"Is the 11th Gen display connector HDMI or DP?", and other inevitably annoying follow-up questions

TLDR: Can I use 11th gen onboard graphics connector to send a signal to a desktop monitor?

I’m building a new toy based on 11th Gen intel i7 for my daughter to replace the terrible laptop she has access to at her mum’s house. She will need to connect her drawing tablet which means she’ll instantly lose 2 of four Type-C ports, add in power for the unit and she’s down to one, which will have to be a dongle for mouse and keyboard.

So firstly, is the 11th gen display-ribbon-cable-connector-thing DP, HDMI or VGA standard?
Is it possible - and if so, is it a straightforward process - to utilise that onboard connector in order to send a signal to a standard desktop monitor.

I have seen another very informative post which showed off a gadget that received GFX from a display port cable and then used that data to power up and run a Framework LCD display, but I want to do the opposite, send the laptops display code down a cable and into a desktop monitor.

My daughter is into art in a big way: she doesn’t want to do it professionally as she feels she would lose all the joy if it became just a way to earn money, besides, it’s massively helpful for her mental health. So, to ensure she still finds it enjoyable, I want to give her access to the best colours that the 11th gen can run. Also, she plays casual games so faster FPS at lower resolution is fine for that.

I’m not averse to getting the soldering iron out and failing till I eventually succeed, but a ready-made solution would be a faster and less painful alternative: basically, with my neuro problems, I don’t want to have to try to look that close at tiny traces with a 450’C pointy stick in my shaky hands. But, if that’s what it takes that’s what I’ll do - god knows her generation could do with a bit of nice now and then.

I am aware I could simply get a Steam Deck Dock with power passthrough, and that would probably resolve the problem immediately - giving HDMI along with other Type-A ports for mouse, kb and camera or whatever, and she’s still have the spare Type C port once her art tablet is hooked up… but that seems like cheating to me, so I really don’t want to go down that route unless the alternative is either insanely expensive or it will take too long to plan and implement (I want this done in time for Christmas).

Any, and all, help is appreciated. Thanks.

Hello! The display ribbon uses eDP-40, which is a DP standard.
Luckily, converting from DP to HDMI is incredibly easy (unlike vice-versa).

If you can find a eDP-40 to DP board, it should simple to connect to a desktop monitor.

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It is eDP, but you will not be able to plug into the motherboard connector directly. Laptop motherboard display connectors don’t have a standard pinout. Luckily, the other end of the Framework display cable, which normally plugs into the LCD, is a common pinout used on many LCDs. It’s 40pin, 4 eDP lane, non-touch. Framework-13 display side connector pinout: https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/Framework-Laptop-13/tree/main/Display#pinout

As Shiroudan said you may be able to use a eDP-40 to DP board, but you must use the Framework display cable. Check that the board accepts the Framework display side pinout. There are boards that don’t give their pinout, I would not buy them. There is more than one common eDP-40 pinout.

Again, to be clear, do not plug any 3rd party cable directly into the Framework motherboard’s connector.

For reference, Framework-13 motherboard side connector pinout: https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/Framework-Laptop-13/tree/main/Mainboard#display-interface


Not quite.

Converting Dual Mode DP (aka DP++) to HDMI is incredibly easy. Converting regular DP to HDMI is just as difficult as the inverse.

A DP++ port is physically identical to a regular DP port, however it supports both the DisplayPort and HDMI protocols.

So to convert DP++ to HDMI an adapter only has the physically adapt between the two connectors. The device with the DP++ port will switch to the HDMI protocol.

Converting regular DP to HDMI (or convert HDMI to any DP) requires an active adapter. An active adapter requires internal processing that can translate between HDMI and DisplayPort protocols.

Dual mode DisplayPort is pretty common for external ports on laptops, however I doubt that any internal connectors support it. Also, USB-C doesn’t support dual mode DisplayPort so the Framework DisplayPort Expansion Card also doesn’t support dual mode.

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It is eDP, which is a connector related the DP but intended for internal displays.

Is there some reason to not use just any USB-C hub? (There are plenty of cheap hubs that support displays, power, and USB)

Thanks for the quick response.

If I understand you correctly, I can get myself a Framework cable (something I didn’t buy as I wasn’t sure what kind of options would be available, if any) and use that to connect to the mobo’s internal connector, then the output from that cable ‘should’ be compatible with any converter board.

That leads to another problem, aside from the board referenced in the ‘reuse the old display’ post which I’ve lost the link to, I’ve not seen any maker boards that come with a 40 pin connector and a standard DP out, or even miniDP. Since that used the display port cable to generate the image and a load of surface mount electronics I have my doubts that particular gadget would send a full signal in the direction I’m aiming for.
Do these pre-built converter boards even exist or am I searching for hens’ teeth? In which case, should I go with a board that has a 40 pin connector and traces to 40 holes so that I can simply wire up my own DP-out port, if I’m going to continue down this route?


