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Windows 7: 8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help

09 Apr 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help

For the last 8 months I've been having what started off as general Color Banding, and has turned into I don't even know what now.

Firstly, though I have had and have absolutely 0 performance or stability issues with this rig. Everything runs fast, everything runs smooth, temps are stellar on both GPU and the CPU. This computer runs like a dream in that regard. Which is good and bad. Good because the well, a fast stable rig is good, bad though because it doesn't help me pinpoint the problem which is omnipresent.

To start off, I've attached some jpg images of the problem. It's not related to just one game, I can find the issue in every game I'll play. I can even see banding on this forums background, it's not severe due to the backgrounds light colors but it's there. In the screenshots it might be hard to see if you have your monitor really dark though. Also you should make the picture fullscreen, 1920x1080.

Also possible related, is streamed videos lately appear somewhat grainy/pixelated, not all, but some. And they seam be constantly refreshing every .25 seconds. You have to really look to see it. Like even a stable background of stream, you'll see it constantly sync into place as is the best I can describe it. Like it will be clear, then .25 seconds it will refresh grainy to clear. Just general streamed video crappiness, that wasn't there 8 months ago. Also you know that default Windows 7 HD video that is installed of the horse running, ya that looks like shit and definitely not HD.

Anyhoo, this problem originate when my old monitor apparently out of the blue died. The left side went darkish/purple. I confirmed it was the monitor by hooking it up a different computer.

When a new monitor(same make/model) was sent to me, as I was checking it for dead pixels and general problems I noticed some color banding on gradients. I was then shipped another monitor, which produced the same results and then finally another one, again with the same results. I then hooked up an older known working monitor, which also produced this problem.

I then tried different input cables, HDMI/DVI/VGA, all produced the same results. I tried different cables for each input as well, same results.

Then I tried 4 different Nvidia drivers, clean installing each. Using known working versions I had previously used. All produced the same problems. I swept each of them after each install, everything was installed clean.

At this point I tried everything that I possibly could figure to be related, in both the Nvidia control panel options and the Windows Color Management options. Through here, I could "minimize" the problem, but it was still there, I was just bandaiding it by ****ing up colors to try bare though it. And yes the first thing I made sure of was that I was in 32bit Truecolor mode on both the GPU and Windows.

Obviously I vigorously checked for malware/viruses/whatever. Also my chdsk and countless other things as well.

My next step was contacting my GPU manufacturer as this was the most logical solution. I was sent out another GPU same make/model, at the time this was a (EVGA GTX 670FTW 2gb). The new GPU produced the same result. EVGA was nice enough to send me out yet another card just rule out, a strange coincidence that 2 cards were producing the same problem. The 3rd card produced the same result.

Here I was kinda losing it and getting frustrated. My next logical step was reinstalled Windows, a full clean install, nothing remained from the previous version including my data/etc. Knew it didn't work just by the Windows Screen I could see minor banding from when you get to the Ctrl-Alt-Del background of Windows.

And now completely losing it, and after some help from various companies and what not we tried a different PSU. It was an off shot, but was "possible". The new PSU, produced the same results.

Having very few options left, EVGA and a few other said it was "possible" it could be my Mobo. Either a faulty PCI slot or various other things. Here I was hesitant but I tried everything else. And let me add, ASRock has absolutely non-existant customer support. Anyhoo, I had to buy another mobo, and due to me trying to rule out conflicts, I purchased the same make/model. I was planning on reinstalling Windows again just rule out any odd issues that arose. The new mobo worked without a Windows reinstall, but the banding issue still persisted. So I again reinstalled Windows, completely clean yet again, the issue was still there.

At this junction, I once again tested my RAM(I had previously done this, but forgot to mention it earlier), both through memtest and then just trying each stick in different slots to see if any would lessen/increase the banding issues. I tried each stick seperate and in different slots. Every combination produced the same banding.

One last Hail Mary, and again EVGA is absolutely fantastic, I was sent another GPU this time a different model an EVGA GTX 770SC. Because in reality, the issue thought by me and almost everyone else I talked too, made it seem like it HAD to be the GPU. Well finally got the new GPU and take a guess, yep, the banding is present.

