Fixing Screen Tearing with Intel GPUs, and the latest Window Managers

I wrote this guide for the Debian+MATE crowd, but since our distros are related anyway, I figured someone here may find it useful.



Screen tearing can be a frustrating issue for many users, especially when working or gaming on systems with Intel integrated GPUs. Fortunately, with the latest window managers and some simple tweaks, you can mitigate or even eliminate screen tearing on your Intel-powered machine.

Update Your GPU Drivers: Before delving into software adjustments, make sure you have the latest Intel GPU drivers installed. Manufacturers often release updates that address screen tearing issues and improve overall GPU performance.

Enable TearFree Rendering (Linux): If you're using a Linux distribution, take advantage of Intel's TearFree option available through the configuration file. Adding Option "TearFree" "true" to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file can help alleviate screen tearing.

Choose the Right Window Manager: Some window managers are better at handling screen tearing than others. Consider using a compositing window manager like GNOME, KDE Plasma, or Xfce, which are designed to reduce screen tearing by synchronizing the refresh rate of your GPU with your display.

V-Sync: Enabling V-Sync (Vertical Synchronization) in your game or application settings can also help eliminate screen tearing by syncing the frame rate with your monitor's refresh rate. Keep in mind that this may introduce a slight input lag in some cases.

Monitor Refresh Rate: Ensure that your monitor's refresh rate is set correctly in your system settings. Mismatched refresh rates can contribute to screen tearing problems.

Intel Graphics Command Center (Windows): On Windows, the Intel Graphics Command Center offers various settings for improving graphics performance. Experiment with settings like "V-Sync" and "G-Sync Compatible Mode" to see if they help reduce screen tearing.

Now, regarding Intel Arc GPUs from Lenovo or any other manufacturer, it's important to base your choice on your specific needs and budget. While Intel Arc GPUs are anticipated to offer excellent performance and competition in the graphics market, it's advisable to do thorough research and consider reviews and benchmarks before concluding that they are the "best."

The "best" GPU depends on factors like your use case (gaming, content creation, general use), budget, and compatibility with your existing hardware. Lenovo's Intel Arc GPUs may indeed be a great choice for some users, but it's always wise to compare them with other options in the market to make an informed decision.

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Welcome @Steve_Anderson to the community!