Diagonal Screen Tearing Issues on GTX 860M/870M/960M/965M/970M/980M...
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I'm new to this forum and I have noticed a diagonal screen tearing problem in my Alienware 15 R2 (i7-6820HK, GTX 980M 4G VRAM, 1080p 60Hz, Windows 10 Home Version 1511 Build 10586.36). I tried to capture the tearing using Win+Alt+R, but unfortunately it didn't actually show up in the captured video while it's definitely there in-game. [color="orange"](Photo added below. Note the diagonal line in this photo. 22/12/2015)[/color] The problem seems to be the same as described in this previous thread https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/809482/strange-screen-tearing-in-directx-windowed-mode-on-gtx-970m-amp-gtx-870m/ [img]http://s9.postimg.org/o8wq0fa71/image1.jpg[/img] However, since that thread, which looks still unsolved, is almost one-year old, and similar issues have been found on various laptop models and GTX GPUs as listed in http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/strange-diagonal-screen-tearings.771358/ and I have also found some more recent examples such as, http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19658623 http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3519/t/19662455 I think it would be good to open a new thread listing all the models potentially affected, and hopefully we can get some solutions. Back to the problem in my system, I have tested in a few games such as Guild Wars 2, Dota 2, Blade and Soul, as well as the demos in https://github.com/shairai/angleproject/issues/893 I have found that my screen tears diagonally if the following conditions are met: (i) It only happens when I use my GTX 980M to process the application. No problem is found if I only use the Intel HD Graphics 530. (ii) It only happens in windowed mode, including borderless window mode and fullscreen window mode. It does not happen in exclusive fullscreen mode. (iii) It only happens when the V-sync is ON, AND when the FPS is capped at the screen refresh rate (60Hz or 48Hz in my case depending on the setting). When the V-sync is on and the FPS is below 60/48, there is no tearing. When the V-sync is off, there is only normal screen tearing as one would expect, but there is no diagonal screen tearing. The above three conditions are found when I only use the built in monitor on my laptop. I also have tested using an external monitor connected to the HDMI port in my laptop, by changing the "multiple displays" settings in Windows, i.e. now I have two monitors connected, if I denote Display 1=the monitor of my laptop, Display 2=external monitor, * If I select "Show only on 1", meaning only use the laptop monitor, the problem is exactly the same as the above. ** If I select "Show only on 2", there's no diagonal tearing problem whatsoever. *** If I select "Extend these displays", no matter which display is set to as the main display, the diagonal tearing problem only appears on the laptop monitor with the exact characteristics as (i), (ii) and (iii) above. There is no such problem on the external monitor. **** If I select "Duplicate these displays", no diagonal tearing is observed on both monitor. (I was a bit surprised by this.) I have tried with basically all the different settings in the application, in the NVIDIA control panel and in the Intel Graphics properties. I have also tried various NVIDIA and Intel GPU drivers including the latest. The problem still remains no matter what. Based on the above information, even though I am not an expert in this field, I would guess that the problem is in the Optimus configuration when showing discrete NVIDIA GPU rendered frames onto the built-in laptop monitor through the Intel GPU, and particularly how the Optimus copes with the Desktop Window Manager in Windows 10 (or Windows 8.1 as suggested elsewhere) in terms of V-sync. If you also encountered this problem, or if you have any suggestions, please leave your comments below. Any help would be much appreciated. Hopefully someone in GeForce could see this and maybe implant a solution in the next driver or something like that. Thank you very much!
I'm new to this forum and I have noticed a diagonal screen tearing problem in my Alienware 15 R2 (i7-6820HK, GTX 980M 4G VRAM, 1080p 60Hz, Windows 10 Home Version 1511 Build 10586.36). I tried to capture the tearing using Win+Alt+R, but unfortunately it didn't actually show up in the captured video while it's definitely there in-game. (Photo added below. Note the diagonal line in this photo. 22/12/2015) The problem seems to be the same as described in this previous thread
https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/809482/strange-screen-tearing-in-directx-windowed-mode-on-gtx-970m-amp-gtx-870m/

Image

However, since that thread, which looks still unsolved, is almost one-year old, and similar issues have been found on various laptop models and GTX GPUs as listed in http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/strange-diagonal-screen-tearings.771358/
and I have also found some more recent examples such as,
http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19658623
http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3519/t/19662455
I think it would be good to open a new thread listing all the models potentially affected, and hopefully we can get some solutions.

