Ubuntu – Ubuntu 18.04 video stutters every second regularly with nvidia GPU



I've been running Ubuntu on my laptop for several months now and did not have this issue at all until today. My laptop has a nvidia gtx 960m graphics card which I thought may be the culprit.

Basically, every second or so, my screen will stutter. It's an incredibly regular interval like clockwork. It's not that noticeable normally, but if I watch any video it is incredibly irritating.

This issue is not due to performance, as my CPU usage sticks around 5% normally, and my RAM around 30%. GPU is typically around 10%. So none of these things is throttling to cause this.

I found several other posts related to mine, but none of them had solutions. These similar posts are here, here, here, and here. This one is also similar, but the poster found out it was a loose HDMI cord.

Solutions I've tried:

I've tried to figure out if there was something new I installed that could have caused this issue but every change I made of reverting recent installations hasn't helped.

I've tried purging all nvidia* packages and reinstalling them, deleting my old settings and going back to defaults for nvidia stuff. Unfortunately, none of these things have helped.

I have not been able to try just using my integrated intel gpu instead of my nvidia one, as my intel one can only handle resolutions of 600×900 or so and cannot really handle much. I thought that one idea might be to see if I could switch to just using my intel gpu, but that would not be a great solution. I found this similar issue and solution, but it doesn't seem that this solution would work for me. However in the limited time I did use my intel gpu, it seemed as if this issue was not present there.

I've also tried looking at my xorg settings and trying to change those, but that didn't seem to change anything either.

Personally, this is so aggravating that I feel if I cannot fix it I might just either reinstall Ubuntu or switch to a different operating system.

Best Answer

  • I figured it out but I'm not entirely sure why this works!

    It turned out that I had one of my gnome shell extensions (SystemMonitor) update values every second, and as soon as I turned this off it no longer had a stuttering issue. Why exactly that was the problem I am unsure, but turning it off fixed it.

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