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Yep, it was recently added to the marketplace.

I don’t have any advice on a converter board, but I may also recommend @Kyle_Reis 's idea of just using a USB-C hub for all of this, as it may end up being an easier solution

That’s a valid question, and although I did I mention some reasons in my wall of text, I didn’t explain myself all that well:
I am aware I could simply get a Steam Deck Dock with power passthrough, and that would probably resolve the problem immediately - giving HDMI along with other Type-A ports for mouse, kb and camera or whatever, and she’s still have the spare Type C port once her art tablet is hooked up… but that seems like cheating to me, so I really don’t want to go down that route unless the alternative is either insanely expensive or it will take too long to plan and implement (I want this done in time for Christmas).

There are quite a few reasons why I would like to use the internal ribbon socket rather than a hub, and even though I’m on a limited income, money isn’t one of them - at least not unless it becomes an incredible and unavoidable waste of money compared to the hub.
I’ve just realised this is going to be another wall of text. Please forgive me.

First off, I paid for the ability to send a display signal from the motherboard to a monitor when I bought the board. I don’t like to see wasted functionality when it would do the same job as a DP output on any other laptop, motherboard or GPU.

2nd: I bought from Framework due to the company promoting expansion, repair and upgradability of their laptops. A 1440p/4k miniOLED desktop panel would almost certainly be an upgrade for an artist compared to the majority of mobile panels.

3rd: I’m autistic, and that comes with a certain degree of stubbornness. I suspect that using the onboard connector and converting that to DP-out would give a cleaner signal to the monitor compared to using a hub and I want the image displayed to be about as perfect as it can be but when it comes to making the enclosure it will certainly allow for a much thinner chassis compared to also enclosing a hub of indeterminate width.

Lastly, although there’s an inexpensive SteamDeck Dock on Amazon which can take 100w of passthrough power, it also has 3x type-A 3.0 ports, gigabit ethernet port and it functions as a stand which I could also incorporate into my design to get the best airflow possible to the little finstack. The only downside is that the display out for that unit is HDMI… I mean, it’s HDMI2.0 so I’m really not giving up a lot and gaining quite a lot, but still if I could use DP I would prefer to.

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But not any converter board. It has to be for the pinout shown on Frameworks github, which is 40pin, 4 lane.

Also, I don’t think anyone has done this before with the Framework. I don’t know if it’s a given that it will auto-negotiate and just work.

I looked a little for eDP to DP adapter boards, didn’t run across one. Just eDP to HDMI https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256803925212777.html. Admittedly, I didn’t look very hard.

I’m not sure if that makes me want to save myself the time and effort and go with a hub, or double down and try harder to see if I can get something to work.
After all, being able to claim First would be a nice achievement on top of actually being able to accomplish the stated goal.

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They might be hens’ teeth…
And DP is very sensitive to signal integrity issues. So a DIY adapter doesn’t look so easy.

I understand the desire to not waste functionality, however you have the same functionality available through easier sources (the USB-C ports).

Unlike something like VGA DisplayPort is digital, which means that the data either gets there or doesn’t. Unless you use compression (more on that below) it will be the full quality either way.

In fact the 11th gen i7 is rated to have higher resolution display output through USB-C ports than through the internal

Docks have to handle managing limited bandwidth between the computer and the dock. I haven’t looked at that specific dock but many cheaper docks allocate 12.96 Gbps to display bandwidth and 5-10 Gbps to everything else.

Allocating only 12.96 Gbps to displays generally means that 4k 60 Hz displays either need compression (which hurts image quality) or reduced blanking (blanking is essentially wasted bandwidth that is leftover in the spec from old displays that needed it, reduced blanking reduces that wastage but some displays don’t play nice).

So I suggest avoiding many docks for that reason.

Expensive Thunderbolt docks can take advantage of more bandwidth from the computer to solve this, although those are expensive.

Cable Matters has this cheap adapter that allocates 25.92 Gbps to displays, 0.5 Gbps to everything else, and supports 100W passthrough. You can also use a Framework DisplayPort Expansion Card (25.92 Gbps to display) and a separate USB-C hub for everything else.

Amazing idea and motivation for a project, I really hope it works out!

This very topic was discussed a while ago (complete with a speculative pinout!), no confirmed reports though. Framework internal display connector to DP port?

There’s also more discussion on the inverse of what you asked, going from an external Framework screen to usb-c. I vaguely remember some off-topic posts in here though, so feel free to scroll and see if it’s what you want: HDMI controller board for display panel - #15 by nrp

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The pin-out isn’t speculative, the board side is from the framework github and I hope accurate, and the display one was confirmed with the datasheet of the display and is pretty much the de-facto standard “40pin 4-lane no touch”-pinout.

Getting DP from edp is pretty much just a matter of wiring (length matched and all that of course), what I don’t know is if it supports dual mode for easy hdmi.

did this work?