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#1 2023-07-25 07:23:51

Fuxino
Member
From: Slovakia
Registered: 2014-09-26
Posts: 151

External monitor randomly freezing while gaming

I have a laptop connected to an external HDMI display and I use it to play a couple of games on Steam. I have a problem with the external display randomly freezing and becoming totally unresponsive. This happens only while gaming. As far as I can tell, the system keeps working fine, it's just the external display that stops working. I can use the integrated laptop display to "reset" the external monitor (turning it off and on again with xrandr), after which everything works fine as before (until the next freeze). I can also just unplug and plug again the display with similar results. This seems to happen randomly, sometimes I can play for hours without issues, sometimes it happens more often, there doesn't seem to be any specific "trigger" for this behavior (as far as I can tell).

I checked both Xorg log and journalctl immediately after the external display froze, but there is absolutely nothing there, so I'm not sure how to proceed.

My laptop has an Optimus setup with integrated Intel GPU+Nvidia GPU:

$ lspci | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation CoffeeLake-H GT2 [UHD Graphics 630]
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile] (rev a1)

I'm using LightDM+Cinnamon, I currently use the LTS kernel in the official repos and nvidia-dkms driver, but I tried switching to the latest kernel, or to an older version (5.15.x), also tried switching to older Nvidia drivers, but the problem persists. I have no xorg.conf and no xf86-video-intel installed.

Probably relevant to mention that I'm running the games using prime-run and gamemode (i.e. on Steam, LAUNCH OPTIONS line is 'prime-run gamemoderun %command%'). Also, one of the games I play runs natively on Linux, while the other is a Windows game that I run using Proton, but the issue happens with both. My guess is that this is not related to Steam or games, but more generally to Nvidia driver or related configuration, and games are the only things I currently use the Nvidia GPU for (with prime-run).

I've checked the forums and more broadly on the web but I haven't found anything relevant, I found many threads about issues with Nvidia drivers causing the system to freeze, but that's not what happens in my case, since the system keeps working fine and it's only the external display that doesn't work.

I'm not sure what other info could be relevant, so just let me know if there's anything else and I'll try to provide it.

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#2 2023-07-28 13:25:03

Fuxino
Member
From: Slovakia
Registered: 2014-09-26
Posts: 151

Re: External monitor randomly freezing while gaming

Updating this to add that I tried having the game play on the laptop integrated monitor instead of the external one, the only change is that now when the external monitor freezes I can keep playing the game on the integrated one big_smile But random freezes still occur.

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#3 2023-12-03 12:47:46

stephematician
Member
Registered: 2023-09-01
Posts: 3

Re: External monitor randomly freezing while gaming

I have exactly the same problem at least with Proton games, also using LightDM (on UbuntuMATE 22.04, not Arch), and an HDMI second display.

I also have an integrated + NVIDIA GPU (a Ryzen 4900HS and a NVIDIA RTX 2060).

Some games seem to run fine (Planet of Lana no problem), but others do glitch out exactly as your describe (e.g. Divinity Original Sin 2). I've run GOG stuff via Wine for hours upon hours without the same problem, which makes me think it could be Steam (or exacerbated by).

It was _particularly_ bad whenever I tried Discord voice chat ... I don't know if this is a separate issue, but it is curious.

As you described - older kernels (or driver versions) made no difference. I'm running 6.5.3 and NVIDIA 535.129.03.

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#4 2023-12-03 13:03:22

stephematician
Member
Registered: 2023-09-01
Posts: 3

Re: External monitor randomly freezing while gaming

It seems plausible that it's related to the issues covered here: https://forums.developer.nvidia.com/t/e … pu/265406/

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#5 2023-12-04 09:35:59

Fuxino
Member
From: Slovakia
Registered: 2014-09-26
Posts: 151

Re: External monitor randomly freezing while gaming

stephematician wrote:

It seems plausible that it's related to the issues covered here: https://forums.developer.nvidia.com/t/e … pu/265406/

Thanks, I'll keep an eye on that thread, since I still have the same issue hmm I've been disabling the external monitor when playing games as a workaround, but it's quite annoying...

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