N173HHE-G32 control board?? Does one exist?

Ganelon

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Feb 23, 2017
47
37
Hi all,

I'm looking to build my own portable monitor case to take to LANs. What I want is simple- a 17-inch, 120hz 1080p display. The problem is, I've been looking and looking and NONE of them seem to have extant control boards. I can only assume the high-end laptop space has moved on to embedding the LCD controller into the mainboard, but surely, SURELY there exists a control board out there that can drive them? Any of them?

For example, the N173HHE-G32. An extremely popular and common 17-inch 120hz display. I can't find any info that can lead me to a control board I can be sure works. Same story with every other display I've looked at.

Would it be possible to, like, cannibalise a dead gaming laptop and rip apart its motherboard leaving only the display-driving components? Somehow, I seriously doubt it. But I know next to nothing about this stuff.

Please, someone give me a hand.
 

thewizzard1

Cable-Tie Ninja
Bronze Supporter
Jan 27, 2017
215
184
I've built a handful of custom LCDs using made-in-China display controllers, and *no* supplier would confirm with me if a 120/144Hz display controller would work. I have a 17" 3D panel I'm hoping to give a home to, myself.
 

Ganelon

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Feb 23, 2017
47
37
I've built a handful of custom LCDs using made-in-China display controllers, and *no* supplier would confirm with me if a 120/144Hz display controller would work.
Is there any way to know? I would honestly just buy it and try it, but the display is about £70 so even though the control card is cheap, if it doesn't work I'm stuck with a panel I can't use.

That product page DOES claim to support 1080p/144Hz. The question is whether it will work on my panel. They're both 40-pin EPS...
 

Choidebu

King of Cable Management
Aug 16, 2017
725
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Ganelon

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Feb 23, 2017
47
37
The display you linked uses 40-pin eDp, this control board outputs 40-pin lvds. Won't work.

Even if you find 4 lane edp driver, we still can't know for sure if the display works with it because the signalling model might differ.
Alright, what about these ones?

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2K-QHD-2560-1600-resolution-LCD_60537553302.html

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/QHD-2K-2560x1600-LCD-PIP-POP_60086087916.html

I understand that it's still not a sure thing but it doesn't look glaringly incompatible does it?

Edit: there's also this one, made for higher resolutions... I could go up to a 1440p display, like a B173QTN01.4 maybe

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/4K-x-2K-UHD-Single-Chip_1586842462.html
 
Last edited:

Valantar

Master of Cramming
Jan 20, 2018
439
266
Specs if you scroll down a bit say "QHD @60HZ / FHD 144HZ".

Same here: "QHD @60HZ / FHD 144HZ"
I understand that it's still not a sure thing but it doesn't look glaringly incompatible does it?

Edit: there's also this one, made for higher resolutions... I could go up to a 1440p display, like a B173QTN01.4 maybe

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/4K-x-2K-UHD-Single-Chip_1586842462.html
This one supports "4K2K/QHD144HZ".

Also, pretty cool that all of these support FreeSync. Haven't seen that before. None of them mention FreeSync range, but that might be panel dependent.
 

TheBeezKneez

What's an ITX?
Oct 12, 2018
1
0
Just curious, since I may be in the same market. Were you able to find a 120hz panel and compatible controller? Any guidelines to follow to ensure compatibility? It seems like a few companies make generic LCD panel controllers with tons of inputs, so narrowing it down to a small one that supports a 120-144hz display is proving to be a challenge.
 

Ganelon

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Feb 23, 2017
47
37
Just curious, since I may be in the same market. Were you able to find a 120hz panel and compatible controller? Any guidelines to follow to ensure compatibility? It seems like a few companies make generic LCD panel controllers with tons of inputs, so narrowing it down to a small one that supports a 120-144hz display is proving to be a challenge.
I didn't have any luck identifying one with absolute certainty, however; allegedly-compatible combinations do exist. The trick is just to find one that's as new as possible with as many high-bandwidth outputs as possible: if a control board has three DisplayPort ports on it, you can safely assume it's built to handle those resolutions/framerates, though there's always a chance it won't work with a particular panel. Also, you can occasionally find a panel with a control board already attached. This project is on the backburner currently so I don't have any links to share right now.
 
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Spark

Cable Smoosher
Apr 9, 2019
9
3
I'm looking at this display too and it appears that it has G-Sync. I wonder if G-Sync is built into the panel or if it needs to be in the control board to still have G-Sync working.
 

Valantar

Master of Cramming
Jan 20, 2018
439
266
I'm looking at this display too and it appears that it has G-Sync. I wonder if G-Sync is built into the panel or if it needs to be in the control board to still have G-Sync working.
G-Sync has nothing to do with the panel, and everything to do with the controller. As far as I know, mobile G-Sync is nothing more than (tuned/QC'd) VESA Adaptive Sync over eDP, as the desktop-grade G-Sync controller used in standalone monitors is both large and power-hungry - but there are likely firmware flags or other identifiers that tell the GPU that the attached panel is "G-Sync" enabled. Then again, Geforce cards now support FreeSync, so why not just use FreeSync? That the panel exists in a G-Sync implementation should at least tell you that it's good enough (in the metrics Nvidia cares about) to get the G-Sync badge given suitable driver circuitry - so it should have passable response times, ghosting, and so on.
 

