Blue Squiggly Lines across both monitors

The problem that I've been having is an issue with blue squiggly lines across both of my screens. From what I could find it might be referred to as “artifacting” but not sure if that term is accurate for what is happening. This is a new computer and was only put together about a week ago and the problem only started this weekend after about 4 days of function. Below is my hardware list and OS:

Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4GHz (Model #: BX80623I72600K)
Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
RAM: 2 x 4GB Corsair 240-pin DDR3 1600
PSU: 850W Corsair Modular
GPU: EVGA Nvidia 9800 GS (requires 2 x 6 pin power connectors)
OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

This problem first occurred while I was playing Kingdoms of Amalur. Now with the graphics card, I had used it in an older computer and was able to play Skyrim without any problem like what is happening. At the time this occurred I was unaware of the temperature of any of the hardware items.

Once the blue squiggly lines appeared across both screens, the computer locked up and I was forced to hard reset the computer. When I restarted the computer, it got so far as loading Windows, the screens had the blue squiggly lines appear and once again locked up. At this point I shut down the machine and opened the chassis side. The motherboard didn't seem to have any damage (warping, discoloration, etc.), the ram felt cool, the heat sink on the CPU wasn't hot but the GPU was very warm. I let the GPU cool down for about an hour and during this time was researching the issue. I found someone else having a similar issue and they resolved it by a re-installation of the driver. I removed and reinstalled the Nvidia driver just in case there was some sort of corruption to them. Seemed to be fine for a bit but did not resolve the issue as it reoccurred.

From this point onward all testing was done without the chassis side on to allow open air flow.

I downloaded and installed CPUID for hardware monitoring of temperatures. The CPU once warmed up ran at 32.22 C (90 F) while idle. GPU was running idle at around 64 C (148 F). I downloaded EVGA Precision software to tweak with the fan speed to help bring that down and after cranking the fan to 75 (not sure if this is percentage of max speed or not) it brought the temperature down to 46.6 C (116 F). I decided to rev up my game (KoA) to see if the problem occurred again. Within 30 seconds of loading into the game the temperature of the card jumped from 46.6 C (116 F) to 54.6 C (134 F) before the blue squiggles reappeared then the computer locked up. At this point I assumed overheating of the GPU.

After speaking with some colleagues of mine about the problem I heard a few different explanations as to what might be happening. I was told there might be an issue with the GPU fan cooling (my original thoughts), also told over-voltage from the PSU causing the problem since it didn't occur in my old system, problem with the south bridge or PCI-E port on the mobo, even older BIOS being a problem.

One of my buddies decided to see if he could replicate the problem on his machine with my GPU. Different motherboard, CPU, and RAM but same OS. He managed to play some games (Payday, if it matters) and did not seem to have the problem at all. He also did not seem to have the temperature issue I had.

While he was using the 9800 GS to see if he could replicate the problem, I grabbed an older video card (Nvidia 7900 GS). Installing all the drivers I proceeded to try and test the limits and see if I could get the issue to happen with this older card. I loaded up KoA and had CPUID on my other monitor to monitor the temp. After turning down some of the graphics settings (couldn't move enough to try and stress it) I watched the temperature sky rocket up to 72 C (161.6 F) but the blue squiggles did NOT appear. One monitor did shut off and everything moved over to the other monitor but I believe that was from overheating it since the temperature dropped to 62.7 C (145 F). This occurred with both PCI-E slots.

I've only tested the one 6-pin power connector so I'm unsure if there is a problem with the other 6-pin yet.

I THINK the problem lies with either the motherboard or with the power supply. I'm hoping for some advise and some thoughts on this.

Since my post is a bit long winded, I’ll try to sum it up in bullet points.
-New computer

-Old video card that never had a problem till this new computer

-Strange blue squiggly lines across both screens that may be caused by overheating of GPU

-Not sure if the overheating is being caused by over voltage from PSU or if there is an issue with the PCI-E slots on the motherboard

-Rest of the computer runs about 10-40 F cooler than the GPU
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More about blue squiggly lines monitors
  1. What was the solution to your problem. I am seeing the same thing. I recently replaced my motherboard and now see the blue squiggly lines. Sometimes after its been up for a while it won't come out of sleep mode.
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