Ok, here is my problem. I had windows 7 installed on my computer, everything was working fine. I installed Mass Effect 2 on my computer. Worked fine for about, oh, 2 hours. Then my monitor started to flicker. Every 30-60 seconds, the screen would go blank for a split second and return back to the game. To my dismay, not only does this flickering occur in the game, but also in windows. And the funny thing is, is that it only happens when I do certain things like when the download dialog box pops up, or i pull down a menu list on a website, or when I go to install something. It seems to me it occurs when something pops up on my screen like a dialog box, but not every dialog box though. I can neither confirm nor deny that windows 7 and mass effect 2 were legit, so I though viruses were the problem. Scanned for virus, nothing came up. Since I recently installed windows 7 on my computer, I thought I could fix it if I did a clean install of windows 7. This did not work. Now, I'm back on vista business 32 bit and it is still occurring in the same manner. Now I'm almost positive this is a hardware issue. My monitor could not be the problem because the flickering is linked to specific action on the computer. I've disabled my video card driver and the problem has stopped. I'm not an expert on hardware issues, could this be a problem with my motherboard, faulty memory, faulty video card?... It's a 8800gt. Dell vostro 410.
If you have aero turned on, functions like opening menus and windows put some small amounts of work on the GPU.
You can try replacing the cable between your monitor and Videocard, but most likely you have a problem with your card. The vostro 410 has a power supply that would barely be able to keep your 8800gts afloat, and over time, PSUs degrade in power delivery.
I could simply be that your PSU finally fell behind in keeping the gpu in enough juice to run smoothly, or your card is on its way out, and ME2 was another nail in the coffin (damn pretty game indeed ).
If you could test another PSU in your system, a quality 400w should suffice, you might be able to rule that out, or confirm the source of the issue.
I've never heard about PSUs degrading over time, but that's probably because I stupid. If i can remember, my PSU is rated at 320 watts. I don't have a spare laying around, but I planned on upgrade the psu anyway when I jump the Core 2 to I-7 divide in a year. Will check out Best Buy to see what they got tonight. I'm not a person who likes to wait for a UPS truck. Never like having a 320 watt PSU in the first place, kept me from over-clocking and limited my upgrade options.
Antec, Corsair, OCZ, Seasonic, PC Cooling &Power, Thermaltake and I am sure other brands other members can contribute (just a couple off the top of my head) are reputable. You probably don't need 600w, but I don't think it is a wasteful capacity to aim for either. It is best to get as efficient of a PSU that you can afford, and 80+ ratings are solid buys.
A quick newegg search for "600w PSU" and sorting by lowest price, this is the first one that jumped out at me:
But, you could save a few bucks and get a lower power unit that would have no problem with your system, such as a 450w corsair:
The price difference is so small, that it wouldn't be a poor choice to go higher power for future uprgades and a protective ceiling against degradation.
And one more thing, I understand now that my psu might not be capable of supplying enough juice in games, but for just browsing the web, opening up dialog boxes... why would my screen be flickering then? I understand that it takes a little juice to run aero, but 320 watts worth? Can it be concluded that this is a video card problem?