Horizontal artifacts during boot and in Windows

CPU: I5 2500k @ 4.5ghz
RAM: g-skill 8gb 2100mhz
GPU: MSI gtx 580 twin frozr II @ 1.1v, 900mhz core, 2100mhz memory
PSU: Antec true power 750w
Case: NZXT Phantom Enthusiast with extra 1x240mm and 1x120mm fans

Hey guys,

For the passed few days I've encountered a really strange error and i'm stumped as to what the problem could be.

A few days ago I installed a new samsung 830 256gb SSD. I already had a OCZ agility III 120gb but it was too small so decided to upgrade and use my OCZ ssd as a steam game storage drive. I installed the new SSD fine and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 rather than cloning my old OCZ.

When actually installing windows onto my samsung SSD (disconnected all other drives as its been known that having extra drives causes the windows install to corrupt somehow) while under the windows install GUI horizontal artifact lines were appearing across the screen (this happened the first time i built my pc with the gtx580 installed and I had to up the voltage ever so slightly to stop the artifacts from appearing).

Everything was fine after upping the voltage slightly until I had a long session on Battlefield 3. After about 2-3 hours of game play. I had from what I guess a driver crash. The horizontal lines appeared again bit covered the whole screen while the sections with no lines appeared black. I could still hear my friend on skype however each word was being dragged out to last around ten seconds.

After rebooting the horizontal lines appeared during the boot stage (over the splash screen) and was also appearing in windows. I turned my PC off and gave it two minutes then rebooted and everything was fine again until yesterday evening.

I booted my PC when I got into windows the resolution was 800x600 and all the colours were distorted. MSI afterburner could not pick up my card to run my fan profiles etc. I uninstalled the drivers and rebooted. All colours appeared fine but the resolution was still 800x600 as expected.

Reinstalled the drivers and the same problem happened again. I rebooted, went into the bios and re-enabled my onboard graphics and everything appeared fine (PC was really really slow however but I think this may be because my CPU hasn't been setup correctly for onboard graphics?).

Set the bios settings for PCI-E then my card appeared to be working fine (except a driver crash as soon as I opened skype).

Booted this morning and tried to run Heaven 3.0 and the drivers crashed again (before heaven menu appeared). So I've changed the DVI cable and the problem hasn't happened since but I'm pretty certain this isn't the cause of the problem.

Sorry for my long drawn out explanation but I'm trying to give as much inormation as possible so I can get some good opinions. I suppose my question is... Do you think my GPU is at fault or could it be a problem with the monitor (I'm leaning more towards the GPU being at fault due to the driver crashes).

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm completely stumped and I haven't got the required hardware to give it a thorough test.

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  1. EDIT: or could it even be that my PSU isn't powerful enough for my system (upping the voltage on a cpu and gtx580 for overclocks may be straining it and in turn under powering my GPU which has caused it to burn out?)

    (Tried to edit original post but was unable)
  2. no one have any ideas?
  3. Can't see the Antec is getting stressed with a single GPU rig.
    Artifacts like that during boot are often very bad news and indicate the graphics card is having problems but standard toubleshooting rules apply: Reset the system back to stock then take everything out and put it back, ('cpt the CPU ;) ), checking each connector is fully inserted, each component correctly seated and all cables correctly connected.
    Trust me, you're just going to b banging your head aginst a wall troubleshooting a heavily overclocked system so give yourself a leval playing field to start with.
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