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I've just bought an Nvidia GTX 560 Ti video card and I'm using it with a CRT monitor. The monitor is connected to the card via the DVI->VGA adapter. Here's the problem.

Everywhere where the Nvidia Windows driver is not used (e.g., BIOS setup, POST messages, DOS mode, Windows XP installation) the pciture/text looks blurry. It looks blurry in Windows XP, too, unless I install the Nvidia driver. Once the driver is installed the picture becomes clear and sharp in Windows, the way it should be. Of course, it's still blurry outside of Windows (BIOS, POST messages, etc).

I've been using an Asus GTX 285 until now, and the picture looked sharp with it everywhere. I wonder if this is a defect of my card or if it's just the way newer generation NVIDIA cards work.

It seems that there are at least two other people with the same problem (they use GTX 480s though). Here's the thread I found where it is discussed.

The card otherwise seems to work fine in Windows once the driver is installed but it still bothers me somewhat. Why would the picture be blurry outside of Windows? I've never seen this problem with other cards I owned. Anyone could explain this behaviour?

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You did not explicitly say that you've been using the same monitor the whole time. Is this the case? What is the display's native resolution? – iglvzx Jan 7 '12 at 21:05
Yes, I've been using the same monitor. CRTs don't have a native resolution, they can display many of them without distorting the picture. – Ree Jan 7 '12 at 21:46

It is not uncommon for a modern graphics card to have issues switching to VGA mode. After all, it's like asking a super high performance jet plane to fly at 3 miles per hour (it's not gonna happen nicely).

Things to Try:

  • Turn off the PC, and unplug the power; then take out the video card, gently blow into the port it connects too, and make sure it's clean, then put the card back in and retry.
  • Ensure the cable connectors are cleaned

One other common issue for most CRT users when using new video cards:

Ensure you use the reset, and degause of your CRT monitor after upgrading your video cards, as the monitor is not fully used to the new signal coming from the card, it can cause corruption. This usually is accessible using the OSD (menu, on the monitor), and going to auto or reset, to make the monitor automatically reset its settings.

But honestly, given you are using a very modern card, I would just recommend upgrading to a proper monitor.

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I'm sorry, but what do cable connectors have to do with this? The picture is great in Windows when the Nvidia driver is installed. If there was a problem with some connector, this would not be the case. Degaussing is automatically done every time the monitor is turned on, so this is not the problem. – Ree Jan 7 '12 at 21:53
Regarding upgrading - what makes you think a quality 21' CRT is not a proper monitor? LCDs don't offer a better picture quality in my case. Btw, I use this machine for gaming only. Getting an LCD would be a downgrade for me since I like some old games that don't support high resolutions. They look great on my CRT while they would look pretty bad on an LCD. New games look great, too, so I have no incentive to "upgrade". – Ree Jan 7 '12 at 21:57
To comment #1: A dirty cable connector to a CRT monitor can wreak havoc on the timing signals causing distorted images, broken images, and blurry images. Even if windows is displaying fine, the RAW output when in bios relies on the EDID of the monitor, and if the cable connector is dirty, can cause this issue. – zackrspv Jan 7 '12 at 22:43
To comment #2: 'Quality 21" CRT' doesn't really mean much. CRT monitors are a thing of the past, not really something people should be buying these days to work with high end video cards. Your entire comment revolves around the idea that because the resolution and quality is higher, you dont wish to upgrade, as the games you play are of lower quality. This makes little sense :) A higher resolution monitor, better monitor, can work much better with your card, and far easier with your computer, than can a CRT monitor. – zackrspv Jan 7 '12 at 22:44
Re dirty connectors: they're clean. – Ree Jan 8 '12 at 8:50

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