I have searched the forum and failed to find anything about this specific problem, so hopefully this is not a duplicate thread.
A lot of details of the problem are further described here: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=353983
The problem, at least in my specific instance, is that, whenever the KDE compositor is disabled, the panel and everything else in it fails to render properly. It has been confirmed in the link above that it is an NVIDIA driver problem, as people with Intel and AMD graphics do not get the same issue. The only difference is that for some users the problem does not happen consistently, meaning lack of compositor does not always result in the panel freezing for the user. In theory I could have the compositor always turned on, but it does noticeably affect performance in video games.
This has been an issue for a lot of users for over four years now. If at least a temporary workaround exists for this issue, I would like to know.
nvidia-bug-report.log.gz (440 KB)