Visual artifacts & glitches over Windows UI. TD & Hardware (Razer Blade 15") specific?

Hi all - I’m writing here in conjunction with an email thread with Malcolm with a strange issue I’ve been trying to troubleshoot over the past couple weeks to no avail in the hopes that maybe some light could be shed on the issue. It’s something that I replicated on a completely new replacement system yesterday. A write-up and reference materials below.

Hardware

Razer Blade 15” laptop
I7-9750h
RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU
Intel UHD 630 integrated GPU
240Hz 1080p panel
16GB RAM
2TB NVME SSD

Reference materials:https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Brt7kS-0MYGKcf-7WNU5X976N6ma6nWf

Issue description

Right now it seems like it may be something to do with the way things are being handled re: the iGPU vs the dedicated GPU with this specific laptop model/hardware configuration.

This issue manifests itself as flashing black boxes that are over-top of the entire Windows 10 UI, and as small horizontal strips of (typically white) pixels. It appears to be hardware specific with this issue happening on two separate Razer Blade 15" laptops of identical hardware, but on no other systems I’ve tried. I first noticed it while building a patch on this machine the other week, and as I went along it began happening more and more frequently. The .toe attached is the result of beginning to rebuild a patch where I first saw the issue; I left it as is when I began seeing the issue consistently when opening this patch.

A few things about these artifacts: The white lines appear to be contained within the TD render, while the black boxes are overtop of the entire windows UI. These issues only seem to appear on the laptop screen itself. If TD is moved to an external monitor the artifacts disappear. These artifacts also appear in renders – I’ve rendered out videos in Photo Motion Jpeg, HAP, and H264 using both the movie file out TOP in real-time, non-real-time, and using the export movie option in TD. When viewing back a render in VLC these artifacts appear the same way they do within TD, with black boxes covering the entire windows UI, but they don’t appear if the video is viewed on an external monitor. The artifacts persist if the media is transcoded to another format as well.

So far I’ve been unable to replicate the issue on other machines – again, with the exception of an identical Razer Blade 15” that was ordered as a potential replacement as I thought I may have had faulty hardware. The replacement laptop was booted up for the first time, I installed Touchdesigner 20140, and opened this patch to find the exact same issue.

References in link above

Fig 1a and b. Video shows the patch running – note the horizontal strips that appear and the black boxes flashing.

Fig 2. Photo shows TD’s timeline paused on a frame where a black box glitch is appearing over the UI.

Fig 3. Close up of a paused frame with an artifact, horizontal strip of pixels

Fig 4. Note that in this paused frame the strip of pixels appears to be affected by the render pipeline/compositing chain and is fading into black with the rest of the render

Fig 5. Paused frame in a render playing in VLC on the laptop screen

Steps taken to troubleshoot the issue thus far

  •      Notice the issue, rebuild patch, try on multiple machines
    
  •      Bios reset
    
  •      Bios update
    
  •      Adjust refresh rate (60Hz/240Hz)
    
  •      Adjust resolution to 1080p all the way through 1024x768
    
  •      Try other versions of Touchdesigner from current experimental back to 2019.14650
    
  •      Uninstall, reinstall Touchdesigner
    
  •      Update Intel GPU drivers
    
  •      Update Nvidia GPU drivers (upto 441.87)
    
  •      Uninstall both Intel and Nvidia drivers
    
  •      Install older Razer provided Intel and Nvidia GPU drivers
    
  •      Re-update Nvidia and intel GPU drivers to current
    
  •      Uninstall Nvidia drivers, roll back through a few older versions
    
  •      Try both “Game Ready” and “Studio” nvidia driver versions
    
  •      Update all laptop hardware drivers and firmware
    
  •      Try adjusting windows 10 DPI scaling (100%, 125, 150, custom)
    
  •      Turn compatibility mode on for TD
    
  •      Turn off DPI scaling for TD (override program, override windows)
    
  •      Run Touchdesigner off of Dedicated 2070 Max-Q GPU via Nvidia control panel
    
  •      Run Touchdesigner off of Intel Integrated GPU (still gives the same artifacts when running at ~7fps)
    
  •      Undervolt CPU
    
  •      Underclock GPU (With patch open the 2070 typically runs stable at ~30-40% load and 60-70’ and 1200 core clock)
    
  •      Render video via Movie File Out TOP using HAP, Photo Motion Jpeg, H264 codecs in real-time & offline
    
  •      “ using file>export movie
    
  •      Use laptop on AC power, battery
    
  •      Adjust TD internal frame rate (30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120)
    
  •      Make all project TOPs 8bit
    
  •      “ 16bit, 32bit
    
  •      Roll back ALL windows updates
    
  •      Reinstall all windows updates until current
    
  •      Try fresh install of windows 10 standard, win10 LTSC, using 3 separate NVME drives
    
  •      Try single/dual sticks of ram in all configurations
    
  •      Purchase new laptop with same specs – turn on for first time, install TD 20140, open patch and witness exact same issue
    
  •      Turn off all intel iGPU image adjustment & weird power options from Intel control panel
    
  •      Verify no overlays running, no night-light, no flux, no Logitech, etc…
    
  •      Dialed in just about every option within the Nvidia Control Panel’s 3D Settings
    
  •      Running stress tests (Cinebench, Unigen Superposition, Aida64), GPU intensive games, and editing/adding FX to 4k footage in Premiere to see if anything else caused issues. Only TD showed these issues.
    
  •      Run patch in performance mode
    
  •      Open .toe in TouchPlayer
    

Things that had a noticeable effect:

  •      Running any patch that has these issues on an external monitor. The glitching only happens on the laptop’s panel.
    
  •      Removing the 3 palette containers from this patch (Light tunnel, feedback edge, bloom) seemed to lessen the frequency of the artifacts but didn’t get rid of them. Dialing back the texture size of the ramp within bloom helped a tiny bit, but again, these didn’t actually stop the issue.
    

A friend helped me in troubleshooting a bit as well – he was able to run the .toe in 20140 on his Thinkpad X1 (Same iGPU & a 1050Ti), trying on both iGPU and dGPU, but didn’t experience any of the issues. Right now what makes the most sense is that there may be some weirdness in how these two GPUs are working together, seeing as the laptop screen is the only place where these issues persist. This laptop uses Nvidia Optimus but there aren’t any tweaks for it (or anything GPU/video related) in the bios.

If anybody is able to look into this (or if this is an issue you’ve seen before in some form) I’d really appreciate hearing about any findings - especially if you own any variation on the more recent Razer Blade laptops. The .toe in the folder linked above will consistently replicate the artifacts on this model of laptop.

If there are any questions I can answer, materials I can provide, or tests I can do while still in possession of this machine just let me know.

Best,
George

These issues have been confirmed to be non existent on a Razer Blade 15" with a 2080 and 144Hz panel. Leads me to think it may be something specific to how things are handled on the 240Hz panel versions - would just need others in that lineup tested.

I’ve got a 2019 blade advanced with a 2080 and 144hz. I’d be up to test it as well if its helpful. The drive link was dead though. Msg if you’d like me to test it as i’m curious as well.

Thanks for noticing that, I’ve edited the post with a fixed drive link.

At this point I’ve confirmed the issue doesn’t exist on two separate 2080 144Hz machines, but does exist on two separate 2070 240Hz machines, so I’m willing to bet it’s something to do with the latest generation of blades. Never hurts to have more data if you do want to test on yours.

1 Like