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Washed out picture. It's not the GPU doing it! Please assist

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I will try to make this as simple as possible. My only guess is that it has to be some HDD problem and that I have to reformat for the 4th time in the past 6 months or so.

I replaced my ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 mobo because it was giving me some issues. Bought used EVGA x58 from this webiste, worked great and AFAIK it still does work great. One day I noticed that the screen looked washed out, and I have a desktop background of space and it was quite noticeable all the stars were washed out and the picture quality had gotten worse.

I don't recall exactly but I have not been able to re-produce what I am about to say. I opened Windows Explorer or some program and closed it, and the screen flashed for a second and the picture quality went back to normal. Was no longer washed out. I believe it stayed that way until I restarted the computer. Went back to being washed out every since and I have not been able to correct it.

If you would you could breeze through this post: http://www.overclock.net/t/1244715/is-my-psu-going-bad. It explains in a little more detail what led up to these events and why it is hard to say exactly what it is. Briefly, I noticed problems with my sound card within the same time period I started noticing the washed out effect.

I thought it had to be my GPU. Got two GTX 680's now, brand new, only using one ATM but the washed out effect is still there. I switched signals over to my 50" HDTV and I know what the picture always looks like on that TV. Still washed out. I tested in Mafia II on my HDTV because I played through the game on that TV and vividly recall the colors that pop out at you in a certain scene. The grass is no longer as colorful and green in the scene and elsewhere and the picture generally looks significantly worse. Tried using HDMI and DVI cables, new and old, didn't change a thing.

So it's not my monitor, not my GPU (the only two things that I thought effected picture quality.) It does the same thing on both motherboards, so not a mobo issue. I could try, if you all advise a new PSU. I can pick up a new one from Microcenter and return it if nothing changes but I doubt as well that it's the PSU.

Could it be some HDD problem? I suppose I could try a new PSU and just reformat again, but I would hate having to install all my games again but I will if it must be done. I suppose it *COULD* be the HDD, but it just seems hard to believe. What do you think? I don't know all the ins and outs of how my computer works on all fronts and have never heard of an HDD problem or possible Windows corruption causing a washed out effect. I never know exactly what to try, so please give me some hints! Ty!
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post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
EDIT: Well, I posted some screenshots but they were not the best representation. So I guess this is sort of like a bump rolleyes.gif
Edited by Peteman990 - 4/20/12 at 12:05pm
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post #3 of 5
If you're sure your vision is not going bad... wink.gif

Really though at this point your possibilities are very limited.

I think there is basically no chance the power supply is causing this because components are made to work within a range of voltages. Outside of this range the parts just dont work at all, but you wont get a partially working result.(or if you do you are on the absolute brink of the non-working range, and soon it will stop working completely)

First thing I would do is swap the display cable if you have a spare.

If this does nothing then I would assume maybe your monitor has begun to have a problem. Just go by Microcenter and grab a bunch of stuff if you already have plans to come back to return stuff, buy a monitor(should come with a new cable) and a PSU just to prevent having to make an extra trip on the off chance that the PSU really is causing the problem.

Considering you got new graphics cards, and necessarily new drivers along with them I don't think this issue is related to software.
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yeah Microcenter is a great store. They let you return just about anything after it has been opened.

I have tried new cables. New DVI cable, new HDMI cable, also my 50" display I notice no change. So my monitors are fine as well as the cables.

Any input on whether the HDD could cause a problem like this?

I will have to do some more testing... maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me. I noticed it after I was away from the PC for a week as well on vacation.

The only thing that makes me want to look for a problem is that (unless I was hallucinating tongue.gif) I did notice the display brightness change while I was sitting down staring at the screen. So unless I had a stroke and was seeing lights then I know I am not looking for a non-existent problem.

So what about HDD issues or Windows problems? Could it cause something like this?
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Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB x3 Windows 7 64-bit Acer H243H 1920x1080 Logitech G15 
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post #5 of 5
I don't think there's much chance of the HDD or windows being the cause.

Considering that you have replaced or at least swapped out every single component in a systematic progression I just feel like this can't be a computer issue. If you really want to be sure there are devices used to measure color gamut, but I think this could be a big pain to get ahold of.

As a side note I am a Biology/Chemistry double major, and I think you should definitely look into catarachts. I don't think it's really that likely but the symptoms are right on. Slightly reduced contrast and color perception are the first signs, and there are a ton of potential causes. Heavy exposure to sunlight has been linked to increased risk, but genetics and many other factors can also play a big role. Usually it will be more advanced in one eye, so if you are having this you may be able to tell just by looking at the screen with one eye covered, and then switch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataract

What I feel is most likely is that your mind is playing tricks on you. Did you use any computers while you were on vacation, or watch shows on a TV? If the color settings were different it could have been strange going back to your regular settings. You know it's not software related because you just installed new drivers, and windows doesn't really play a role in color correction.

Finally I know this is stupid, but your not near a window are you? Recently change what kind of overhead lighting you use?(flourescent vs incandescent etc)

Edit: As for the random brightness change that is pretty much 100% monitor dependant, or if you had a small power surge or something.(assuming it's not surge protected)
Edited by Subcutaneous - 4/20/12 at 1:36pm
Ginormous M-ITX
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Girlfriend's Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k Asrock Z77E-ITX AMD Radeon HD 7970 ASUS DC2T Samsung Green DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingMonitor
Patriot Pyro Hitachi - 2.5" Custom Loop - made from 2 Thermaltake Water 2.0... Auria 27" 1440P 
PowerCaseMouse
PC Power and Cooling 600W Modular Bitfenix Prodigy Microsoft Sidewinder 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel g850 MSI P67s c43 EVGA Geforce GTX 480 G skill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Patriot Pyro LG DVD Antec 620 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
KDS 22" k120 logitech Antec Neo Eco 520W Azza Triton 401 
Mouse
Sidewinder X8 
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Ginormous M-ITX
(11 items)
 
Girlfriend's Rig
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k Asrock Z77E-ITX AMD Radeon HD 7970 ASUS DC2T Samsung Green DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingMonitor
Patriot Pyro Hitachi - 2.5" Custom Loop - made from 2 Thermaltake Water 2.0... Auria 27" 1440P 
PowerCaseMouse
PC Power and Cooling 600W Modular Bitfenix Prodigy Microsoft Sidewinder 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel g850 MSI P67s c43 EVGA Geforce GTX 480 G skill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Patriot Pyro LG DVD Antec 620 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
KDS 22" k120 logitech Antec Neo Eco 520W Azza Triton 401 
Mouse
Sidewinder X8 
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