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Author Topic: How to prevent screen flickering when scrolling chrome? (nvidia issue)  (Read 14677 times)

urlwolf

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Turns out making music with a windows PC is a lot harder that it seems. You need to kill any DPC latency, by uninstalling drivers sequentially till there are no conflicts.
After a long fight against DPCs, I got my HP elitebook 8540w in top notch state. It was a few hrs of my time, learning about debugging methods no human should know about :)

But the catch is... only an old version of the nvidia driver makes my PC DPC-free. I had to download ~10 versions back in time. Finally I have a file named 261.28-sp51482-nvidia-driver-THE ONE THAT WORKS on my HD :D

Using this old nvidia there is a side problem: scrolling in chrome produces flickering. It's only when chrome is using the full height of my screen (1400 px). When I make the window small, it's barely noticeable.

Any idea about how to get the original smooth scroll back?
Workarounds?

How nvidia and HP are still in business is a mystery to me.

Carol Haynes

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Hate to say it but did you check to see if that as an issue fixed in new driver build?

How about the original graphic driver from HP? Does that suffer the same problem.

I suppose you could always cut your losses and just swap to FireFox or even Internet Explorer.

Reducing latency for DAWs usually means keeping it lean and mean, preferably not even connected to the internet and therefore no need for security software etc.

urlwolf

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If I move up on nvidia versions, I lose the DPC-free setup... Sucks.

urlwolf

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Actually, anything that scrolls smoothly (IE, firefox) will do this flickering.
I live inside a vm anyway, I don't want to touch anything on the host... but the vm is (of course) also affected by the flickering...

Tinman57

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  If this is only happening with Chrome, I would think it's a Chrome issue and not nVidia.  I have an HP computer and an nVidia GPU myself, and I haven't had any of these problems.  I am one update behind on my graphics drivers which I plan on installing this week....

urlwolf

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This didn't happen on any app with any nvidia drivers but this one. This one is ancient, 261.28. But HP seems to believe that if you want to use your computer for audio or video, you have to use that ancient driver because they have not bothered to test newer drivers. It's insulting. They are the most incompetent company in the history of humanity. It took 30 min of me explaining the problem in their support chat to realize that they sent me to the wrong dept. (printers!). The experience cannot be worse. I now belive HP is the most incompetent company I know.

Tinman57

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This didn't happen on any app with any nvidia drivers but this one. This one is ancient, 261.28. But HP seems to believe that if you want to use your computer for audio or video, you have to use that ancient driver because they have not bothered to test newer drivers. It's insulting. They are the most incompetent company in the history of humanity. It took 30 min of me explaining the problem in their support chat to realize that they sent me to the wrong dept. (printers!). The experience cannot be worse. I now belive HP is the most incompetent company I know.

  If you go to the nVidia update site, they have an online app that looks at your card, drivers, OS and other things and tells you which update you need.  It saves a lot of time searching manually.

http://www.nvidia.co...ndex.aspx?lang=en-us

urlwolf

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All nvidia drivers from nvidia produce high DPC latency.

Carol Haynes

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How about simply uninstalling the card and trying the one from MS update if there is one. The drivers usually do the job but are pretty basic - having said that there seem to be fewer latency issues.

Tinman57

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DPC latency

  And again, something else that I don't have problems with.  Back in the W95 days I had a problem with that, but an updated driver solved the problem.  DPC latency can come from many different factors, like Bios, USBPORT.SYS, USB 1.1 & 2.0 Port Driver, dxgkrnl.sys, DirectX Graphics Kernel, ataport.SYS, ATAPI Driver extension, CIE power management (and any other power savings options, HPET (Bios setting).  Not to mention software running in the background.  Best bet, update all your hardware drivers, and if that don't work, try the MS Knowledge Base or other help sites.  If you can't find any help, try an internet search for DPC Latency.

app103

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So, you have set this laptop up and optimized it to be the perfect environment for making music. Has the thought occurred to you that this machine should be dedicated to making music, and nothing more? This may be one of those situations where that would make the most sense, since any updating would interfere with making music, and not updating would interfere with doing anything else.

urlwolf

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Thanks all for your input.
The machine is a pristine win7 install. It doesn't even have wireless drivers installed. All my dev work happens in a vmware virtual box. So it is music sanctuary.

