I've spent the past month or so at work using a box that seems cursed.
Backstory: We develop a piece of very graphics-heavy software, which uses lots of OpenCL, CUDA, and so on. Hence, we place high demands on our graphics hardware. This also means that I can't use the Nouveau drivers, since we can't run our software with it.
When I started at this job, I had a 12.10 box, with an AMD FirePro V5900. After leaving the computer on for a few weeks, this problem started to show; and it was soon followed by a host of other issues. These other issues (flickering screen, black windows, and more) are out of the question's scope, as they've been documented elsewhere, but from what I can tell, my problem is unique -- several times I have found pictures of what seems to be other instances of the issue, but closer study (loading the page on another computer) indicates that the glitches are on my end. What I see, whatever I might be doing on the computer, is this:
These patches (of 2-pixel tall holes) flicker with every redraw, many of them changing positions. I've spent a month working with IT trying to fix the issue, and so far we have tried (in order):
- Upgrading to 13.10
- Booting into old kernel
- Switching to Gnome 3 (it was worse)
- Switching to Gnome metacity (same as unity)
- Wiping the drive and installing 14.04
- Booting into old kernel
- Swapping out the card for an NVIDIA Quadro 5000, rewiping drive and installing 14.04 again for good measure
- Tried different monitor and cable
- Tearing out all the guts, new mobo, new RAM (a weekend-long memtest turned up fine, but we were taking no chances), everything except the case new; again rewiping drive and reinstalling Trusty.
- Testing with a beautiful new high-dpi monitor
Nothing worked -- every time, it would look nice and fresh, but it would be useless, so we'd try a driver switch, but after switching to any other driver, the madness returns. The parts are all new (now anyway), and nothing is, or ever has been, overclocked.
What now? In a few hours we're wiping my drive again, this time to try Precise. Honestly, I've lost enough productivity already, so if that doesn't work I'm switching to Mint or Arch or Windows. Right now, I'd rather just document an odd bug, and perhaps get some help putting together a bug report (and filing it in the right place).
However, I may have just kept screwing up in subtle ways with my driver configuration. Since I find that quite likely, I've decided it would be best to ask here. So, any ideas?