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xl2411z to V4?[V4 download link & flash instructions]

Discuss BENQ Blur Reduction (strobe backlight) and the Blur Busters Strobe Utility. For Z-Series monitors (V2 firmware) on XL2411Z, XL2420Z and XL2720Z.

xl2411z to V4?[V4 download link & flash instructions]

Postby sadfish » 18 May 2015, 17:29

Hello!

I'm trying to find myself an upgrade to my current samsung 2333sw monitor.
Decided to go the 120/144 hz way, since I do play quite a bit of FPS and other faster paced games.

After quite a bit of research the xl2411z seems like bang4buck at 265€.
Although many people seem to say the V4 software is a must have and recommend buying one from benq preinstalled with V4.
I do not have the luxury of that option and I doubt my local shop has the firmware info on the monitor.
I tried researching if it's possible to upgrade the xl2411z to V4 but with no success.
I just am not able to find any info on that.

TL;DR can you upgrade xl2411z to V4?

I'm open to alternative monitor recommendations as well, wouldn't really want to go much over the 300€ line.
Also, I see quite a bit of talk about 120/144 LCD panels having horrible picture quality, could it be worse than the 2333sw?
Last edited by sadfish on 20 May 2015, 06:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby Falkentyne » 18 May 2015, 18:55

Yes, check the Linux thread.
Whitestar dumped XL2411z V4 and it's available here.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/m707c ... backup.bin
This backup is 2 mb, so it may not need the 'merge' commands that extend the raw files (the raw files were the 832 mb ones) into 2 mb ones.

So you can probably omit these two steps

1) tr '\000' '\377' < /dev/zero | dd of=firmware.bin bs=1k count=2k
2) dd if=XL2411Z_V2_20131209_8B72.BIN of=firmware.bin conv=notrunc

But you need those two steps for the 832k files (the firmware name above was based on flashing the original V2 btw)

Might want to save it because these links are the only known places they have been posted to.

I'll repost the instructions again.

-----------------------------------

First grab a USB flash drive. 8 GB+ works best, though I did use an empty 2 GB one.
Get the ISO for Linux (Ubuntu)
http://releases.ubuntu.com/14.04/
I used the i386 one for my core i7.

Download the easy to use USB installer here:
"http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/"

Install it then boot to the flash drive and run the try Ubuntu mode.
When it finishes loading, open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T);
type "sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list" without the quotes to bring up the editor.
At the end of the second line, add "Universe Multiverse" so the line looks exactly iike this:

"deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty main restricted universe multiverse"
Save and exit the sources.list file.

Then type "sudo apt-get update"
That should download some updates.
Then type:
sudo apt-get install i2c-tools subversion libpci-dev
That should update and install some package lists.

You MIGHT also need this command too.
sudo apt-get install libusb-dev

If everything installs correctly, great.
But now things get tricky.

Using the instructions on this website, you need to find and backup the V4 firmware. The hard part is actually finding the i2c bus where it's located.

"http://boeglin.org/blog/index.php?entry=Flashing-a-BenQ-Z-series-for-free(dom)"

Type these commands: Remove any quotes I put, though, including the quotes in the wget command (trying to bypass link creation).

"svn co svn://flashrom.org/flashrom/trunk@1846 flashrom"
"cd flashrom"
wget -O- "http://boeglin.org/static/benq/0001-Add-programmer-for-the-MSTAR-I2C-ISP-protocol.patch | patch -p1" (<---the | is the shifted \ key, aka the "Pipe" symbol). On this website, that link shows up truncated with "...." unless you mouse over it. The full link without truncation is on the main site: "http://boeglin.org/blog/index.php?entry=Flashing-a-BenQ-Z-series-for-free(dom)"
Remove the quote before http and after -p1.

make -j (<-this should make the flashrom patcher with the data for the mstar scaler)

sudo modprobe i2c-dev

sudo i2cdetect -l <--this lists all i2c buses

sudo i2cdetect 1 <---this lists al i2c buses on bus 1.

sudo i2cdump -r 0-127 1 0x50 <--- get EDID (0x50) from bus 1. You are looking for an EDID dump that shows the monitor name in it. You may have to change the 1 to a 0 ( 0 0x50 insteada of 1 0x50), or you may have to change 0x50 to 0x49 (probably not, though; most video hardware will always be on 0x50). Once you find the dump that says "XL2411Z" then you're good to go. In some cases your monitor may be on bus 0, thus the change from a 1 to a 0. On my R9 290x video card, on the DVI port, this was bus 5. So the command I had to use was "sudo i2cdump -r 0-127 5 0x50"

(edit):
If you are using a laptop through VGA, you SHOULD be able to find the monitor i2c identifier name easily. If you are using a desktop through DVI and flashing through the desktop and you can not find the monitor bus or get random data where the monitor 'should' be located (or in the rare case that the laptop can't see it through VGA, reboot the host computer back to windows and install the monitor driver from the DVD (device manager or displays in control panel); this has been confirmed to have helped people who kept getting "Unknown" data on the i2c bus. (0x50 buses 0-4 usually). Not sure why this works; maybe Linux has access to installed inf data.

sudo ./flashrom -p mstarddc_spi:dev=/dev/i2c-1:49 <----# identify flash chip, on bus 1 (/dev/i2c-1) at address 0x49. Change the 1 to a 0 if you are on bus 0. My r9 290x dvi port was bus 5. Laptop VGA port was bus 0.

