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Nvidia driver issues - Tearing / Display output lag

Discussion in 'Linux & Open Source' started by Ben97, 21 Apr 2021.

  1. Ben97


    Joined: 20 Dec 2020

    Posts: 64

    Over the past few weeks I've had loads of issues with what now seem to be driver related problems. Some have sorted themselves out but I can't be sure if they will re-occur.

    I use Ubuntu 20.04 and use MATE.

    Here is a list of problems I've currently got:

    1: --- Display lag / sudden low frame rate intervals even when the system isn’t busy

    This issue is very noticeable when gaming or watching videos, but it isn't there the whole time. One way of explaining it is when you drag a window about, rather than being smooth, it appears jerky as if the frame rate is low. If I get the system to display the FPS rate, it is totally fine, so it is clearly the display output that is the problem. This experience is awful with fast paced gaming and watching videos is annoying at times too. I'm not 100% certain, but it seemed that when I have 2 monitors connected (which I don't want or have the space for), the display lag never seems to happen. I usually just use 1 monitor with HDMI, but weather I use DVI or HDMI, if I just use one monitor, that is when this problem is here. If I connect both and turn one off, the other one interestingly doesn't seem to have the problem then.

    2: --- Tearing with horizontal movement

    This happens all the time with everything weather I use one or 2 monitors. Usually a rather wide bar going the entire width of the screen whenever there is any horizontal movement. Again, horrible in gaming and videos. It is also noticeable when doing things as simple as dragging a window around and it just looks to be ripping badly. The tearing line isn't always in the same location, but there is always at least 1 somewhere horizontally.

    3: --- Loads of errors when I attempt any changes at Additional Drivers (has been the case for many months)

    I'm really hoping that this will be the issue and that someone can advice me how to sort this issue out. Any time I attempt to change the drivers, the error messages in this picture pop up:
    It is stuck using the drivers the blue dot highlights. Not sure if this is related though. I used to be able to change this many months back and testing open source or some others likely will help prove if this certainly is a driver problem.

    Some problems seem to have sorted themselves out in the past few days, but I may as well mention them in case anyone knows if they are likely to have been related to this.

    --- In game brightness wasn't adjustable via the toggle when using the native resolution

    Some of the games I play have an in-game brightness control. And until whatever sorted this issue out, the in-game brightness control had no effect at all It was as if i enabled OpenGL in the game which states you then can only control the brightness from your graphics card program which was indeed my case. However, if I added another monitor making the system resolution 3840x1080 and played the game full screen in just one screen (so 1920x1080), i then had full control of the brightness, but if i set it to fullscreen across both, it had the issue again. It seemed it just wouldn't go to the system's set resolution without disabling my ability to control the brightness and it was just way too dark to play. If I set the game to any resolution lower than the native, it also would then allow me to change brightness in full screen but it then looked grainy.

    --- Blank screen at Login

    The system also had a problem that although I found away around it at the time and it seems solved now, it again seemed related to all this. A blank screen at login - unless I used 2 monitors!
    It was simply a black screen with the cursor and nothing else. I saw all the boot up information so knew my monitor was connected. The way around this was to do Ctrl+Alt+F1 and enter the command line and without even needing to login there, just leave it and the login screen appears. Even if you left it as a blank screen, logging in did work, but I couldn't see my desktop until I entered and left the command line. If I connected another monitor via DVI on boot-up, both monitors always worked. But it seemed the DVI one was primary at the time as that showed the log in screen while my main one just showed the purple screen with the ubuntu logo in the middle. So I either had to use 2 monitors and switch to my main one via Nvidia control panel every time or use the command line to log in. But luckily this problem seems to have gone now.

    Both the 2 problems above lasted a coupe of weeks but all of them other than being stuck with the selected drivers started at the same time several weeks back.

    Anyhow, all these problems look to be related to nvidia and one of them certainly seems to be related to my PC possibly assuming I have more than 1 monitor connected. The tearing and lagging problem is very confusing but I hope that too will be related to the drivers issue.

    My system is pretty hard to use at the moment a lot of the time so would much appreciate some help!

    Many thanks
  2. opethdisciple


    Joined: 18 May 2010

    Posts: 21,502

    Location: London

    Probably not what you want to hear but you'd have a much easier time with an AMD GPU when on Linux.

