Question Can Intel integrated graphics die? Cpu works fine

Ivh

Feb 7, 2021
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Hi all,

The last couple days have been a roller-coaster. After a windows and graphics driver update, my 2016 dell xps 9350 display stopped working.

Some specs:
i7-6560U
Windows 20H2 (19042.746)
Intel iris 540
Latest bios

While I suspected a simple driver issue, I soon realized NO driver at all was functioning. Official Dell? Nope. Latest DCH Intel drivers? Black screen during installation.

The display only works with the basic Microsoft drivers (or in safe mode). Unfortunately that's not an option for the work I do with it.

After several days, and eventually with the help of Dell and Intel forums I gave up: I wiped my hard drive and started with a fresh copy of windows 10. Guess what? I got a black screen as soon as windows installed the graphics drivers.


Recap of issues:
  • Screen is black
  • Backlight is on
  • Brightness slider affects the backlight (when Intel drivers installed)
  • Screen works fine with intel graphics uninstalled or disabled. (Microsoft basic display drivers)
  • The i7 passes Intels processor diagnostic tools test with flying colors.
I'm starting to think the hardware is faulty, but Intel Iris graphics are integrated in the CPU right?

What's your verdict? I don't really have money for a new motherboard, but I know my way around a soldering station.
 
After several days, and eventually with the help of Dell and Intel forums I gave up: I wiped my hard drive and started with a fresh copy of windows 10. Guess what? I got a black screen as soon as windows installed the graphics drivers.
If your license requires you to lock into MS to get into windows (username is blahblah@outlook.com or similar) you might have cloud sync enabled which copies your settings from and to the cloud, so your clean windows might not be as clean as you might think.

I can't imagine anything that would destroy a iGPU but would not destroy the whole CPU. Yes the iGPU is part of the CPU and inside it.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
I can't imagine anything that would destroy a iGPU but would not destroy the whole CPU. Yes the iGPU is part of the CPU and inside it.
While silicon failures over time may be rare under normal operating conditions, they do occur. It is also quite possible that the silicon itself is still fine but power going into it isn't stable enough for hardware acceleration to work properly.
 

Ivh

Feb 7, 2021
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I luckily (or not) didn't sign in during and after the setup.

I can't imagine anything that would destroy a iGPU but would not destroy the whole CPU. Yes the iGPU is part of the CPU and inside it.
This makes the issue even more vague. If it were a driver issue, more people should be experiencing this, right?
 

Ivh

Feb 7, 2021
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While silicon failures over time may be rare under normal operating conditions, they do occur. It is also quite possible that the silicon itself is still fine but power going into it isn't stable enough for hardware acceleration to work properly.
Interesting!
But the whole idea of the Microsoft basic display adapter is to use hardware to control the display right (hardware acceleration)?
Or do I see this wrongly? (Display works fine with these drivers).
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
But the whole idea of the Microsoft basic display adapter is to use hardware to control the display right (hardware acceleration)?
No, the basic VGA driver implements the bare minimum necessary to display the desktop - it is a dumb frame buffer driver that allows the OS to read/write the VGA frame buffer and then set which chunk of VGA memory gets sent to each video output. Anything beyond that is done entirely in software.
 

Ivh

Feb 7, 2021
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No, the basic VGA driver implements the bare minimum necessary to display the desktop - it is a dumb frame buffer driver that allows the OS to read/write the VGA frame buffer and then set which chunk of VGA memory gets sent to each video output. Anything beyond that is done entirely in software.
Super interesting, that probably explains why this laptop is so painfully slow when running the basic drivers.

This morning, 2 days after I reinstalled windows 10, and after 2 days of black screen, the display turned on like nothing was ever wrong.

Probably still a hardware issue, I have a new battery on order anyway, who knows?
 

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