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PC freezes and GPU artifacts/glitches, but only when a second monitor is connected


For whatever reason, sometimes when I have a second monitor connected, my PC can sometimes freeze/glitch, and my GPU can also screw up as well. 

Usually what happens is the PC locks up for about a second and only the secondary monitor flashes black for a second, then everything goes back to normal. On other occasions (although it's stopped for the most part) the secondary monitor might not be detected sometimes. 

But recently, when I was trying to change the resolution of the secondary monitor with NVIDIA Control Panel, the PC froze up, and then artifacts started showing up on both displays for a couple seconds. (See attached photo, had to take it fast so didn't get the entire screen)



I ran 3DMark afterwards (only benchmarking thing I had on the PC), and it didn't seem to have any issue with that (even running on the secondary display), so I'm not sure if it's the GPU or the monitor screwing things up. The GPU has had a long and prosperous life at this point, being in my older cousin's SLI setup 6-7 years ago, then given to my brother in 2017, left in a box for a couple years as he didn't build a PC at the time, given to me when I first built my PC in April 2022, and then put in this secondary PC after upgrading it to an RTX 3060 Ti in my main PC.

PC specs are as follows:

  • Intel Core i5-3570 CPU
  • Dell OptiPlex 7010 (DT) mATX Motherboard (OEM, I'm using some front panel adapters to get it to work in a normal case)
  • 16GB (4x4GB) Crucial 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
  • SanDisk Ultra 3D 500GB SATA SSD
  • Fusion-io ioDrive2 PCIe x4 Drive 160GB SSD
  • MSI GAMING GTX 970 4GB Graphics Card (VBIOS Version, also running at stock currently and during the crashes)
  • EVGA 500 BQ 80+ Bronze PSU
  • Dell P1913 1440x900 75Hz Monitor
  • Insignia 24DF310NA21 60Hz TV (Using as monitor)
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Version 22H2, Build 19045.2728, UEFI
  • BIOS Version A29 (Latest available)
  • NVIDIA driver version (GeForce 531.41)

So far, I've updated the graphics drivers, updated my GPU's BIOS (after the artifacting occurred, still didn't fix the black screen issue), and restarted the PC.

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