artifacting in video playback and images

December 5, 2010 at 00:12:46
Specs: Windows 7, athlon x2 255, 4gb kingston hyperx blu 1600mhz
I recently upgraded my cpu, motherboard, and memory to:

-Athlon II x2 255
-2x2 gb Kingston hyperx blu ddr3 ram 1600 mhz

Other specs (preexisting):
Geforce gt 240 512 mb
300W PSU

Basically after upgrading and doing a fresh install of Windows 7, I find that I am getting severe artifacting during video playback and also while looking at images in Firefox.

This is what I know so far and why:

-It is not my video card: Switching to onboard video does not solve the problem. Furthermore, graphically intensive applications like starcraft 2 play flawlessly without any artifacting.
-It is not the memory: It goes through several passes of memtest86+ without any problems. Moreover, the artifacting also occurs with a different pair of ddr3 sticks from corsair.
-It is not my monitor or DVI cable, due to the fact that I can capture the artifacts with a screenshot.

Why it might be software/codec (and not hardware) related:
-some videos play fine while others do not.
-image artifacting is observed in programs like firefox, adobe reader, but not in internet explorer.
-the hardware handles far more intensive things like sc2 flawlessly

Why it might be hardware related:
-Reformatting and reinstalling windows does not solve the problem. I have tried this and found that the problem is there even from the very first bootup after installation of windows, before anything might have corrupted my system files.
-Image artifacting in firefox seems to be random. The same image will sometimes render normally and other times render with artifacts.

Other info:
-I have all the latest drivers for chipset, graphics, etc.
-Nothing is overheating. CPU is around 40C under load, graphics card is around 50-60C under load.

If it is a hardware issue, the only possibilities left are my CPU, mobo, and power supply. Can anyone offer any suggestions or further insights on how to determine the cause of my problem (whether its hardware or software) and what I can do to fix it? Thank you!!

Here are examples of the artifacting:

image artifacting in firefox:
same page in IE:
video artifacting:

See More: artifacting in video playback and images

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December 5, 2010 at 11:35:43
update: the problem doesn't happen in windows xp 32 bit, which suggests that it is a software issue associated w/ windows 7. Has anyone heard of windows 7 having compatibility issues with certain hardware or shipping with defective codecs? Thanks.

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