¿Best upgrades for M18X-R2? [CPU - GPU - RAM - Cooling] Best for the buck.

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by [Nikos], Apr 1, 2015.

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  1. [Nikos]

    [Nikos] Notebook Evangelist

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    EUREKA!
    3DMark FireStrike
    15165
    3DMark Vantage:
    Graphics Score 58609

    Power consumption around 510 W. I need to improve my Dual PSU mod to prevent the laptop to shutdown. This is the first time it has such a peak power.


    The wait is over :). Prema did it!

    PS: We need to donate Prema, you don't know how much time and effort he gave to us to make this vbios come true. I lost the count of the vbios we tested so far and he was doing this procedure since the cards were released LOL! Insane work.
    BRAVO PREMA BRAVO!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
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  2. N!GHTHAWK

    N!GHTHAWK Notebook Enthusiast

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    Disclaimer: Upgrading/Mod/Unlocking/Overclocking is your choice and any damages or problems are your fault! Happy Gaming!!!

    Please note I am not a guru and this is only what I have read and pulled together from many threads. My cards are on the way! Guru's if you see anything incorrect let me know and I will fix it. :)

    Procedure for upgrading the M18X R2 with 980m’s

    1. You must create a bootable thumb drive with Windows 8 or 8.1.

    1a. Rufus is a free small utility that creates bootable USB flash drive for Windows 7 or 8.

    1b. Plug in USB flash drive

    1c. Launch Rufus

    1.c.1.Under Partition Scheme and target sys type> Choose GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer.

    1.c.2.Under Create a bootable disk using> Chose ISO image then click on box to the right and add your WIN 8.iso file

    1.c.3.Hit Start and create you boot drive.

    1.c.4.Restart computer and hit F2 to enter the Bios

    2. In the Bios,

    2a. Click on Boot tab> UEFI = Enabled/ Legacy ROM = Disabled.

    2b. F10 to save bios and Exit.

    2c. Shut system.

    Install your Single or Dual 980M How to install GPU

    3. Plug in your Win 8/8.1 Boot drive.

    3a. Power on the computer and install Win 8/8.1

    3b. Install drives and software

    3.b.1.Clean install guide

    3.b.2.Alienware look and feel after a clean install of windows


    Unlock your GPU’s

    4. Shutdown your computer and remove the secondary GPU and turn on the laptop if installed

    4a. Change the BIOS to SG mode and UEFI with Legacy Option ROM.

    4b. Disable the 980M in Device Manager

    4.b.1.Flash Prema's vbios version 1.1 (Make a donation to him - HERE)the primary GPU, reboot and re- enable the GPU in Device Manager (Be patient, because UEFI with Legacy Option ROM flashing takes a bit longer sometimes).

    4c. Shut down your laptop. Disconnect all power.

    4d. Put the secondary GPU in the primary slot. No need to separate the heatsinks. *

    4e. Restart the computer and Disable the GPU in Device Manager

    4.e.1.Flash the secondary GPU, reboot and re-enable the GPU in Device Manager (Be patient, because UEFI with Legacy Option ROM flashing takes a bit longer sometimes).

    4f. Put the BIOS back to PEG mode with pure UEFI (no Legacy Option ROM). **

    4g. Access startup settings. Next, click or tap the Advanced options tile. Select the Startup Settings tile on the Advanced options screen.

    4h. Reboot into safe mode (option 4)

    4i. Remove previous drivers with DDU, and access again to startup settings. Next, click or tap the Advanced options tile. Select the Startup Settings tile on the Advanced options screen.

    4j. On the Startup Settings screen, tap the F7 or 7 key on your keyboard to select the “Disable driver signature enforcement” option.

    4k. Install GeForce 350.12 WHQL -> Install using NV_dispi.inf.

    4l. NV Inspector -> Match P0/P1 stock clocks first -> Run Valley Benchmark then find out how much the card will hold w/ 1.068v , finally update settings. Don't mess w/ voltage offset including undervolting, only when OCing.

    Do some benchmark (3DMark FireStrike 1.1, 3DMark 11, 3DMark Vantage...)

