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Old 2013-08-17, 12:52   Link #1
Comrade
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Black lines on monitor when gaming

I just upgraded my PC (installed new GPU and PSU) and I have noticed a new problem. When playing games, I tend to have faint, barely noticeable lines flickering on the lower part of the screen.

Mostly they are difficult to spot, however when the screen is dark (shadows/nighttime in game or dark backgrounds) they're pretty visible.

Thing is, they appear only when I'm playing video games, when I'm on the desktop or browsing the net, they're not there.

Now, I asked around and the cause of the problem might be the cable that goes from the monitor to the GPU.

This is a VGA type cable and I am using a DVI-A to VGA adapter when connecting it to the GPU and it might be this adapter that's causing interference and thus, the lines on the screen when gaming.

Previously I had no problems with my old GPU, playing the same games. I used the same adapter and everything was fine. Also, my monitor has only the VGA port/socket/whatever it is called.

Anyway, can someone shed some light on this matter please?
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Old 2013-08-17, 13:54   Link #2
sa547
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Are those flickers?

The connector in question is a D-sub (DE-9 or DB-9). Anyway, what was the new video card you were using, and the old one you replaced? Also, what monitor you're using right now?

I learned firsthand that for LCD/LED monitors and to eliminate flickering and odd stuff you have to use cables that have filters on both ends to cut down the noise, and these are unlike the D-sub cables that were used for CRTs. Instead, you have to use the DVI ports and filtered cable for better control.

Also, go check your video card settings and see if they're matched to the monitor's frequency -- I reckon that the default refresh rate for LCD/LED monitors is 60hz.
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Old 2013-08-17, 14:10   Link #3
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Let's see:
I replaced my MSI R5770 Hawk with Radeon 7870.
I am using AOC widescreen monitor. Can't find the serial number, my system identifies it as "Generic plug and play monitor".
If it helps, the optimal resolution for it is 1920 x 1080 and it's on 60 Hz refresh rate.

How do I check my video card settings?
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Old 2013-08-17, 14:15   Link #4
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As for the flickers question.

It's hard to describe. More like waves ... flickering waves.
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Old 2013-08-17, 14:24   Link #5
sa547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
As for the flickers question.

It's hard to describe. More like waves ... flickering waves.
If the cables do not have the filters -- these are cylindrical solids bolted near to both ends of the cables -- then you're having this problem.

Since you're using an AMD/ATI GPU (best to update to 13.4), right-click on your desktop to open the Catalyst/AMD Vision Engine control center. Go to My Digital Flat Panels, then Properties.

There should be a checkmark for the Alternative DVI Mode and/or Reduce DVI Frequency on HD Displays to reduce screen corruption.
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Old 2013-08-17, 14:28   Link #6
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Quote:
If the cables do not have the filters -- these are cylindrical solids bolted near to both ends of the cables -- then you're having this problem.
You mean like screws? In order to screw the cable tighter to the socket? I have those.

Nearly ripped out my video card when I forgot about them once. That's why I always leave them lose.
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Old 2013-08-17, 14:31   Link #7
sa547
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No, I mean, this type of DVI cable, which includes the filters:

Without the filters any flatpanel will be having a snowed-out effect.
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Old 2013-08-17, 14:40   Link #8
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Yeah, I have those "cylinders".

Also, I went to the Vision Engine Control Center and the only similar thing I could find is My VGA Displays > Properties

under monitor attributes, the checkbox allowed to either manually set the monitor's upper limit for the resolution and refresh rate, or let the system determine it automatically. Neither way helped.
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Old 2013-08-17, 15:01   Link #9
larethian
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What game is causing this issue and what are your in-game (res) settings vs your normal operation mode? And which Radeon 7870 card are you using? (PCB maker and model)
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Old 2013-08-17, 15:05   Link #10
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I have tried only five games.
World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and Civilization: Brave New World, all three of them have this problem.

X-Com: Enemy Unknown, League of Legends are working just fine.

The resolution in the games is the same as it is on the desktop. And yes, I have tried all sorts of crap in the video settings of each game.

V-Sync and triple buffering were named as some of the possible solutions. Unfortunately, it didn't work.
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Old 2013-08-17, 15:07   Link #11
larethian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
I have tried only five games.
World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and Civilization: Brave New World, all three of them have this problem.

X-Com: Enemy Unknown, League of Legends are working just fine.

The resolution in the games is the same as it is on the desktop. And yes, I have tried all sorts of crap in the video settings of each game.

V-Sync and triple buffering were named as some of the possible solutions. Unfortunately, it didn't work.
1. So even if you dumb down all the in-game settings, the issue is still there?
2. And you don't get it outside of games?
3. For the record again, which maker and model of the Radeon are you using? Also, are you overclocking it?
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Old 2013-08-17, 15:10   Link #12
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Haven't tried reducing everything to low, though I suspect the issue will remain.
No, the problem doesn't appear when I'm working on the desktop or browsing the net.
I am not overclocking the video card. It's MSI Radeon HD 7870.
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Old 2013-08-17, 19:03   Link #13
SeijiSensei
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Do the TV and video card have HDMI connections? That should be the most reliable choice.
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Old 2013-08-18, 01:12   Link #14
larethian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
Haven't tried reducing everything to low, though I suspect the issue will remain.
No, the problem doesn't appear when I'm working on the desktop or browsing the net.
I am not overclocking the video card. It's MSI Radeon HD 7870.
One thing for sure is that since it's 'game specific' (not all games and normal operation are causing it), it's likely 'because' of the card.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean a faulty card; it could mean settings, drivers, load the game is placing on, or the settings the game is making the card use (which lead to more noise), or you have heat dissipation issues that's causing your card to go wonky. It is unlikely due to monitor and adapter, since you mentioned that previously they were fine with the 5000 card.

