I bought my XPS 710 awhile ago and it's been working great (for the most part) up until yesterday. I turned on the computer and it booted normally. After a few minutes the screen started jumbling parts of the screen everywhere. When I closed it down it looked sort of like this and this. (neither are actually from my computer but both are similar) Naturally, I thought it was a problem with either my monitor or video card(NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS). I switched monitors, the problem still occurred. I borrowed a graphics card from my friend, plugged that in and the screen was fine. After that, I put my graphics card back in and ran a diagnostic on it. And these were the results.
(Failed) VESA SVGA Video- Video Memory Test
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video- Video HardwareTest
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video- Text Mode Character Test
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video- Text Mode Color Test
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video-Text Mode Pages Test
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video- Graphics Mode Test
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video-Color Palettes Test
(Passed) VESA SVGA Video-Solid Colors Test
For the Video Memory Test, this was the result. (There are plenty more error codes similar to these two that I presented, the only difference in all of them is what I bolded. If all the error codes are needed I will post them.)
Error Code 5300:0119
Msg:Detected a failure while writing and reading video memory. Video mode: Dh (320x200x16). Address A1240h, expected to read 0h, but read 12121212h instead.
Msg:Detected a failure while writing and reading video memory. Video Mode: Eh (640x200x16). Address A0458h, expected to read 0h, but read 12h instead
The video card is defective and should be replaced. Any of these PCIe x16 Dell video cards will work -XM450 Nvidia Geforce 8800GTX DY285 Nvidia GeForce 7950 Quad SLIFP071 Nvidia GeForce 7900GTXHH748 Nvidia Geforce 7900GS
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I have the same card on a XPS 410 system with a similar problem. The monitor would blink and basically make the system unusable. I got a refurbished 7900 off Ebay for about $30 and that seems to have fixed the problem. This is by backup computer so I did not want to spend a lot of money on a new card.