Back to the problem in my system, I have tested in a few games such as Guild Wars 2, Dota 2, Blade and Soul, as well as the demos in https://github.com/shairai/angleproject/issues/893

I have found that my screen tears diagonally if the following conditions are met:
(i) It only happens when I use my GTX 980M to process the application. No problem is found if I only use the Intel HD Graphics 530.
(ii) It only happens in windowed mode, including borderless window mode and fullscreen window mode. It does not happen in exclusive fullscreen mode.
(iii) It only happens when the V-sync is ON, AND when the FPS is capped at the screen refresh rate (60Hz or 48Hz in my case depending on the setting). When the V-sync is on and the FPS is below 60/48, there is no tearing. When the V-sync is off, there is only normal screen tearing as one would expect, but there is no diagonal screen tearing.

The above three conditions are found when I only use the built in monitor on my laptop.


I also have tested using an external monitor connected to the HDMI port in my laptop, by changing the "multiple displays" settings in Windows, i.e. now I have two monitors connected, if I denote Display 1=the monitor of my laptop, Display 2=external monitor,

* If I select "Show only on 1", meaning only use the laptop monitor, the problem is exactly the same as the above.
** If I select "Show only on 2", there's no diagonal tearing problem whatsoever.
*** If I select "Extend these displays", no matter which display is set to as the main display, the diagonal tearing problem only appears on the laptop monitor with the exact characteristics as (i), (ii) and (iii) above. There is no such problem on the external monitor.
**** If I select "Duplicate these displays", no diagonal tearing is observed on both monitor. (I was a bit surprised by this.)

I have tried with basically all the different settings in the application, in the NVIDIA control panel and in the Intel Graphics properties. I have also tried various NVIDIA and Intel GPU drivers including the latest. The problem still remains no matter what.

Based on the above information, even though I am not an expert in this field, I would guess that the problem is in the Optimus configuration when showing discrete NVIDIA GPU rendered frames onto the built-in laptop monitor through the Intel GPU, and particularly how the Optimus copes with the Desktop Window Manager in Windows 10 (or Windows 8.1 as suggested elsewhere) in terms of V-sync.

If you also encountered this problem, or if you have any suggestions, please leave your comments below. Any help would be much appreciated. Hopefully someone in GeForce could see this and maybe implant a solution in the next driver or something like that. Thank you very much!

#1
Posted 12/15/2015 09:35 PM   
I usually only game in full screen mode and have not noticed the tearing you describe. I will play in full screen windowed mode and post my results. I have the early 2015 version of the alienware laptop, details in signature.
I usually only game in full screen mode and have not noticed the tearing you describe. I will play in full screen windowed mode and post my results. I have the early 2015 version of the alienware laptop, details in signature.

Case Thermaltake Core X-31...Fatal1ty X79 Pro motherboard...Win8.1 Pro 64bit...3930K CPU 4.6Ghz w/ Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CLC...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...Samsung 840 500GBx2 (RAID 0)...PSU EVGA 1300W Gold...SLI(2 way) Zotac 980 Ti Amped Extreme Omegas OC'd to 1223Mhz Core...Vizio 80 inch TV 2160P(DSR)...Sound Blaster Z...Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound or SteelSeries Siberia 800 headset
-------------------
Alienware 15 R1...Win8.1 w/ Start8...I7 4710HQ...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...512GB SSD...980M 4GB...Graphics Amplifier w/ EVGA 1080 FE +185 core/+485 memory...Monitor Dell UP2414Q 2160P @ 60Hz

#2
Posted 12/17/2015 11:37 PM   
How do you limit frame rates other than vsync? You could try the frame rate limiter Riva tuner included with afterburner to limit frames to your refresh rate. Maybe that would help with the tearing you describe.
How do you limit frame rates other than vsync? You could try the frame rate limiter Riva tuner included with afterburner to limit frames to your refresh rate. Maybe that would help with the tearing you describe.

