View Full Version : Has anyone NOT had flickering and/or pixelation on the G501JW?

06-24-2015, 02:57 PM
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 (https://www.youtube.com/embed/2XtSU0Arq4Q) 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.

06-24-2015, 03:33 PM
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.

06-24-2015, 06:10 PM
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.



06-24-2015, 07:39 PM
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.

06-24-2015, 11:13 PM
Ive had those settings off since I got the laptop and it still does it.

06-26-2015, 09:13 AM
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. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834232427&cm_re=asus_g501-_-34-232-427-_-Product

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.

06-26-2015, 09:31 AM
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.

06-29-2015, 05:43 AM
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.

06-29-2015, 07:40 PM
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.

06-29-2015, 11:58 PM
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.

07-02-2015, 06:07 PM
I still have this issue AFTER RMA'ing the laptop for it. Asus, this really needs to be addressed.

07-05-2015, 09:17 AM
Mine doesn't seem to have this problem

07-08-2015, 10:09 PM
I only seem to have this problem for a few seconds after taking the laptop off the charger, and then the issue goes away. I don't get flickering when the laptop is plugged in. I'm thinking it's an issue with the Intel graphics driver bugging out when switching to a battery profile.

Also, I should mention that this issue exists on both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 TP (build 10162).

07-09-2015, 01:39 AM
I still have this issue AFTER RMA'ing the laptop for it. Asus, this really needs to be addressed.

Hi Nihilat,

Kash mentioned he is having this issue with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, which OS are you using?


07-10-2015, 08:41 PM
dlinfiniti and KashEsq and anyone else who hasn't had serious problems: how long have you had your G501? Do you use it a lot? Do you regularly close the lid, or put it to sleep in some other way, when you're not using it? The problem seems to be infrequent, and for many of us it only happens after waking the computer up from sleep mode. So I wonder if some people may simply have not seen it yet, even if the problem exists on their computer.

I also sometimes saw a bit of flicker for a few seconds after plugging/unplugging the charger, or after adjusting the screen brightness. I think this was just a side effect of changing the backlight level, and it wasn't something I would complain about. It was nothing compared to the serious problems I described before.

07-15-2015, 11:56 PM
I got heavy flickering and black lines when gaming.
Im wondering if its power related. I'm on 220V power. how about you guys?

07-16-2015, 12:12 AM
In fact, unplugging the mains totally removes any flickering or black lines

07-17-2015, 03:31 AM
I got my G501JW-DS71 yesterday. I set it up and brought it to the office. While it was plugged in, I left the room for a bit and the screen went to sleep as expected. When I turned it on, it was flickering very badly. It is extremely noticeable on neutral gray content (for example developer.apple.com => Member Center login or any graying overlay on a website during ads, etc). After some time, the issue seems to fade. I tried various things to fix it, updated all the video drivers, toggle the screen on and off. Nothing seemed to be absolutely correlated. I never saw the issue start when I was operating on battery but if I unplugged from AC it did not resolved the problem.

Today, I continued setting things up on the machine. I installed Portal 2 and tried it out on battery and plugged into the wall. I didn't experience any pixelation or lines like other have reported, but I did get several instances where the screen was painfully flickering after letting the screen go to sleep.

I found this interesting link: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=159817 where people were discussing how to change the PWM modulation of the display programmatically which I think is essentially what the flickering is. Unfortunately, Intel has since updated their drivers so the bit of source code here can not work.

So I continued setting things up... I installed HyperV and the Visual Studio Android Emulators for my development work. After HyperV was enabled, somehow the screen looked different. Richer color and smooth brightness fading when unplugging and replugging in the AC cord. I left the machine alone to suspend the screen a few times and the flickering didn't happen.

I think I'll have to see how it goes for a few more days, but it looks like somehow HyperV interacts with the video drivers to fix the problem... Unfortunately it might be hard for others to try this, as I had to buy the Windows Pro Pack for 99 just to be able to use HyperV. I saw the OP said sometimes it doesn't happen for days, hope the change isn't a fluke...

07-17-2015, 07:27 PM
Darn! Spoke too soon. This morning I let it start sit for 20 minutes or so charging with the screen switching off. When I unlocked, the horrible flickering was back. :( Tried to start a HyperV VM, didn't change anything, so my theory is bunk.

What can we do to eliminate this horrible flickering?

07-18-2015, 06:40 AM
Anyone tried linux yet?

07-19-2015, 04:27 AM
I tried to make an Ubuntu 15.04 Live USB, but it seems to boot to solid black. I assume that Ubuntu just doesn't have all the necessary drivers. I was curious to mess with the PWM settings. But since I don't actually plan on using Linux, I don't think I will debug that.

Went ahead and forced the install of the latest Intel drivers. 5/22/2015 driver date.

I guess the old ones could have crappy power management code that bugs things out...

07-19-2015, 07:46 AM
Hm. I Plan to dual boot to linux for work.
This is all just too many problems.
I'm still inside my refund window, so I'm bailing out.

07-19-2015, 08:06 AM
Sadness. :(. I like pretty much everything about the machine but the screens painful flicker when waking up from shallow sleep. It's really painful when it happens.

I don't think I have it as bad as you with the graphical glitches gaming. I don't see any of those at all on power or otherwise.

I'm gonna keep the experiment running a few more days and see if it's just that everyone else is taking latest non ASUS drivers and the problem is fixed there.

07-19-2015, 04:29 PM
I'll try to post a video of the flickering for reference before i return it.
It's a real shame, this notebook looked line the perfect notebook on paper.

