Mini DisplayPort or HDMI, Alienware 17 R1


New Member
Aug 9, 2020
Hey guys,
I have an old, yes, it's old by todays standard, 17 R1 from late 2013. It is so old Dell support does not even show it in it's database anymore when I search the tag no.

Oh well, I've upgraded the graphics card from the original GTX 770M to a GTX980M a few years back, and it kind of helps me keeping it floating, even though I've had to go through some strange procedures when upgrading GPU drivers, and a few other that Windows wouldn't let me unless I forced it.

Now the real question:
As far as I can see, the internal GPU, Intel Graphics 4600, is running the HDMI port, but I guess that doesn't mean it's the one generating the graphic work when attaching an external monitor.
The 980M is running the Mini DisplayPort, which by itself is a little outdated.

But would it be worth running via the Mini DisplayPort instead of the HDMI? Performance wise that is, would a difference show when gaming? (As you've probably figured out, I have no idea on earth how the entire relation between the iGPU and GPU is working, I just selected the GPU as preferred in the nVidia Control Panel, and then hope that does mean it's working everything, even when using the HDMI port?
Last edited:


Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
Your machine should still be in the Dell Support database. I have a bunch of 17 R1's and they're all in there as well as some of my even older laptops like the M15x.
Not really sure about your question though as I've never used the DisplayPort.
On laptops with Optimus, the iGFX will usually run all simple applications until the dedicated card is required. The dedicated GPU will run a game on an external monitor using HDMI, when required. Maybe the DisplayPort is linked directly to the card and bypasses the iGFX...... not really sure though. A test would be to remove the GPU and try running the DisplayPort with only the iGFX available.