@carol, the MS drivers are the same old ones I'm using.

@tinman, I'm pretty sure interactions are nasty, so I have reduced the active drivers to a mininum. But if nvidia/hp didn't test this, there's little else we can do.

I've raised a ticket with HP. The machine is under warranty. Took 3-4 calls to get the right dept. They redirected me to the german branch, which is unfortunate, as in Germany customer service is not a strong point. They asked me to write a detailed case, which I did, and I'm waiting to hear back from them.

Replacing the card or the machine  (to something that is proven against dpc latency) sounds like the only reasonable option, and is what the UK service offered (5 business days). Let's see what HP Germany does, I suspect something borderline insulting to anyone who has experienced decent customer service living abroad.

Tinman57

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@tinman, I'm pretty sure interactions are nasty, so I have reduced the active drivers to a mininum. But if nvidia/hp didn't test this, there's little else we can do. 

  It's impossible to test every driver combination for everything on the market, especially since people install their own drivers for added software/hardware and drivers are always being updated.  They test their computers for the original configuration it has when it's sold, then MS updates drivers about once a month (along with user installed drivers) and totally invalidates the verified test.

Carol Haynes

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If you are using VMware on there it has a lot of services running all the time that won't give you a clean audio environment!

IainB

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@urlwolf: Thanks for this interesting discussion.
..I now belive HP is the most incompetent company I know...
In defence of HP, I would suggest that it probably only looks that way to you because of your (this) bad experience.
I had the same sort of experience with DELL support when trying to renew a maintenance contract for a laptop bought in one country (UK) but being used in another country (NZ) - the latter being where I needed the support. I eventually got there, but I shudder when thinking about it, even now, and "incompetent" was one of the most polite of the epithets/expletives I used.

In reality, both HP and DELL have amazingly good pools of highly-skilled and competent technicians, but they are isolated/insulated from the formalised support business process. They had to be isolated because they are relatively few in number, and are only assigned to work on 2nd level support issues. The 1st level support is done (or attempted) by the people you get into contact with via their Support centre (the customer-facing part) - and the first contact you make there is likely to be more of an administrator or problem-router than a pukka support technician wiz.

For what it is worth, and simply in the hope that it might be of use/help, here are some of my experiences when trying to sort out some annoying DPC latency issues on my HP ENVY 14 laptop (ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650 1GB Dedicated Graphics) - operating system is Win7-64 Home Premium.
The latency seemed to be adversely affecting the quality of the graphics display (I have mostly fixed that) and the sound output (still fixing that):
  • 1. I reckoned that there would be a techo wiz somewhere in HP who would know exactly what my laptop problem was caused by and whether it could be fixed, and if so what the appropriate/necessary fix or workaround was. I also reckoned that my chances of getting to actually talk to that person or having them focus on this problem for me were probably pretty bleak.
    What I knew was that these wizzes would likely as not often be busy helping out in support forums, so I googled "DPC latency" and also googled for forums referring to HP ENVY 14, ATI/AMD Mobility Radeon HD5650, and other support forums.
    Some examples (links and tools):

  • 2. Getting an upgrade to the display driver was a real headache, and I posted about my solution here: Problems with AMD/ATI Radeon HD 6500M/5600/5700 Series GPU driver/software

  • 3. Tweaking and experimenting all standard Windows graphics/animation features (e.g., switching them on/off and seeing what the results were).
    General result: using the CPU for full graphics output (instead of the GPU) improved the quality of the display for written material.

  • 4. Tweaking and experimenting with the settings for the AMD/ATI Radeon HD 6500M/5600/5700 Series GPU driver.
    General result: using the GPU for full graphics output (instead of the CPU) reduced the graphics image quality but speeded up the animation (reduced latency).

  • 5. There is an option in Google Chrome chrome://settings/, under Show advanced settings-->System to Use hardware acceleration when available. I expect there may be similar settings in the other browsers, but am unsure where.

So you can see that for graphics there were trade-offs there. Probably the trade-offs will take the general form of: optimising for good graphics output will result in sub-optimal audio output, and vice versa.
For audio, I am still trying to get to grips with understanding what automatic priority interrupts from what device/driver are being assigned precedence in the queue over the audio output, but the DPC Latency Checker tool seems to be proving quite useful there. The WiFi network adapter looks like it might be causing some of the problems in my case.

