well my stalwart old 8800 GTX has finally bit the dust. had the card for almost 2 years now, and it started artifacting/hard locking while I was playing WAR last night. tried some other games and got the same result. rolled back my drivers, updated directx, still the same result. don't have another card to test whether it was possibly the motherboard, but I seriously doubt it is anyway.
so I went ahead and grabbed a BFG 260 GTX on newegg. they had it on sale for $245 with $45 rebate, which was perfect because that was all I was willing to spend. I wasn't looking for a huge upgrade, just something that is roughly equivalent or better to my 8800 and the 260 more than fit the bill. hopefully I'll be back to burning heretics on my witch hunter in WAR when it gets here in a few days.