Originally Posted by _john_i_
It sounds like we have the exact same laptop, and I am not getting any tearing at all in kde using the kwin4 window manager. You mentioned the HDMI port .. do you have both the laptop display and the monitor on HDMI active at once with twinview? If so, the nvidia driver can only sync-to-vblank on one of the displays -- see the README.txt file that comes with the drivers. Also note you can pick the monitor to sync with via the __GL_SYNC_DISPLAY_DEVICE environment variable.
I don't use Ubuntu, so I am not sure what options you have for your window manager.
Also, it isn't clear from your post when you are seeing the tearing. Is it when you play video, or when you just move windows around? It may just be a matter of setting the vsync option for your window manager.
I've actually been seeing the tearing in my native display now, no matter what settings I've tried, and I've tried every variant of the vsync options I could find in Xserver and compizconfig settings manager. It seems to happen whenever there is horizontal movement on screen of anything, whether it's playing video or not. I don't know if this is limited to Ubuntu or not.