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    Intel DPST / Active contrast issue



      Intel Active Contrast (DPST) driving me nuts.

      Hopefully anyone running across my issue is already semi familiar with the term. DPST (Display Power Saving Technology) or called Active Contrast by some is a power saving technology Intel has been implementing / continuing to improve since before 2007 in laptop displays to save power. (http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~mobile/elec518/readings/display/intel07.pdf , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Display_Power_Saving_Technology)

      My brand spankin’ new Dell Inspiron 7370 laptop that I just purchased in January has had this annoying problem since day 1. Due to a bad charge controller on the motherboard, I ended up getting a 2nd 7370, so I’ve also now had two machines, that both did / do the exact same thing.

      If you’re still not familiar with what DPST does, it’s a little hard to explain. The best I can do to summarize, is that its “color sensitive brightness control” based on screen content. So, if you’ve got more dark colors of your window / desktop whatever you’re looking at, the display dims. If you’ve got lighter colors, it brightens. It’s actually sort of the opposite of what you’d think, because it ends up blinding the user when you get a nice white page like google search landing page, and the whole screen lights up; to squinting when you hit bing’s search page, which almost always has a really good looking photo of some trees or water, both of which are darker, causing the entire screen to dim, and text to get really hard to see until your eyes adjust.

      And yes, I’ve worked with Dell for over a month, we’ve tried every single thing through Windows you can to turn off any power saving, auto-dimming or auto brightness, or adaptive brightness, etc that there is at least three times. Dell says they’ve escalated it to their engineering (read, development) department, but I’m not convinced they know what is going on, either. I also made a video of my duplicating the problem (Dell tech support India called it “strobe lights / club on a computer”) which you can watch here:


      I specifically focus on the clock/address in the tray / notification area because to me, I cannot see any reason why that should change based on what is happening with regards to screen colors. You’ll see me fairly rapidly alt-tabbing between a light full-screen window, and a dark one. Notice how long it takes my iphone to adjust to the light difference!

      I’m not the first to have this problem, its gone on for ages. Different laptops, different people. They’ve all eventually done one of two things. A) Done something to get the option to show up in the intel graphics control panel to “turn off adaptive” or “full performance” instead of “balanced” for display, or B) a registry modification. I’m looking for B, because I’ve done A, and it hasn’t helped. Heres some more articles on others that have had the problem, and what they did to fix it (I’ve also attempted to do everything they have, which is why I included the links)


      Please place an X to the right of the option showing how often you see this issue using specific steps. (Ex: 'Every few times a game is started it flickers.' <- This would be "Often")

      Always (100%): X

      Often (51-99%):

      Sporadic (20-50%):

      Very Sporadic (<20%):


      Hardware (HW)

      Brand and Model of the system.

      Dell Inspiron 7370


      Hybrid or switchable graphics system?
      ie Does it have AMD or NV graphics too?

      No, native Intel UHD 620 Graphics adapter


      Make and model of any Displays that are used to see the issue (see note2 below).
      = Local Flat Panel (Laptop panel)       N/A
      EFP = External Flat Panel (Monitor you plug in)  N/A


      How much memory [RAM] in the system (see note2 below).  16GB


      Provide any other hardware needed to replicate the issue.
      ie: Cables&brand, cable type [vga, hdmi, DP, etc], dock, dongles/adapters, etc N/A


      Hardware Stepping (see note1 below). N/A


      Software (SW)

      Operating System version (see note2 below).  Windows 10 Pro v10.0.16299 Build 16299


      VBIOS (video BIOS) version. This can be found in “information page” of CUI (right click on Desktop and select “Graphics Properties”.

      Driver Version:


      Graphics Driver version; for both integrated Intel and 3rd party vendors (see note2 below). N/A


      SW or Apps version used to replicate the issue.  A dark window and a light window.



      Single display, clone, or extended (see note2 below). N/A - Single


      Display resolution & refresh rate setting of each display (see note2 below). 1920x1080 @ 60hertz




      How to repro

      Please provide steps to replicate the issue.  These steps are very crucial to finding the root cause and fix.
      A screenshot to illustrate the issue is a huge plus. A video of the failure is even better! Attach to the post or provide the YouTube link.


      I’ll repost the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vC4tREV1z4



      So, before you say “its your power profile!” – I built a brand new one, and checked all the display configs and set everything to high performance, or disabled for any graphics power saving related features. (Dell also did this about three times or so). Sorry. Not the issue. Also tried the “high performance mode” which is only accessible through the Dell quickset tool where they’ve hidden away the “high performance” mode, which also makes no difference.

      Dell has been working on this for going on two months now. I contacted Intel support about two weeks ago, and they’ve now given up and kicked it over to you, the Intel community. So you guys, are literally, my last hope.

