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I have a rather peculiar problem. I'm running Windows 7 and have an Nvidia GTX 470 GPU. When I have a video playing in one window and try to scroll in another window that overlaps the video window, the screen tears vertically right where the video window is in the background. I've tried turning v-sync on to no avail. Also, in Ubuntu 10.10, I have no issues, nor do I when playing a game in Windows.

Any suggestions?

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Have you downloaded the latest drivers? –  Sean Jun 29 '11 at 19:59
Yes, I have the very latest drivers. I also tried with older drivers, same issue. –  Max Jun 29 '11 at 20:39
I should also mention that this issue does not happen when the Aero theme is switched off. –  Max Jun 29 '11 at 20:49

2 Answers 2

Take a capture of the video with the PrtScr key and paste it into MSPaint. It works as expected (ie, it pastes the frame from the video rather than a black rectangle) right?

The reason you get the problem with Aero on, but not off, is that when Aero is on, it uses the overlay surface, so video players and such can not make use of it, and have to render the video in software, which results in various artifacts, including tearing. When you turn Aero off, the video player is able to render the video on the hardware overlay, thus avoiding those problems.

Unless you’ve got a newer (ie DX10 compatible) video card with corresponding WDDM 1.1 drivers, or a card with more than one overlay surface (do any even exist?), then you’ll have to choose, or at least turn Aero off when you want to watch a video.

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Yeah, the screen cap works as expected. But the GTX 470 is DX 11 compatible and the driver model is WDDM 1.1 according to dxdiag. –  Max Jun 30 '11 at 9:28
Regardless, there is only one overlay surface, and it seems that Windows 7 wants to use it and is not designed to play with other programs that want to use it. That means that you have to choose; transparent interface, or hardware-accelerated video. –  Synetech Jun 30 '11 at 21:14
Thank for the reply. It's a weird situation, especially since my Win7 laptop has no issues and uses a much less capable dedicated GPU. –  Max Jul 1 '11 at 13:10
Does your laptop use Aero? Does it have the default theme and transparency? What video player are you using on the problem system? Do you use the same video player as the one on the laptop? Make sure that hardware-acceleration / correct playback device is selected in the video player. –  Synetech Jul 2 '11 at 0:48
Yeah it uses Aero with the default theme an transparency. The issues I'm having occur with every media player I've tried (flash, media center, zune), each with hardware acceleration on where possible. –  Max Jul 2 '11 at 18:01

I've seen this happen when the video card is basically overloaded - have you looked at the card temp/load?

This guy has some nice widgets and tools http://blog.orbmu2k.de/tools/nvidia-inspector-tool

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The temp hovers at around 50 degrees celsius, which is pretty normal. The GPU usage is at about 6%, pretty normal too. –  Max Jun 29 '11 at 20:37

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