Case Thermaltake Core X-31...Fatal1ty X79 Pro motherboard...Win8.1 Pro 64bit...3930K CPU 4.6Ghz w/ Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CLC...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...Samsung 840 500GBx2 (RAID 0)...PSU EVGA 1300W Gold...SLI(2 way) Zotac 980 Ti Amped Extreme Omegas OC'd to 1223Mhz Core...Vizio 80 inch TV 2160P(DSR)...Sound Blaster Z...Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound or SteelSeries Siberia 800 headset
-------------------
Alienware 15 R1...Win8.1 w/ Start8...I7 4710HQ...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...512GB SSD...980M 4GB...Graphics Amplifier w/ EVGA 1080 FE +185 core/+485 memory...Monitor Dell UP2414Q 2160P @ 60Hz

#3
Posted 12/17/2015 11:40 PM   
[quote="BwwwJ1st"]How do you limit frame rates other than vsync? You could try the frame rate limiter Riva tuner included with afterburner to limit frames to your refresh rate. Maybe that would help with the tearing you describe.[/quote] Thanks for your reply. I didn't limit frame rates other than vsync. What I meant was that if there're too many objects/players to process in a game scene, the fps would naturally drop below 60, in this case, there's no tearing. If I'm the only one in a scene, I would usually get much higher fps than 60 without vsync, now if I turn the vsync on, the fps will be capped at 60, and that's when the tearing happens.
BwwwJ1st said:How do you limit frame rates other than vsync? You could try the frame rate limiter Riva tuner included with afterburner to limit frames to your refresh rate. Maybe that would help with the tearing you describe.


Thanks for your reply. I didn't limit frame rates other than vsync. What I meant was that if there're too many objects/players to process in a game scene, the fps would naturally drop below 60, in this case, there's no tearing. If I'm the only one in a scene, I would usually get much higher fps than 60 without vsync, now if I turn the vsync on, the fps will be capped at 60, and that's when the tearing happens.

#4
Posted 12/18/2015 12:09 AM   
I haven't got a chance to check the frame tearing in windows mode due to being on travel. I would recommend trying to set frame limiting in rivatuner. I use after burner and rivatuner during each game session to monitor and for frame limiting. I will post back in a day or two about frame tearing in during a windowed gaming session.
I haven't got a chance to check the frame tearing in windows mode due to being on travel.
I would recommend trying to set frame limiting in rivatuner.
I use after burner and rivatuner during each game session to monitor and for frame limiting.
I will post back in a day or two about frame tearing in during a windowed gaming session.

Case Thermaltake Core X-31...Fatal1ty X79 Pro motherboard...Win8.1 Pro 64bit...3930K CPU 4.6Ghz w/ Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CLC...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...Samsung 840 500GBx2 (RAID 0)...PSU EVGA 1300W Gold...SLI(2 way) Zotac 980 Ti Amped Extreme Omegas OC'd to 1223Mhz Core...Vizio 80 inch TV 2160P(DSR)...Sound Blaster Z...Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound or SteelSeries Siberia 800 headset
-------------------
Alienware 15 R1...Win8.1 w/ Start8...I7 4710HQ...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...512GB SSD...980M 4GB...Graphics Amplifier w/ EVGA 1080 FE +185 core/+485 memory...Monitor Dell UP2414Q 2160P @ 60Hz

