How To Reduce/Eliminate Horizontal Tearing

Keith Packard keithp at
Wed Dec 10 21:11:47 PST 2008

On Wed, 2008-12-10 at 23:14 -0500, Nick Nobody wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm using Ubuntu 8.10 with a GM945 (at 1920x1080) for my media center PC.
> The problem I'm running into is a bunch of horizontal tearing on higher
> resolution videos (720p or greater). From what I can tell it's not a CPU
> limitation but rather something related to the graphics card...
> Are there any options that I can enable in my xorg.conf to help
> reduce/eliminate this tearing? Or is this simply a hardware limitation?
> Can XvMC somehow help me here?

There aren't any options at this point, but I'm wondering -- is this
full-screen? If we made full-screen Xv operations block until vblank
(which would lock up the X server), would that be an acceptable option?

It's actually very easy to do, just stick a 'wait for vblank' command
into the ring right before the 'copy the new picture' command in the Xv
extension code. It's just annoying when you're watching a tiny movie and
your whole session stops responding.

keith.packard at
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