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Alienware 17 (R1?) Display

virax_clone

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Jan 12, 2020
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Hello everyone!

I recently picked up an Alienware 17 (original I think?) with a date of 2014 and the 860M GPU.

I cleaned the unit thoroughly, replaced thermal paste on the GPU, and upgraded the CPU from the stock i5 to an i7 4900MQ, installed dual 500GB 2.5" SSD drives, and a fresh install of Windows 10.

I am very impressed by the performance of this "dated" gaming laptop, and I ultimately plan for it to replace my Dell Inspiron 15 work laptop, as a portable workstation and away from home gaming PC.


The only thing I am disappointed in, is the horrid 60hz 1600x900 display. The brightness and contrast of the display is horrible, with contrast killing my eyeballs when brightness is reduced.

Are 120hz glossy panels still available, or even a nicer 1080p glossy panel?

I know that putting a 120hz panel would disable the integrated GPU, which I am fine with, but it would definitely seal the deal as far as getting myself in to a well rounded desktop replacement for travel. If not 120hz, I could settle for a nice 1080p glossy panel replacement.
 

MattyB

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I have a 120hz display assembly at home from a 17 that has a dead motherboard. I think they are still available on eBay as well.
 

MattyB

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Ahh thanks man. I would like a way of testing it again before I try to sell though. I'm all out of Rangers these days.
 

virax_clone

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Thanks for the info and link Hiro!

I wish I had seen Matty's post before I pulled the trigger and ordered a panel from an ebay seller, kind of taking a chance at getting the right one. I have a cable coming from aliexpress as well, I guess we will see if it works when it gets here...

If things fall through, I'll reach out to you Matty.

In case anyone else comes across this thread looking for a panel source in the near future, this gentleman is a US seller and ships USPS Priority Mail. The thread linked above directs the panel type to a Dell GN36T or 0GN36T. The panel is made by Samsung, and their part number is LTN173HT02, which is how I found the one I bought. You can get it with a glossy or matte finish from him, so I specified for a glossy panel.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1710595824...::&pgrp=main:email&e=cl&mchn=em&s=ci&mail=sys

Keep in mind he uses a reference photo for the listing. If you zoom in on the tag, it shows it is an X01 revision, but it is listed as a D02. I took the chance and ordered it, and it is in fact a D02 revision, as listed. It seems like the X01 is the same as the C01, which have not been working for others who have done the display upgrade.
 

virax_clone

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I just finished the upgrade, and, OMG the image quality is so much better! Viewing angles are better, colors more accurate, the overall brightness seems to be better, and my eyes doesn't feel as fatigued during use, anymore. Thank you everyone for the help on this upgrade!
 

MattyB

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I don't know why people like the matte displays. Yeah the glossy displays aren't great in the sunshine but the colors are so much better.

Next you'll have to get a new GPU. Something like a 980M, 1060 or 1070 would be a great upgrade!
 

virax_clone

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I don't know why people like the matte displays. Yeah the glossy displays aren't great in the sunshine but the colors are so much better.

Next you'll have to get a new GPU. Something like a 980M, 1060 or 1070 would be a great upgrade!

I'm thinking of a 980m upgrade, they seem to be more affordable at the moment. I need to get the 330W PSU for it though, and upgrade the GPU heatsink.

Currently most of the heat is coming from the CPU, so I'm looking into a CPU heatsink upgrade, which I asked about in a separate thread.

I got really lucky on this Alienware find, I didn't think I would do this much to it and have it turn out to be so much better than any of the other laptops I have used!
 

MattyB

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The Ranger is a great machine. The last of the truly upgradable Alienware machines. I'm not counting the 51M as the use their own GPU form factor which limits upgradability in the future.
If you decide to upgrade the GPU I would suggest not to go for ebay unless you can get a great deal. There is a good marketplace on NotebookReview. I got my 1070 for $400USD while ebay was $600. Grab your GPU heatsink from the ebay guy that Hiro suggested. He's cheaper than the Chinese guys and I'm pretty sure he's the one making them.
 

virax_clone

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I am curious, what is considered a good deal, for one of these R1 models? I'm wondering if I got a deal or not.
 

MattyB

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Well I recently sold my two Rangers. I sold one for about $1100AUD ($750USD) and the other for $950AUD ($650USD). The more expensive one had an i7-4910, 120Hz display and 1866MHz memory while the cheaper one had an i7-4710, standard display and 1600MHz memory. Both had GTX 780M's.
 

Hiro

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On NBR a guy is selling used msi 1070...the msi fits in our R1 but you need to cut the frame a little. It is a well know upgrade though, tried and tested.
The MXM 1070 from china fits straight in but best price is US$499
also the zotac mxm 1070 fits with a vbios change (if you can find one)

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/fs-msi-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-mxm-gpus-8gb.830968/

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400...chweb0_0,searchweb201602_2,searchweb201603_53

oh..a second thought...I have 980m and when i got my 120hz screen it would not display anything (no errors, just nothing on screen)
Im not sure if that is a dud card or bad screen....but its pretty much same screen you got. My 860m card works fine with that screen though.
Im waiting now for a differnt type of 120hz screen to test it out.
 

MattyB

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Did the 980M work with the 60Hz screen? If it works with a 60Hz but not the 120Hz then it seems logical to blame the display.

The only problem with the 120Hz is that there is no Intel graphics which makes it really hard to test some problems as you get no display.
 

Hiro

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Oh yes...its running right now.
But the 860m with 120hz colours was shmick!
I bought a N173HHE-G32 for little cheaper than ltn173ht02-d01...apparently the frame doesnt fit so I will have to adapt it for ranger. I hope the 980 works with that one.

Yeah im always on ac power so optimus isnt top of my need list
 

virax_clone

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Oh dang, now I feel a bit guilty for how much I paid for mine. The guy was trying to sell stuff off to move out of the country, he's long gone now, and I got it for $300. It's very lightly used, nearly pristine, and with original box and manuals. I immediately replaced the 1TB HDD with two 500GB SSDs, and last week I added a 256GB M2 SSD in. I replaced the 4210m with the 4900mq the week after getting it. Here are some pictures from the day I got it.

Next week I plan to add another 16GB of 1866MHz to get it up to 32GB
 

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virax_clone

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I was considering adding a 980m, but really like the price of a 780m in comparison. 980m performance is tempting though....
 

Hiro

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I havent yet managed to max out my 16gb of RAM...put it last for upgrade and spend money on cicichen heatsinks instead (my 2cents)
 

virax_clone

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I havent yet managed to max out my 16gb of RAM...put it last for upgrade and spend money on cicichen heatsinks instead (my 2cents)

I'm only upgrading memory right now since I have a buddy that's trading some desktop ddr3 for the laptop modules, only had to pay shipping to send him his.

Heatsinks are next on my list. Can't keep this thing too cool, that's for sure!
 
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