Alienware 17 r4 1080p to 1440p Upgrade

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by Marksmans05, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Marksmans05

    Marksmans05 Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hello, I own an Alienware 17 r4 1080p 60hz and I noticed that the bottom of my screen has a dim blotch that seems to steadily be increasing in size. I figured it was time for a screen replacement, however I know that this device was made with several configurations including a 4k 60hz model and a 1440p 120hz model. I was wondering if it was possible for me to upgrade my devices screen to the 1440p model. I Know that it requires a certain display and display cable. The B173QTN01.4 part number screen as well as a WTNR3 40 pin cable. What I was mainly concerned about is whether it would even be possible on my specific device. I know a user on another forum named BloodHawk mentioned on a similar thread that only deviced with Tobii eye-tracking would be able to make this upgrade. If i get the 1440p display would i need to add tobii eye tracking as well. Or will the upgrade just not work at all? Also i've only seen these parts on Ebay so far and I was wondering if anyone know's any more legitimate places to get these parts, I'd rather not order some knock off Chinese display. (My laptop doesn't have Tobii eye-tracking it has the IR Tobii-aware.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  2. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

    Reputations:
    782
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Trophy Points:
    181
    You can make the switch with just the 40-pin display cable, but the webcam/lid mic module used on the QHD/UHD version is different, so you have to leave the webcam unplugged. Also, in case you are curious, 120hz+ 1080 panels work as well even though Dell never shipped them. I have a Chimei 120hz TN panel in my wife's 17R4 which has been working great for over a year.
     
  3. Marksmans05

    Marksmans05 Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Would the 120hz 1080p panel also use the same 40 pin cable. Also just to clarify If i do the upgrade i will not be able to use my Mic/Webcam? Is there a work-around for this? Could i replace the entire lid assembly with a QHD or UHD one? Also if you could, would you link the 1080p 120hz panel? Does it even matter where i get the panel from as long as it is 40-pin cause the Chimei 120hz TN goes into the MSI GE72VR?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

    Reputations:
    782
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Yes. On the 17 inch panels the 120hz panels use 40 pin connectors. The one I used is a Chimei N173HHE-G32 Rev C1. It is technically a TN panel, but is wide gamut and low response time. Very good for gaming and easily as good as any of the 144Hz IPS panels available (and better color, too). It is the panel that was used in most GT73 / GE73 MSI and a few of the Asus laptops before they moved to 144hz panels. Whatever you get I would go for a used pull from eBay as all of the "new" ones are likely compatible models which will not be as good as what was actually shipped by MSI / Asus.

    Oh, and if you are curious, brightness control still works with the display, as does both modes of the graphics switch (Optimus/Dedicated).

    As far as the lid, yes you could replace it entirely which would work as long as you do not get the unit for the Sharp Matte UHD screen. That one used different mounting connectors and cable pin pitch than the rest of the industry. AFAIK the AUO UHD was advertised as a GSync display and the Sharp UHD was non-GSync so that might help with telling the difference between them.
     
  5. Marksmans05

    Marksmans05 Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    what are the downsides to using a "new" ebay listing instead of a "pull" cause i cant seem to find any used pulls. Does G-Sync work with your particular display? did you have to also disable the webcam/built in mic for your wifes computer? if i get the new lid will i NEED tobii? im sorry for so many questions i dont have a lot of money so id rather not waste $130 on a display or lid assembly that i cant even use. Everything should plug into my motherboard like a direct replacement? were there any drivers or anything that i need to have installed before doing the switch? (also just wanted to say thank you for helping me this much and taking the time to explain this stuff to me, i have some but not extensive knowledge on how electronics work)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  6. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

    Reputations:
    782
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Trophy Points:
    181
    The "new" listings have a high chance of being a compatible knockoff. GSync needs both motherboard support and display EDID support. If you didn't have it before it won't work by just swapping displays. The webcam / mic module is not plugged in so it is essentially disabled. The tobii module isn't required for the machine to boot.

    Note that the lid must be completely removed to swap the display cable. It would be a good idea to take a look at the service manual on Dell's support site.
     
  7. Marksmans05

    Marksmans05 Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Okay so I think I understand now, For whatever dumb reason Dell decided to combine the camera cable with the 30/40 pin display cable and that is why changing the display also requires disconnecting the camera right? Also I can't seem to find any "used" listings for that particular display anymore so I am considering just finding the original QHD display. I know that they made 2 versions however, the first of which had a very bad flickering issue. Would you happen to know the model number of the newer version without the flickering problem?

    (EDIT) I found the Model number B173QTN01.4 for the newer version of the QHD display. I could only really find one listing for a "pulled" one which was over $280. The rest were "new" Chinese knockoffs but they were closer to $160. What are the dangers of getting one of the knockoffs? Is it likely to not work or stop working after a couple weeks?

    (Edit2) https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=25520 Found these people who claim to have genuine Dell parts, and this particular display says refurbished with a 1 year warranty, however i'm not certain if its a knock off refurbished display or an original refurbished display.
    Display: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=25520
    40-pin cable: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=23840
    Camera: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=20963
    Lid: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=28737
    Bezel: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=27330
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  8. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

    Reputations:
    782
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    1,053
    Trophy Points:
    181
    That should be a good source of the QHD panel. I bought the 40-pin cable from back when I did the conversion. Those people sell used pulls so you get what you pay for.
     
  9. Marksmans05

    Marksmans05 Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Cool, Thank you! I'm excited to do this job! I figured since ill be taking the device apart anyways i'll do a re-paste job too. Ill definitely post pictures of the job here and let everyone know how it goes. This has actually gotten me to start thinking a bit ambitiously however, so I wanted to ask. Say I wanted to buy and fit a motherboard with a 7820hk and a 1080m graphics card inside my chassis would i run into any clearance issues? Would the connectors for mouse/keyboard/usb/motherboard battery/etc all be the same? (I.e could i use all my parts and upgrade my motherboard). I know the Heatsink for the 1080 model has thicker heatpipes but they all seem to use the same fans. So if I bought the beefier heatsink and the 7820hk motherboard could i literally just upgrade my device? There's nothing wrong with my current motherboard and heatsink so I plan to try to re-sell those as replacement parts. However i'm not sure if anyone would want to buy that. Also I couldn't re-sell my screen since it has a minor defect on the bottom.
     
Loading...

Share This Page