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Flickering issue, thinking to stop using shared video

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
June 25, 2010 9:13:27 PM

Hi guys,

I have a machine with basically these specs:

(using this machine with a Samsung 2252LW LCD monitor....)

I've upgraded the memory, at one point to 4GB when I was running Windows Vista 32-bit. Last week, I did a wipe and full upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit. After some issues (specifically a white screen when booting up in non-safe mode, and the network controller not working in safe mode), I was forced to downgrade to 3GB. Now the system runs wonderfully, it boots really fast, I see the 3GB RAM, and it seems to work fine with Windows 7. My collateral damage is the loss of 1GB of ram, no big deal for me since I usually don't use much more than like 2.5 GB for all the home stuff I do, which is mostly web browsing, chat, and everyone once in a while playing some video. Amazingly, this machine can play HD video with no problem in formats like MKV and whatever.

The video on this machine is ATI Radeon X1250, which is on-board video, maybe 256MB of shared RAM? Not sure exactly how much it uses...

I've noticed one weird thing, it appears to happen only some times, and I'm not sure what triggers it. I notice that the monitor begins to flicker slightly. When looking at it from a distance, you can't really see it, but sitting right in front of it, I can. Edges on the screen, ie, the edge of windows, seem to be jiggling slightly. I'm not sure if this is an issue with my monitor, or with something with the machine, or something on the refresh rate. Currently I'm running my screen resolution at 1680x1050. For whatever reason, I only see one single refresh rate at this resolution, 60 Hz, so that's what I'm using. I think the on-board video I'm using might be able to physically do more, but in order to enable it, I need to use an ATI Catalyst driver or something, and unfortunately, ATI has put the on-board video I am using into a "legacy" program. That means they won't support the video card on Windows 7, so there are no drivers they will release on it. Lower resolutions, with higher refresh rates seem to be clearer and do not suffer from this odd flickering on the edges of windows and such.

I'm thinking to give up trying to figure out how to fool with the settings and just get a cheap video controller, I saw some GeForce 210 video card for almost nothing online, like 10-30 bucks. I was thinking to get that and try it out. I have no idea how this would work, or even if it would solve my issues. I think from looking at the specs, my machine has a PCIe slot, but looking at some controllers online, I see their specs saying "PCIe 2.0". Any idea if my machine is a 2.0 version of PCIe?

The thought came to my mind that maybe getting this video card would also fix the issue with my system not being able to handle an entire 4GB of RAM... so that would be even better...

Thanks for any advice.. looking to see if I can fix the existing PC and not waste it by dumping it to get a new one...

a b U Graphics card
June 25, 2010 10:22:12 PM

hey Letshavepaneer,

The 4gb of RAM problem I had too when installing Vista, and some have had that issue with Win 7 too. For the most stable install, some people have reduced their RAM to less than 4gb during the install, and when it's done, reinstall their additional RAM back and everything should be fine.

Regarding your video problem, it could in fact be a dying video card. That video card is a few years old and I wouldn't be too shocked if it was starting to go.

You have a PCI-Express 1.0 slot, which means you are compatible with any PCI-E 2.0-1.0 video cards, BUT you cannot use a PCI-E 2.1 video card. When shopping online on sites like newegg, it will detail in the specifications which standard it is.

A Geforce 210 will likely do whatever you need it to if you were happy with x1250.
a b U Graphics card
June 26, 2010 7:08:49 AM

I could see a couple of potential issues here. One is the ram you uninstalled could have been faulty.
If the onboard video is failing, then you'll need to replace the motherboard. I'd say that is unlikely.
Lets assume that its more likely the driver issue that is causing the flickering, as it was working recently in Vista. I would use the Vista drivers for the video card. From Ati's website:
Note: AMD’s DirectX 9 ATI Radeon graphics accelerators are not officially supported under Windows 7. If the user chooses to, they can install the ATI Catalyst Windows Vista graphics driver under Windows 7. Please be aware that none of the new Windows 7 graphics driver (WDDM 1.1) features are supported (as the Windows Vista level graphics driver is limited to WDDM 1.0 level support).

This should get you by for now, I don't think you'll have difficulty. I would agree that you should look at getting a new graphics card for use with win7. It will enhance your experience for sure.