Hey everybody, I might have a solution.
In Opera, go to opera://gpu (or chrome://gpu). You will likely see that video encode and decode are done by software, not hardware accelerated. Probably some other things as well.
Go to opera://flags (or chrome://flags), and enable the option, "Override software rendering list". Close and re-open Opera. You will see that videos are now hardware-accelerated.
More info: http://www.webupd8.org/2014/01/enable-hardware-acceleration-in-chrome.html
While you're at it, you could also go ahead and enable hardware acceleration in Firefox. Google "Ubuntu Firefox enable hardware acceleration", it's one of the first results.
I don't know for sure whether this really fixes our problem. It did solve stuttering issues for me, which I continued to experience on my desktop PC on 17.10 after uninstalling Opera, and then again after switching to Mint 18.3. After my switch to Mint, I also had stuttering in ZSNES, which went away after I did the following:
- Open NVidia settings
- In "OpenGL Settings", disable "Allow Flipping" and move "Image Settings" slider to the right until it says "Performance".
- You could also try disabling VSync (also in OpenGL Settings). If you get no screen tearing afterwards, leave it off.
- In "PowerMizer", set "Preferred Mode" to "Prefer Maximum Performance".
The "PowerMizer" setting is automatically reset after reboot. To make it permanent, open the "Startup Applications" app and add the following as a new startup application:
nvidia-settings -a '[gpu:0]/GPUPowerMizerMode=1'
Name and describe as you see fit. More info: https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/topic/832288/how-to-automatically-set-powermizer-to-prefer-maximum-performace-with-340-and-346-drivers/?offset=3
Since I'm no longer on 17.10 on my desktop and I still use my laptop for daily work, I can't tell for sure whether any of the above fixes our problem. It would be awesome if one of you guys could report back.