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Old 03-06-12, 09:34 AM   #1
count0
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Default Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

Since I mailed this to <linux-bugs@nvidia.com> on the 1st of March and did not receive any kind of reply, I'll try again here.


I have a HP8760w laptop with an nVidia Quadro 4000M graphics controller.

The system mainly runs gentoo Linux, with the drivers provided as "stable" by gentoo.

When I got the system in October 2011, everything worked perfectly.


In the course of normal updates I was recently updated to nVidia drivers 290.10. With these drivers I observe the following strange problem:

After about half an hour of use, the (normal desktop, no video etc., but '3D' window manager, KDE4) image will start to flicker, especially in the mid-tone areas. I.e. very bright/white areas flicker much less noticably than mid-blue areas common in my desktop background.

This flickering gets progressively worse over time, and within about another quarter of an hour I can see alternating light/dark horizontal stripes sort-of-like interlace stripes in bright areas.

I immediately suspected the video driver to be the cause of this and downgraded to 275.09.07.

During the necessary reboot to switch the driver I notice that the BIOS screens flicker in much the same way as the desktop. This flickering is preserved even when powering the machine off for ~ 1/2 minute.

Nevertheless, I eventually let it boot and run the 275.09.07 driver; and over the course of a few minutes the flickering did gradually subside until it was completely gone again.

At that time, I thought it was freak behaviour of the 290.10 drivers.


When 295.20 became available, I tried again; and much to my dismay I can observe the same flickering / horizontal lines / weird "gradually worsening" effect as with 290.10.

Reducing the display backlight brightness appears (subjectively) to lessen the flickering.

Due to the gradually changing nature, I had a look at system and GPU temperatures insofar as they are available to me on the 8760w, nothing seemed out of the ordinary (GPU at ~45 Celsius, CPU ~50 Celsius).


Since the 275.09.07 drivers don't have support for X.org 1.11, it's a question of time for me before I'm left stranded with no working display.


I'm including nvidia-bug-report logs for 275.09.07 (working correctly, with X.org 1.10.4), the broken 290.10 (with X.org 1.10.4) and the broken 295.20 (with X.org 1.11.2, nvidia-bug-report generated before and after the flickering became noticable).


I seem to remember reading in the Release Notes of newer nVidia drivers something to the effect of "fix flickering in some display/GPU combinations"; possibly this fix "unfixed" it for me.

Is there a configuration parameter to tune what the "fix flickering" change does?


When using an external (Samsung SyncMaster 2693HM, attached via a DisplayPort
to HDMI cable, 1920x1200) display, I did not see a problem with either 290.10 (although the problem was not apparent to me at that time) or 295.20.


While reproducing the problem for the bug report logs, I stumbled over another factor:

Apparently, there is some correlation between the programs displaying windows and the flicker.

A) I could not reliably reproduce the flickering without having firefox at least opened at some point during the X session.

B) One constellation of windows on my desktop allowed me to directly influence the amount/visibility of the flicker; two screenshots are attached. Whenever I move the transparent window to cover the temperature gauge in nvidia-settings, the flickering worsens.


I dug still further around the "firefox connection", and in one of the flickering constellations I was able to see a "shadow" of some off-screen text of the page I was viewing in firefox in the portion of the desktop background that flickered worst.

Trying to screenshot this 'shadow' yields a 'clean' screenshot.

I cannot say whether the flickering in conjunction with the shadowing points to a GPU memory usage / mapping problem; or whether it rather is an "analogue" problem caused by mis-driving the panel (with the shadow being an after-image). Wrong common-electrode voltage comes to mind, see:

http://techmind.org/lcd/
(under "Inversion" / "Extreme tech")


Obviously, I cannot exclude that another component of my installation is at fault here, but the problem reliably disappears when downgrading to 275.09.07.


I'll be happy to help with further information / debugging steps.
Attached Thumbnails
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Attached Files
File Type: gz nvidia-bug-report_275.09.07_WORKS.log.gz (48.2 KB, 77 views)
File Type: gz nvidia-bug-report_290.10_X10.4_FLICKERS.log.gz (43.3 KB, 80 views)
File Type: gz nvidia-bug-report_295.20_X11.2_FLICKERS.log.gz (45.5 KB, 72 views)
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Old 03-09-12, 12:33 AM   #2
neil.whelchel
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

I am having the exact same problem with a Dell Precision M6300 with a Quadro FX 1600M but with one more symptom. Whith the Nvidia driver, when there are multiple tabs displayed using gtk+ it generates endless damage notifications. I had to disable damage to get tabs to work properly.
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Old 03-29-12, 01:39 AM   #3
count0
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Angry Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

In the mean time, the driver version 295.33 became available in my distribution.

