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Really? Watching movies in full screen is all you use KDE for?
I'm sad kubuntu won't get 4.10 until a RC is released :-(
Yes. Obviously I'd use it for more than that, but I do use my laptop for videos often, and fullscreen video tearing is one of those things that is on my "dealbreaker" list. Gnome-shell has pretty much the same bug, but at least there's a workaround for it (adding CLUTTER_PAINT=disable-clipped-redraws:disable-culling to /etc/environment). Compiz doesn't give me any tearing issues at all (in ubuntu 12.10. In 12.04 I see this bug but it can be worked around with a simple compizconfig settings change). I've seen no workaround for this issue in kwin so I'd be stuck waiting for it to be fixed in an update.
Is there still tearing near the top of the screen when watching fullscreen video on ivybridge? as far as I'm concerned kde is unusable for me until this is fixed.
It's mixed. Usually not I think. I use (s)mplayer with vaapi or vlc and when you move the mouse over the fullscreen playback there sometimes is tearing while the controls are displayed and composited (I think). And I think it's flash video that still doesn't properly sync. But I have not set the intel tearfree option in xorg.conf / xorg.conf.d/* that supposedly exists.
Do you camp phoronix for KDE threads or something?
Yes, KDE and Qt threads. He's really morbid, i guess that he has something personal with some KDE developer (women, money... don't know), or simply he has nothing better to do all the day... he is in EVERY KDE and Qt thread.
Another issue is the amount of software developed under the KDE umbrella, KPack being a noteable example which is basically unmaintained for years (and buggy as hell).
According to DDG KPack is a PHP framework that has nothing to do with KDE and as far as I can tell there never was a KDE application with that name. There was KPackage which was deleted from KDE before 4.4 and there was KPackageKit which was renamed Apper.
You know I see that on my IB and SB systems no matter the desktop (even booting straight to an XBMC session). Pop in an nvidia card and all is good again.
Its due to some compositors doing things wrong on SB/IB. You will also see this issue on any environment that does no compositing, until intel adds legacy vsync support (coming in kernel 3.8 I believe). the proper way to do tear-free output in SB/IB while still being able to keep the card in its power saving modes is to use a page-flipping compositor.
Ubuntu 12.10's compiz does it fine out of the box, absolutely no tearing anywhere on IB or SB. You can get no tearing on 12.04's compiz by going into compiz config and enabling "force fullscreen redraws (buffer swap) on repaint".
You can get no tearing anywhere in gnome-shell/mutter, cinnamon/muffin, and pantheon/gala by adding CLUTTER_PAINT=disable-clipped-redraws:disable-culling to /etc/environment (there's an active bug report on this for mutter and there's already a patch in git I believe so it should be fixed out of the box in a future release).
kwin is the only compositor I've used that both has this bug and doesn't have an easy workaround which is why its a dealbreaker for me right now. mutter has the same bug but at least there's an easy workaround for it. Not sure about XBMC, but I assume you have the issue there because its not using any compositing and therefore not pageflipping.