(dump current firmware)
sudo ./flashrom -p mstarddc_spi:dev=/dev/i2c-1:49 -c "MX25L1605A/MX25L1606E" -r backup.bin <--again change the 1 to a 0 if you are on bus 0. My r9 290x dvi port was bus 5. Laptop VGA port was bus 0.

This should take about 5 minutes to dump. Once that's done, copy backup.bin to a folder on the local hard drive (NOT the USB drive) so you can can upload it somewhere. The dumped file should be 2 mb in size. We can easily verify if you dumped the right thing by a hex editor.

Copy the EXTRACTED Version 4 firmware into the flashrom folder. If you renamed it in windows (I suggest this), copy the renamed file. I suggest renaming XL2411Z's V4 (if you downloaded whitestar's backup.bin dump) to XL2411Z_V4.BIN, XL2420Z to XL2420Z_V4.BIN and the XL2720Z file to XL2720Z_V4.BIN

DO NOT RENAME IT TO FIRMWARE.BIN !!!!!

# extend firmware to 2MB, to match the flash chip size
(this step is important; the flash chip is 2 MB, but the raw firmware is 800k'ish. In order to flash with this flashrom patcher (the MSTAR ISP unit does not have this limitation), the other 1.2 MB must be filled with "empty/dummy" bytes to make the file 2 MB in total size. This is a limitation of flashrom itself).

tr '\000' '\377' < /dev/zero | dd of=firmware.bin bs=1k count=2k
dd if=XL2411Z_V2_20131209_8B72.BIN of=firmware.bin conv=notrunc (# < important !--REPLACE XL2411Z_V2_20131209_8B72.BIN with your firmware you are flashing!! Example: XL2411Z_V4.BIN or XL2420Z_V4.BIN or XL2720Z_V4.bin (as I suggested above).

(What this did was, it created a DUMMY empty 2 MB file called firmware.bin.
Then it MERGED the V2 (for this example only, in your case it will be the V4 file) with the 2 MB dummy file, a new 2 MB V4 file, that will be called firmware.bin

# write firmware
sudo ./flashrom -p mstarddc_spi:dev=/dev/i2c-1:49 -c "MX25L1605A/MX25L1606E" -w firmware.bin

(this will take between 5-20 minutes).

*** IF FOR SOME REASON the flash fails halfway through with some sort of strange error about being unable to do something, and the monitor seems to be 'bricked', it's not really bricked. The DDC/CI bus is bricked, but the i2c bus is still available. If the flash fails partway through, it's probably due to the computer you are using preventing the flasher from running cleanly (For some reason certain computers can confuse or break the flasher). Unplug the monitor for 10 minutes, plug it into a different computer IN STANDBY MODE (don't power it on), preferably into a laptop with a VGA port, and try again. Everyone who has had flashes fail from incompatible dvi ports or laptops has been able to reflash on a more compatible computer successfully. One user even had the firmware update fail on his first computer, was able to reflash the backup file, then flashed the new firmware on a different computer**. People have had success with DVI ports on the main PC, but that's at your own risk.
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby sadfish » 19 May 2015, 03:13

Wow, what a wonderful response!

XL2411z looks like a winner now.
The flashing process looks like nothing too complicated as well, thanks to the detailed guide.
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby whitestar » 19 May 2015, 08:13

This thread should probably be stickied, in case others ask for the firmware. The info was buried deep in another thread with a less than descriptive name. But now both the download link and Falkentyne's update instructions are in this thread.

I also suggest that the OP change the title to something like "XL2411Z V4 firmware download link and udate instructions here"
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby Falkentyne » 19 May 2015, 09:45

I'm bored. Should I try downgrade my 2720z v4 to v2 to test something and flash using the 290x dvi port on the main PC, then flash back?
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby monitor_butt » 19 May 2015, 13:05

Wow, those instructions look very complex, but thanks for the detailed tutorial. If i grow some balls, I might try it.

Is V4 really worth it over something like V3? From the pictures I saw, the inverse ghosting had a tiny improvement over v3.
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby Falkentyne » 19 May 2015, 13:40

There were no V3 pictures of inverse ghosting from what I remember.
I'd upgrade for sure though!


And I can only speak for the 2720Z, not the 24" one.
But on V4, here's what I can tell.

