Kernel logs too large for forum ; nvidia-bug-report attached.
I had quite a long post written out, then I went and spoiled things by writing that my system uptime had got to 1 hour 20 at the end of it.. my system naturally crashed as soon as I did that. Now I'm posting from my laptop. That crash can't be seen in the log - it should be in kern.log at Dec 9 10:10 or thereabouts but apparently the system locked up before it could write anything to disk. There is more interesting stuff after that, plenty of segfaults, Xid errors and other detail in these logs.
Ubuntu "Oneiric" Linux 64-bit
Windows Vista 32-bit
Core 2 Quad, nForce chipset, 6GB of RAM
ASUS DirectCU II 560Ti
No overclocking, conservative memory timings. GPU set to lowest clock speed in xorg.conf
System runs mprime (from SSH on 64-bit Linux) and Memtest86 with no test problems.
Crashes, lockups and hard resets. When applications start crashing, a lockup or reset is not far behind, but sometimes you get no real warning. The amount of uptime I get varies.
Once the system has crashed once, it remains in an unstable state, even after reboots. It's like there's some bad state that accumulates in the card. Note that this "unstable state" only applies to Linux, not Windows - you can reboot to Windows and start playing games.
Windows runs fine with one exception. It will play Skyrim for hours, etc. The exception is that after I've been running Linux, Windows will hard reset the machine the first time it boots, just after it reaches the login screen (when it initializes Aero?). The next time it boots, it runs fine. This supports the idea that there is "bad state" in the GPU card - it makes Windows crash, but the process of initialization cleans it out.
No real recipe. "Doing graphical stuff" is what seems to provoke problems. I see a lot of crashes in chromium-browser and npviewer.bin (wrapping Adobe Flash) but even drawing the (Unity, composited) desktop causes problems. Events I've associated with crashes include, scrolling windows, seeing notifier popups, coming out of screensaver, but once you get to the unstable state, basically anything causes problems.
I rebooted after the crash mentioned at the top of this post, processes were crashing before the desktop had even finished loading.
Things I've tried :
Drivers 280, 285, 290, 275
Oneiric ships with 280. Other driver versions are available from x-swat repository on Launchpad.
nouveau (although I'm not sure I gave it a fair shake - I think the "bad state" may have still been present, but it still crashed, even in Unity 2D).
Things I have left to try :
- not sure this will work well on my hardware, I remember having to upgrade Natty from this driver to support non-basic screen resolutions. But I don't remember Natty crashing like this.
- I don't recall Natty crashing, even after upgrading the nvidia driver to support my new 560Ti card.
My old GTS8800
- I never had stability problems with this card - the newest drivers that I ran with it were the 270 drivers on Natty though. Would be interesting to see if the newer drivers can make it unstable.
New graphics hardware
- I still like to play games, and even if going back to the GTS8800 fixes my Linux stability issues, I'll be disappointed that I can't play modern games in the fidelity I'd like.
Things I'm not going to try :
- 32-bit version of Ubuntu
It's more important for my system to be stable in 64-bit Linux than it is for me to play games - this system is a "working" system first. I actually need a 64-bit OS because I work on some pretty RAM hungry Java applications, or I'd try out the 32-bit version of Ubuntu - anecdotally, this may be (more) stable.
If it wasn't for Windows running games just fine for extended periods, with no texture corruption, etc, I would have pegged this for a hardware fault right from the start. The system is currently running Minecraft and Chrome / YouTube in Windows Vista (32) with zero apparent problems, despite having just rebooted from Linux where it had an uptime measured in seconds.
Update : while writing this, the machine has managed to crash while running nouveau again (from my portable eSATA drive with my office copy of Ubuntu on it, that usually runs on an Intel or ATI machine and doesn't have the nvidia drivers on it). Again, maybe this was down to the accumulation of bad state, but my experiments with nouveau haven't really been any more stable than the nvidia drivers so far.
Hopefully my enormous ramblings will be helpful.