Example of DPC Latency Checker tool in use (the notes in the image might be useful):
DPC Latency tool (detector) - 01 graph.png
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 08:36:07 PM by IainB, Reason: Added image. »

urlwolf

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1.5 months later, HP is still passing the buck around and not able to produce a solution.
They say I'm on their 3rd level of support. Whatever that is.

There's no doubt now about HP's support being incompetent.

urlwolf

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IainB

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1.5 months later, HP is still passing the buck around and not able to produce a solution.
They say I'm on their 3rd level of support. Whatever that is.
There's no doubt now about HP's support being incompetent.
  Well, that's pretty telling. I presume you are not waiting for something to be done about it by HP.
HP's 3rd Level (L3) support uses their best-qualified and experienced techos.
HP use (or used to use) an ITIL approach, so that Incidents (basically errors or reductions in service levels reported by users) get handled pretty efficiently via their standard HelpDesk ticket queuing process. If L1 can't resolve the problem, then it gets passed to L2, and then to L3 - where the buck stops. It's a well-defined process (CMM Level 3 or above).
   If your ticket has been open and unresolved for 1.5 months, then it could be because it is stuck in a low priority queue and keeps slipping to the back, because of resource problems - e.g., the L3 techos are too few in number and don't have time to address/resolve the Incident because they are all focussed on higher-priority problems. So the low priority Incidents will never get addressed/resolved - kinda like a death spiral.
   It may be that the Incident is symptomatic of a general causal Problem (in ITIL-speak) - something which requires root cause analysis and analysis of the frequency of occurrence and population of users affected, and whether it seriously impacts their work, etc. (which will determine the priority). However, if they have resource issues and if the Incidents are low priority, then a Problem root cause analysis may never get done - another death spiral.
   This is a failure of process, resulting in infinitely-cycling and lengthening low priority queues. This could have been brought on by (for example) cost-cutting measures, where the number of competent techos has been pared down to a bare minimum so that there are insufficient numbers of competent techos left in the pool of support resources (which manifests in the ludicrous reality of the sort of amusing meme you give an example of at http://www.quickmeme...ent-HP-Guy/?upcoming). The user experience is that (typically) one never seems to get the chance to talk to anyone competent in a technical support role.

   I would suggest your Incident ticket is in the death spiral zone and may never be addressed/resolved in timely/useful fashion by HP. It would be incorrect to call this "incompetence". It is likely a direct result of global cost-cutting - seemingly certainly so in HP's case, as a review of their financial history over 2006 - 2012 will attest. The responsibility for the cost-cutting lies at CEO/Board level, where there has been evidence of corruption and unethical/illegal behaviour and the focus has been on maximising short-term shareholder returns - seemingly at any cost. One result of this is that there is a tendency to overlook/ignore the potential/real deleterious effects of this on service level performance of customer support. In fact, regarding this, HP itself seems to have been in a kind of self-induced death spiral for a number of years.

   If what I say above is generally true, then arguably it could apply to all PC manufacturers. Under the circumstances, I suspect that the only way you are likely to get HP or any other manufacturer's attention focussed on addressing/resolving any problem on one of their PCs would be if it had a sufficiently high priority. This would generally be if:
  • (a) The PC is covered under a valid, current service warranty/guarantee for either return to depot or on-site service/replacement, and
  • (b) the PC is exhibiting symptoms that, to all intents and purposes, make it near impossible to use the device, and
  • (c) the indications are that it is an intermittent or permanent hardware error/failure.

   Since it seemed to me that hardware failure was not an issue in your case, but simply that your PC was experiencing nothing more than DPC Latency - e.g., from (say) automatic priority interrupts causing conflicts affecting bus traffic - I made the several points above regarding checking/analysing DPC Latency. I suspected that you were either going to have to do the analysis and address/resolve the issue yourself, or get/pay someone else to do it for you, and it probably won't be the hardware manufacturer per se (i.e., HP in this case), but you might be able to use one of their registered HP service agents - who would typically be the ones contracted to attend a callout for on-site HP service/replacement under warranty, for example.

   Sorry I can't suggest anything more useful than that - or that you consider (say) trialling an Apple Mac, maybe.    :o
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 07:37:49 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor corrections. »

IainB

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