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jasonlin123456789

What is the Risk of Burn Ins on OLED Laptops?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I bought the new Gigabyte Aero 15 with 4K OLED screen over Thanksgiving, and I am waiting for it to arrive this Monday. However, ever since I bought the laptop, I can't escape the fear of it getting burn ins after just few years of use. My friend, who convinced me to buy the 4K OLED version instead of the 1080p 144hz version, said that OLED technology has come a long way, and the new panels are going to last longer than the other components in the laptop, which I took with a grain of salt. He also said recent smartphones all have OLED displays, and despite being used in harsher conditions than a laptop will be in, such as under the sun, there are little reports of phones getting burn ins, which is evidence that the new OLED panels have longer life spans. I am currently a freshman in college, so I don't have the money to replace my laptop anytime soon. I expect this laptop to at least last me through grad school, which will be approximately six years, but I don't have confidence, despite my friends preaching, that the display will last that long without image retention. I still have time to return the OLED laptop and get the 1080p version. So, are my friend's claims true and is six years longer than the expected life span of the panel? 

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Are you planing to display an image for many hours a day? If not, there will be no "burn ins"


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They certainly have been getting better from what I can tell.  Dave2D has done some tests where he leaves an icon on screen on the desktop continuously for months on end and apparently it's left no noticeable trace.  However, OLED is still OLED and OLED will eventually burn in (or rather, burn out*), so I can't say with certainty what it'll look like in 3 or 6 years of continuous use.  I'm not sure anyone has that data.  I suspect if there are issues, it will be heavily used areas of the screen like the taskbar, window bar at the top, and potentially toolbars of certain applications.

 

*In case you (or anyone else) isn't yet aware, burn in on OLEDs is different to how it used to be on CRTs or Plasma screens.  With those old technologies, a static image could burn in, but so long as things were kept moving, there would be no ill effect.  OLED however has a finite lifespan and any use takes away from this, so regardless of what you display - static or dynamic - eventually pixels that are more worn will become visible relative to their surroundings.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Praesi said:

Are you planing to display an image for many hours a day? If not, there will be no "burn ins"

I plan on using this laptop normally, so no. but won't the windows icon and the task bar, etc, be considered as displaying an image for many hours a day? 

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Just now, jasonlin123456789 said:

I plan on using this laptop normally, so no. but won't the windows icon and the task bar, etc, be considered as displaying an image for many hours a day? 

Just run a Screensafer and i see no reason why there should be any Problems.


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1 minute ago, Praesi said:

Just run a Screensafer and i see no reason why there should be any Problems.

I would recommend checking out the second bit of what I posted above.  A screensaver will not save an OLED from burnin, and will in fact just wear it out more than a blank screen.

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Just now, Ryan_Vickers said:

I would recommend checking out the second bit of what I posted above.  A screensaver will not save an OLED from burnin, and will in fact just wear it out more than a blank screen.

Thats weird. But if thats a fact, he should go with standart Tech. Dont think the benefit of Oled will taske serious effect on a "school laptop" anyway.


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19 minutes ago, Praesi said:

Thats weird. But if thats a fact, he should go with standart Tech. Dont think the benefit of Oled will taske serious effect on a "school laptop" anyway.

Our resident display expert @Glenwing is who brought this to my attention, perhaps he can provide the sources.  Intuitively and empirically, it makes sense though.  We constantly see and hear about OLED phones getting burn in despite the fact they're switched on and off throughout the day, thus varying the screen contents as a screensaver would.  Moreover, older types of displays tended to never exhibit issues in normal usage and only became obvious in airports or restaurants where a flight list or news logo was sitting still all day every day.  It is also known that OLED pixels degrade over time, causing reduced output, and this can be avoided, but not eliminated, by using lower brightness, dark themes, etc.

 

One interesting thing I found just now researching this myself is that apparently OLED can even degrade when not in use:

Quote

One major challenge for OLED displays is the formation of dark spots due to the ingress of oxygen and moisture, which degrades the organic material over time whether or not the display is powered.[86][87][88]

 

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19 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

One major challenge for OLED displays is the formation of dark spots due to the ingress of oxygen and moisture, which degrades the organic material over time whether or not the display is powered.

I dont see that Information on all those super Expensive TV´s and Displays. Rofl. What Garbage Technology. Didnt know that at all.


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Just now, Praesi said:

I dont see that Information on all those super Expensive TV´s and Displays. Rofl. What Garbage Technology. Didnt know that at all.

I'm sure you don't find it surprising that manufacturers who have a clear vested interest in selling you a $1k+ device are going to do the best they can to talk up the pros of the technology and downplay the cons :P

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LEDs degrade in brightness over time, this is well-known information. It is no different for OLEDs. In standard LED backlit displays, the LEDs all share the same power-on hours and brightness, so they don't affect the image uniformity when they degrade since they all degrade together. The only effect is that the display will have a very subtle loss in brightness over time that will almost never be noticed by anyone.

 

Since OLEDs are used as individual pixels, the pixels will not degrade in a uniform manner, it will depend on the usage of every pixel. The damage is also very different from plasmas, so the same solutions do not apply. Unlike plasmas, where the pixels can develop a discolored spot due to the heat if left active too long (hence the name burn in), OLED degradation has nothing to do with how many hours in a row it shows the same image. Moving the image around doesn't "reset" the burn-in counter (because OLEDs don't really "burn in", they degrade slowly over time). Every hour you use an OLED for is another hour of wear, it doesn't matter whether you break the time up into smaller chunks or have it all at once. So the common advice of "just avoid static images" is misguided here. Although the symptoms look similar to plasma burn-in, the nature of the problem is entirely different from plasma displays, so the same solutions do not apply here.

 

Of course, having the same image on the screen will cause that particular image to be worn into the screen more than others, so avoiding long static images is recommended, but only because avoiding cumulative hours of the same image in general is recommended for avoiding OLED degradation. It doesn't matter whether the hours are all in a row or not. Screensavers won't protect OLED screens or undo the degradation, they'll just degrade the screen more with a different pattern. The only screen saver an OLED should have is a black screen.

 

49 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

One interesting thing I found just now researching this myself is that apparently OLED can even degrade when not in use:

OLEDs don't like being exposed to oxygen, but AFAIK that's just a manufacturing challenge for the plant to deal with, properly designing the screen to be sealed from outside contaminants, not something that affects panels over time.

 

Worth noting I've also been using an OLED phone for the past year and a half, no regrets. But then again I did turn off the software navigation buttons :P

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This is purely personal, anecdotal evidence but one of my laptops has an OLED screen and I haven't seen any signs of burn-in after years of moderate-to-heavy use.


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