One of our readers reached out asking for troubleshooting help in his PC. He has a brand new RTX 3070 and a Ryzen 5600X on a B450 motherboard. The issue can be seen below:
Now this problem does not only occur on Steam. It also appears on some videos in-game and most prominently, in web browsers. Anyone who’s had any experience with PC troubleshooting, myself included, would be familiar with this symptoms as relating to possible GPU problems except it isn’t. This post is meant to serve as note to myself as well as my readers of this issue.
The user, Zeus, has shared his account on Reddit as well. I will be sharing a more technical breakdown of the steps involved just to add further information to anyone who might be troubleshooting this issue. The Reddit post is below:
Display shows artifacts, specifically colored lines particularly purple/pink lines on screen commonly seen on browsers but also some games. It is particularly on videos as well. Stress testing the GPU, CPU and memory does not aggravate the problem and does not cause short-term increase of the screen artifacting.
One of the more curious symptoms is that the garbled display can be screenshot and pasted. Something not common with GPU issues.
As the symptoms are particularly GPU-related, I advised the user to confirm GPU stability through actual usage through games and stress tests like Furmark. He can confirm the system has no stability issue but the issue remains.
I urged the user to find a friend who can help him troubleshoot the issue to swap out parts. Before that, we also tried Display Driver Uninstaller as well trying a fresh install of Windows. None of these corrected the issue.
Further testing required swapping our memory, PSU, and the motherboard. None of these exposed the issue. Testing the parts on another system also confirmed this.
The last part was the CPU. After swapping the user’s AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, the issue was gone. To further confirm this, the Ryzen 5 5600X is tested on two other systems which shows none of the issue. Moving the CPU to the other systems exhibited the problems we discussed as purple/pink lines are now visible on screen.
This concludes the troubleshooting which leads us to confirm that the CPU is the culprit for the issues found on the system. To further stress, the CPU works even under heavy loads so it is functioning just fine aside from showing the artifacts on screen.
Technical Details and Final Thoughts
This is one of the first instances where I’ve encountered a CPU causing display problems. It is technically not an impossibility as most CPUs now integrate a lot of functionality and any of these interconnects from the GPU to CPU may be affecting the display.
That said, I am sharing this due to the peculiarity of this problem. CPU manufacturers have robust warranty coverage and as long as there is no physical damage to your CPU, you can send them in for replacement within your coverage. AMD covers CPUs for 3 years and the user has already replaced his CPU by the dealer and good friend, Sam.
AskB2G is BossMac’s segment on Back2Gaming detailing user questions that should be shared to a larger audience. If you have a question or need help with your PC and software problem, let me know by contacting me in the comments or connecting with me on Facebook or Twitter. The links are in the author box below.