14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 1, 2007 10:15 PM by Kyle England
Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello, fine folks,

Well, I've been waiting to upgrade my 17" CRT monitor to a nice, big LCD. I finally got my chance last night. I bought a Viewsonic VX2035WM 20" widescreen monitor. I didn't get to set it up until today, however.

I set up the monitor using the included DVI-D cable, and when I boot up the computer, I get this huge, gorgeous view of my newly-expanded, 1680x1050 desktop. I use the computer for some research for a couple of hours, then I leave the computer sitting while I play for a while with my children.

I come back to my computer later, and I think to just look to see how the monitor looks with video playing. The videos play fine. I then get back to my research. I notice while I'm reading an article in Acrobat Reader there is a flashing "banding" of sorts going across my entire screen. I check the settings, and nothing has changed from earlier. The banding "flutters" and oscillates horizontally, as though there might be trouble syncing with the video card.

I rebooted the computer, and reset the PRAM (just to try something). The boot up screen has a nice, solid blue hue, but when the desktop appears, the banding/oscillating begins anew like before.

I hope that has given you a good idea of what's happening. Some more information about my machine:

2003 G4 MDD 1.25 GHz (single)
1.75 GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
OS X 10.4.8

This computer has run perfectly well for the almost 4 years I've owned it, and now it has me scratching my head. I'm going to hook up my iBook G4 via VGA and see if it's the monitor having troubles, or if it's perhaps my video card.

I apologize for my wordiness, but here's the overwhelming question: Is it my video card, or could it be the monitor?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanking everyone in advance,

Kyle

1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    FWIW, I just hooked up my iBook G4 via VGA to the analog input on the back of the monitor, and the monitor worked fine, with none of the issues I complained about above.

    I guess I'll try the Hardware Test CD next, then perhaps hook up the monitor to the Power Mac via VGA, to test whether it's the video card.


    Just wanted to let you all know what I'm trying. This is frustrating.

    1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,280 points)
    Is that an OEM Radeon 9000 or retail? You used DVI port, but do you have an ADC to DVI adapter?

    I'm sure someone knows more about DVI-I and such.

    I replaced my OEM 9000 for OEM 9600 from OWC. The 9000 had an issue with VGA LCDs on the DVI port where I couldn't shut down and had to use ADC2VGA adapter from Apple.

    Sorry it turned sour. It sounds like it was fine until some point (sleep issue?).
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    hatter,

    Thanks for your reply. It's an OEM Radeon 9000 Pro. I used the DVI port on the machine, because I didn't think I would need to use the ADC port. In other words, this is a straight digital connection; there is no using a VGA connector.

    I really wish OWC had some more of those 9600 cards for the G4. I'm kicking myself now for not having bought one. I wrote the fine folks there and they told me they were indeed completely out.

    hatter then wrote:
    "Sorry it turned sour. It sounds like it was fine until some point (sleep issue?)."

    You know what? I hadn't thought about that. As I recall, things were just great with the display until I got up and left for about an hour. I have Folding@Home as my screensaver, with the screen going black in about 5 minutes. The sleep issue is intriguing, however, and I'll have to investigate further.

    Some other things I've tried:
    1. I ran the Apple Hardware Test CD, and according to it, the video card is just fine.

    2. I took out the video card, cleaned the contacts, then re-seated it. I then made sure I had a nice, tight connection between the card and the DVI cable. Ditto for the connection to the monitor. I checked to make sure no pins were bent; they were perfect.

    3. While I had the machine open, I pressed the CUDA reset button.

    I've done all I know to do, short of re-installing the OS, and trying some other video benchmarking software. I ran World of Warcraft, and everything looks heavily dithered, in spite of the 16.7 million color setting on the graphics card. Anything with moving video has a heavily-dithered appearance to it.

    I'm about ready to say it's the fault of the monitor. I'll try hooking up my old 17" Sony CRT and see if it's having the display problems, too.

    Thanks again, hatter, for your suggestions. If anyone else has something he/she might be able to advise for this frustrated white-boy, I would greatly appreciate it.

    1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.8)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM

    1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM
  • CEB II Level 2 Level 2 (475 points)
    I think you need to do two more tests. You need to run your new LCD monitor off of a DVI connection on another Mac or PC. If you get the banding, its definitely the new monitor. Color banding problems are not an unusual early failure of LCD monitors. A friend had a new 19" Samsung impose a large, off contrast band on his monitor only a couple of weeks after he started to use it.