So here I am... 8 months ago and prior to that for 1 year, I had absolutely 0 issues like this or anything even remotely related.

It all began with a monitor dying, or at least the monitor dying made me look for the problem. It is possible it was there prior or began slightly prior.

Every single thing in this Rig has been swapped out, except the CPU and SSD. I would have swapped those out, but was told from dozens of people, that the issue I'm having could not be related to those 2 components. And in all honesty, I don't think it could have been related to a few other parts I'd already swapped out.

So ya... Oh, and before I forget here's a list of some other oddball things I personally checked to try to rule out the problem.

-Tried different Electrical Outlets, surge protectors, power cables ruling out some bad juice from my house. Tried 4 different rooms.
-Moved everything and anything that could possibly cause some sort of magnetic interference.
-Took out my wireless card, disabled the wireless in the house, ruling out some other sort of interference.
-Tried random mouse/keyboards/usb devices thinking maybe something could interfere as well.
-Obviously checked all chipset drivers other stuff.
-Updated Mobo's BIOS.
-Checked various BIOS settings. Even though everything in my Rig is Stock no OC'ing or anything.
-Swapped most if not all the cables in my rig. Basically every modular cable not attached to a part. Even the non-modular cables were swapped when like I said before I swapped out basically every part in my rig.

There's probably 100 more things I've tried that I can't think of right now, over the course of the last 8 months.

I'm just looking for some help here. What I think and I'm probably wrong though, is there is something in Windows that is causing this, some setting or something.

The problem is most pronounced on alot of game's "vignetting" and in smoky/hazy effects/areas, the screenshots I included should show you. Also light sources seem to produce the banding around them, glowy effects you'll see the pulsing banding.

Alot of website background gradients you can see it, I know some are due to the compression of the imagine, but some aren't. Steam's Client will band, if anyone is familiar. The Windows Aero Glass effect will band with a solid black ground and transparency set.

What's kinda funny though is a game like FTL with it's retro design, doesn't appear to band even on their gradient changes.

I think my current specs are listed on this site's information I just updated them.

Also someone at Blizzard looked through my msinfo and dxdiag and didn't see anything that could cause the issue of the pictures I sent them. They assumed it was the GPU/Drivers, obviously.

I personally don't know what to do next. Short of building a brand new rig, with completely brand new unrelated parts. I can't fix this problem. And I'm too broke to even consider that option.

If anyone, has any suggestion, and I mean anything... That would greatly appreciated. I have no clue what is going on, I've tried everything, and I'm at the point where I dread using this computer that I used to spend so much time on, because the constant in my face taunting of this banding issue everywhere I look.

Sorry for that long rant. Here you can see a sample of the issue in the game Diablo 3. It's in every game, dark/hazy games most notably. Any game with "vignetting" even bright games you can see it if you really look in the corners as well.

What's strange is everything in the center of the screen is crystal clear and crisp. This is true for nearly every game, except DayZ-SA in nighttime maps. In that game at night everything is washed out and banding at night. During the daytime you can see vignetting at the corners but at night everything is banding together and washed out grays/blacks.

1st Picture: You'll see the banding around the game's light source around the character and the game's vignetting. The oval camera like design around the center of the screen.
EDIT: This first picture when I open it up from this site after uploading it, the banding is there but rather minimal(compared to what I'm used to), when I open this picture up on computer with Paint/Windows Media/whatever, the banding is EXTREMELY pronounced. I don't know what this means, or if it's a good sign, or means nothing. If I save the image to my computer the banding comes back just like the original, but if it's opened through this forum it's minimized. Coincidence???
2nd Picture: This just seems like something's f'd up, over the bridge to the right of the character, the hazy area just bands in weird directions.
3rd Picture: To the left top left, the gray hazy area, just seems off. It has banding but in no direction it seems to cross itself and stuff doesn't seem clear in the smoke.
4th Picture: General Vignette banding, most notable towards corners of the screen as it gets darker.