#5
Posted 12/19/2015 12:03 AM   
[quote="BwwwJ1st"]I haven't got a chance to check the frame tearing in windows mode due to being on travel. I would recommend trying to set frame limiting in rivatuner. I use after burner and rivatuner during each game session to monitor and for frame limiting. I will post back in a day or two about frame tearing in during a windowed gaming session.[/quote] Thank you BwwwJ1st. Just a quick update. Upon further tests, I discover that the tearing seems to be much more obvious in DirectX 9.0c based games (incl. Dota 2, GW2, Blade and Soul). The tearing is barely noticeable in Star Citizen, which uses DX11. In World of Warcraft, where you can choose to use DX9 or DX11, the tearing does exist in both environments, but it's much less noticeable in the DX11 environment. As for frame limiting, the tearing usually won't happen if I limit FPS to 60 while keeping vsync off, either using afterburner/rivatuner or in-game frame limiting options such as in WoW and B&S. That's probably because the fact that the mechanisms for vsync and frame limiting are not exactly the same. This could explain my observations in Final Fantasy XIV Online (again, one can choose DX9 or DX11 for this game), that the diagonal tearing is un-noticeable in both the DX9 and DX11 environments, because the corresponding option in this game is actually just frame limiting rather than vsync.
BwwwJ1st said:I haven't got a chance to check the frame tearing in windows mode due to being on travel.
I would recommend trying to set frame limiting in rivatuner.
I use after burner and rivatuner during each game session to monitor and for frame limiting.
I will post back in a day or two about frame tearing in during a windowed gaming session.


Thank you BwwwJ1st. Just a quick update. Upon further tests, I discover that the tearing seems to be much more obvious in DirectX 9.0c based games (incl. Dota 2, GW2, Blade and Soul). The tearing is barely noticeable in Star Citizen, which uses DX11. In World of Warcraft, where you can choose to use DX9 or DX11, the tearing does exist in both environments, but it's much less noticeable in the DX11 environment.

As for frame limiting, the tearing usually won't happen if I limit FPS to 60 while keeping vsync off, either using afterburner/rivatuner or in-game frame limiting options such as in WoW and B&S. That's probably because the fact that the mechanisms for vsync and frame limiting are not exactly the same. This could explain my observations in Final Fantasy XIV Online (again, one can choose DX9 or DX11 for this game), that the diagonal tearing is un-noticeable in both the DX9 and DX11 environments, because the corresponding option in this game is actually just frame limiting rather than vsync.

#6
Posted 12/19/2015 01:58 AM   
Having the exact same problem with a 960m. Hope someone can find a solution soon.
Having the exact same problem with a 960m. Hope someone can find a solution soon.

#7
Posted 12/19/2015 09:50 PM   
I recently bought a Dell XPS 15 9550 model which has the GTX 960m as a grahpics card. I'm aslo experiencing the diagonal screen tear while playing World of Warcraft. I was wondering what I can do to fix this problem. I have the Nvidia driver up to date.
I recently bought a Dell XPS 15 9550 model which has the GTX 960m as a grahpics card. I'm aslo experiencing the diagonal screen tear while playing World of Warcraft. I was wondering what I can do to fix this problem. I have the Nvidia driver up to date.

#8
Posted 12/21/2015 03:54 AM   
Kilrahgoat and roadwarrior have you tried setting a frame limit to match your refresh rate? By setting a frame limit it will prevent your FPS from exceeding your refresh rate, hopefully fixing the tearing you see when FPS exceeds your display refresh rate.
Kilrahgoat and roadwarrior have you tried setting a frame limit to match your refresh rate? By setting a frame limit it will prevent your FPS from exceeding your refresh rate, hopefully fixing the tearing you see when FPS exceeds your display refresh rate.

Case Thermaltake Core X-31...Fatal1ty X79 Pro motherboard...Win8.1 Pro 64bit...3930K CPU 4.6Ghz w/ Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CLC...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...Samsung 840 500GBx2 (RAID 0)...PSU EVGA 1300W Gold...SLI(2 way) Zotac 980 Ti Amped Extreme Omegas OC'd to 1223Mhz Core...Vizio 80 inch TV 2160P(DSR)...Sound Blaster Z...Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound or SteelSeries Siberia 800 headset
-------------------
Alienware 15 R1...Win8.1 w/ Start8...I7 4710HQ...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...512GB SSD...980M 4GB...Graphics Amplifier w/ EVGA 1080 FE +185 core/+485 memory...Monitor Dell UP2414Q 2160P @ 60Hz

#9
Posted 12/21/2015 07:43 PM   
Still there after limiting frames to 60, with and without vsync.
Still there after limiting frames to 60, with and without vsync.

