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Can't run 1920/1080p @ 120hz on Alienware 17R3 (GTX980M)?

external monitor monitor 120hz 144hz Alienware 17R3 Alienware laptop refresh rate refresh

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I just bought a 144hz monitor (BenQ XL2720Z) to connect to my Alienware 17R3 laptop. I have connected my monitor to the laptop via dual link dvi and I am running at 1920/1080p @ 60hz. My optimum resolution, as stated on monitor menu is 1920/1080 @120hz and that's what I'm trying to achieve.  That's the whole reason I bought the monitor, otherwise I'd have spent $200 less and gotten a 60hz screen. The Nvidia control panel on my laptop doesn't allow for that 1920/1080 @120hz. I can get 120hz but only when I reduce screen resolution to 1024/768. That is the point at which the 120hz option becomes available in the refresh rate drop down box. Am I missing something? My dual link DVI cable is connect to laptop via an hdmi/DVI-D adapter.  So my question is: is resolution output dependent on gpu, monitor, or cable connection?  Is that hdmi adapter throttling the 120hz refresh that this monitor is capable of producing?  Or is the gpu in my laptop simply not capable of producing that high a refresh at 1080p?  I have ordered a USB-C to DisplayPort cable in hopes that will allow the high refresh and resolution but while I wait for it to arrive I'd like to know if you think I've wasted my money and that 60hz is all I'm going to get. 


postscript: apologies if you read this exact post on reddit.. 

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:welcome:   Evobrixton,


I have connected my monitor to the laptop via dual link dvi



For best performance and graphics reproduction you should be using the notebooks HDMI 2.0 port and one of the HDMI ports on the Benq.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: external monitor, monitor, 120hz, 144hz, Alienware 17R3, Alienware laptop, refresh rate, refresh

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