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Drivers & Software

Adept I

Randomly, horribly distorted text

Several days ago I began noticing randomly distorted text on my system. In some cases running my mouse over the distorted text causes it to refresh and the distortion vanishes, other times it does not. The problem is confined to text--no other images or graphics are distorted. The text problem is not confined to any specific application, and can be seen in browsers, menus, etc. It's also not confined to any specific monitor--both my monitors have the same problem in the same way.

What I've tried that relieved the problem:

  • Running in Safe Mode, or simply removing the AMD drivers (the problem disappears under those circumstances)

Things I've tried so far that have not worked:

  • Running clean installs of the drivers, including older driver versions
  • Running the AMD Cleanup tool, then installing drivers
  • Removing the card, blowing out the PCI slot and assorted connectors, then reinserting the card
  • Turning Clear Type off and on 
  • Checking my monitor refresh rates, trying different resolutions and DPI settings
  • Running System File Checker (some errors were found and corrected)

My System:

  • Windows 10 64 bit Professional with all the latest upgrades installed, 16 GB of RAM installed
  • AMD Radeon RX 480 Graphics Card with 8GB of GDDR5 memory

I can't find any other instance in an online search with this specific set of symptoms, but I have to believe this is a software issue based on the fact that the mere loading of the AMD drivers causes the issue, and when they've been removed the problem goes away.

Any thoughts on further steps? I'd hate to have to replace the whole card, but I'm not sure what I can try next.

Thanks in advance,


3 Replies

Does it happen only inside Chromium based stuff (which nowadays can be everywhere), like Chrome itself or Steam, or it's even under the W10 UI?

There's an issue affecting some Polaris 10/20 face under only under chromium that can cause distorted stuff or a green pattern until that portion of the screen is refreshed. If its truly system wide, could be a faulty card. You might try it on another system. Also, you could try to raise vcore a bit on all lower p-states (like +0,0125V or +0,025V) to see if it goes a way, in case it happens because of the card's energy management.

Yes, it happens system-wide including the Windows UI. However, the problem is purely limited to the display of type--there's no other artifacting of any sort. The text distortions can appear/disappear with the pulsing of my cursor when I'm typing text (as I am right now). In non-editable areas of text, it can appear and then randomly disappear as the screen seems to refresh (for example, within a dialog box).

I have another card on order from Amazon that will arrive tomorrow. I'm hoping the issue can be solved without having to spend the $230, but if I have no other choice, I'll have to eat the expense. The limitation of the problem to text, and the fact that it disappears when I'm using generic Windows card drivers instead of the AMD drivers, really puzzles me.

Thanks for responding,


Adept I

Alright...I've swapped the original card out for a Sapphire Radeon RX 580, and the problem seems to have vanished on both monitors.

That this whole business could be attributed to a hardware fault isn't surprising...what threw me all along is that the distortions on both monitors throughout both the OS Interface and my apps was confined purely to text. I'm still not sure why I had such a selective symptom, but there it is (or was).