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I have a 23" NEC IPS display and the nvidia 9800 gt video card. Even when I enable vsync in flash and games, I still get tearing--a line in the middle of the screen every few seconds or so.

Is the video card or the diplay causing the tearing? Would ugprading to a better video card, such as the nvidia gtx 650, fix the problem?

Issue occurs on both windows and ubuntu; currently running the latest Ubuntu with the latest nvidia driver version 310.

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Does it do it at all resolutions? Does it only do it in Full screen? Have you updated your drivers? If you suspect the adapter or the monitor, have you tested either on a different system? –  techie007 Mar 3 '13 at 19:20
    
@techie007, with flash, only in full screen mode; in games most resolutions. –  Absolute0 Mar 3 '13 at 19:25
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3 Answers

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You need to start testing things with replacement hardware, as using two different OS's and having the exact same result usually rules out software issues.

First, check all connections to ensure proper fit.

From there, move the monitor to a new system, try a different cable, try a different monitor with your system, etc. That should hopefully help you determine if it's the system or the monitor.

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The system in question currently has a dual monitor setup. The other monitor shows now issues, but it has very low resolution, 1440x900. –  Absolute0 Mar 3 '13 at 19:35
    
What happens if you swap ports for the monitors? Seriously, start touching the hardware and trying things, and come back with your results. :) –  techie007 Mar 3 '13 at 19:46
    
Swapping the ports didn't help. –  Absolute0 Mar 5 '13 at 14:11
    
I was able to get my hands on a nvidia 660ti-it seems like the higher fps permits much less tearing to occur, but it still does occur. The monitor's refresh rate is 59 hertz not the standard 60. That's probably the issue. –  Absolute0 Mar 6 '13 at 11:29
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Tearing is usually caused by the video card outputting to many fps. While vsync is enabled make sure the game is registering it as the proper monitor speed.

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If looks like a dark horizontal wavy lines, problems with power supply. If flicker individual points - is overheating memory.

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Power supply has 550W with a 12 V rail. How would I check if the memory is overheating? The case is pretty cool whenever I feel it. –  Absolute0 Mar 3 '13 at 19:36
    
@Absolute0 You can check the thermocouple on memory cards. Try a different video card for a while, most likely this is the case. If so - take measures to cool the memory card - if not, try another power supply. Maybe you have the opportunity to temporarily replace the video and power supply to test these assumptions. Good luck! –  STTR Mar 4 '13 at 0:26
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