#10
Posted 12/21/2015 08:38 PM   
Afterburner worked for me limiting the frames to 50 fps as well as 55. Still have some tearing but that's more or less because of me turning really fast to test if it was fixed.
Afterburner worked for me limiting the frames to 50 fps as well as 55. Still have some tearing but that's more or less because of me turning really fast to test if it was fixed.

#11
Posted 12/21/2015 08:41 PM   
Hi BwwwJ1st, have you got a chance to do some testing on your AW15 yet? KilrahGoat, what is your laptop model? BTW guys, although frame rate limiting (has to be below 58 for my laptop if I want to completely eliminate the diagonal tearing) is sort of a workaround, I wouldn't call it a fix since the problem is still there and normal screen tearing can still occur. Unless if I turn on vsync and at the same time set FPS limiting to something like 55-58, which sounds very odd to me. Don't know what you guys would prefer, but I personally don't like this idea at all. :( Still hope someone, either from NVIDIA, Intel or Microsoft, can figure out what is wrong.
Hi BwwwJ1st, have you got a chance to do some testing on your AW15 yet?

KilrahGoat, what is your laptop model?

BTW guys, although frame rate limiting (has to be below 58 for my laptop if I want to completely eliminate the diagonal tearing) is sort of a workaround, I wouldn't call it a fix since the problem is still there and normal screen tearing can still occur. Unless if I turn on vsync and at the same time set FPS limiting to something like 55-58, which sounds very odd to me. Don't know what you guys would prefer, but I personally don't like this idea at all. :( Still hope someone, either from NVIDIA, Intel or Microsoft, can figure out what is wrong.

#12
Posted 12/21/2015 09:19 PM   
Dell Inspiron 7559. i7-6700HQ with Nvidia 960m. I did notice earlier that using Opengl with games that allow it (Kerbal Space Program) all but eliminated the tearing.
Dell Inspiron 7559. i7-6700HQ with Nvidia 960m.

I did notice earlier that using Opengl with games that allow it (Kerbal Space Program) all but eliminated the tearing.

#13
Posted 12/21/2015 10:35 PM   
[quote="CharmanderAlpha"]Hi BwwwJ1st, have you got a chance to do some testing on your AW15 yet?[/quote] okay I finished some testing. I played some batman arkham city and assassin's creed syndicate. - afterburner/rivatuner not running - playing in windowed mode - v-sync off - lowered all possible settings to their lowest to force higher FPS than the screens 60Hz refresh rate. I couldn't perceive any screen tearing in Batman AC. I did notice tearing and jitter in AC Syndicate when slowly panning around looking at buildings. When I played both with v-sync enabled and afterburn/rivatuner frame limiting turned on all was buttery smooth in AC syndicate. My thoughts... - Screen tearing is going to occur when your FPS exceed your refresh rate, hence V-sync. - When v-sync is on it tries to limit and match frames to the screens refresh rate drastically minimizing tearing. - Sometimes v-sync doesn't limit your FPS exactly to your refresh rate, some extra frames sneak by the cap then you may see tearing. - Frame limiting can help set that FPS cap in addition to v-sync, and may (may not) be more effective. - The logic behind setting a frame limiter at 58Hz is not that odd. Think of it like how cruise control works on a car. Sometimes you will exceed your set speed limit before the cruise control lowers your speed. For instance if you do not want to go over 60 MPH (FPS), set your cruise control (frame limiter) to 58 so when the cruise control is not proactive but reactive you will still not exceed 60 MPH (FPS). - Any frames over your refresh rate is wasted (in addition causes screen tearing) processing power and causes undue heat as a byproduct. - Screen tearing is the reason there are 144Hz monitors and G-sync, unfortunately we do not get these technologies on our laptops. I hope I didn't come across as arrogant as it wasn't my intention. I do see the point that all of this v-sync and frame limiting is a work around and not a fix. But... playing devils advocate the reason there is v-sync and frame limiting is to fix the problems we are discussing here. My suggestion is to use v-sync and frame limiting until we get g-sync/free sync laptops in the future.
CharmanderAlpha said:Hi BwwwJ1st, have you got a chance to do some testing on your AW15 yet?
okay I finished some testing.
I played some batman arkham city and assassin's creed syndicate.
- afterburner/rivatuner not running
- playing in windowed mode
- v-sync off
- lowered all possible settings to their lowest to force higher FPS than the screens 60Hz refresh rate.