      Someone, please tell me, where in de hell the damn reg key to turn off this bloody DPST when its on battery power is. I’ve messed with the featuretestcontrol reg key (no difference), I’ve located and changed the value of every reg key with the word “power” in it under the


      Directory so the “dcpowerprofile” matches the same value as the “acpowerprofile” – no dice. I’ve rolled back drivers, updated drivers. Yes, all the dumb little auto-brightness-sensor this through windows (or services) has been turned off, or disabled, so there, I’ve said it. Again – Dell has had their lvl 1 and lvl 2 techs on this machine on at least 6 remote sessions. Some of them have been for 4-6 hours.

      I know there’s a reg key I can change. I just don’t know where. I did download proc monitor and ran it and isolated the processes for intel, but let me tell you, its accessing a ton of paths/keys. I also remember process monitor being a lot more useful… It doesn’t even give the key name now, just the directory. Maybe I haven’t played with it enough.

      Your help is greatly appreciated, in advance!


        • 1. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Thank you very much for contacting the Intel® Communities Team, bigbro6.

          For me to perform a deeper research regarding this issue you are facing, please provide me as well with:

          1. A System Support Utility Report:

          • Download the utility
          • Run the exe and select 'Scan'
          • Save and include as an attachment int he Intel Community Forum
          2. A DxDiag* Report, in order to generate it follow these steps:
          • Click on the “Start Menu” -> Type “DxDiag” -> Press “Enter” -> Wait for the DirectX Diagnostic Tool to finish loading
          • In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, click “Save All Information” -> Save the file DxDiag.txt
          • Include DxDiag.txt as an attachment in the Intel Community Forum
          3. A DispDiag report:
          • Click on the “Start Menu” -> Type “cmd” -> Then a command shell window will open
          • In the command shell, type “dispdiag -out %homepath%\Desktop\DispDiag-Intel-Issue.dat” -> The command shell will output something similar to “Dump File: C:\Users\[username]\DispDiag-########-######-#####-#####.dat”
          • Locate the .dat file on your desktop and include DispDiag-Intel-Issue.dat in the Intel Community Forum
          Antony S.
          • 2. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue

            Hi Antony,


            Thanks for reminding me - totally forgot to attach those, I had generated them already, but forgotten to attach. They're attached now to the OP.


            • 3. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Thank you very much for all the information provided, bigbro6.

              Allow me to verify all this information and investigate more about this issue you are facing, once I have an update I will let you know.

              Antony S.

              • 4. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue

                No, thank you Antony!

                I forgot to mention, Dell had me try these as well -

                • See if the DPST/Dynamic contrast issue was present in the BIOS setup screen (It isn't)
                • See if the DPST/Dynamic contrast issue was present if I booted into safe mode in windows (It isn't)

                Not sure that helps you, but I'm pretty sure it helped them.

                Thanks again,


                • 5. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue

                  Any luck?

                  Dell L3 / engineering has declared it to be functioning as designed, and so doesn't want to work on it anymore. (I've learned from experience thats one of two things - 1) They don't actually know how to fix it or 2) The problem is so deep - the ability to install a toggle switch, or to make the darn thing actually follow the windows power plan rules is "too hard" so they throw their hands up.)

                  Hep me, hep me...

                  • 6. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Hello, bigbro6.

                    Please try the following steps:

                    1.Click on the Start button, then search for "Power Options".
                    2. Click on "Change plan settings".
                    3. Now click on "Change advanced power settings" to launch the Power Options Advanced Settings.
                    4.Scroll down until you get to the "Display" section and click on the plus sign to show the submenus. Now click on the plus sign next to "Enable adaptive brightness" to expose its settings.
                    5.Change the settings to off.

                    I that does not work for you, please try this: Get into the Intel(R) HD Graphics Control Panel (CUI) then go to the "Power" section, after that on the left navigation panel will see an "On Battery" option click on it and will see more options on the main panel. There is an option "Display Power Saving Technology" then select "Disable" and Apply.

                    Please share with us the results.

                    Antony S.


                    • 7. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue

                      Both already checked, and rechecked countless times.

                      "Enable adaptive brightness" is off on all of my battery profiles. No change.

                      No option in intel graphics control panel - battery profile - mention of adaptive or DPST. Only option is "Balanced" "Maximum Performance" or "Maximum battery" - Set to "Maximum performance".

                      Every. Single. Power. Setting. For. Both. Windows. And. Intel. Has. Been. Checked. And. Rechecked. Over. And. Over. Again.

                      If you know anything about disabling intel / windows dynamic contrast / DPST / through registry, specifically -

                      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000] "FeatureTestControl"=dword:00009a40"

                      I've tried it through what was recommended, did not seem to work. (Obviously if I'm at registry tweaks, I think I've exhausted everything through a toggle switch in windows).


                      Disable Intel Display Power Saving Technology on Surface Pro 4 – Mike Battista's Blog


                      • 8. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        Thank you very much for your reply and that information, bigro6.

                        I will continue researching about this issue, I will come back to you once I have more information.

                        Antony S.

                        • 9. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
                          Intel Corporation
                          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                          Hello, bigbro6.

