Well after a few months of waiting, and getting advice, I finally purchased the parts and built my first computer. Thankfully, everything worked right... the first time! Besides some issues with the sound card (needed new drivers for 64bit Windows), nothing seemed to be going wrong.
That is until I started playing games. My eVGA 6800GT has been acting up. Since the first time I booted Far Cry, I'd play about 5 minutes, and right after the first cutscene or so in game, I'd get funny shapes/colors shooting out from the center of the screen (artifacts?). Tried lowering detail settings to fix this, updating drivers, but no luck.
Moved on to Battlefield 2, and it works fine... for a while. Usually at the end of a match I get the same sort of problem, although when the game starts up again/new match, everything is working fine.
Tried testing a bunch of games, and finally found out about RivaTuner to monitor temperature. Anytime I noticed something funny, I would quit out of the game and check the temperature. Typically, while running a game, the temperature seemed fairly stable around 70C, but when these 'artifacts' appeared, the card was hitting up to 81C. I'm almost positive this is extremely high for a video card, so I was wondering what you all would suggest. I cleaned up all the wires for better airflow, but that hasnt helped at all. ANY suggestions would be appreciated...
MOBO - Asus A8N-SLI nForce4
CPU - AMD Athlon 64 4000+
RAM - 2GB pQI DDR 400
Video - eVGA Geforce6800 GT
PSU - AeroCool Aero-550W
2 optical drives connected, 1 floppy drive, 1 IDE hard drive, PCI Sound Card
Anything else I can list to help, let me know... thank you guys so much in advance