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A project log for Upgrading my laptop

Upgrading a Dell laptop [Inspiron 7520] from a non-backlit keyboard to a backlit keyboard and a 768p display to 1080p (FHD) display

Kumar, AbhishekKumar, Abhishek 12/12/2015 at 16:470 Comments

The new dual-channel LVDS cable for my laptop (Dell part #R4WW7) arrived today and so I sat down today evening to do the final piece of upgrade on my laptop - the screen!

Because a single LVDS [FPD-Link] channel (4 twisted pairs) is insufficient to transmit a 1920x1080p60 signal, the display data is split into odd and even pixel 960x1080p60 channels, so it needs 8 twisted pairs to get a complete display on the screen. To save on cabling, the HD display cable has only a single channel, so to upgrade to a 1080p display, I would also need to get a new cable, and searching gave me the part number for that, R4WW7, which I found on AliExpress for $10.

My new LCD had now been in the check-in baggage for 4 flights, wrapped in bubble sheets and in between t-shirts. I feared that the rough handling may have damaged something internally in the LCD (the back side where the flex PCB coming from the LCD glass is bonded to the driver board is considered sensitive), the investment would go waste and I'd have to do it all over again.

Anyway following the service manual I replaced the screen and the cable. When I put everything back together, it worked just fine, the LCD survived after all. These displays do have an EDID ROM, so I guess the UEFI firmware just detected it and carried on as usual.

So with this, I complete the chapter of this laptop upgrade. Spent 95$ for the display and the keyboard, and another 110$ for the SSD+caddy. The laptop now has:

I think this should be sufficient to hold off purchasing a new one for a couple of more years.

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