    Downloads

    Rufus is a free small utility that creates bootable USB flash drive for Windows 7 or 8.

    Prema's vbios version 1.1 (Make a donation to him - HERE) I did! ;)

    j95's moddedGeForce 350.12 WHQL drivers (Make a donation to him - HERE <- need your link @@j95 please[​IMG]).

    NV_dispi.inf.

    NV Inspector

    Notes

    *Lay the heat sink radiator on top of the chassis above the VGA/HDMI port. It will make a solid connection in the PCIe slot for flashing. Since there is no air being pushed through the radiator, it will get too hot if you try to use it this way, but it will be fine just for flashing.

    **If you forget to do this you will have to remove the secondary GPU or the machine will fail to POST with 8 beeps. Once the BIOS is correctly set, put everything back the way it is supposed to be and you're ready to go.

    Unlocking the 980 SLI with OC may/will require Dual PSU mod

    ATI to Nvidia Heatsink are interchangeable.

    Appreciation’s!!!

    I do specially thanks to @Nikos, Peter, and godfafa for procedure. @Mr. Fox @j95, @svl7, @Prema, For the keys to success!!! @ And finially the Alienware commuity NRB and Techinferno forums[​IMG]!!!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    Papusan, @tomX, Prema and 2 others like this.
  3. [Nikos]

    [Nikos] Notebook Evangelist

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    Well done buddy
     
  4. [Nikos]

    [Nikos] Notebook Evangelist

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    Hello again,

    tomorrow is supposed to arrive this mems

    16GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 2133MHz SO-DIMM Low-voltage 1.35V laptop memory kit (2x 8GB) CL11

    Do I have to do anything special to make it works? Or It is going to work as my current PnP mems?

    Thank you :D
     
  5. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Should work fine. It does for me. It's not as fast as my Corsair Vengeance 2133, but it's still good. I have this RAM in the Alienware 18 and Clevo P570WM. I have Kingston HyperX 2133 in the M18xR1 and Vengeance 2133 in the M18xR2. All of them run at their rated 2133 speeds. On the Alienware 18, I had to lower the tCKmin value at notch or two with Thaiphoon Burner to stop it from dropping to 1866.
     
  6. [Nikos]

    [Nikos] Notebook Evangelist

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    Maybe I do not understand your phrase but why are not as fast as the Vengance Model you have?
    Both are rated @ 2133 MHz aren't they (Ripjaws and Vengance)?
    Thanks for the info :D
     
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  7. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    The memory read/write performance in the G.SKILL Ripjaws is not as fast as the other brands I have. This only shows up in benchmarks of memory speed, but it won't have a remarkable impact on other benchmarks, and you won't be able to "feel" any difference compared to 1866. The Ripjaws is single bank and the others are dual bank, and single bank is usually slower. By single bank I mean 4 larger RAM chips on each side of the PCB instead of dual bank with 8 chips (2 rows of 4 chips).

    I demonstrated the differences a while back. See this thread: All Memory is Not Created Equal - HyperX 2133 CL12 versus Ripjaws 2133 CL11 versus Vengeance 2133 CL11
     
  8. [Nikos]

    [Nikos] Notebook Evangelist

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    Oh! I did not see that! Sorry hehe
    I am going to read that now ;)
    Thank you for the info again :p
     
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  9. [Nikos]

    [Nikos] Notebook Evangelist

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    Do you think It is worth to change RipJaws for the vengeance? I can do the exchange.
    I mean with the Corsair mems will be more noticeable the performance upgrade?
     
  10. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    If you have a chance to change it without a penalty, definitely do. You will be able to measure the difference, yes. If you see the screen shots I posted, you can absolutely measure it. But, you will not notice or feel anything you can point to and say "wow, that's awesome" with a memory speed upgrade. We're talking very minor improvements going from your 1866 to 2133 with Ripjaws, Kingston or Corsair. If you are benching and like chasing numbers, it's worth it, but still a poor value from a cost to benefit analysis. For gaming, it's totally a waste of money. It won't do anything for playing games, LOL.
     
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