Attached Thumbnails
8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help-screenshot001.jpg   8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help-screenshot003.jpg   8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help-screenshot004.jpg   8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help-screenshot000.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2014   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Just a thought PSU? Nevermind just read your list again! Have you played with refresh rates and other variable settings for your display?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cyclops View Post
Just a thought PSU? Nevermind just read your list again! Have you played with refresh rates and other variable settings for your display?
Ya I've messed with everything on on my monitor. It's not the monitor, the banding will show up on screenshots on others computers which can partially rule out the monitor. Sure I can lessen the problem with various monitor settings, but it's still pretty noticeable. And trying to bandaid with monitor settings like turning off the gamma makes things look even worse in other regards, which is pretty sad considering it already is miserable to look at with the banding staring me in the face constantly.

Refresh rates have no effect, default is 60hz trying 59hz or even a custom profile with decimal increments doesn't change anything either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Mar 2015   #4

Windows 8.1 64 bit

Did you ever find a solution for this? I have the same issue and it is driving me crazy. I just built a new box and I'm seeing color banding everywhere. I see banding in the background of this forum right now as well. Fiddling with the monitor and color settings, I've been able to minimize it to some degree, but it's always there.

I've reinstalled drivers, reinstalled windows, reseated graphics card, tried the onboard graphics (same issue), tried several icc profiles, and a million other things.

I was about to start going down the same path as you and return various components, but after reading your post, I don't think it would do me any good.

It feels like it's related to bit depth or dynamic range settings even though I have checked those a hundred times. I was able to reduce the banding with different icc profiles which makes me think it's not hardware related, but I have no idea at this point.

Anyway, thanks for detailing what you tried so well. I would have spent months sending back components if I had not read this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2015   #5

w7 ultimate 64-bit sp1

Hi, this is old tread but here is my experience of this kind of problem. I was dealing with magnification application that would magnify all of the screen for a user. This application would work ok with most programs but some will have certain visual defects - to trouble shoot I was taking screen shots. As per OP the screen shots would not show the problem when looking at them from different computer or with magnification software turned off. The problems where later resolved by using different application/latest updates.

What I'm truing to say is it would interesting to know how screen capture works in windows and why it is not 1:1 capture of what is being displayed (when it obvious it's not hardware fault) then we could start trouble shooting it further perhaps?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2015   #6

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
From the screen shots I can't see any issues with them,
You might take images with a camera/ cell phone and point out the issue :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2015   #7

Windows 8.1 64 bit

The OP posted the screenshots - I was just asking if he ever found a fix because I'm having the same issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2015   #8

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

I personally see no signs of improper scaling/ "Banding" in those images or anything weird ?
Nothing is pointed out besides gradient gets darker ? that could just be the way the wall or game is made ?

Besides it could be a third party theme that is causing any issues seen but I can't tell what is the issue from the images posted unfortunately
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2015   #9

Windows 8.1 64 bit

I enhanced part of one of the original screenshots to show the banding. You should be able to see the banding in the brightened square. If you don't see banding in the darker areas, then it could be that your display is set dark which seems to hide banding issues a bit.

Attached Thumbnails
8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help-recap.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2015   #10

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Thanks I really call that scaling improperly which can be a few different issues,
First would be the image is not in the recommend resolution as the monitors size,
Example 1920-1080 image scaled to fit a 1600-900 resolution monitor hell I get that but the difference is to resize the image from 1920-1080 to 1600-900 instead of letting windows do it for me.

Other examples is using odd size "Large images" and using stretch or zoom to fit a screen,
The original walls would be a good thing to test here with if you can upload them.

I have a 20" Acer screen h-d I suppose 1600-900 is the recommended resolution for it with or without my little gt... card
Images need to be the same size of it or they do the same thing the image shows does not scale down large images used as desktop images anyway simply viewing them in a viewer or editor shows no signs of distortion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 8 Months of Banding Issues... Have Tried EVERYTHING. Could Use Help

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