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Random issues with Nvidia Freesync compatibility mode
bidinou commented on 21 May 2019 at 8:45 am UTC

Hi everyone !

does any of you use the recent FreeSync compatibility mode offered by the NVIDIA drivers ?

I bought a recent Freesync/144 Hz/VA Samsung monitor and enabled Freesync in both the nvidia control panel and in the monitor settings.

It seemed to work. G-Sync is indeed stated as enabled and games do work properly (provided I disable my 2nd monitor and use a fullscreen game that disables compositing -- I'm using Ubuntu 19.04 and the NVIDIA stable PPA).

However, after a random amount of time [typically after starting and quitting half a dozen of games or playing videos in Firefox...], switching fullscreen in games or videos makes the monitor turn black for a fraction of second every 2 seconds or so. As if it went out of the supported frenquencies range. (in the case of video player it remains black)

What is strange is that, when it starts to occurs, I have to reset and it works again [maybe just turning off/on the monitor fixes it]. Just a couple of titles always yield to a black / (out of range ?) screen. (like RetroArch and PuyoPuyo Tetris).

Just wondering if some of you had a similar experience or work-around !

Cheers

chris.echoz commented on 21 May 2019 at 2:01 pm UTC

I have one of the "officially supported" G-Sync on FreeSync monitors and have been experiencing a similar issue.
I haven't really tested with other games than CS:GO, but if I have flipping enabled, my screen turns black whenever the game is on the screen. I also experienced the game seemingly functioning properly but randomly turning black for a couple of seconds while I was playing.
I've experienced none of these issues with flipping disabled, which is what I've been doing as my workaround.
My monitor is also 144hz.

bidinou commented on 21 May 2019 at 2:25 pm UTC

Hi ! Ah, I'm kinda relieved it also happens with an "officially supported" monitor (which is not the case of mine). Kinda implies something still has to be fixed on the driver's side.

BTW, can't you just disable Freesync on the monitor side, this way, you don't have to disable flipping ? (I don't know if blitting instead of flipping has an impact, apart from not allowing to use Freesync).

Also, there's another issue that has to be fixed, either on Nvidia's side or Gnome/Mutter's side, is the fact that when you have 2 screens connected, one of which being refreshed at 144Hz and the other at 60Hz, the desktop (not games) is displayed at 60 Hz. Anyway, I had to disable my secondary monitor for Freesync to be active (and Mutter to be smooth -- for some reason, it's not really smooth at 60 Hz while it is at 144 Hz.

Ehvis commented on 21 May 2019 at 2:39 pm UTC

I've never had anything like that for my G-SYNC monitor. There is one thing that is often forgotten, which is the minimum vertical refresh that a screen mode can handle. If this is not low enough, then low framerate compensation cannot kick in and you would normally lose freesync. Since all G-SYNC monitors are capable of handling a low enough framerate, the NVIDIA driver may simply not have implemented this and might drop below the minimum. Is it the black screen seen at low framerates?

bidinouAlso, there's another issue that has to be fixed, either on Nvidia's side or Gnome/Mutter's side, is the fact that when you have 2 screens connected, one of which being refreshed at 144Hz and the other at 60Hz, the desktop (not games) is displayed at 60 Hz. Anyway, I had to disable my secondary monitor for Freesync to be active (and Mutter to be smooth -- for some reason, it's not really smooth at 60 Hz while it is at 144 Hz.

I don't think you'll ever see this fixed. Good old X is simply not capable of dealing with this. Wayland will be your hope, but I have no idea if this actually works.

bidinou commented on 21 May 2019 at 2:43 pm UTC

> Is it the black screen seen at low framerates?

Nope, that is totally random and clearly not FPS related. In some games it happens all the time, but this is happens only in a couple of games. (constant black screen)

The other case is when it starts to flicker in any game even if they reach a constant 144 or 60 FPS). It then works again after rebooting / resetting the screen. Also affects video players. I don't know what triggers it, I would have to find a proper test protocol

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