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Last reply by 12-29-2021 Solved
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15107

XPS 15 9500, color banding

Is anybody else struggling with a new XPS 15 9500 and the quality of the display drivers?

I picked one up for work and noticed instantly that the display had real problems with darker color gradients. At first I assumed that OS was running at a low bit depth but after checking several times, it was not the issue as the OS was running at 32-bit color depth.

This is a problem for me as I editing photos on this laptop from time to time and need the color reproduction to be accurate.

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10473

You'll find plenty of other similar reports here, for the previous XPS generation too, because the source of this specific banding problem is the Dell Premier Color app. It can only be corrected by disabling it, and  clicking Intel Graphics Command Center > Display > Color > Restore to Original Colors. This will leave you with the native wide gamut for Windows desktop and non-color managed apps though - i.e. everything will be oversaturated. But you can at least have proper color accuracy and smooth gradients without banding in color-managed apps with a proper ICC profile.

Dell Support will almost certainly point you to this knowledge base article that attempts to blame the Intel graphics hardware =

Color Banding with Dell Premier Color Application with Intel integrated Graphics

However, I contacted Intel Support about this directly, and after much back and forth their conclusion was: "The issue is actually not a limitation on the Intel Graphics hardware and driver but rather the ability of the Dell Premier Color to work together with our Intel Graphics driver." (email)

That seems pretty definitive. Since Premier Color has been broken like this for over a year, we would hope that two big companies like Dell and Intel could put their heads together and sort this out. Dell Premier Color is advertised on the Windows Store as "a software utility that gives you the color quality and the fine level of detail you require for your color critical work, such as CAD/CAM, graphic, game or animation design, video editing or media creation, on Dell laptops and Precision Desktops." Perhaps Dell will take their own words seriously at some point.

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10474

You'll find plenty of other similar reports here, for the previous XPS generation too, because the source of this specific banding problem is the Dell Premier Color app. It can only be corrected by disabling it, and  clicking Intel Graphics Command Center > Display > Color > Restore to Original Colors. This will leave you with the native wide gamut for Windows desktop and non-color managed apps though - i.e. everything will be oversaturated. But you can at least have proper color accuracy and smooth gradients without banding in color-managed apps with a proper ICC profile.

Dell Support will almost certainly point you to this knowledge base article that attempts to blame the Intel graphics hardware =

Color Banding with Dell Premier Color Application with Intel integrated Graphics

However, I contacted Intel Support about this directly, and after much back and forth their conclusion was: "The issue is actually not a limitation on the Intel Graphics hardware and driver but rather the ability of the Dell Premier Color to work together with our Intel Graphics driver." (email)

That seems pretty definitive. Since Premier Color has been broken like this for over a year, we would hope that two big companies like Dell and Intel could put their heads together and sort this out. Dell Premier Color is advertised on the Windows Store as "a software utility that gives you the color quality and the fine level of detail you require for your color critical work, such as CAD/CAM, graphic, game or animation design, video editing or media creation, on Dell laptops and Precision Desktops." Perhaps Dell will take their own words seriously at some point.

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5004

Thanks for that @topg 

I spent some time reading other posts about this problem and it does seem to be related to PremierColor so it looks like i'll have to remove it and get my colorimeter out to create a decent ICC profile for this laptop.

Feels like a bit of a mis-sell to be honest. All adverts for this laptop suggest it's great for photo and video editing but out of the box it's unusable for those types of work.

4689

Yes, it was a big surprise to me too that Dell PremierColor was blatantly and self-evidently not fit for its advertised purpose, and that this wasn't apparent until I actually booted it.  And since there's no alternative for gamut-switching on Windows, it undermines the basic functionality of Dell's wide-gamut display models. Not a problem on Macbooks, of course, because the whole OS is color-managed unlike Windows ...

I wish I'd done more research, but even then the info isn't very transparent and it seemed not believable that Dell wouldn't fix this as a super high priority, or change their advertsiing to reflect the limitations. Evidently there just aren't enough users complaining about it for Dell to care, and Intel doesn't care enough to stop Dell spreading misinformation about its graphics hardware.

For now, I switch between using PremierColor when doing office work or using non-color-managed apps, and then go through the rigmarole of disabling & resetting when working in LR or PS. It's a PITA.

10380

I've followed the same process, uninstalled Dell PremierColor app and Restore to Original Colors in Intel Graphics Command Center but issue is still there.

10374

Since Restore to Original Colors is working in 100% of cases so far, you'll need to tell us more about how the issue is manfesting for you, link us to whatever you're using to test it, etc.

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4594

So I've uninstalled Dell Premier Colour app and used the Intel Command Centre tool to reset colours back to defaults and the banding is less pronounced but still a huge issue.

 

Dark colours are crushed everywhere resulting in, what looks like, a 16 bit colour depth from the late 90s PC era.

 

I got the colorimeter out and calibrated the display so that the colours are correct but gradients are a mess making the laptop unusable.

10294

Hi,

I'm here to let you know that we are still awaiting update from our internal team. Rest assured I will get back to you once we hear from our team. Thank you for your patience.


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If still under warranty, click the "Get help now" icon on the right to start a live chat session. To send us a private message, click our DELL-Cares username. Our Forum profile page will then appear. On the right, click "Send this user a private message".

10263

Hi,

It is taking longer than we expected, and I apologize for the trouble. Rest assured, we are keeping constant tabs on the service to ensure there are no unnecessary delays. We’ll also keep you posted regularly with the updates. Thank you for your patience.


#IWork4Dell
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If still under warranty, click the "Get help now" icon on the right to start a live chat session. To send us a private message, click our DELL-Cares username. Our Forum profile page will then appear. On the right, click "Send this user a private message".

4268

I'm not sure if you have a different and more serious hardware issue, as those steps fixed the root problem for me and others. While calibration will always cause some minor color banding in fine gradients (an inevitable consequence of the mere 8-bit video Lookup Table on the inbuilt graphics chips vs 10-bit on monitors that can be hardware calibrated) it shouldn't be as severe as you're describing once PremierColor has been disabled and native gamut & video LUT reset via IGCC. Also with all Intel power saving options disabled, and HDR disabled.

For what it's worth, I calibrated with iDisplay Pro and DisplayCAL, and found that the best balance between color accuracy (Delta E < 0.5) and smoother gradients that reached deeper into blacks was the option: Single Curves + Matrix with black compensation, either sRGB or Gamma 2.2 tone curve, 6500K, calibrated at 120cdm. The resulting display profile is very accurate across the board according to DisplayCAL's verification measurement report (which I trust).

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