Ubuntu – Stutter every 500 ms using nvidia-driver


I wanted to use ubuntu with the nvidia driver on my new computer but as soon as I start to use the proprietary nvidia driver everything on the screen freeze very briefly every 500 ms. I noticed when I switch to tty that the command line is flickering.

My config :

  • CPU : Ryzen 7 2700x
  • GPU : GTX 1070
  • RAM : 16 Gb (Overclocked to 3200 MHz)
    • / on a M.2
    • /home on a Old Hard drive

output of " lspci -k | grep -EA3 '3D|Display|VGA' " :

0a:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP104 [GeForce GTX 1070] (rev a1)
Subsystem: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd GP104 [GeForce GTX 1070]
Kernel driver in use: nvidia
Kernel modules: nvidiafb, nouveau, nvidia_drm, nvidia

I tried (with 0 effect) :

  • switching distro : pop os (with preinstalled nvidia driver), manjaro, debian, linux mint
  • installing driver using different method : (with the .run, using graphical-driver ppa, driver manager)
  • installing different driver ( 340 – 390 – 435 – 440 )
  • disabling/enabling :

    • Sync to VBlank

    • Allow Flipping

    • Force Full Composition Pipeline

    • nvidia "Timer" : Thermal monitor, powerMinimizer monitor, Memory Used

  • Changing monitor frequency both in nvidia-setting and ubundu display settings

I tried Windows 10 with the latest nvidia driver and it works well.
Thank you in advance for your help.

Best Answer

Maybe try another cable or another display if you see repeated messages in your /var/log/Xorg.0.log (see below).

If that doesn't help, also check this different but related issue I found in my own searches: Ubuntu 18.04 video stutters every second regularly with nvidia GPU

I was having the same problem with Kubuntu on an RTX2080 on a Skylake i7 and it seemed to be due to a flaky HDMI connection to one of my displays. The /var/log/Xorg.0.log file showed lots of connection messages for that display. I fixed it by unplugging and reconnecting the HDMI cable to that display.

I'm not really sure what the root cause is since this is something new. Random uninformed guess: maybe the drivers are more picky about HDMI presence detection or EDID I2C signal quality or something.

Example Xorg.0.log messages:

[   220.145] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): connected
[   220.145] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): Internal TMDS
[   220.145] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): 600.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[   220.145] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): 
[   220.718] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): connected
[   220.718] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): Internal TMDS
[   220.718] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): 600.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[   220.718] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): 
[   220.776] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): connected
[   220.776] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): Internal TMDS
[   220.776] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): 600.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[   220.776] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): 
[   221.381] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): connected
[   221.381] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): Internal TMDS
[   221.381] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): [Display brand name] (DFP-2): 600.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[   221.381] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): 
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