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Viewsonic VX2000 and NVidia drivers trouble

By fw2004
Oct 22, 2009
  1. Hi all;
    For several months, I have been trying to diagnose a problem that occurs on my Viewsonic VX2000 monitor connected to a BFG 9800 GTX+ .

    I had been running a BFG 6800 card with no problems at all, but wanted something faster on this aging system; Asus P5AD2-E Premium, and got a good deal on the 9800.
    It worked great with the drivers included on the install CD. That driver was dated 10/2008.

    When I installed the later driver, I started to see video noise lines running up and down both sides of the screen when in the max resolution of 1600 x 1200 @ 60HZ.
    The noise would become more intense as the monitor warmed up, but would reach a point where it would not get any worse, but the monitor would flicker occasionally, as though it were receiving a signal out of its range.

    When I reduced the resolution to 1200 x 1024, or 1024 x 768 the noise was not present.

    I got tired of trying to fix the issue, so I rolled back the driver to the older one.
    But every time I found a new driver on Nvidia's web site, I would try it, in hopes that the issue might be fixed. It was not.
    So I resigned to using the older driver. Upgrading the driver really had no effect on any of my games anyway, so upgrading the driver was really just a geek kind of thing that I like to do.

    So, everything was fine in XP land. But this morning I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on the same machine.
    I created a dual boot so I can always go back to XP as needed.
    When Win 7 installed, it would not use the older Nvidia driver, so it installed the latest one. Guess what... I've got the problem back.
    I cannot avoid using the new driver anymore, unless I want to stick with XP, but that's not what I want to do.

    I tried several things. The only thing that solved the issue for Windows 7 was removing the 9800 card and re-installing the old 6800.
    When I did that, the problem was gone. I could run in Windows 7 at the highest resolution (1600 x 1200) without the noise.

    But doing this was not a workable option, because what would be the point of having upgraded to the 9800 card if I wasn't going to use it.

    I was going to (and may still do so) take my box over to my brother's house, where he has a nice flat screen monitor that is better than my Viewsonic.
    I would confirm that while the 9800 card was plugged into his monitor, I did not get the noise at any resolution.

    But that won't happen until sometime this weekend, and it's 23:00 EDT here in New Jersey, and I want to fix this problem right now!
    I just wanted to confirm that the video card was not the culprit. I hadn't been suspecting this, since there was no problem with the older driver, and because of the fact that I could get a few minutes of clear screen if I switched off the monitor for a few minutes.

    Yet, I was grasping, so I called BFG support by phone. I waited about 5 minutes, and got a live person to discuss my problem with.
    While talking to the guy at BFG, and he put me on hold twice to ask another technician the questions I was asking. I was getting very technical, asking about waveforms and timing.
    I had a thought that the driver update could have caused the waveforms to change, so the monitor would not be able to handle it.
    But he came back on the line and assured me that the driver was not affecting the waveforms.

    While I was waiting on hold the second time, I was playing around with different resolutions.
    I found one; 1152 x 864 @ 75HZ that worked with no noise at all!
    This pretty much gave me the answer I have been looking for since April.
    The problem is the lousy Viewsonic VX2000.
    It's specs say that it will display resolutions up to 1600 x 1200, but it will do so only at 60Hz.

    I don't know exactly why upgrading the video drivers (with or without upgrading the OS) caused the problem to appear, and i don't expect I will ever know enough about how the hardware works with Windows and its drivers, but I have learned something about this whole episode.
    Don't buy another Viewsonic monitor!

    I should have known I was going to have trouble with this monitor right from day one.
    When I first put this system together, I had purchased an ATI card. The monitor would not display anything at all when connected to the DVI on that card.
    I chose to return the ATI card for the BFG / Nvidia one, mainly because when I contacted ATI support, they pretty much blew me off.

    IMO, BFG has the best support of any hardware vendor. I have read this from others, and now i can attest to that fact.

    So, I'll be looking for a new monitor someday, if I can find a job <g>.
    For now, I'm running in 1152 X 864 at 75HZ and I have never seen such crisp text as I am looking at now.
    It's much easier on my eyes, and I do have the 15" LCD monitor I can use if I need extra "real estate", but normally keep that one off while playing games.

    Do you have any Viewsonic incompatibility stories to tell?
    I think I should add this to my blog.

    Thanks, and good night.

    FW
     
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