I have an LCD monitor which was, arguably, relatively cheap. Undoubtedly it's due to cheap manufacturing, but after a while of continuous use, I start to see artifacts of previous images (resembling CRT burn-in). I've also noticed the these areas of the screen tend to get a bit toastier than unaffected areas.

Turning off the monitor for a while does return it to normal, so it's not a permanent problem, but it is rather ugly when it happens. A Google search resulted in no more than "this happens sometimes". Does anyone else have experience with this?

  1. Anyone know the cause of this? (Feel free to get as technical as you'd like.)

  2. Aside from the obvious of trying to exercise the pixels as much as possible when in use (i.e. don't leave SO/SF/SU in a browser open all day), is there anything I can do to reduce this? Would improving cooling help or is it not heat-related?

I don't think it's cable or video card related at all. It's usually the top left corner, and artifacts of things that don't change regularly (the desktop, browser toolbar, etc) are still visible when I change what is shown there (usually by switching to another application). Like I said, it looks like CRT burn-in. When the monitor is off for a while and is turned back on, however, the problem goes away.

4 Answers 4


It could very well be the cables, but where are the artifacts located on the screen? That is a huge determinant. The edges of a screen are generally warmer and so it may not be a related symptom.

But that aside, the answer you're looking for has many possibilities. My belief is simply that you have dying/near dead pixels.

  • The artifacts are on the top-left corner mostly and yes, they're on the edges. I'm tempted to go with your dying pixel theory; they do tend to "remember their state" as it were. Only thing is that if they're allowed to cool, the problem goes away.
    – lc.
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 14:57
  • When you say "allowed to cool", what do you mean? Do you shut the computer down and turn the monitor off? Or do you just turn the monitor off?
    – joe
    Commented Jul 26, 2009 at 15:14

I had similar sounding symptoms with a cheap TFT that I had. I managed to work out that it seemed to be related to the monitor getting too hot. If it's somewhere with bad airflow or in direct sunlight I'd suggest moving it and seeing if that helps it.

Or try turning up your air conditioning if you have it.


I've had some success in this area both with switching to a better VGA cable and with switching to a DVI cable instead, if the monitor supports DVI. Of course, you may need to buy a video card that supports DVI, but those are much less expensive than a new monitor.

  • 1
    I don't think it's the cable/signal though (for the record it doesn't support DVI either, it was cheap). Like I just added to my question to clarify, it's not the image quality, it's that after a while artifacts of the previous pixels' state tend to appear.
    – lc.
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 14:59

How is your monitor hooked up? If you are using VGA cable now, but have the option to go DVI, try to see if switching to DVI gives you a better image.

  • It's not the image quality that's the problem, it's that after a while artifacts of old images tend to remain visible, a la burn-in.
    – lc.
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 14:58

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