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Author Topic: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card or the CABLE?  (Read 3928 times)

iphigenie

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I hope its the card, way cheaper than the screen, although the screen is on warranty

I am getting weird lines of dots, especially on blue and dark flat surfaces (like the start button or window title bars). The lines and dots flicker, and they seem to follow the image (i.e. if I move the window, the pattern of dots follows). The fact that it follows suggests to me that it is the graphics card rather than the screen, but I suspect there are utilities out there to test screens and graphics cards for problems and failure.

I am going to go trawl the search engines now but if anyone can recommend utilities they have used, let me know
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 01:50:13 PM by iphigenie »

iphigenie

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 04:21:34 AM »
I have a nvidia based card and so far i have downloaded some generic pc diagnostics tools (mine are so out of date!)

and
1. nvidia perfhud http://developer.nvi..._home.html#downloads
maybe it can spot something

2. asus smartdoctor
since that is my manufacturer (i have asus mobo, gfx card, monitor - all because the wifi boxes i bought from asus worked so well) maybe it can do diagnostics in depth (here's to hoping!)
neither were any help in diagnosis

I really could use a burn-in style comprehensive test - I have tufftest but that only does the memory of the GPU, there ought to be something more clever out there
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 05:00:44 AM by iphigenie »

f0dder

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 04:52:51 AM »
Sounds like fscked up RAM on the GPU. Screen damage tends to be permanent dead pixels, usually cyan color (for TFTs anyway).
- carpe noctem

iphigenie

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 05:00:03 AM »
Yes, it has to be the GPU - just trying to figure out what to see if it is fixable or if i need to buy a new card.

Reducing from 32 bit color to 16 bit color has removed all the weird effects, but that obviously is hardly a solution if something is going pear shaped on the memory - it could be other components too, from the cache or pipeline, since it seemed to be a rendering issue.

The tools from asus and nvidia above were no help - so I am not downloading some demos. I own tufftest and it does test the GPU memory but that takes the best part of a day so I will look for some more modern products to see if there is a faster way.

I will have to start a game to test some more, what a shame!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 05:03:16 AM by iphigenie »

housetier

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 06:02:10 AM »
Have you checked the cable?

iphigenie

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 06:21:20 AM »
you know what, I hadnt done and I really ought to - always check the cheapest component first! I replaced a whole motherboard once and it turned out it was the IDE cable so I ought to know better!

4wd

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2008, 11:37:45 AM »
ATITool has an artifact scanning mode that'll test your GPU/VRAM, don't know how useful it is or whether it is still relevant for late model GPUs - you can but try.

Dead Pixel Buddy for checking your monitor.

It's unlikely to be the cable if the artifacts disappear when you change to 16bit display.

However, it might be that the card contacts have become slightly tarnished or just slightly unseated and removal and reinstallation might help.

If your card uses an ancillary power connection make sure it is firmly connected.

Shades

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2008, 11:57:39 AM »
@4WD:
You are right about the VGA cable, but from personal experience I can tell that it is quite possible to have PC's fail to show anything on a screen when changing a minor graphical setting, because the VGA cable in use was not sufficiently shielded. This was on a KVM swith from a cheapskate that used thin VGA cables so he could shave 20 euro's off the price.

Mind you, the KVM switch could handle a max. resolution of 1600x1200 without breaking a sweat, but the guy could never manage to get more than 1280x1024 because of the cables.

iphigenie

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Re: How to figure out which is dying, my screen or my graphics card
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2008, 01:48:16 PM »
well the artifacts reappeared after a while on 16 bits
I swapped the cable and they are gone, but i will wait to see if they reappear since it happened in the 16 bit one

I can easily believe it is pipeline or cable interference, the way it looks. Fingers crossed.

i'd rather save my money since I am currently on a thrift phase - playing games I already have (and I have a lot)

PS: no job at the moment, in talks but no offer in a month so far :S - and not sure I will take one either, considering doing my own thing for a while if I could only make up my mind which one thing to focus on
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 01:49:52 PM by iphigenie »