    The second test is to try a different LCD monitor on your Mac's Radeon 9000 DVI port. I also have heard of LCD problems with the OEM Radeon 9000s. However, a friend upgraded a Sawtooth G4 with an Apple Raeon 9000 and hasn't had any problems running a new LCD monitor. If you get the banding with this test, get an ADC to DVI converter and try running the LCD monitor off of the Radeon 9000's ADC port. If it is still banding, it is probably the Radeon 9000 video card.

    I'm running a Radeon 9600 video card to drive a Samsung 215TW and I just love the display and video I get. The Radeon 9600 is a really nice card.
  • BSteely Level 5 Level 5 (7,635 points)
    This sounds similar to a common issue the Mac mini owners have when running 1680 x 1050 on certain monitors. If it is the same issue, it is DVI noise. I would try hooking up via VGA and see if the issue goes away. If it does, than most likely it is DVI noise. Another way to confirm if it is DVI noise is to run the Flurry screen saver. That one really brings out the worst in the DVI interface.
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    To those who have offered advice so far:

    Thank you very much. I have typed two responses which have disappeared into the ether, apparently. I do not mean to come across as rude. I just do not know what happened to those posts.

    BSteely, I think you have hit the nail on the head; it is this "DVI noise" phenomenon. I have my monitor hooked up via VGA right now, and the picture is great. There are ZERO issues with the color, sharpness of the picture, etc. There is no banding, "flickering" or "oscillating" artifacts, etc.

    I thought there might have been some sort of electromagnetic interference with the stock DVI cable, so I went out and bought a nice shielded Belkin cable. The same issues occurred.

    I'm going to go ahead and rule the problem to be "DVI noise". My next quest will be to squash the problem. Any help with DVI noise and what to do to eliminate its sources would be greatly appreciated. I'll be doing searches to see what others have had to say about this. I only hope there is an easy solution.

    I'll still be in search of a cheap 9600 Radeon in the meantime.

    Thanks again for the help!

    Kyle

    1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.9)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,280 points)
    Have you checked out
    http://www.drbott.com equipment and cables?
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    An update from this evening:

    On a "gut feeling", I went to look at OWC's website this evening. I was checking out their "Specials" page, then I thought I'd click on the "Clearance" page, just to see what was being offered up there. I had recently bought a Pioneer Superdrive dual-layer burner, so they sometimes have good stuff for cheap.

    They had the ATI 9600's back for $99! They were a bit more expensive since their last offering of these cards, but I wasn't about to let this one get away again, especially since there were only 2 cards left at the time!

    So, I ordered the card, and I should be getting it about Monday-ish. I hope to get it installed right away. I'll report back how it works out. I'm REALLY hoping this will take care of my problems! In the meantime, I'll be researching "DVI noise."

    Thanks again for all the advice offered up thus far!
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I got my new card yesterday evening! Now I can't wait to get to put it into my MDD to see whether the DVI noise issue has gone away. I'll post back after I've had the chance to set things up.

    Kyle
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, this is a head-scratcher. I installed my card tonight, set things up with the DVI cable, and booted my computer. The chime is just fine, but no image EVER appears. I turn off the monitor and turn it back on. It displays "analog: no signal", stays on for about 3-4 seconds, then goes into power-saving mode. When the analog signal sign pops up, I hit the button for the OSD to appear, and nothing happens. The monitor just shuts off.

    I plug in the VGA cable, and the image instantly appears. I open ATi Displays from System Preferences, and it tells me the correct card is installed. I open System Profile, and it identifies the card correctly, also. At the bottom, however, it says "no display connected". I suppose it says this because the analog pass-through is being used for the VGA adapter?

    Well, I'm starting to shift my thoughts back towards the monitor and its DVI port having some issues. I tried the OEM DVI cable that came with the monitor, and I also tried the shielded Belkin cable I bought last week. I tried re-booting the computer both times to see if it was just perhaps a driver issue, or if the system needed to recognize something was connected to its DVI port (going from the "no display connected" message from System Profile).

