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GPU resolution and performance issues

GPU Resolution Gaming performance lag

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I built my first PC in November 2014. Everything worked flawlessly. A few months ago I remembered I had bought a HDMI-DVI cable for my monitor so I unplugged the VGA cable and plugged in the HDMI cable and it caused red lines all around the screen (still could see the desktop but just looked awful). I then plugged the VGA cable back in and instantly noticed the quality of the picture wasn't crisp anymore. Like the HD was taken out. Before I touched any of the cables It looked amazing, even with just the VGA cable. So I ordered a new good quality DVI cable. Nothing changed. I did some research and tried different driver updates, installs and removals, tweaked settings in Nvidia Control Panel, and still nothing( I have tried this in all the different settings of resolutions offered).
So I decided to upgrade my Monitor thinking it may have been an issue with the monitor. I bought the Dell UltraSharp U2412M after some research. While it is a noticeably nicer monitor the problem still remains. Games look horrible, the lines are jagged and the screen almost tares and videos stutter and lag. It doesn't have the HD pop like it should/did. I can not find any answers or even problems that are like mine. Games are also not performing the way they were or should be.  
Fast forward a few months (I have had no luck in finding any solution at all...) I bought a second GTX 970 and the result was the same.  Could I have gotten two bad cards? Not that likely but possible.  So I'm thinking the issue is not with the card so much being bad as it is something else.  I have also done a complete clean install of windows 7.  Nothing changed.  I tried moving both cards into other ports on the MOBO and still nothing.  I thought maybe the PCI port was damaged but it doesn't seem to be.  Any update on the drivers I do changes nothing, even when I clean install them and re install.  
What I find weird is from start up or in BIOS to a game or watching a video its the same poor resolution.  Tweaking settings changes nothing.  The odd part is when I do a RAM, GPU, CPU test with the different programs, everything comes back working as it should.  I can not stress how this machine was a beast before I tried the other cable and ever since then it has been nothing but issues.  
What I am trying next is a new power supply that will be here on Friday.  I don't think this is the issue but I am now going part by part to see what the cause could be.  My other thought is could my MOBO be damaged from switching the cables while the PC was on (I didn't think about Hot plugging being an issue at the time).  I am trying a different PSU to make sure nothing got damaged or fried from the bad HDMI cable (not sure if that is a possibility but its the next step I'm trying).  The only other thing that happened that same day at the time was the front of my tower slid off my desk (about half of an inch ) as the feet went passed the edge.  Nothing seemed damaged and I am almost positive the screen was already a lower resolution. Everything else has been performing fine since then, just not the resolution or the performance of any game or video.
I can only describe my frustration as endless...I feel as if my GPU is not getting the power it needs to perform or something is not connecting.  At this point if someone has the solution I am ready to just replace the part, eat the loss and move on so I can enjoy gaming.  Any ideas or help would be amazing.  I appreciate any and all feed back. My specs are below .
GPU: MSI GTX 970 4GD5T OC Graphics Cards GTX 970 4GD5T OC
MOTHERBOARD: MSI ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97 PC MATE
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 3.5GHz LGA 1150
RAM: HyperX Fury Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
PSU: XFX XTR Series P1-650B-BEFX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD 
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
ORIGIONAL MONITOR:ASUS VX238H 23-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor
CURRENT MONITOR:D ell UltraSharp U2412M

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