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Last reply by 01-24-2021 Unsolved
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XPS 9380 FHD 13: JPEG-like artifacts on LCD

 

I have just bought the XPS 13 9380 with FHD screen, and I am experiences some LCD glitches. I am wondering if it's a general issue with this model or that my laptop is broken. It concerns JPEG-like artifacts, especially visible around black font on a grey or white background. See example below. The effect is quite subtle and I didn't notice it at first. But now I know it I see it all the time and it bother me a lot. On the right you see a zoomed screen capture, so this is how it should look also when small. On the left you see a picture I made with my phone. You see that there are blocks which are a bit lighter/are blue, for example: the bottom part of the first "g"  and "o" is a bit white, around the tips of the first "v" there are blue areas which shouldn't be there etc. When I use Windows Magnifier to zoom in, the effect disappears, therefore it seems to be a hardware issue. I would be really glad if other users with the same screen could confirm whether this is only my problem or a general problem. The snapshot in original (small) size can be downloaded here. You have to open it in Paint to see the unscaled, small size image, (it's not visible in the standard Photos app! You really have to click "open with" and choose Paint). In my case the effects as seen on the left photo then appear.

I am also probably going to contact consumer support but I guess that will be quite hard not having the person sitting next to me, therefore I'd like to check if other users have similar issues.

photo of LCD screen using phone cameraphoto of LCD screen using phone camera
software screen capture using snip&sketchsoftware screen capture using snip&sketch

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SOLVED!!! By a suggestion from the guy on the Intel forum.

The trick is to disable "Panel Self Refresh" in the Power settings of the Intel Graphics Control Panel. I had tried that, but it turns out it only takes effect after rebooting (which it doesn't say).

The hours I spent on this... Whoever thought that enabling 'panel self refresh' was a good idea? I guess this can be added to the list "thing you should immediately disable after buying an XPS", along with the incredible Adaptive Brightness Control (ABC) in the BIOS.

Alan, thanks for your time. Both issues are now solved: the lines in the color bars are just a weird software glitch in  SupportAssist, and the artifacts disappear when disabling 'Panel Self Refresh'. However, I think a lot of time and frustration for other users can be saved if this is somehow let known to them, or if 'Panel Self Refresh' is disabled by default for the next driver update. (I am still curious what the possible advantages of panel self refresh are.)

Best,
Gijs

I did a bit of googling, and found out what the function of 'Panel Self Refresh' is. It is a power-saving feature, which uses a kind of extra cache memory for the case where there are static elements on the screen, then the data is sent from the cache memory instead of the main graphics memory (if I understand correctly) which saves power. Apparently this does not work well on our laptops. So we are now sacrificing battery life to circumvent this issue. The question remains:

Does this occur only on our (mine, and the user on the Intel forum LG000) laptops (if exchanged under warranty, does the problem disappear?) or on all XPS 9380 FHD 13's? Maybe also on the 15-inch version? Maybe on ALL laptops using Intel UHD 620 graphics? Maybe on ALL laptops using any Intel graphics with Panel Self Refresh?

I would like to know if the problem occurs on other laptops of the same type. If not, I might want to use my warranty to get a new one.

Best,
Gijs

(deleted and reposted at the bottom of the thread)


@Cheiz wrote:
Regarding the vertical lines in the color bars... I have found out this lines are actually there in the PNG file I got from the screen capture. So it just seems the test pattern has these vertical lines in them, maybe SupportAssist uses a compressed image. So this issue can be ignored, and should definitely not be a reason to swap my LCD screen!

You might wonder why I didn't see the vertical lines on the external TV. Turns out they are actually there, just very faintly.

From the Intel forum: “We are glad to know that you were able to fix this issue. Since OEMs usually customize their drivers to ensure system functionality and, in this case, adjust their power options to system design, we recommend reporting this issue to your computer manufacturer. In this way, they may contact Intel if they found out a problem that has to be investigated further.”

Hi Gijs, 

I'm glad to hear you got the issue resolved by disabling the panel self refresh. I'm surprised that feature is now showing up as it was previously removed via a combination of a BIOS update and an update to the graphics driver as it was causing issues with screen blanking and flickering.

I believe this was connected to any system running the Intel HD620 graphics driver. I'll pass this information back to engineering.

Alan

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Sigh... the problem is unfortunately coming back often now. Don't know why, maybe after some update. Seems like Panel Self Refresh auto-enables some times, even if it is disabled in the Intel Graphics Control Panel. The problem goes away when I open the graphics control panel, go to power settings, even though panel self refresh is already "disabled", i click "enable" and immediately "disable" again, then I click "apply", then reboot...

Would be terrific if panel self refresh could just be get rid of forever

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