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Recently I switched to the new monitor and graphic card - DELL U2312HM and GeForce GTX 550 Ti. I have problems with screen tearing, like in this picture from Wikipedia:

Screen Tearing Example Author: Vanessaezekowitz

Usually it is somewhere in upper part of the screen. Mainly happens in videos (in flash videos tearing heavier). In games all fine, except in-game videos (sometimes even videos built on game engine), but gameplay itself is clear, even in very fast actions.

Connection with DVI.

Problems both in Linux (Debian GNU/Linux, openSUSE 12.1, Linux Mint 13) and Windows (Windows XP, Windows 7), with various driver versions. 1920x1080, 60Mhz.

How can I resolve this?

UPD: Ok, Compiz with anabled VSync have resolved problem on Linux Mint, tearing now much rarer and almost non-fixeable by eye. Though it works with Cinnamon pretty bad. Anyway, It would be nice also to figure out, how to fix it in Windows XP - VSync enabled in NVIDIA panel, maybe it must be enabled somewhere else?

UPD2: I have tested this monitor with another computer. There is tearing too. Could it be hardware fixable problem? Or maybe problem with electricity? Because there is heavy tearing even in window-dragging and every enough wide horizontal animation. I do not think that this is because of 60mhz - there is some "tears" even if I just slowly scroll down browser window with the middle mouse button. Also, one month there was absolutely no tearing in movies with VLC. But then it returned. So, maybe this is because bad electricity? I read that it can be because of grounding, there were advice to bend out metal things of electricity socket or surge protector - but I am not sure that it is safe.

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Welcome to SuperUser, I edited your question. If you are unhappy with the changes, feel free to revert them or edit it again. (I did not yet insert the picture as I could not find the copyright conditions) – Baarn Sep 5 '12 at 21:01
@Informaficker copyright info can be found on this wikipedia page – JoshP Sep 6 '12 at 15:12
@kinokijuf If you choose to include the picture, please mind the copyright conditions of the license. – Baarn Sep 6 '12 at 15:24
@Informaficker I thought it was sufficient to add a link to the original. – kinokijuf Sep 6 '12 at 15:35
@Keltari I asked on meta how to do this, please share your thoughts. I am not really convinced that SuperUser servers an educational purpose. – Baarn Sep 6 '12 at 15:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Though it seems that I still have to buy a new monitor, I have found the solution for Cinnamon (should work for Gnome 3 as well) without using Compiz.

Insert these two lines into /etc/environment:

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Konair0s, thankyou. I've been searching for this solution for ages! – Ash Jun 15 '13 at 15:39

Screen tearing occurs when your graphics card updates the image on the screen faster than your display device can draw it.

One way to reduce screen tearing is to enable vertical sync (vsync) on your graphics card driver. The disadvantage of vsync is that you may drop frames. If your graphics card supports double or triple buffering, that will also help with screen tearing, at the cost of using more video memory. Also, getting a LCD with a faster refresh rate (120 Hz) will help. Of course, that means spending more money.

Here is a good explanation on why screen tearing happens.

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Sadly, I already tried that. Absolutely no difference. Also, I cant find any IPS/*VA displays with so fast refresh rates - it means, they all produce tearing? Maybe, some kind of downcloc graphical card will help? – ED503 Sep 6 '12 at 18:09

UPD2: I have tested this monitor with another computer. There is tearing too.

To be clear. You connected the DELL U2312HM to a completely different computer. This means that the only common element between the two computers was the monitor, correct? The other computer used a different video card, motherboard, etc. If this is true, then the issue is with the monitor. It is not a problem that can be completely fixed with software or video card settings. Yes, you have found some limited partial success in altering settings, but as you describe, the problem still persists to some degree.

What does this mean? The monitor may have vertical sync issues, and most likely needs to be repaired and/or replaced. It would be nice to be able to repair it, but sadly, the cost of repairing the monitor yourself (AKA replacing the LCD panel) would most likely match or exceed the cost of replacing the monitor.

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Yes, completely different computer. I plan to buy new to get rid of this problem, but I am not sure that this will not be repeated on the new monitor - it is my first IPS, and some people write that tearing on IPS is a common thing and enabled Vsync is required in 100% cases. Because of that I think I should wait for 120mhz Yamakasi Catleap or Overlord Tempest, when they are available again, to be sure that there will be no more of these problems at all, whether with Vsync on or off. – ED503 May 5 '13 at 6:43
I have checked now with Left 4 Dead 2 on Linux, with in-game Vsync turned on there is always lesser than 60 FPS, but tearing is there anyway (even with 30), and if I completely turn off in-game Vsync, there is 80 FPS and HEAVIER tearing, which means that Vsync was kind of working. So it looks like the issue is really with this particular monitor which can not handle even lesser FPS than its Hz and I can go and buy the same model for replacement and all should be fine. – ED503 May 5 '13 at 8:33
Though, in Windows it can display games with turned on Vsync mostly without tearing. – ED503 May 5 '13 at 8:46
"mostly" means it still happens, which means that although a settings change (aka, turning on VSync) improves the situation slightly, it does not fix the situation. Still points to the monitor being the issue, and needing replacement. – Bon Gart May 5 '13 at 19:31

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