Spark

Cable Smoosher
Apr 9, 2019
9
3
G-Sync has nothing to do with the panel, and everything to do with the controller. As far as I know, mobile G-Sync is nothing more than (tuned/QC'd) VESA Adaptive Sync over eDP, as the desktop-grade G-Sync controller used in standalone monitors is both large and power-hungry - but there are likely firmware flags or other identifiers that tell the GPU that the attached panel is "G-Sync" enabled. Then again, Geforce cards now support FreeSync, so why not just use FreeSync? That the panel exists in a G-Sync implementation should at least tell you that it's good enough (in the metrics Nvidia cares about) to get the G-Sync badge given suitable driver circuitry - so it should have passable response times, ghosting, and so on.
Thanks for the info. I did some digging and it appears that unless it's verified by Nvidia (which a random control board most likely won't be) it's hit or miss. Sounds like a lot of trial and error with different control boards and display will be involved to get it working right.
 

Valantar

Master of Cramming
Jan 20, 2018
439
266
Thanks for the info. I did some digging and it appears that unless it's verified by Nvidia (which a random control board most likely won't be) it's hit or miss. Sounds like a lot of trial and error with different control boards and display will be involved to get it working right.
Any FreeSync monitor will work with FreeSync-enabled Nvidia cards (which IIRC should be Pascal and Turing), the difference is that "verified" ones enable automatically while the rest have to be enabled manually through Nvidia's settings. Not a big deal.
 

Spark

Cable Smoosher
Apr 9, 2019
9
3
Any FreeSync monitor will work with FreeSync-enabled Nvidia cards (which IIRC should be Pascal and Turing), the difference is that "verified" ones enable automatically while the rest have to be enabled manually through Nvidia's settings. Not a big deal.
It's not a matter of if it can be turned on or not, it's a matter of if it functions correctly after it's been turned on.

 

Valantar

Master of Cramming
Jan 20, 2018
439
266
It's not a matter of if it can be turned on or not, it's a matter of if it functions correctly after it's been turned on.

Yeah, trusting Nvidia's showroom floor cherry-picked examples as the be-all, end-all of unverified FreeSync on Geforce is ... sketchy. They are after all trying (really hard!) to make you shell out for their "verified" monitors. I've seen/read plenty of forum posts of people using unverified FS monitors on Geforce cards with zero issues. The third monitor seen there is simply a bad panel/hardware configuration - of which there are plenty, and which has zero relation to the GPU (it would look just as bad on an AMD GPU). The fourth one might be some weird incompatibility due to Nvidia's implementation of FreeSync (in which case the onus to fix it is likely on Nvidia, as it's their job to adhere to the standard), but more likely than not, again, it's a bad monitor. Especially early FS monitors were often buggy and weird, but more recent models are very much improved.

Of course, there's no guarantee that a taobao-sourced controller board won't be buggy and weird, but as long as it implements FS properly and is programmed correctly for the panel in question, it should work perfectly fine on Nvidia cards.
 

Spark

Cable Smoosher
Apr 9, 2019
9
3
Yeah, trusting Nvidia's showroom floor cherry-picked examples as the be-all, end-all of unverified FreeSync on Geforce is ... sketchy. They are after all trying (really hard!) to make you shell out for their "verified" monitors. I've seen/read plenty of forum posts of people using unverified FS monitors on Geforce cards with zero issues. The third monitor seen there is simply a bad panel/hardware configuration - of which there are plenty, and which has zero relation to the GPU (it would look just as bad on an AMD GPU). The fourth one might be some weird incompatibility due to Nvidia's implementation of FreeSync (in which case the onus to fix it is likely on Nvidia, as it's their job to adhere to the standard), but more likely than not, again, it's a bad monitor. Especially early FS monitors were often buggy and weird, but more recent models are very much improved.

Of course, there's no guarantee that a taobao-sourced controller board won't be buggy and weird, but as long as it implements FS properly and is programmed correctly for the panel in question, it should work perfectly fine on Nvidia cards.
The video was to illustrate the potential issues. There are plenty of user tests here with mixed results:

https://www.reddit.com/r/nvidia/comments/ag5z8m/nvidia_freesync_monitor_testing_master_list/
https://docs .google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YI0RQcymJSY0-LkbjSRGswWpJzVRuK_4zMvphRbh19k/edit#gid=1455257716 (remove space between docs and .google, stupid forum formatting issue)

My statement still stands. This will require some trial and error to find a good monitor display panel and control board to make it work correctly. It sounds like the control board might be the more critical component of the two.