I couldn't perceive any screen tearing in Batman AC.
I did notice tearing and jitter in AC Syndicate when slowly panning around looking at buildings.

When I played both with v-sync enabled and afterburn/rivatuner frame limiting turned on all was buttery smooth in AC syndicate.

My thoughts...
- Screen tearing is going to occur when your FPS exceed your refresh rate, hence V-sync.
- When v-sync is on it tries to limit and match frames to the screens refresh rate drastically minimizing tearing.
- Sometimes v-sync doesn't limit your FPS exactly to your refresh rate, some extra frames sneak by the cap then you may see tearing.
- Frame limiting can help set that FPS cap in addition to v-sync, and may (may not) be more effective.
- The logic behind setting a frame limiter at 58Hz is not that odd. Think of it like how cruise control works on a car. Sometimes you will exceed your set speed limit before the cruise control lowers your speed. For instance if you do not want to go over 60 MPH (FPS), set your cruise control (frame limiter) to 58 so when the cruise control is not proactive but reactive you will still not exceed 60 MPH (FPS).
- Any frames over your refresh rate is wasted (in addition causes screen tearing) processing power and causes undue heat as a byproduct.
- Screen tearing is the reason there are 144Hz monitors and G-sync, unfortunately we do not get these technologies on our laptops.

I hope I didn't come across as arrogant as it wasn't my intention. I do see the point that all of this v-sync and frame limiting is a work around and not a fix. But... playing devils advocate the reason there is v-sync and frame limiting is to fix the problems we are discussing here. My suggestion is to use v-sync and frame limiting until we get g-sync/free sync laptops in the future.

Case Thermaltake Core X-31...Fatal1ty X79 Pro motherboard...Win8.1 Pro 64bit...3930K CPU 4.6Ghz w/ Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CLC...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...Samsung 840 500GBx2 (RAID 0)...PSU EVGA 1300W Gold...SLI(2 way) Zotac 980 Ti Amped Extreme Omegas OC'd to 1223Mhz Core...Vizio 80 inch TV 2160P(DSR)...Sound Blaster Z...Vizio 5.1 Surround Sound or SteelSeries Siberia 800 headset
-------------------
Alienware 15 R1...Win8.1 w/ Start8...I7 4710HQ...16GB RAM @ 1600Mhz...512GB SSD...980M 4GB...Graphics Amplifier w/ EVGA 1080 FE +185 core/+485 memory...Monitor Dell UP2414Q 2160P @ 60Hz

#14
Posted 12/22/2015 05:39 AM   
Just tried frame limiting to 50, 55, 58 with vsync on/off and there was no effect. This problem does not occur in all games. For example, XCOM, Counterstrike, Empire/Shogun2 Total War, Fallout: New Vegas, Witcher games, and Civilization V all work perfectly. So far it's happened in Kerbal Space Program, Dota 2(although I think vsync fixed this or made it less noticeable), Homeworld, Starbound, and Crusader Kings2 (vsync fixed this one as well). I could live with normal horizontal tearing, but diagonal tearing is something I've never seen or even heard of before getting this laptop.
Just tried frame limiting to 50, 55, 58 with vsync on/off and there was no effect. This problem does not occur in all games. For example, XCOM, Counterstrike, Empire/Shogun2 Total War, Fallout: New Vegas, Witcher games, and Civilization V all work perfectly. So far it's happened in Kerbal Space Program, Dota 2(although I think vsync fixed this or made it less noticeable), Homeworld, Starbound, and Crusader Kings2 (vsync fixed this one as well).

I could live with normal horizontal tearing, but diagonal tearing is something I've never seen or even heard of before getting this laptop.

#15
Posted 12/22/2015 09:37 AM   
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