Is there a thumbstick Linux image for checking hardware? Ideally I'd like to take it with me to a second hand shop, boot it up and run a quick round of diagnostics on hardware. It must have both latest NV and AMD drivers, as well as specialized software for detecting if they're damaged.
You can use the Hiren's BootCD
I used the included Video Memory Stress Test tool to check the video memory on my VAIO laptop after I was getting BSODs. It detected memory faults almost straight away.
It also comes with a great selection of other diagnostic tools.