Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Dots appearing on screen

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
January 20, 2013 1:05:16 PM

Hello,

Recently, I have been experiencing "random" dots appearing all over the screen. It doesn't happen all the time, just often enough to be very annoying. The link at the bottom of this post will take you to a screenshot I have uploaded to Flicker. The screenshot shows a particularly extreme example of the issue. Usually, the dots are almost quite difficult to notice.

I tend to find it occurs when I load up a new program - but not always. It would seem that when my computer has been on for a decent period of time, it almost completely stops happening. But when I've just turned it on, it happens the whole time (but not on the BIOS screen). I'm running:

Windows 8 Pro (problem predates installation of Windows 8)
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
4gb DDR3
OCZ StrealthXstream 2 600w
ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
120gb SSD
AMD Radeon HD 6850


I have tried all the usual software-orientated things like new drivers and new BIOS and I have trawled other forums for a solution, but no success so far.

I believe the issue is hardware related, but I'm unsure whether to point the finger at my PSU, or video card.

My system also has an integrated video card. When I use this, I experience no issues. However, as I suspect the load will be less, I'm not sure this definitively rules out the PSU.

I've tried unseating and reseating the card, as well as using new display cables and different sockets (HDMI to DVI to VGA). I get the same issue regardless.

Whilst I know OCZ doesn't have the best reputation, the particular PSU in question has very reasonable reviews.

I'd be keen to get some advice on how I might pin down a diagnosis for this.

Thanks.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/92378649@N05/8398777856/in...

More about : dots appearing screen

January 20, 2013 1:50:45 PM

Junk the asus motherboard. Use another brand.
January 20, 2013 1:57:26 PM

This is a symptom of bad GDDR. It is overheating and causing artifacts.

Use a GPU tool to ramp the graphics card fan speed to max, and if possible underclock the memory significantly.

The reason it disappears when using the onboard GPU is that it then uses the system memory.

In the longer term, get better ventilation/airflow over your GPU. Or install a better thermal solution to your graphics card RAM (be it uprated thermal interface pads or mounting heatsinks over each chip depending on your current cooling solution)
Related resources
January 20, 2013 1:57:26 PM

I would suspect the video card. If you can try another one and see if that fixes the problem.
January 20, 2013 2:14:24 PM

americanbrian said:
This is a symptom of bad GDDR. It is overheating and causing artifacts.

Use a GPU tool to ramp the graphics card fan speed to max, and if possible underclock the memory significantly.

The reason it disappears when using the onboard GPU is that it then uses the system memory.

In the longer term, get better ventilation/airflow over your GPU. Or install a better thermal solution to your graphics card RAM (be it uprated thermal interface pads or mounting heatsinks over each chip depending on your current cooling solution)


Thanks americanbrian,

I mentioned the problem tends to disappear over a period of extended use. That would seem to indicate to me that it isn't a cooling issue.

Happy to be corrected though!
January 20, 2013 2:37:33 PM

It's the chipset.
Replace the board, and USE the computer.
January 20, 2013 2:57:49 PM

soundguruman said:
It's the chipset.
Replace the board, and USE the computer.


Thanks soundguruman

I'm not too keen on your proposed solution as I won't be able to tell if you're right until I've actually bought the new board and installed it... that's not to say I disagree. :) 

You got a mobo in mind?


By the way americanbrian - I checked the temperature of the video card and its operating at about 32 degrees. I cranked the fan right up for a while anyway but still got the same problem. Pretty sure that means there's no cooling issue here. Is there software available to test the GDDR for errors? I used memtest which returned no errors - is that the right approach?

January 20, 2013 5:50:25 PM

The fact it disappears over extended use actually just confirms the fact in my opinion. It is heating the solder back up to the point that the connections "remake" properly. It will probably slowly get worse and worse as the solder ages

This type of problem is well established on many devices (RROD on Xbox, nvidia chips in HP and other laptops, more)

It would probably respond to a "oven bake trick" quite well, but there are reports that it only lasts 3 months or so often. To fix it properly you would need a surface mount re-work station... (you reball the connections with solder and remount them with great precision)
January 20, 2013 5:55:24 PM

By all means run memtest and try other things. I have seen these dots many times and they are usually due to errors in the GDDR.

