M17x R3 Display replacement cross compatibility

Patriot

Member
Jun 2, 2020
7
1
USA
My original display is a 50pin 3D FHD. After 10 years, my backpack strap finally snapped(these monsters are heavy). The display took a good impact, even though protected by cushioning in my pack. I lost the backlight for the side that hit the ground. The Display is still operational, just no backlight on the right side. Unless someone knows how to repair/replace backlighting, Ive been looking at just replacing the whole display, lid and all.

My understanding is what matters when replacing a display only, are the pin connector of the new display matching the cable from your mainboard.

With a full display assembly replacement, it will come with its respective cable already attached. But what I don't know is, will that matter on the mainboard connection? Seems like that connection across all displays is built the same, but I haven't been able to confirm that anywhere.

Its next to impossible to find a 50pin 3D FHD for sale, and if you do find one, they are ridiculously expensive. I honestly couldn't care less about maintaining the 3D aspect of the R3, so I'd go with any compatible Glossy 1920x1080 120Hz Display assembly.

On ebay there are many R3 displays, but with 40pin, even R4 displays with 40pin around 120-180$. The R3 50pin Displays range anywhere from 300-500$
Any input is greatly appreciated,

Thank you
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
The M17x R3 and R4 motherboard have connectors for both the 60Hz and 120Hz display so you can buy either one and plug it in without having to swpa the motherboard. The 120Hz display will always be 3D and the 60Hz will be non-3D. From what I've read, the R3 and R4 displays are compatible but I haven't tested this myself.
If you really want 120Hz then you're going to have 3D but if you are happy with 60Hz then you can save some money and you also get to use Optimus (which isn't available with the 120Hz display).

EDIT:

Here is a 60Hz that is less than $100USD
Here is a 120Hz less than $200USD
 

Patriot

Member
Jun 2, 2020
7
1
USA
Thank you very much for the input. With that info I opted for a 120Hz R4 for 120$. Will let you know if it works. The 120Hz R3 you linked I was mullin over, 180$ and I still need a lid(chose to replace the body of the whole laptop, already got the lower palm rest assembly; might respray my old body something like air force jet camo) but at least it matches my existing cable.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,110
126
Adelaide, Australia
Good luck. I recently got a brand new lid for an R4 for $35USD and it was beautiful. Really made the machine look like new again. I also resprayed my wife's R3 lid and it came out great, even with the soft-touch material. Her R3 is all pink with a white bottom cover.
 

Patriot

Member
Jun 2, 2020
7
1
USA
That's awesome, I'm really glad there is such a great group for Alienware owners. The M17x body style was always my favorite and it's awesome that 10 years since they initially launched, you can still keep them alive.
 

Patriot

Member
Jun 2, 2020
7
1
USA
I successfully installed an R4 screen into my R3. Only one problem so far is with the alienware logo on the back of the lid doesn’t illuminate. i might tear apart and check the comnection. it shoud have come already connected but theres a chance it didnt. Otherwise everything works great; wifi, infrared sensor, and camera. Ran some games on the screen and everything rendered perfectly at 1080p 120Hz.
 
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Patriot

Member
Jun 2, 2020
7
1
USA
Yeah, Im ordering some more replacement equipment and will tear apart and check. My new replacement palmrest is amazing! Gosh, its like having just unboxed a brand new R3!

I need to replace my center control cover and my klipsch speakers (blown). Then good as new! Hopefully the connector inside the Display lid is all that is wrong with the Alienware logo. I hope it's not a drawback of cross model incompatibility. We will see!