Question Is this a graphics card issue or a monitor issue (or both)?

Aug 2, 2021
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My laptop (Acer Aspre 7 A717) has been misbehaving over the last month or so with a flickering screen. It's been happening on and off for about 5 months now but historically I've been able to jiggle the video cable and that's stablised it for a bit, but this last time it's been not working quite so effectively.

A couple of observations:
  1. Screen flickering increases proportionally to computer run time and computer load (Playing a game tends to increase the rate of flicker, but not necessarily)
  2. Wobbling the screen usually temporarily fixes the problem in early stages
  3. The screen sometimes blacks out completely, but still works if the screen is bent back to its most extreme point.
  4. Once the flickering starts, it's not necessarily limited to any particular program; it will flicker in word as easily as a higher intensity game (but it tends to hit games harder)
  5. Plugging the laptop into an exteneral screen tends not to have any problems (but the laptop's screen will still flicker)
  6. The laptop seems to be running hotter than it has historically.
So, the thing is, I'm not entirely sure what the problem is. On the one hand, it seems like it's a video cable issue, given that it works in certain positions, affects anything (most likely this time I damaged it when I fiddled with it) and works fine with external screens. On the other hand, hitting games harder and running hot sounds more like a graphics card issue.

I'm looking for advice on where to go from here; at the moment I'm planning on replacing the video cable but the idea of the graphics card failing has been lurking uncomfortably in my mind (I think this model can't replace the graphics card). Does anyone have any ideas of more tests I could do to narrow it down or opinions on what it might be? I'm only fairly amateur at this so I expect there's a lot I might have missed.
 
Aug 2, 2021
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Unfortunately, I bought it mostly new but 2nd hand and didn't get a warranty with it (The $500 I saved on buying it seems less worthwhile now). Now that I've tinkered with it as well (Hiring a professional first, naturally), I'd expect the warranty to be void anyway.
 
Aug 2, 2021
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Update: I updated my graphics card driver and whether that's coincidental or not it's largely been working better. Not all the time though. Specifically trying to troubleshoot it, I've noticed a couple of things which might help narrow this down:

Specific colours cause screen blackouts, such as Firefox's purple in new private windows. Testing using paint as the only active program seems to be suggesting that single colours (all red, no GB &c.) trigger screen blackouts. Switching window from problematic screens often fixes the problem.
I've noticed in games screen flicker flares when my graphics card hits 70oC or more. Again weirdly adjusting the screen position often helps with this, as does sending the computer to sleep and waking it up again.
Sometimes just specific keyboard buttons trigger it once it's started up (I guess cleaning behind the keyboard wouldn't hurt but it's annoying to access)


Does this help anyone at all narrow down where the problem is? It's making me feel increasingly like it's the video cable but it'd be nice to have some expert validation.
 

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