Ubuntu – Screen flicker issues on a Razer Blade 15 mid 2019 Nvidia 2060 RTX build running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

driversflickergraphicsnvidiascreen

I setup Ubuntu 18.04 on my Razer Blade 15, mid 2019 with Nvidia 2060 RTX GPU using these instructions

Beside the WIFI it worked all fine.

But then the screen (randomly) started to flicker when I tried to connect it to a HDMI Device. I have used many other Devices to watch movies or do some work on an external Monitor. I had these flicker issues when trying to setup Ubuntu the first time, but after reinstalling they were gone.

Since I am using the notebook for a few months now, Im looking for a way to resolve this issue without having to backup & reinstall everything.

I tried several ways to update or reinstall the nvidia drivers, but so far nothing worked out as expected.

I tried this to update and install the recommended drivers

But as you can see, my system do not even correctly detect my graphics card model any more

sudo lshw -c display
    [sudo] password for thedoc: 
      *-display                 
           description: VGA compatible controller
           product: NVIDIA Corporation
           vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
           physical id: 0
           bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
           logical name: /dev/fb0
           version: a1
           width: 64 bits
           clock: 33MHz
           capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom fb
           configuration: depth=32 driver=nvidia latency=0 mode=1920x1080 visual=truecolor xres=1920 yres=1080
           resources: iomemory:600-5ff iomemory:600-5ff irq:181 memory:57000000-57ffffff memory:6030000000-603fffffff memory:6040000000-6041ffffff ioport:4000(size=128) memory:58000000-5807ffff
      *-display
           description: VGA compatible controller
           product: Intel Corporation
           vendor: Intel Corporation
           physical id: 2
           bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
           version: 00
           width: 64 bits
           clock: 33MHz
           capabilities: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
           configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
           resources: iomemory:600-5ff iomemory:400-3ff irq:179 memory:6043000000-6043ffffff memory:4000000000-400fffffff ioport:5000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff

After that I tried today to uninstall and reinstall all nvidia related packages, including cuda and libcudnn using this.
Afterwards I had some unmet dependencies which I tried to repair using

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-* -y
sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

It seemed all fine, the nvidia drivers were all installed and loaded correctly but after rebooting I instantly got the screen flicker back.

This works correctly I guess

    nvidia-smi
Mon Aug 17 15:00:34 2020       
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| NVIDIA-SMI 440.95.01    Driver Version: 440.95.01    CUDA Version: 10.2     |
|-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
| GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|===============================+======================+======================|
|   0  GeForce RTX 2060    Off  | 00000000:01:00.0 Off |                  N/A |
| N/A   52C    P8     8W /  N/A |    706MiB /  5934MiB |      2%      Default |
+-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
                                                                               
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Processes:                                                       GPU Memory |
|  GPU       PID   Type   Process name                             Usage      |
|=============================================================================|
|    0      1345      G   /usr/lib/xorg/Xorg                            28MiB |
|    0      1598      G   /usr/bin/gnome-shell                          25MiB |
|    0      2020      G   /usr/lib/xorg/Xorg                           206MiB |
|    0      2181      G   /usr/bin/gnome-shell                         284MiB |
|    0      2583      G   ...uest-channel-token=16910184081649606580    48MiB |
|    0      2830      G   ...AAAAAAAAAAAACAAAAAAAAAA= --shared-files   108MiB |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Currently loaded driver is nvidia-driver-440-server as it was recommended by my system and the screen flicker is heavy

sudo ubuntu-drivers devices
== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0 ==
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001F11sv00001A58sd00002004bc03sc00i00
vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
driver   : nvidia-driver-435 - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-driver-418-server - distro non-free
driver   : nvidia-driver-440-server - distro non-free recommended
driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.3 ==
modalias : pci:v00008086d0000A370sv00008086sd00000034bc02sc80i00
vendor   : Intel Corporation
manual_install: True
driver   : backport-iwlwifi-dkms - distro free

When I disable the NVIDIA GPU and using the Intel GPU instead, everything is fine, no flickering. Therefore I believe that there is some serious issue with my driver installation.

There are also sometimes errors showing up in the notification bar which I unfortunately cannot copy and paste. But they are all 'nvidia-smi' related.

Any help is really appreciated, Im relatively new to linux as this is my first time where Im using it seriously as operating system. If I can help in any way by providing information, please tell me so.

EDIT:

After literally months of trial and error I could finally resolve the problem

xrandr --mode 1920x1080 --rate 59.97 

my laptop is capable of 144Hz but it seems like this was too much for him lowering the refresh rate solved the issue

Im feeling kind of relieved but also a bit dumb, a single linve solved what hours of hours struggling and reading/writing forum posts couldnt

Best Answer

BIOS

There are a number of different versions of the Razer Blade 15.

In the terminal, type sudo dmidecode -s bios-version to get your current BIOS version. Then go here to check for a newer BIOS.

Nvidia

Confirm your settings are for a supported resolution and refresh rate. Refresh should probably be 60hz (50hz in Europe), but may be higher in some cases.

Confirm that Secure Boot is disabled in your BIOS, and then purge/reinstall the Nvidia drivers.

Confirm that you're using a quality HDMI cable to your external monitor.

There's a newer Nvidia driver available that you might try. Version 450.66, dated 8/18/2020.

It can be downloaded here.

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