In case you wondered what the display from a heat damaged video card looks like, I have nice specimen available in the photo gallery. This Radeon 9800 Pro is not quite fried but overheating definitely rendered it unusable for all practical purposes. In-game artefacts and cursor artefacts are common symptoms of heat damage, but I had never seen text-mode corruption with garbled text at boot-time. As far as I have understood, such damage is irremediable.

BIOS text output from an overheated Radeon 9800 Pro

The Radeon 9800 Pro is an excellent deal for those wish to extend the gaming life of an AGP based system on the cheap, but much care must be taken in dealing with the ungodly amounts of heat this thing radiates. Even more than usual, stay away from models mounted with cheap fans and tiny radiators or it will only be a matter of time before your Radeon 9800 Pro croaks horribly.