                          There is a new driver released on March 27th (4982). Can you please try those?
                          Click here to download them and use this guide to install them.

                          Please share with us the results.

                          Antony S.

                          • 10. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue

                            Already installed, no change.

                            2018-04-06 18_00_59-Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620 Properties.png

                            • 11. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue

                              Note - Dell T2 support got back to my "can I please just have the bloody registry path to turn this off" with this:


                              As you requested we were given a registry to make changes, but was said it has to be done at your own risk as we do not recommend changing registries.

                              • Select the Start button.
                              • Type Regedit and then press Enter.
                              • Navigate to the paths below and then double-click ProcAmpBrightness.
                              • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Intel\Display\igfxcui\profiles\media\Brighten Movie
                              • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Intel\Display\igfxcui\profiles\media\Darken Movie
                              • Change the value to 0.
                              • Close Regedit and then restart your PC.
                              Note: Try this at your own risk.


                              But unfortunately it did not help, either. I also checked all the other folders under \media and set all the values to "0" (after making a backup of course) and rebooted. Still, nothing. I rolled the registry entries back in.

                              If you know of a similar path that I can just completely shut this off from - I would be very happy to take it. This "feature" is awful, awful awful awful awful awful.

                              • 12. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
                                Intel Corporation
                                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                                Thank you very much for your reply and the information provided, bigbro6.

                                Please allow me to continue researching more about this issue, I will be back to you soon.

                                Antony S.

                                • 13. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue
                                  Intel Corporation
                                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                                  Hello, bigbro6.

                                  Thank you very much for your patience. In this case, since we have tried the latest generic Intel® HD Graphics and did not work, please get in touch with DELL* Support to get the correct indications of how to disable this feature. 

                                  Antony S.

                                  • 14. Re: Intel DPST / Active contrast issue



                                    As I had mentioned in my previous post; I am already working with Dell T2 and T3 support. They seem unable or unwilling to change this feature. I have been told 1) It is working as designed;

                                    On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 3:28 PM, <US_CTS_Premium_Support@dell.com> wrote:

                                    Dear Adam,


                                    I have received an update from the L3 (Resolution Experts), stating that the Content Adaptive Brightness control is a built in feature and cannot be disabled, and adds that it is working as designed.


                                    Please revert with your thoughts on this.


                                    (Which, by the way, it clearly HAS the ability to be disabled, since it does automatically as soon as its plugged into AC)


                                    And 2) The registry keys I provided in my last post did not shut off the feature, which is why I have contacted you / Intel; because no one seems to know precisely where the reg keys are to disable this feature anymore.

                                    previously, there seemed to be a fairly easy reg key that was being used for several years (cica 2010-2016)

                                    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000] "FeatureTestControl"=dword:00009a40" <also path could be \0001 or other sub of {4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}>

                                    That would disable the dynamic contrast / DPST altogether. This is no longer the case on my system. So both the recommendation from T3 Dell:


                                    Navigate to the paths below and then double-click ProcAmpBrightness.

                                    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Intel\Display\igfxcui\profiles\media\Brighten Movie

                                    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Intel\Display\igfxcui\profiles\media\Darken Movie

                                    Change the value to 0.


                                    As well as the previous community driven answers to the "featuretestcontrol" reg key both do not work. Dell is supposedly continuing to work on getting me the specific reg key in question.


                                    I guess, since the "feature" is shut off automatically / completely when it is plugged in (charging on AC), I dont really understand why no one can give me the reg location to where the two values are (one for plugged in, one for on battery) since it has to be querying those two values, so I can simply plug in the same values for the plugged in profile. OR to just simply put in a "0" like above.

                                    I'm open to any 3rd party tools / suggestions as well. There is a MS Surface Pro tweaker utility someone built that does just that (unfortunately does not work on my inspiron).


                                    This is a really crappy situation! Everything I've read is saying either a) its supposed to be able to be toggled by the intel graphics control panel or turning off all the correct power saving features in the win10 battery settings (adaptive brightness, etc), OR, theres thousands of posts of people just like me fighting this issue saying "nope its not there, or it didn't work" since it was introduced in 2001 or 2003 whatever it was, that simply cannot use a monitor that keeps forcing us to turn up the brightness to read text every time we hit a darker colored background.


                                    I've even gone to the point of running process monitor and isolating the igfxCUIservice.exe and igfxEM.exe, plus the other two Intel**** processes and trying to ascertain which keys are being read from when I pull the plug and put it back in.


                                    Monday I reloaded Win10 as a "new installation". The issue persists and I have not had any luck swimming through the 837 entries that are recorded in sysinternals / process monitor when I pull/put in the plug.


                                    So while I understand from Intel's perspective that "it may be a custom design on Dell's part" I'm saying, overall you guys are the ones that designed and built both the processor and GPU, and wrote the driver for it, so you "should" know how to turn things off and on again, better than Dell does. : )

                                    If you can help me, I would appreciate it,

                                    Thank you Antony.

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