It exhibits exactly the same problems as 290.10 and 295.20.

What needs to be done to get nVidia to accept this bug?
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Old 04-16-12, 03:10 PM   #4
pbc2520
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

This sounds very similar to the issue that I have and posted about a while ago:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=170447

In my case, as mentioned, it appears that the flickering (and resultant semi-permanent screen 'damage') is caused by dithering. I found that this was due to the default dithering settings, which, for me, are
  • Current Dithering: Enabled
  • Current Mode: Dynamic 2x2
  • Current Depth: 6bpc
Changing any of these, i.e.
  • Enabled -> Disabled, or
  • Dynamic -> Static, or
  • 6bpc -> 8bpc
stops the flickering. I just disable dithering.

Is this the same for others here?
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Old 04-17-12, 09:27 AM   #5
pbc2520
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

Here's the bug report for my machine. (The previous one that I posted didn't have -- -logverbose 6). Note I have unpacked the .gz and repacked as .bz2 as the .gz exceeded the max upload size.

Given that this issue appears to be related to dithering, I suspect the colours present on the screen influence when the issue occurs. The conditions to reproduce on my machine are as follows:
1. Start X. The background is the default Fedora 16 'Verne' image.
2. Open a Firefox window.
3. Make it full screen height and say, 3/4 screen width.
4. Ctrl+T to bring up an empty tab. Flickering may start.
5. Reduce the width of the Firefox window. At some point flickering will start.

It is easiest to spot the flickering looking at a light part of the screen, e.g. the top right of the 'Verne' desktop image.

6. Furthermore, when resizeing the Firefox window, sometimes the flickering will stop but the screen has a strange grid effect.
Attached Files
File Type: bz2 nvidia-bug-report.log.bz2 (111.6 KB, 63 views)
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Old 04-18-12, 02:25 AM   #6
count0
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

@pbc2520: Thanks a million for your approach, and even more for making it available here!

On my (inflicted) system, I tried again with the now-current 295.40.

Fiddling with the panel's Dithering Controls indeed lets me immediately influence the flicker.

I've currently set it to:

- Dithering: Auto (= Enabled)
- Mode: Auto (= Dynamic 2x2)
- Depth: 8 bpc (modified from its "Auto" default of 6 bpc)

After the above-mentioned "cool-off period", the panel now displays without flickering or combing.

@nVidia: It appears that the automatic settings are picked wrong for this particular system (HP 8760w, nVidia Quadro 4000M). Please use sensible defaults for this configuration out of the box.
The internal display comes up as DFP-5 on Internal, Link of 4 lanes @ 1.62 Gbps, DisplayPort Signal, 1920x1080 @ 60.02 Hz.

The Panel's EDID does not show a lot of detail for my taste; it's identified as "LGD:fc02" with a vendor of "LGD". I'll try to attach the original EDID record of the panel - don't know whether I can attach files to a reply. Hm. When previewing the post there is a "Manage Attachments" button, but it does absolutely nothing...
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Old 04-18-12, 06:49 AM   #7
hvbakel
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

I have exactly the same flickering problem with the 295 series on an NVS3100M.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:03 AM   #8
sandipt
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

Does this happens with latest 295.40 driver ?
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Old 04-19-12, 09:26 AM   #9
pbc2520
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandipt View Post
Does this happens with latest 295.40 driver ?
Yes, and under the same conditions. FWIW, a bug report is attached when running with 295.40.
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File Type: bz2 nvidia-bug-report.log.bz2 (115.1 KB, 64 views)
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Old 04-19-12, 09:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

NVIDIA internal Bug ID: 972439 to track this issue.
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Old 04-20-12, 02:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandipt View Post
Does this happens with latest 295.40 driver ?
To clarify: Out-of-the-box the flickering etc. happens to me as well when running 295.40.

Also, 295.40 was the only driver I tried the "modify dithering"-workaround with, and setting the dithering depth to 8 bpc (from 6 bpc which was chosen automatically) makes the problem disappear for me.
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Old 04-24-12, 06:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Quadro 4000M: Internal display flickers with drivers from 290.10 on

Does this happens with KDE only OR with other desktop environments as well?
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