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Has anyone NOT had flickering and/or pixelation on the G501JW?

Level 7
I'm wondering how common these problems are. I would still have time to exchange mine for a replacement from the seller, if I believed that only certain units were affected.

Also wondering if anyone has found a RELIABLE way to reproduce the problem, when it exists.

I suspect it's a hardware problem. A lot of people seem to think it can be solved by installing the right drivers, but since the problem is so intermittent, it's possible that they have just not happened to see the problem since they changed the drivers.

I also don't know of a good explanation for how drivers could cause the problems I'm seeing. Especially the flicker. And why, if it's a software problem, does it gradually go away as the machine warms up?

Here are the symptoms I see. Occasionally, after waking up from sleep (not sure if it has to be the "deep sleep" mode that it uses when not plugged in to AC), I see one or both of these problems:

  • The screen flickers like a fast strobe light. It's a bit like a fluorescent light, but it's a stronger effect than you get with a good, modern fluorescent bulb. It's NOT like a really bad fluorescent light that goes dark for half a second at a time; it's a constant, very fast flicker. Sometimes it's really bad, and sometimes it's subtle.
  • Colors other than black or white take on a very fine, grid-like pattern, which some people have described as "pixelated". The first thing I thought of was that the GPU was dithering half-tones, like it would in a 256-color mode to show colors that weren't in its gamut. These colors also come out too light; some people have described them as "washed out".

Sometimes I get one problem, sometimes the other, and sometimes both.

Both of these problems fade out gradually after waking the computer up. It can take up to an hour for the flicker to go away. When the flicker is very strong, it's almost physically painful to look at the screen.

Here is a video of what it looks like when both problems occur simultaneously. This is a timelapse video, compressing 1 hour and 13 minutes down to 1 minute and 13 seconds. The camera was aimed at a solid gray part of the screen.

The waves that you see traveling up the screen are a result of the rolling shutter on my camera; that's not really what it looks like in real life. But without the strobe effect on the screen, you wouldn't see the waves. You can see that they have basically stopped by the end.

The grid effect is clearly visible if you watch in 1080P. This effect fades out relatively rapidly. The gray stays too light for a while; by the end, when it was at its correct brightness level, it's darker.

I haven't seen the pixelation in a couple days now (since I did a "refresh Windows" and reinstalled the drivers again), and the strobe effect, when I've seen it, was pretty subtle (could have just been the backlight still warming up). But I also went several days with no problems last week, and then it happened again. This is why I'm not convinced that changing drivers actually fixes the problem.

I'm really frustrated by the amount of time I've spent trying to fix this. Due to lost productivity, I arguably would have saved money by buying a high-end Macbook Pro or Dell XPS for $800 more.

Level 7
Just bumping this topic to bring attention to it. I just re-installed drivers yesterday, and later that day the same screen defects popped up and had to reinstall for the fourth time. This has frustrated me as well since now everytime I open my computer to do some work I'm troubleshooting some odd issue that shouldn't happen. You described what happens accurately. The screen appears to have gridlines or be pixelated. Then after a driver re-install it improves the picture quality but it takes about 30 mins for the screen to go back to normal.
Since this is my only computer in reach and I just got it for schooling this has been a big problem.

US Customer Loyalty Agent
aldel wrote:

Also wondering if anyone has found a RELIABLE way to reproduce the problem, when it exists.

Thanks for the feedback aldel and yes, would be very interested if somebody had found a way to make the problem show up on demand.

Anyway, we're still investigating this issue, but was wondering if those customers affected by this issue can try disabling the Intel Display Power Saving on battery power as below to see if it makes any difference?
If the problems also occur on AC power, be sure to check the 'plugged in' setting as well, but maybe disable the battery settings anyway.

The screenshot is from the GL551JM instead of the G501JW, so may look different for your unit, but will hopefully help you find the settings we're interested in.



Thanks, cl-Albert. I just had a full pixelation / flickering experience now, after a couple days of no pixelation and only mild flicker, so I tried changing the power settings as shown. No effect. I tried power cycling after changing those settings, and still no effect.

Level 7
Ive had those settings off since I got the laptop and it still does it.

Yes I have the problem too. I just RMAed it. Very upset and disappointed. We are not alone, several people have the same problem. See newegg reviews.

If I get the laptop back with my hard drive wiped and the same problem persisting I will be absolutely livid. I will not be letting this go and I will make it my mission to make sure everyone knows how messed up ASUS is for releasing a lemon product.

I have been a loyal ASUS customer for years. This time they really screwed me over because I bought the item at $1999. Two weeks later they lowered the price to $1699, completely screwing early adopters like me. Now they are offering free backpacks and all kinds of goodies. So upset that I have a defective laptop that I overpaid for with no extras whatsoever. And now I am sitting at home with no ETA for return of my computer, which may never be fixed if it is truly a hardware engineering problem. An absolute nightmare. Also, I should add that at first ASUS tried to get ME to pay for the return shipping despite the warranty stating that two-way RMA shipping is complimentary. I was expected to print out a label and pay for it at the post office. It was ONLY when I contacted customer support did they acknowledge the shipping guarantee set me up with a prepaid label. I should not have to whine and beg for my rights as a consumer. So much for honest dealings. They will stop at nothing to reduce their costs.

Level 7
by the way aldel, kudos to you as you have described the problem perfectly. very clear explanation and description. For what it's worth, my flickering is usually present when the monitor is awakened after 30 minutes of sleep or inactivity (i have the monitor set to turn off after 5 min or so of inactivity). the laptop is plugged in all the time.

Reinstalling and updating drivers is a waste of time. Did it several times.

Level 7
Any update on this issue? I am bringing my laptop to singapore Asus service center. Hopefully they can test this issue. Sometimes it just hit and miss.. 😞 I wish there is a way to replicate this problem.

Level 7
hello guys im new here, i also experinced the same issues as you guys.while i didn't pay 2000 for this laptop. i think there should be a higher level of quality at such a price. so far it has delivered i use it for school and light games. today the washed out screen appeared and of course no way to get a refund after 30 days lol. ive actually had mine since 05/21 and ive only noticed the flickering since ive had it. the washed out colors came once i updated the nvidia driver for the batman. which i should have left alone, but anyways just uninstalling the intel driver and gforce experince fixed my issue so far. ill keep you guys posted. i believe there's a bug or sometime of conflict with the hardware. hopefully this is just a driver issue. i rolled back to driver 350.12 for now.

I have strong doubts that drivers can fix it. I think it's just random. But we really don't have enough data to tell. I'd be interested to hear if anyone had these problems frequently before changing drivers and not at all afterwards (or vice versa).

I just sent mine back to the seller (Newegg) for a refund. It was still within the 30 day refund period, so I decided to return it while I could. They might charge a restocking fee, but after talking to an excellent service representative there, I think there's a good chance that they won't.

If progress is made on this issue, I might buy the same model again. Or, more likely, a successor model, if they come out with something similar but with a Broadwell processor within a month or so.