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"Shaking" Screen Issue

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 5, 2012 1:07:21 AM

I've seen similar threads but nothing I found seemed to have helped.

I bought a new graphics card yesterday and everything seems to be working well, aside from one issue. My display looks perfectly fine while I'm on Windows Explorer or Firefox, but after playing more demanding games for a few minutes, the screen becomes "shaky." I'm primarily noticing the issue while playing StarCraft 2, but it has popped up on other games as well. The screen slowly transitions back to normal after I exit a game or alt-tab out of it.

The best way I can describe this shaking is that it seems like the pixels are jittering left-to-right and back again really fast, but not in a uniform manner. Each horizontal row seems to shake independent of one above and below it. It is like miniature screen tearing but with every single row of pixels doing it.

Now, the best I can tell is that my monitor is the issue. I have an old monitor; I've been using it for six years. Until I installed this new graphics card, everything worked fine. Games ran slow, even on low settings, but it worked as it should have. Now, with this new card in, the monitor is having this issue. I would immediately assume the card was to blame, but thanks to my friend's new computer parts waiting around my house, I was able to test out another monitor, which worked just fine.

Assuming my monitor is the problem, I really can't afford to upgrade right now because I'm kind of afraid of budget monitors, for a reason I will get to in a second. My current monitor is old but has lasted me for six years of heavy use and the display, while small, looks perfectly balanced. The colors look great and the brightness is ideal. Here is a link to the monitor I am using:

http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/emachines-e17t4w-l...

Now, as I was saying, my friend just recently started purchasing parts to build a computer. We are waiting on some more parts before I assemble it, so the rest is sitting around my house. His monitor was fairly cheap, but I can't stand the display on it. The colors are too bright, the options menu changes nothing, the display seems blurry at some points, the viewing angle is horrible, and the menu buttons are hard to get at. In short, I hate this thing. The point is, the shaky screen issues didn't pop up on his monitor. Here is his monitor:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


So here is a list of things I have tried and what potential issues I have eliminated:

New monitor, same video cable (VGA + DVI adapter on card), different power cables. My monitor has circular prongs on its power cable (what is this? I can't find any other cables like this, except on my printer, which reads 2.5A / 125v, where my monitor cable reads 7A / 125v). Most monitor power cables that I see have rectangular prongs. Anyway, this appears to have eliminated the graphics card as the issue.

My drivers are up to date, my old drivers were uninstalled before upgrading my graphics card.

My windows control panel refresh rate is set to 60hz, which matches the monitor's native settings. I'm also aligning my games with the 60hz refresh rate. For example, StarCraft 2, the main culprit, is currently on extreme settings, 1280x720, and 60hz.

Removed potentially interfering devices. I've read that speakers may disrupt the video signals, but I had no luck moving anything away. This has also never caused me issues before.

I checked my GPU temperature and it is only running at 38C after 20+ minutes on SC2 extreme 1280x720.

System Specs:

GIGABYTE GA-M68MT-S2
AMD FX-4100 @ stock 3.60 ghz
8GB (2x4gb) DDR3 1600 (@ 1333), PC12800
EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024mb (not OC'd)
[old video card that never gave me trouble] ASUS GeForce 8400 GS Silent 512mb
650w PSU that exceeds the specific requirements for the 550

Additional notes:

My case won't allow the graphics card to be put in it. The dimensions are fine, but the metal at the bottom of the front of the card won't fit correctly into the slots between the motherboard and the chassis. My old card fit into the single slot easily, but this new card, with dual-width (and consequently, two metal protrusions), won't push into place. I believe this is an issue with the chassis, so I have temporarily moved the bulk of the computer out of the case and am running it on a safe surface next to the case. I still have my power button attached from the case to the motherboard, since my front panel is very difficult to remove. This is a temporary solution, until I get around to physically altering the problem area of the case. I'm fairly certain this isn't causing me any issues, but I'm trying to give as much detail as possible.

I'm running my games on maximum settings and averaging 60-110 fps on StarCraft 2. I'd rather not have to replace my monitor, and honestly can't until I can afford it. I can always buy a mini-hdmi to hdmi cable to use my 32" 1080p tv as my monitor until I can afford to replace it entirely, if need-be.

If you think my monitor is shot, I'd appreciate suggestions for a new one with 60hz+ refresh rate, 16:9 widescreen, a 17-23" display, good color / brightness balance, and under $150. Otherwise, is there anything I can do to fix this problem with my current monitor?

Thanks.

EDIT: I just played some SC2 and the shaking stopped after 2-3 minutes into the match and didn't start again. I'll keep playing and add more info if I get it. I'll also try the other monitor again, since I could have just gotten lucky with my first attempt on it.

EDIT EDIT: It appears to happen upon switching programs and then stops after a few minutes. It happened when I started playing Team Fortress 2 and stopped maybe 60 seconds later. It did the same thing when I exited the game.

More about : shaking screen issue

August 6, 2012 9:47:22 AM

So I fixed the issue. I just used the other DVI port on my card and now it works just fine. I might be returning the card for a new one, but I can always use the DVI 2 slot. This still doesn't explain to me why one monitor worked fine in DVI 1 and the other failed miserably. I guess one would think I would have tried the other DVI earlier... but at least I fixed it.

Thanks for all of the help, guys!
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