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Strange Display Problems

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  • Homebuilt
  • Graphics Cards
  • Systems
  • Displays
Last response: in Systems
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September 11, 2006 9:36:11 AM

I recently built a system based on an AMD X2 4200 (full specs below). I am getting a less than perfect display, in that there are some spurious blue-ish vertical lines appearing on the display. This is especially noticeable on a black background, for example, I get blue dots and small vertical lines around the Windows XP screensaver.

Suspecting the graphics card, I changed it. When this didn't cure the problem, I tried the graphics card in the other PCI-E slot, to no avail. I then swapped out the motherboard for an identical model, assuming that this could be the only thing left that could be causing the problem. This hasn't cured it, unfortunately! I've also tried my monitor on another machine, and the monitor isn't at fault.

I'm completely baffled, so any suggestions will be very gratefully received.

Many thanks
Mark

System:
AMD Athlon X2 4200
1GB (2x512MB) Corsair Value DDR667
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
Jeantech 600W PSU
Samsung Spinpoint 300GB SATAII NCQ HDD
PNY NVidia 7300GS Graphics

More about : strange display problems

September 11, 2006 10:59:39 AM

have you checked the display itself?
try other resolutions? or a other display?

hmm, sorry; just read you've tested the display on another computer.
can it be a driver problem?
try to uninstall, and reinstall another version, also if possible, swap Nvidia and ati, to test.

lots of succes
September 11, 2006 11:35:35 AM

Are you using the DVI connector (assuming your monitor is an LCD)? If you're using the analog connector there are often issues with some certain LCDs and graphics cards, usually due to the cabling or the monitor design itself. If it is an LCD, also try the auto-adjust feature if you're using analog, as this will usually fix many problems with poor image quality.

Also check the refresh rate of the display, and try changing it to see if there's any difference.
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September 11, 2006 11:40:16 AM

I'm using the DVI connection, although I have tried the analogue connection, with the same results. I tried my monitor through my laptop, and there's no problem with the display there.
September 11, 2006 1:11:45 PM

very strange indeed.

Looks like you have tried everything,.. Have you checked to see if your rig set up near anything that could be causing interferance... ie.. a microwave, tv, cell antena, a mobile phone, a fridge, speakers, hi-fi, dvd player, desktop lamp etc....
Could even be a faulty device like a web cam, printer or palm top etc...
cant think of anything else it would be.

Can you list your exact bits you have used please, ie, any sort of exotic cooling solutions etc..
September 11, 2006 1:51:25 PM

Sounds like it could be EMI/RFI interference. How close is the monitor to your case? Try moving it as far away from the case as you can. You may also need a ferrite core to put on your cable.

Did you try the new video card and monitor on another PC? What were the results?
September 11, 2006 2:06:40 PM

The case resides inside a door on my computer desk, with the monitor on top of the desk. It's only since I've had this current set-up that this interference has been happening. There is a small freezer that lives in another cupboard to the right of my desk, but it's sufficiently far away.

I'm not sure that interference could be the problem - I did a recording session on my PC last Saturday, taking the case and monitor into a different room. I still got the same problems.

I've tried my monitor on my laptop, and I don't get the display problem. I haven't tried the video card in another machine; I expect that this could be a bit of a wild goose chase because I have had the same problem from both the previous ATI card and the current NVidia.

I've checked the RAM in Microscope 2005 and Memtest86 and it appears to be OK.

Could the PSU be the culprit? Could it be that it's not supplying enough voltage/ampage to the graphics?

I'm completely foxed by this, and it sounds like I'm not the only one!

Thanks for your suggestions so far.
September 11, 2006 2:30:36 PM

Yes, the PSU could be the problem. Poor filtering of 60 HZ ripple could be the cause or simply low power output.
September 11, 2006 2:55:35 PM

seems like your right then, if its not outside interference then as you say, one of the only things left to test is the psu.

I hope it is just the PSU, as its a cheap thing to replace. and you can get some now that run almost silent and come with a 2-3yrs warrenty :D 
September 19, 2006 9:04:43 AM

OK - I've now changed the PSU for the Corsair HX620. The problem is still there! It does seem to be a 50/60Hz ripple, which is more noticeable with hard drive activity (it seems to flicker in time to the movement of the heads on the HD!) I've even changed the SATA cable, to no effect.

I do have a spare HD I could try, is this the best way forward? Does anyone know of such problems reported with the 590 chipset?

Many thanks!

Mark
September 19, 2006 9:45:49 AM

Quote:
I recently built a system based on an AMD X2 4200 (full specs below). I am getting a less than perfect display, in that there are some spurious blue-ish vertical lines appearing on the display. This is especially noticeable on a black background, for example, I get blue dots and small vertical lines around the Windows XP screensaver.

System:
AMD Athlon X2 4200
1GB (2x512MB) Corsair Value DDR667
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
Jeantech 600W PSU
Samsung Spinpoint 300GB SATAII NCQ HDD
PNY NVidia 7300GS Graphics


I know that this is a longshot, but have you tested your building's ground? I've noticed that the newer PSU's seem to be far less tolerant in re: ground faults. Maybe its just their circuits are just tighter. (or maybe, their components are ... cheaper?)

You didn't mentioned if / what you were running prior to this new build.
September 19, 2006 10:27:26 AM

I haven't tested my building's ground, and I wouldn't know where to start! :oops:  I suppose the next thing I could do is to take the PC to my neighbour's house.

Before the current system, I was running an Athlon 3800 with a MSI board, NVidia 6x graphics, a gig of RAM and a 200GB SATA HDD. The PSU was a fairly bog-standard 500W.
September 19, 2006 10:48:55 AM

"PSU was a fairly bog-standard 500W."

Maybe my point.

A 'cheap' DVm is a handy tool to have lying around... One probe from earth, and another from ground should be zero volts. (I'm asuming that you have three prong recepticles..) and then test from earth to the pwr lead, there should be full voltage for your area. That's a pretty good pair of tests.
September 19, 2006 11:16:56 AM

Did you try changing the Display driver ? .. try using Nvidia 81.21 driver or 91. 47 ..

also the problem could be in the chispet itsef ! 590 chipset was reported to have bugs recently .. try updating your mother board driver or BIOS .


and about that flickering .. make me assume that something related to the CPU ? did you try games .. does that flickering appear while gaming ?

here is what you are going to do :
1- Change display driver ..
2- Update mother board driver and BIOS .
3- Change your current graphic card with any Low end graphic card ..even it has 16MB .

also I do't think it's something related to the PSU .. as power supplies only feed the graphic card .. the monitor supply is always the normal electrical current .

if the problem is still there .. then let me assume it's something related to your CPU or RAM .. as you said flickering increase with hard drive activity .. and this activity is directly related to the CPU work load .. (without the CPU HD won't work ) .

some systems based on certain pieces encounter weird problems .. could be the combination of your RAM and Nvidia 590 chipset .. certain mb show conflicts with certain models of RAM .

I hope this helps .
September 22, 2006 8:37:28 AM

I have now tried the PC in my neighbour's house, using her monitor. The problem still persists.

I'm not sure that downgrading driver versions will help, as the problem is not OS specific. I suppose I could try another hard drive, but I'm not at all sure that this will help (I have a spare Maxtor SATAII drive.)
September 23, 2006 3:04:06 PM

Exactly at what point do you begin to see the problem? Immediately at startup, when Windows starts, etc.? Having you tried using the basic VGA driver, as is used in safe-mode?
September 23, 2006 3:46:45 PM

have you tried lowering DVI frequency, and disable\enable write combining?
!