple monitor to another PC experiment if possible before worrying about a PSU.
  2. I need to find someone near me who has a DVI/HD monitor to switch them out. So far no luck. My other PC is not HD either so it wont work.

    My son just ran Minecraft for about 10 minutes and had no problems, so now I am thinking it is the monitor...
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