07-19-2015, 11:42 PM
FYI, I managed to get debian-live to boot. Their image doesn't support UEFI boot, so I had to turn off Secure Boot and turn on CSM. Many tries with the Ubuntu LiveUSB failed, potentially because it doesn't really work with UEFI boot.

No repro of the flicker on resume from soft power so far this weekend using the AC at home. 50% time on newest ASUS Intel Driver. 50% on newest one direct from Intel.

I had tried to record the flickering I did see before with 240fps mode on iPhone 6, but it wasn't showing up in video (moire effects / sampling etc). Hope you can capture yours.

07-20-2015, 03:22 PM
It's a shame that there aren't any official responses from Asus regarding this problem. I've contacted their support and "they're looking into it" after that I haven't heard from them. A lousy machine and ever worse support. At least I haven't written my review yet for the vendor.

07-21-2015, 06:53 PM
Here's a video demonstrating the flickering while running borderlands 2


07-22-2015, 03:55 AM
Watching to see if anyone has figured out a solution. Probably going to return this laptop soon because of this issue. It's pretty bad.

07-23-2015, 12:31 AM
Okay, so I don't have those kind of graphical glitches (dead lines or total black frames). I am curious if you see those on an external monitor. If it does, it would indicate that its something wrong with the panel, otherwise there is a GPU or panel connection problem.

I finally got a reproduction of the painful flickering of the backlight.

The steps are
1. Run the laptop on battery for awhile (Just let it go down to 45%)
2. Plugin the laptop
3. Let the screen go to sleep
4. Wake the computer back up.

At this point the backlight is pulsating. :(

So it seems that something is messed up in the power system when the laptop is charging..

07-26-2015, 07:48 AM
I have only been using mine for a day, and only played one game (Guild Wars 2), but i have no flickering.
I think it looked awful and pixelated in Windows in some programs and popup dialogues, kind of when you have no videodrivers installed and it drove me mad! But after some googling i found out that its some sh*t with Windows 8 and DPI scaling, so i changed the DPI scaling in Control Panel and display settings to "small" instead of "medium" and relogged, and that fixed the problem!

07-28-2015, 06:16 PM
never had any of this problem on G501J , expect windows 8 bug , that 100% hdd. hell .
i hope windows 10 update will fix it , its getting annoying just selecting song track on itunes and freeze like hell with high ms.

07-28-2015, 06:37 PM
So i have had mine since last Friday, and got some flickering issues on the first day. Did some tweaking and uninstalled, and then reinstalled, both the drivers. This fixed it only temporarily, but the issue returned after maybe a day.
A friend suggested that it could be the system switching between integrated and discrete graphics drivers that is causing the flickering. I uninstalled the Intel HD graphics driver and did NOT reinstall it. I am now running on discrete only. I did that on Saturday night and have NOT had any screen flickering issues. Granted it has only been a few days and I know that other people say they "fixed" their flickering issues, only to have it return as long as a week later. I am hopeful that this is a "fix", as it does not seem like Asus is taking this very seriously. I will update if it returns.
The only problem with running discrete graphics only is that my battery life estimates are shot by between 1 to 2 hours... which is pretty significant. Before I uninstalled the intel driver it was estimating around 6 hours on batter.. now I have only ever gotten about 4 hours estimation. This is a pretty big drop, in my opinion, and I think may warrant using the 30 day return window as that is kind of robbery if you ask me. If you guys know of a way to increase battery life (on power saver mode) without Intel drivers installed do let me know. Perhaps there are settings that are not being adjusted to increase battery that I have not looked into.

07-31-2015, 05:06 PM
FWIW, I only see backlight intensity flickering issues, not black lines or missing frames like spindrift. I updated all my video drivers to the ones direct from GPU manufacturer (Intel, NVIDIA). The issue was still occurring occasionally after allowing the laptop to turn off the screen while actively charging. I modified the power settings to never put the screen to sleep while charging and turned on a screen saver. I haven't seen it happen with a painful level of flickering since, it was typically happening when leaving the office for lunch etc. I did once see some minor flickering operating on battery only. It seems to me to be a power electronics issue in the displays lamp controller that can be encouraged by software actions. Now on windows 10... We'll see how another week goes.

08-01-2015, 08:48 AM
Never had this problem but ASUS released a new bios: https://www.asus.com/support/Download/3/768/0/1/uv3gzPnU54cTZC6Y/45/

"Fixed eDP Panel Power Sequence not correct after S3 resume, Panel will abnormal after wake up0 from panel-off."

08-02-2015, 04:33 PM
Can anyone verify if that ^ latest update fixed the flickering issue?

08-03-2015, 06:19 AM
better u try tu update it rather than wait for any ppl to update.

i just updated it and nothing happens just usual , my G501 is normal so far and im using windows 10.

08-04-2015, 06:08 AM
Change log sounds extremely promising. The issue would be tied to sleep states from my observations. I will give it a go.

08-08-2015, 08:58 PM
Reset all of the power settings to normal. Haven't seen any flickering after sleep since the BIOS update. AWESOME!

08-19-2015, 11:10 PM
Tried all the bioses and all graphic setting one by one, didn't help. Save your nerves and propably money and go with a different laptop and/or a brand.

08-24-2015, 10:49 AM
Is this on the 4K model for everyone or does the Full HD also have this flickering?
Been using the full HD for a week on external monitor and everythings working great! I actually haven't played anything on the laptop screen yet. I might try today.

08-24-2015, 05:04 PM
Both of them have the same problem , but 4k display got more of this rather than full hd one.

09-07-2015, 10:41 PM
I don't have this problem with mine. However, I theorize that this is somewhat connected to the power supply and board. Flickering occurs if the monitor gets less power than its suppose to have. It could be the charging protocol of the board. Best try updating drivers both on windows and asus.