1) AMA high has been toned down so it has less inverse ghosting.
2) the higher the refresh rate the lower the inverse ghosting. 144 hz with AMA high has next to none. 125hz (custom) has very low. Looks really nice at 125hz. 100hz is moderate Great for games but the inverse ghosting is annoying in 2D. 60 hz.....don't get me started. quite bad. (note: reducing contrast to 0 with default AMA does not affect inverse ghosting and adds an ugly spectral effect to some normal ghosting, not really usable in gaming).
3) The above is based on enabling blur reduction after AMA was set before (or with toggling gamer/display presets).
On V2, if you toggle AMA high (or premium) after enabling MBR, it just makes the overshoot 10x worse. On V4, however, toggling AMA high after enabling MBR lowers the amount of overdrive (this was fixed and improved from V2):

60hz: massively improves overdrive. Inverse ghosting reduced from excessive to very low. (60hz benefits hugely from this toggle. Works with default contrast of 43).

100 hz: turns inverse ghosting into normal ghosting. existing normal ghosting becomes more intense by the same degree. Reducing contrast to 0/10 has a massive improvement in overdrive quality compared to the default AMA high with 43 contrast (without toggle). At contrast 10, there is no inverse ghosting anywhere and only very minor added normal ghosting (which was intense at 43 contrast).
At contrast 0, there is no added normal ghosting at all (it it looks like 43 contrast with the untoggled AMA high), and very very faint traces of inverse ghosting (can't see it on my chessboard pieces, but alien invasion picks it up. pixperan barely picks it up). this contrast 0 with AMA Toggle is a VERY nice setting for fast scrolling 2D RPG's. Choose 0 or 10 for if you want very faint inverse ghosting or very faint (added) normal ghosting. It's impossible to remove all ghosting. The nice thing about the toggle at 100hz or 120hz is, you get NO spectral translucent ghosting at 0 contrast (0 contrast isn't really usable with normal MBR without toggling...too much spectral artifacts)

125hz: Use contrast 0 if you want to toggle. Normal ghosting way too high at 43/toggled AMA
144 hz: Toggling is sort of worthless. normal ghosting is absurd after toggle. Setting contrast to 0 still looks really nice but there's very little benefit to untoggled 43 contrast now. Stick with default AMA high and 43 contrast.

Note: 144 hz with toggled AMA premium (Yes, premium has toggles too but the ama decrease compared to "default" premium is less) actually looks ok. 144 hz with toggled AMA premium looks like 100 hz with default AMA high.

Too bad there's WAY too much crosstalk at 144 hz to make it usable.
Last edited by Falkentyne on 19 May 2015, 14:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby Q83Ia7ta » 19 May 2015, 14:40

Any info is there less ghosting without BBR(BenQ Blur Reduction) at 144Hz?
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Re: Can you upgrade the xl2411z to V4?

Postby Falkentyne » 19 May 2015, 14:43

Im actually trying to flash to V2 (Downgrade from V4) just to test this, using my 290x DVI port. I'll let you know. Im also flashing to see if you can flash with a 290x without bricking the screen (since I know my MSI laptop through VGA worked already).

Someone on Skype DID say that he had less overdrive overshoot when he went to V4 on his 2411z (without MBR).
TBH V3 would have been more interesting to test...

P.S it just said "erase/write done"
verifying flash....

*Ok, flash worked through R9 290x DVI port on main PC*
So you guys with 290x cards should be fine.

P.S. V2 2720Z firmware has default strobe duty 20, phase 000.
Apparently V4 defaults the phase to 100 on this.

But on the 24" models, looks like phase defaults to 100 on V2.

Ok, on 2720z, V2 and V4 are the same.
Just the V2 toggles when MBR is on are worthless horrible overshoot.
V4 toggles are nice and free extra AMA modes.
So I was wrong about V4 making the default AMA less.
But the toggle is VERY nice.
Very useful for 60hz.

Also the single strobe bugfix at 100hz-144 hz refresh rate. Custom strobe adjustments don't take effect if single strobe is turned off on V2, until duty/phase/brightness are changed. V4 fixed this so single strobe only has to be on for refresh rates lower than 100hz.

Anyway, its worth updating for 1) the new AMA toggle, 2) the single strobe "off" bugfix at 100+hz, 3) profile fixes, 4) displayport loss of signal fix.

BTW theres a foolproof way to update without risk of typos.

Save the step by step instructions I wrote in a windows text file.
Boot to Ubuntu
I found out that you can copy and paste the exact commands from the text file, directly into the Ubuntu command line console!
So all you have to do is copy the renamed firmware files you downloaded (from the local hard drive; Ubuntu can mount the drives) to the FLASHROM folder in the "home" directory, replace the bus number with the exact bus the monitor is on (on my 290x, it was on bus 5) and you're good to go.

There's no automated way of doing this, though, due to having to rename and copy the firmware files and having to identify what bus port it's connected to.
I downgraded to V2 and went back to V4 like this.
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Re: xl2411z to V4?[V4 download link & flash instructions]

Postby Q83Ia7ta » 20 May 2015, 14:55

Thank you! I forgot to say i have xl2411z. Will flash soon and try!
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