    I purchased an extended warranty from Circuit City. I usually view these extended warranties dimly, but if it's the monitor, I'll be very happy to be able to take it back to Circuit City and have them test it, and trade it for a new one. I'm pretty frustrated right now. >:-(

    This is like a soap-opera, where there's never a resolution to anything, although many manipulations/machinations take place day to day! Thanks for bearing with me, those few who might still be following along. I'll be contacting Circuit City about the possible trade-in.

    Until next time,
    Kyle
  • BSteely Level 5 Level 5 (7,635 points)
    Kyle,

    Your monitor may not have auto port scanning. By that I mean, you may have to manually switch it between its analog and digital input. Usually there is a "Source" button on the front of the monitor for this. Check your monitor's user guide. I'm sure once you switch it to its digital input, you will see an image over DVI.
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    BSteely,

    Thanks for your reply. I sent one earlier today, but for whatever reason, it didn't show up. Strange.

    When I boot up, by default the monitor seeks an analog source, since that's the one I've been using. As soon as a "analog input: no signal detected" sign appears on the screen, I begin pushing the button that's supposed to allow me to switch sources. Nothing happens, and after a few seconds, the monitor puts itself to sleep. I can turn it on, hit the button, and have the same scenario play out time after time.

    I've also tried booting into analog mode, then trying to switch the source, while trying to switch the cable at the same time. Either my timing is bad, or this just doesn't work. Perhaps this idea was doomed to failure from the beginning.

    One thing I haven't tried is hooking up my iBook to the VGA port, have my G4 hooked up to the DVI port, and then try the source switch. If I get to try this, I'll report back.

    Thanks for the suggestions, and for everyone's thoughtfulness in providing ideas on things to try!

    Kyle
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, after some run-around by Circuit City's Product protection plan plus people (800 number) and Viewsonic's people, I decided to call my local Circuit City, from which I purchased this monitor. The guy I spoke to told me just to bring it in, and they'd either send it off for repair, or they would just do a swap. I am praying for the swap to occur.

    Should they do a swap for me, I'll come back after I've had time to connect the monitor. I'll give an (hopefully happy) update, explaining how the wonderful new screen looks great under DVI. With any luck, that'll be what happens. Murphy's Law says, however, I'll drop the monitor and break it, or I'll find a way to destroy my mother board.

    The next update will be this evening, I hope.

    Thanks again for advice offered up to me.

    Kyle

    1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.9)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM

    1.25 G4 MDD, 1.2 G4 iBook   Mac OS X (10.4.9)   G4 MDD: 1.75 GB RAM; G4 iBook: 1.25 GB RAM
  • Kyle England Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, an update on the latest episode of this sad saga. Well, I was able to trade out the monitor with Circuit City, and they were great with their customer service (No, I don't work for them. ).

    I got the monitor home, and quickly got things set up. I held my breath as I hit the power button on the monitor, then the power button on my G4. Nothing happened. I had a sinking feeling come over me.

    I tried the old DVI-to-VGA adapter bit, and it worked beautifully, as it had with the prior monitor. I guess I had just traded in a perfectly fine monitor as a defective one.

    I found an article inside Apple's support pages for the G4. It mentioned trying to boot up from an operating system install disk. I put the Tiger install disk into the machine, hooked up the DVI cable, then booted the machine. Of course, as usual, nothing happened. So, I did the usual switcheroo to the VGA cable, and up came the video.

    I did an "Archive & Install" installation, per the advice mentioned in this article. I connected the DVI cable, booted up, and again, nothing happened.

    I shut down the computer, opened the case, took out the video card, cleaned the contacts, did a quick inspection of the AGP slot, just to make sure no detritus had made its way into there, possibly blocking the connection that would allow a digital signal to pass on through. I removed the battery for a minute, then pressed the PMU button after replacing the battery. I closed up the case, booted up the computer, and nothing happened.

    I'm very discouraged and flabberghasted about this whole situation. I've tried to do it all correctly, and when mucking around the interior, I've made certain I'm properly grounded (grounding wrist strap). I'll be placing a call to AppleCare Technical support tomorrow, I guess. Since my AppleCare coverage lapsed just last September(!), I'll be ponying up the $50 in order to see what steps need to be taken next. I suppose they'll want me to ship it out to them and let them take a look.

    I guess I'll have some thinking to do. I don't know if I want to bother with the expense to get to the bottom of this.

    Thanks again, everyone, for all the assistance and advice offered to me!

    Kyle