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Unsure how to diagnose graphical issue / flickering blue dots on grey


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#1 rainraingirl

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 07:37 AM

Between friends and google, it seems like the cause of this can be:

-vram failure

-dvi cable failure

-damaged pins/connectors

-dying psu (undervolting)

-dying gpu

-dying monitor

 

and I'm not sure what I've done adequately narrows it down?

So I guess I'd like to know if this is

1- indicative of imminent catastrophic failure of some sort (which flickery dots are a early sign of?)

or

2- just something to put up with or solve somehow until I can afford a new setup (stalled by gpu prices).

 

system parts: i5 2500 cpu, 16gb ddr3 ram (4x4), sb x-fi pci card, corsair tx2 650w psu, gtx 970 "4gb" strix, msi p67s-c43 board, and a dell s2740L monitor

 

I first had this issue a few days ago where there'd be an array / grid of flickering blue pixels across any gradiented/grey ish background. It happened in a game I was playing, so i took a screenshot of it, and it was flickering on the screenshot too. When I showed my friends the ss they couldn't see anything amiss.

https://i.imgur.com/bOOr8pP.png actual

https://i.imgur.com/xvCibcS.gif kinda what I see (way faster, but you get the idea)

 

To be clear - it's not just ingame, it's anything dark ish grey like discord, pics in google images, desktop backgrounds, etc.

 

I shut down my PC and unscrewed the DVI cable from the monitor and reseated it, and rebooted.

This temporarily fixed it for about a day. The dots came back, not as badly, but quite visible on anything grey.

 

I've temporarily fixed it again by lowering, in NVIDIA control panel, the green+blue channels by about 3% below red, which caused the dots to mostly disappear, as per this video: youtube.com/watch?v=OBNPaN67fFM but some gradients still trigger it.

 

I've run memtestg80 to see if VRAM failing and it looked okay.

The fact that they don't show up in screenshot to other ppl means that the gpu output is correct?

So the gpu is probably okay.

But when I use my monitor with my ps4 (via hdmi) I don't get the dots at all which means that the monitor is working properly too?

So then, if the issue is the DVI connection, am I able to just.. not use dvi? Like my gfx card has displayport and hdmi ports on the back of it, or are those for other things?

The DVI cable went in straight, and I firmly pressed it up & screwed it in, so idk how it would be coming "loose" or why it'd be dropping signal or whatever. Like just prodding it right now, it's rigid af. I can buy a new cable but if the ports/pins are damaged on either side or dying due to w/e, idk if it'll do much?

I don't know how to test psu.

 

Idk if worth mentioning but:

- gfx card is permanently affixed to mobo afaik, due to the bleepty plastic pcie lever snapping off - can't reseat it.

- recently (2 wks ago) the pc was in a room baked to 60C ambient (coretemp showed 76C max), but the monitor was not.

 

Any help/insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


Edited by rainraingirl, 22 February 2018 - 07:44 AM.


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#2 Platypus

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 07:42 AM

Have you looked at those uploaded images on another computer?

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#3 iancatalan

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 07:56 AM

Did you try to change or test another DVI cable?



#4 rainraingirl

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 07:57 AM

I don't have another pc to try it with, but I've opened those imgur pics in my ps4 browser and there's no flickering happening.

 

no, I haven't tried a diff dvi cable yet, only have the one I'm using atm.

It's on the list of things to buy, just super snowed in right now.


Edited by rainraingirl, 22 February 2018 - 08:02 AM.


#5 Platypus

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 08:21 AM

You'll recognize then that the screenshot images are good and the flickering does not exist in where the screenshot is taken from. A screenshot comes from the screen buffer in the video card, so that means the video card is OK up to that point. It also suggests the PSU is probably not the cause (but it doesn't fully prove that).

Since the monitor works normally with the PS4, that does indicate its screen section and HDMI input are OK. That leaves the bits in between, i.e. the monitor's DVI input, the cable and the output section of the video card (the DVI, HDMI & DP).

To prove which it is, you need to follow a process of elimination, change something and work out what the result means. For example, you could borrow the HDMI cable from the PS4, and see what effect that has. If it comes good, that could mean the DVI cable is the problem, or it could be the monitor input or the video output too. But since the PS4 shows fine through the HDMI cable, if the flickering was still there, then that would show it's happening in the video card's output.

Edited by Platypus, 22 February 2018 - 08:40 AM.

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#6 rainraingirl

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 08:49 AM

Okay, I'll fiddle around with it, thank you.

I was reading this, which seems to indicate I won't be able to connect pc via hdmi though?

or at least there may be bandwidth issues / limited to 24hz... not sure, may be fine for just testing at least.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2030669/laptop-accessories/hdmi-vs-displayport-which-display-interface-reigns-supreme.html

I'll see if the shop has DP -> VGA adapters too, although I'm not sure what impact using VGA would have on picture quality.



#7 Platypus

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 09:11 AM

"4096x2160, or 4K, but at a maximum refresh rate of just 24Hz"

 

That's the 4K specification.

Even HDMI 1 can run the 1920x1080 resolution of the s2740L at it's required 60Hz, HDMI 1.3 or higher could run 144Hz.


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#8 rainraingirl

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:47 AM

I've finally caught up at work, and had another chance to play around with it.

 

my confusion with the article was the relation of hz to resolution to bandwidth - I wasn't sure if say, 4k 24hz meant fixed 24hz regardless of resolution, but the guy at the shop said it was a matter of overall bandwidth available and that ^ was correct. They didn't have any of the newest ones but I ended up getting a v1.2b cheaply so that's ok. It works at any rate. I also bought a new DVI cable to test, and the issue persisted, so I suspect it's connection-related on the monitor or gfx card although the pins look normal/unbent at face value. I don't think I can narrow it down beyond that. As long as hdmi keeps working until I get a new gpu its good enough, just a bit aggravating I can't totally nail it down.

 

The quickfix with the colour profile seems to be temporary, as the dots are showing up on DVI again, although not as frequently.

I'm only on DVI until I can get a reliable HDMI splitter (for my game consoles), but it's a relief that hdmi has no issues.

 

Belated thanks for your input, this stuff's super frustrating to me and I really appreciate having people to bounce it off of.



#9 Platypus

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:51 AM

Glad you've been able to find ways to work around the problem.

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