I hope you also got a good, branded PSU and you did your power calculations properly (since you mentioned this is the other thing you changed), which won't create excessive noise to your card when it is drawing more power due to heavier 'loading' by the game.

If you have constant flickering (not on/off kind of thing) and the way you describe it (wave-like) does not sound like vsync and triple buffering would help, as these 2 selects help in tearing/staircase artifacts, where the monitor consumes the same framebuffer that the GPU is rendering to.

I'm currently guessing that the games that have problems are more demanding games (I can't be sure since I don't play much games these days) and the increase 'load' is causing more noise to be generated or you have heat dissipation issues. That's why I suggest lowering card operation/performance in those games to verify whether it's indeed due to heavier 'loading'. You can try doing that in-game, or play around with the settings in the vision control engine, and also use it to monitor temperature, fan speed etc. during gaming (maybe launch your game in window mode?). (And I assume you are using the latest set of drivers, rather than just those that came in installation CD with your card)

Other than that, the best place to ask is tomshardware forum. There are a number of experts there who may know the specifics and kinks of your card. You should post your system information (go to 'system information' and save it to a text file), and give the scenario (games) that are causing the problem. And of course, on top of that, get the tech support from the card maker.
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Old 2013-08-18, 01:26   Link #15
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The PSU is a Corsair CX 500 (Previously I had Gigabyte Superb W550P).

I currently plan to get a new monitor cable. While it's possible this isn't the problem, the cable is the cheapest and quickest method I can use to attempt fix this.
If not, I'll replace the card with my old one and see how that works.
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Old 2013-08-18, 01:57   Link #16
larethian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
The PSU is a Corsair CX 500 (Previously I had Gigabyte Superb W550P).

I currently plan to get a new monitor cable. While it's possible this isn't the problem, the cable is the cheapest and quickest method I can use to attempt fix this.
If not, I'll replace the card with my old one and see how that works.
Please take a look at this:
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages..._review,8.html

Quote:
Radeon HD 7870 - On your average system the card requires you to have a 550 Watt power supply unit as minimum and 700 Watt if you go with two cards in Crossfire mode.
Of course, 'average' is pretty subjective here. You should do your exact power calculations at extreme.outervision.com (but it's down now for the moment). Usually, you don't want your total calculated power consumption to go over 80% of the power rating of your PSU.

Assuming you are using an 'average' system, it sounds to me you are on the 'edge'. Of course, your exact power draw will depend on your actual hardware, and how stressed is your GPU for a particular game. According to guru3d, 100% stressed 7870 requires 157W and a 100% stressed 5770 requires 95W. Is it possible for you to try the old PSU with the new card?

Of course, this may or may not be the cause, but I'm just throwing it out here as a possibility.
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Old 2013-08-18, 02:08   Link #17
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If it helps, these are my total specs.

Motherboard: Gigabyte - 880GMA - USB3
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 960T processor (3.6 Ghz)
Ram: 8 GB (2x4 Gb)

Add the PSU: Corsair cx500
GPU: Radeon HD 7870

I guess, I could order a new PSU, Corsair cx600 for example. I might even be able to return the cx500 and only pay for the difference of the price (it's only 3 days old).
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Old 2013-08-18, 02:15   Link #18
larethian
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You can try using this:
http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell...age-Calculator

Note that, the calc doesn't include fans and usb devices and other minor stuff. It's still best to use extreme.outervision.com when it's up.

Most importantly, please take note that my opinion is NOT an expert opinion, and I can't be responsible if that's not the cause.

It's advisable you get official tech support from MSI, and ask the experts at tomshardware.com, and do more research first. I think you should also be able to find some youtube tutorials on how to properly use your vision control engine to check your card operation 'parameters' when running the problematic games.
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Old 2013-08-18, 02:33   Link #19
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At this moment, any opinion helps, because it gives me a ... how to put it ... a potential target to focus on.
Right now, I want to identify as many potential problems as I can, so that I have plenty of ammo when I go consult with the technician at the computer store.
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Old 2013-08-18, 10:21   Link #20
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I doubt the PSU would be the problem. 500w is more than enough for a real world power usage of your system. But, I don't know about the power supply. Corsair change power supply manufacturer like socks... It's hard to keep track of the quality.

500w mean it can give 500w to the system, it will pull more than that from the wall.

If you did upgrade the video card, It would be the primary suspect of graphical problem.

I suggest trying the game on low graphic and see if it help.

Also, download open hardware monitor to monitor the temperature of your hardware.
CPU shouldn't go over 55C and GPU are good for 80C+.

You could also try furmark which is a GPU burner (high intensity GPU stress test).
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