The GPU CORE TEMP which you tell me is 32C has no real relation to the GDDR temp.

If you happen to have a graphics card with a MEMIO temp sensor that will tell you.

(as seen here about 3/4s the way down the image: http://www.hwinfo.com/images/HWiNFO32_sensors2.jpg )
January 20, 2013 6:01:10 PM

Love the comments like ditch the asus, or get a new a board.

Since when does VIDEO artifacting and other VIDEO problems point to the motherboard or chipset being a problem. Sounds like a VIDEO problem to me and the best spot to look for a VIDEO problem is to start with the VIDEO card. See, VIDEO cards, output VIDEO. Problems with VIDEO, the first thing to check, test temps, speed, is the VIDEO card, not say ditch the motherboard, or it's the chipset. What chipset? Would cooling help the chipset in question? No, it's just ditch the motherboard to fix a VIDEO problem.
January 20, 2013 6:04:00 PM

americanbrian said:
The fact it disappears over extended use actually just confirms the fact in my opinion. It is heating the solder back up to the point that the connections "remake" properly. It will probably slowly get worse and worse as the solder ages

This type of problem is well established on many devices (RROD on Xbox, nvidia chips in HP and other laptops, more)

It would probably respond to a "oven bake trick" quite well, but there are reports that it only lasts 3 months or so often. To fix it properly you would need a surface mount re-work station... (you reball the connections with solder and remount them with great precision)


Okay - makes sense I guess.

Not sure I'm willing to embark on any "proper" fiddling around inside my computer. Do you know if this sort of video card damage is covered by the manufacturer's warranty? I've contacted them already but still waiting on a response.

... or is that a stupid question? :) 
January 20, 2013 6:14:49 PM

getochkn said:
Love the comments like ditch the asus, or get a new a board.

Since when does VIDEO artifacting and other VIDEO problems point to the motherboard or chipset being a problem. Sounds like a VIDEO problem to me and the best spot to look for a VIDEO problem is to start with the VIDEO card. See, VIDEO cards, output VIDEO. Problems with VIDEO, the first thing to check, test temps, speed, is the VIDEO card, not say ditch the motherboard, or it's the chipset. What chipset? Would cooling help the chipset in question? No, it's just ditch the motherboard to fix a VIDEO problem.


LOL, thanks for that getochkn, you saved me the trouble of letting him know how goofy his statements are.
January 21, 2013 7:45:11 AM

If your card is still under warranty then ABSOLUTELY return it.

It definitely would be covered under warranty (provided you have not attempted to overclock the memory significantly).

p.s. they would only know if you had tried to OC if you have re-written the video bios firmware. software OC's once returned to "default" should not be detected. (I think)
January 22, 2013 10:08:23 PM

One other thing that will make dots on the screen is if the cables inside the computer are positioned too tightly together.
Separate the data, power supply and other cables.
However I will bet $1 it's the motherboard.
January 22, 2013 11:37:44 PM

Simple test, get a cheap $20 video card and install. If the problem is gone you know the culprit. And if it persists then proceed to look elsewhere...
January 23, 2013 7:32:07 AM

^^ He already has tested with a integrated GPU and it remedies the problem...

Which also conclusively shows that it has nothing to do with his motherboard...
January 23, 2013 10:38:16 AM

americanbrian said:
^^ He already has tested with a integrated GPU and it remedies the problem...

Which also conclusively shows that it has nothing to do with his motherboard...


Then it's video card related. I've never came across an instance where there was artifacting and it was chipset related.
January 23, 2013 11:03:18 AM

what's the version/data of the video driver displayed on the device manager?
February 1, 2013 12:14:59 PM

Thanks all for your help!

I replaced the video card and the problem has stopped happening.
February 1, 2013 12:28:24 PM

Pick a best answer then on the one you think helped you.
!