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Fixing the laggy display on a Dell XPS 13 (2021)

Ever since I got my Dell XPS 13 and immediately slapped Fedora Silverblue 34 onto it, I’ve struggled with periodic trackpad freezes. At least I thought it was an issue with the trackpad until I noticed corruption while scrolling content in the web browser as well. Hmm, and stuttering when playing video. Ah, it must be the integrated GPU!

PSR stands for Panel Self Refresh and it’s a power-saving feature used by Intel GPUs. Older generations of Intel GPUs like Haswell and Skylake have had problems with this same feature in the past, but they have since been fixed in subsequent kernel versions. I guess Tiger Lake still has some bugs that need to be worked out.

The good news is that it can be fixed with one little kernel command line argument: i915.enable_psr=0

Regarding the supposed power-saving, I haven’t noticed any substantial decrease in battery life with this setting disabled. Now you can enjoy a much less frustrating experience using this laptop. :)

For Silverblue:

rpm-ostree kargs --append-if-missing=i915.enable_psr=0

For regular old Fedora:

grubby --update-kernel=ALL --args="i915.enable_psr=0"

stephen@trashnet.xyz