    Thats been my experience every time.
  3. Ben97


    Joined: 20 Dec 2020

    Posts: 64

    Yea is is a bit unfortunate to hear after I upgraded to a new machine recently spending around £1000. One think I can hope for is that as these issues were not initially there is that there was some random update that messed things up. That may mean that they could be solved sometime in the future like some of the other issues i mentioned were. Tearing and display output lag is the big issue at the moment.
  4. Chaos


    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,451

    I think theres an Nvidia version of Pop OS might be worth a try.
  5. Ice Tea


    Joined: 1 Nov 2004

    Posts: 3,850

    Would trying the non-server driver make any difference?
  6. Ben97


    Joined: 20 Dec 2020

    Posts: 64

    After having help from someone, I've not got the main latest 460 tested drivers running, but that doesn't seem to have sorted it entirely but has helped with a few things.

    One thing that seems to be the case that previously caused the in-game brightness to be fixed was having force composition pipeline enabled. However, now on the most recent drivers, having that enabled actually appears (so far) to have fixed the tearing and i also don't have the fixed brightness issue in games.

    The main thing that is left now is this system lag. Not really sure how I should describe it. It is more patches of what feels like a low frame rate. It isn't with specific applications, but happens any time and dragging windows around just looks choppy rather than smooth for 10 seconds or so. Sometimes it is smooth for a while but is very unpredictable.

    If I plug in another monitor to my card, bizarrely, this low frame rate issue seems to virtually never happen. It is almost as if my card is causing this problem like it is trying to search for another monitor when i only have one connected. Then when i add the other, the problem is no longer there - even if i I turn it off. If Nvidia picks up that there is 2 monitors connected that seems to stop this issue. Could this even be hardware related or just nvidia being messed up?

    I'm thinking my next thing I need to try is getting rid of Nvidia altogether and then getting it back again, but with a clean start and having none of my previous configurations. I'm don't know how to do this though.

    What likely won't help is that I've seen some of my configuration files that have been saved from many years ago as when i got new computers, I kept my home on the same drive or at least backed up. So there is in fact some config saved from 2013, but the more recent one is the only one it touches so I don't know if that will be related.
  7. opethdisciple


    Joined: 18 May 2010

    Posts: 21,502

    Location: London

    I experienced lag too using Ubuntu and Nvidia GPU. That's why now days I stick to AMD cards. It honestly just works out of the box no fiddling required.
  8. Cithan


    Joined: 5 Feb 2012

    Posts: 45

    Location: London

    Seems like you might have some kind of hardware issue - are those monitors pretty old - you mention DVI...? I've never really noticed a problem with nvidia on Ubuntu - have had experience with 2 different GPUs, 4 different monitors and both AMD and Intel.

    NVidia works best with Display Port for sure - G-SYNC requires it for example.

    Have you had a good look and play around with the settings in the `nvidia-settings`GUI app?
  9. Ben97


    Joined: 20 Dec 2020

    Posts: 64

    I'm currently using a basic Philips 243v7qdab (ugh their model numbers are ridiculous)

    I'd been through 3 decent looking 2560x1440 monitors that were all more rich in features, but all had either a fault or some other reason for me to return, but this is entirely unrelated to graphics. One was horrendous backlight bleed, another made a high pitched buzz when turned on and the other just had very over vibrant colours that just seemed unreal to my eyes even after faffing around in the OSD.

    Anyway, I want to be using HDMI only as i have a 5 way HDMI switch and like to be able to switch to every input by remote.

    I've since got the tearing fixed and this was solved by going to the latest drivers which i've now had help find a way to. And also, enabling force composition pipeline seemed to get rid of the tearing entirely.

    I've also had help working out how to reset nvidia and get rid my latest configuration file so it starts from fresh. The things I've had to set up again to get where I was before are as follows:

    sudo nvidia-xconfig --cool-bits=12 - This is so I can use a program named GreenWithEnvy to control my graphics card fan as it just seems really loud without doing this.

    I also enabled full composition pipeline which after deleting the config was not ticked.

    I will now wait and see if these stutter frame rate burst continue every now and then. It is just so random and i can't understand it.

    The only graphics card related problem I have now is just what I mention above. The other problems have gone now.

    The reason I'm using DVI at the moment is because for some reason, using HDMI and switching inputs introduces crackling to my USB audio. People have mentioned that my motherboard (asus b550 plus wifi) apparently has a known problem with USB audio getting popping and crackling. But it doesn't seem as bad when i use a cable to my monitor that can't carry audio, but that can't be a long term solution. I've been told that a BIOS update should solve this. But i can't see how it will sort my graphics issue out.