vajnorcan
1 Copper

XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

XPS 16, p8600 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM, 240GB disk

My laptop's screen seems to flicker a bit on low brightness, doesn't matter if it's on battery or not. The symptom is similar to changing the brightness manually one level up and on down in a portion of a second. It's very quick and it's very annoying as my eyes are bit sensitive, I can't stand higher brightness that 3/4 of the total that available.

Does anyone have the same issue AND/OR what is the possible solution to fix this problem ?

Thank you and regards,

-M

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Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

I have this issue as well among some others all related to the LCD display (RGB LED, 1920x1080).

I notice it only when its on battery (mainly because its on lowest brightness), and I notice some form of flicker while generally using it (e.g. word processing and reading). However, I experience both the flicker type you describe above, and also more of a brightness 'drop out' and the flicker lasts only milliseconds, but it long enough to be annoying.

Other issues with the RGB LED screen I have experienced, are as follows

  • The brightness level seems to be 'forgotten' after a Sleep or Hibernate. Instead, the brightness is returned to full on resume. This also occurs after a cold boot on battery.
  • The display appears to 'flicker' when on low brightness, and occasionally fade to a blue tinge (based on viewing a white background) then back to the normal colour. Interestingly considering the issue below, its almost as if only the Red LED's decrease in brightness last for example, and the Blue LED's have the tendency to become randomly brighter.
  • The colours of the screen (when adjusting brightness) seem to transition down to 'red' then fade back to blue. This is not so much an problem/issue, however just looks a bit strange.

 

The brightness level on battery is particularly irritating, as I loose battery power whenever resuming from sleep. This is also when using Windows 7; so I can't determine whether it software or hardware. Based on not being able to adjust the brightness through the power settings, I would guess it is hardware controlled, maybe a BIOS issue.

-- Jake

-- Jake

Shadow Productions
http://www.shadowsplace.net

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VoodooDaddy
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Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

Did you ever get a fix to this?  I just received a Studio XPS 16 with the RGBLED, ATI 4670, and I'm having the same issue - very brief moments of brightness flickering at any setting other than full brightness. 

I actually called support for a replacement and it does the same thing... Frustrating.

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FDRXPS
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Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

VoodooDaddy, did you receive a replacement and the display kept doing the same thing? I am asking because mine has the same problem (received it 2 days ago) and I am thinking about returning the computer and wait until they have a more stable technology on RGD displays (or a better quality control).

It will be painful to return this baby because the colors are just awesome.

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VoodooDaddy
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Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

FDRXPS -

That's correct - The replacement had the EXACT same symptoms, and the diagnostics showed the exact same problem.  If you hit F12 and go to diagnostics when the boot screen first comes up, wait for the color bars, and answer n(o) to the color bars questions, you're supposed to see flashing colors and hear beeps (according to the Dell Support People on the phone).  I see nothing but black screens on both of my laptops (original and replacement).  I'm sort of wondering if the RGBLED (being a new screen type) just has a different reaction to the test. (When you say 'n' to the color bars, after the beeping is done, I bet you'll get a 2000-0334 error).  If anyone out there has a Studio XPS 16 without the flickering problems, please run the diagnostics as I described and let us know if you see colors AFTER you hit "n" from the color bars test!

Here's something else curious - when the diagnostics are running, you can increase/decrease the brightness using the FN+Up/Down, and maybe it's just me, but I don't see ANY flicker at all while the diagnostics are running - it's almost like the flicker only happens in "graphics mode" for the screen, not "text mode".  Odd.  Another thing I'm wondering is if the BIOS brightness levels (there are BIOS settings for battery/AC power brightness) are somehow interfering with the video card's settings, i.e., competing for settings.  So strange.  I've thought about dumping Vista and installing XP or Win 7 RC, or Linux to see if the flicker goes away - at least that should tell me if it's a software/driver issue, but I have a feeling it's not.

Anyway, I am awaiting a call from a Dell Tech to schedule a house visit for repair/replacement of parts.  I'm not too thrilled about someone tearing apart my new laptop, but the warranty remains intact, so if it fixes the issue, I guess there's not much to complain about... I'll keep this post updated with my findings... If this doesn't fix things, I may just downgrade to the plain old WLCD, which means bye bye blu-ray burner too.  <sigh>

Fingers crossed...

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VoodooDaddy
1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

Update -

Parts were backordered, so the tech has been delayed - I'm supposed to get an update on the status of the parts/tech service sometime today (9.28.09). 

-Voodoo

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vajnorcan
1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

sorry guys for the late reply...well, back at that time I've called support and the guy has completely changed the screen and motherboard (!) and power supply cable but it didn't help. After that I've returned the laptop.... was great built, but this specific problem was just too much for me. good luck!

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FDRXPS
1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

Hello guys, after 2 hours with the person from tech support installing and reinstalling drivers (24 reboots to be exact) they said it was a defective part and it had to be replaced. The day after that I thought there is no sense on repairing something it is brand new, so I called Dell and I am returning the laptop (now that I read your post vajnorcan I am conviced that it was a wise decision). I will probably try to get a WLED or wait until they have a non-defective RGB display.

Thank you!

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vajnorcan
1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

now that's what I call patience!! 24x reboot? hats off 🙂

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VoodooDaddy
1 Copper

Re: XPS 16 screen flickering on low brightness

Update -

The Dell tech came to my house and spent an hour tearing apart my (brand new) laptop to replace the screen, only to find that the screen he brought is an RGBLED with a RED cover, not a black one like I ordered.  I figured, what the hell, if it works, I'll live with the color.  So he gets it bolted on, and hooked up - SAME ISSUE.  The diagnostics are exhibiting the same problems as well.  Only after testing (and after the tech left) did I notice the huge gash in the red leather on the back of the screen.  NICE. 

Dell, are you listening?! 

Obviously there's something wrong with the RGBLED or some other component that causes the brightness wobble/flicker.  Time to send it back.

I like the notebook, so I'm probably going to go with the lower-end screen and dump the BD-RW.  what's the point of a BluRay playing on a screen that can't even display Full HD?  So sad. 

For anyone reading this that hasn't bought the Studio XPS 16, or is having the same problems - don't bother with field replacement - send it back.  The original had issues, the full replacement had issues, and the field-serviced unit continues with the same issues.  Obviously there is a problem with this display.  Time to try out the WLED, I guess.  😞

-Voodoo

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