Upgrade or downgrade of the LCD resolution. Upgrading from CCFL to LED backlight

LaptopScreen.com guarantees a working replacement LCD or your money back! We do not recommend resolution upgrades.

In-order for us to provide a working replacement LCD guarantee we only recommend replacing your original broken LCD with a new LCD of the exact same resolution. Upgrading or downgrading your laptop's resolution is done at your own risk.

Resolution upgrades are possible, and many laptop users have successfully upgraded their screens to a higher resolution. Currently it seems that the most desirable resolution upgrade is from 1366 x 768 to 1920 x 1080 (1080P / FullHD). There are several obstacles that may need to be resolved before your lower resolution laptop can take a higher resolution display.

1. Video Cable

Signalling interface / video cable. 30-pin eDP is the most common internal video socket used in laptops on the market currently. It has replaced the now obsolete standard of 40-pin LVDS. The problem most low resolution laptop users face is the video cable connecting their motherboards to the LCD is missing the necessary wires. Solution - get a cable that has all the wires.

eDP (embedded Display Port) is the modern laptop's counterpart of Display Port desktop technology. The standard features 1 - 4 lanes of data through-put. 1 Lane covers all resolutions up to 1366 x 768 - the least wires needed. 2 Lanes covers resolutions up to 1080p@60Hz. 4 lanes are required for QHD 2560 x 1440 displays or MBP Retina 2880 x 1800.

LVDS is analogous to the DVI and DVI-D technologies that is used to connect digital monitors to desktops. Just like DVI-S and DVI-D desktop standards, LVDS features single and dual data channels. All resolutions up to 1366 x 768 are covered via a single channel, anything above would require a full-featured cable.

The inconvenient part is that each laptop's video cable is usually unique to the laptop series. And laptop manufacturers have adopted a minimalist strategy when it comes to video cables: meaning if your laptop came with a 1366 x 768 LCD display, chances are it also has a minimized video cable. The physically missing ~8 tiny wires about 1 foot long (costing maybe 1-2 cents) are what separates you from putting a glorious 1080p display in your otherwise solid laptop.

It maybe easy to get the right cable for your laptop, or it maybe completely impossible:

In cases where your 1366 x 768 laptop model was offered with upgraded display options, you may already have the full-featured cable, but if not, you can easily contact your manufacturer part's department and order the right cable by its part-number. Then you simply swap it with your current cable - enabling your laptop to send the 1080p signal to the LCD.

But in cases where the laptop series was manufactured as a "low cost", "budget", "entry level" consumer notebook with no "premium display" options, the right full-featured cable may never have been manufactured for it, and will not be available for purchase at all. The only way to remedy such situation is to modify/create your own full featured video cable by adding wires to the existing part.

2. LCD Whitelist

Some laptops only work with specific LCD panels. Laptop manufacturers in some cases have adopted a whitelisting strategy of embedding a list of known LCD model numbers into the laptop's firmware to be allowed to work on a laptop. This means that unless the LCD screen's EDID reported a model number that is explicitly whitelisted in the laptop's firmware, no "unknown" panel will display an image. The way to go around such software whitelists is by either modifying the LCD's firmware or the laptop's firmware, and in some cases upgrading the laptop's firmware from the vendor's official download page made LCD whitelists go away. If your laptop series has an LCD whitelist, and has never shipped with any resolutions above 1366 x 768, it is doubtful that the whitelist will contain the LCD model numbers of the 1080p panels.

3. Cooling

Video card load will increase with a higher resolution. Laptops run hot due to their size and weight constraints. Resolution of 1366 x 768 presents 1,049,088 pixels to the display. 1920 x 1080 presents 2,073,600 pixels. That is almost double the amount of pixels your video card will have to push to the display. If your laptop is used for browsing, e-mailing and social media - the change will not be as drastic; however if you run 3D games on your laptop, you will be increasing the load on your Graphics Chip considerably. Higher load means higher heat generated. The cooling system will have to work harder, and in-cases where the laptop was not designed to run a 1080p display, and considering the minimalist approach of laptop vendors, the cooling system may simply be inadequate to sustain the continual operation at a higher resolution in high graphical demand applications.

Ultimately upgrading your resolution is done at your own risk, and we do not provide any guarantees if it will work, and we do not accept any responsibility if it doesn't. Please use your better judgement. In most cases of popular good laptops with low res displays, resolution upgrade would make the laptop "perfect". Laptop manufactures go to great lengths to induce buyers to shell out hundreds of dollars for "premium" laptops that have "premium displays", and this have created a culture of laptop owners/enthusiasts discussing their resolution upgrade experiences and their projects on popular hardware forums around the Internet. It is always easier to follow someone's steps than to pioneer a new path, so do a quick search using your laptop model number together with words "resolution upgrade".

By doing your research you may be able to find out whether your cable needs changing, what is the part number for the right cable and where to get one, whether your laptop has an LCD whitelist, and whether your video card / graphics chip can take the additional load.

Upgrading from CCFL to LED backlight:

CCFL technology is now obsolete. If your laptop is newer than 2012 it is more than likely using an LED backlight.

LCD screens require a backlight system to operate, there are two backlight systems that were traditionally used in laptops: CCFL and LED

LED - is a newer backlighting system which does not use an inverter, and instead of a fluorescent tube it uses a strip of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

CCFL - Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light, is an old, now obsolete backlight method, which utilized a daylight spectre fluorescent tube and an inverter which powered it.

So in essence there are two types of laptop screens: LCD-LED and LCD-CCFL. These screens are NOT INTERCHANGEABLE.

Laptop manufacturers tailor their system for a particular LCD screen, so it is impossible to install a LED screen into a computer outfitted for CCFL screen, and vice-versa.

Currently there is no possible way to upgrade from screen that uses CCFL backlight to LED. LED and CCFL laptop screens are not interchangeable since they use different connectors, as well as power sources. Laptop's motherboard will have to be replaced in order to upgrade the laptop from CCFL backlight type to the LED backlight type.

last updated July 06, 2018