I have a 6 year old PC with Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz processor, Intel DP965LT motherboard and XFX nVidia GeForce 7600 GS 256MB graphics card. Of late I'm seeing different colour patches (dotted lines, - - - - - or : : : : at random places, all over the screen. These patches appear/move/disappear if I refresh the screen (F5) or move the windows around. The issue is more prominent if boot into Ubuntu (with GNOME theme) but not so with Windows 7. In Windows it happens only if I try to play some game at very high settings but is limited to the game; it doesn't affect my desktop as such after exiting the game.
I don't think it's the bad underfill problem (mentioned here, http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1050052/nvidia...) since it happens even when the graphics card is heated up. I am not sure that it's the graphics card problem either, since the video memory tests don't report any error. It's not my monitor problem since screen capture using "Print Screen" has these patches.
So, are there any tools which can conclusively tell that the problem is with motherboard or graphics card? I'm planning to buy ATI Radeon 6570 1GB DDR3 if it's the graphics card problem but I want to be double sure before investing any money on my old desktop.
Also, is Radeon 6570 and overkill for the processor I have? I have 3 GB DDR2 RAM (512x2, 2GBx1) and planning to add 2GB more if that helps.
Thanks, rdc85. I vacuum cleaned the whole cabinet today and things seem to have improved: the fan noise has come down a lot and there aren't many screen artifacts in general (they do increase if I play games or HD videos).
I think, I'll have to replace the card soon. So, given my PC specification, can I go for ATI Radeon 6570/6670 and be able to use its full potential? Or, is it way out of league for E6300 CPU? Please suggest.
I guess, you are right. I cleaned the cooler and things improved a little. So, I may have to replace the card soon. Given my PC specification, can I go for ATI Radeon 6570/6670 and be able to use its full potential? Or, is it way out of league for E6300 CPU?
Those cards should work but there is always a change of no video issue with ver2.1 cards in older 1.x slots. Check for BIOS update for the motherboard.
Thanks for your response. My BIOS is up-to-date, released on 3/24/2009 and Intel hasn't updated it after that. I've browsed through forums and people are able to run PCI-E 2.1 cards on this motherboard. So, I should not face issues there. What I would like to know is whether my CPU will "significantly" bottleneck the GPUs mentioned. If so, I would like to downgrade my GPU and save some money for my next PC. I'm interested in playing games like Mafia II, NFS: The Run, Max Payne 3 etc. at 1280x1024 resolution with medium to high settings.