Alienware 14 (Haswell 2013 mode) CPU Upgrade Options

Discussion in 'Alienware 14 and M14x' started by senzazn12, Mar 8, 2014.

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  1. senzazn12

    senzazn12 Notebook Consultant

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    Hello folks. I just recently acquired a Dell Alienware 14 (Haswell 2013 model) and it is working great. It currently has the i7 4700 MQ and I was offered to purchase an i7 4930MX CPU for $600.00. I was wondering would the i7 4930MX CPU be compatible with my Alienware 14 motherboard and bios? Does anybody know if the i7 4700 MQ CPU is not soldered and is socketed on the Alienware 14 to do any CPU upgrades and if anyone can provide me with a list of compatible CPU upgrades to the Dell Alienware 14? I plan to have it installed at a computer tech place. Unfortunately they don't know the answer to my question about the CPU upgrade. All they know is how to install the CPU onto the motherboard. Any insight on this would be grateful.

    Update:

    Hello folks. Just wanted to update you all with the i7 4930MX CPU AW 14 experimentation. I got the the i7 4930MX this morning before 10:30 via Fedex International Priority and started the CPU upgrade process right away. It took me a couple hours since I wanted to be very gentle disassembling my AW 14. So when I put it all back together, I pressed the power button but nothing was turning on. I was panicking since I was thinking maybe I had fried the motherboard. Turns out that when I disassembled it again to check, I had forgotten to securely fasten some of the ribbon power cables. Once I did that, it powered fine. Unfortunately in the A08 BIOS, there is no option to change the multipliers or voltages there. However in ThrottleStop 7.00 Beta 1, turbo overclocking max is 80 and I am able to change the multipliers fine. I have done a max of 4.1 GHZ so far. Under TPL, I have the TDP level control unlocked which was was locked on the i7 4700MQ. Also unlike the i7 4700MQ which the PP0 Power Limit was limited to a max of 58, the i7 4930MX max limit is 83.

    Anyway I did a quick video rendering test in Sony Vegas with a 30 second clip with Gaussian Blur and Glow Affects. I took a before and after picture of the video rendering results done with the i7 4700MQ at 3.5 GHZ (with BCLK overclock at 102 mHz) all cores first and then the i7 4930MX at 4.1 GHZ all cores. I have to say I am quite impressed with the performance and the temperatures were pretty okay under 100% load with this short test. Just to emphasize, I do have modified laptop coolers with desktop fans, mini-portable AC fans, HWINFO fan control I am using and I am still waiting on an ETS laptop extractor to put on the back vent to further optimize cooling. Again, will have to see how this is like in the long run under longer stress test but so far these short test have been promising. I'll post pictures of the video rendering test soon when I find a decent screen capturing program. I'm not too much a benchmark guy to be honest.

    If you guys want to know the rendering times of the test before I post the pictures let me know.

    EDIT: Pics below of the really short video render test.

    This pic below was the render time for the i7 4700MQ at 3.5 GHZ with a BCLK overclock of 102.7mHz. For this one I forgot to take a picture of ThrottleStop with it.

    [​IMG]

    The pic below was the render time for the i7 4930MX at 4.1 GHZ.

    [​IMG]

    Again take this test with a grain of salt. It is just a short test to verify that the i7 4930MX is functional in the Alienware 14 (Haswell 2013 model). Based on this test, the i7 4930MX CPU overclocked at 4.1 GHZ cut the render time in half from 26 seconds to 13 seconds compared to the i7 4700MQ at 3.5 GHZ. :D Temperatures at the highest was 73 degrees Celsius for the i7 4930MX CPU at 4.1 GHZ under load. I know this wasn't a long test to test temperature but I still do plan to optimize the cooling once I get two ETS laptop heat extractors. Those will certainly help. I also am not really into doing high benching tests as mentioned earlier but I'll see.

    EDIT 2: For all you AW 14 owners who are curious about upgrading to the i7 4930MX, I would say it is only worth it if you do any intensive video rendering or any other CPU heavy tasks. Also I would only do it if you have the necessary things to keep it cool like strong laptop coolers, heat extractors, AC fans and good thermal paste. In theory, an i7 4900MQ CPU would have been enough to hit 4.0 to 4.2 GHZ but because of the locked TDP at 47 and the lower maxed out PP Power Limit at 58 compared to 83 on the i7 4930MX, I went with the i7 4930MX.
     
  2. krlane

    krlane Notebook Enthusiast

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    I know that the CPU is NOT soldered to the motherboard, and is upgradable. I also know that "officially" there are only two options available for the AW14, and those are the 4700MQ and the 4800MQ.

    The 4930MX "should" fit, just don't know if it is going to draw too much power. The 4930MX is 57W where the MQ CPU's are 47W....

    Check this chart for a listing of the processors:
    List of Intel Core i7 microprocessors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    scroll down to the: "Haswell-MB" (quad-core, 22 nm) section.
    Looks like the safest bet is to go with the 4910MQ to stay within the correct wattage range.
     
  3. senzazn12

    senzazn12 Notebook Consultant

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    I'm just wondering since I saw this on Amazon a few days ago.

    Alienware 14 14" i7 4930MX 3.9GHz NVIDIA GTX 765M 16GB 1600MHz RAM 1TB SSD DVDRW Windows 8: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    Apparently it is a model of the Alienware 14 that has the 4930MX. Do you think based on this that I should go ahead and get it? It seems tempting to get the CPU for $600 since it worth about $950.00. I do have a modded cooling pad (three desktop fans that I put in the modded cooler) that works wonders for heating. Let me know. Thanks.
     
  4. Alienware-L_Porras

    Alienware-L_Porras Company Representative

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    Officially, it's not supported. Without overclocking it, it could work fine. But there is also a possibility that the machine will need more power and it won't be able to draw it from anywhere.
     
  5. senzazn12

    senzazn12 Notebook Consultant

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    So should I just stick with upgrading it to the i7 4900? Is the CPU easy to replace in the Alienware 14? I was thinking about doing it myself. So is it a no go for the i7 4930MX?
     
  6. hypersonic

    hypersonic Notebook Consultant

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    referring to the owner's manual, it is not easy to replace the cpu (unlike the barebonely msi I've used before)
    you have to remove the whole palmrest-keyboard assembly to get access to the board, and then lift up the motherboard to remove the heatsink, after that u get to replace the cpu

    i haven't done it myself (probably will do it in the future to replace the thermal paste) so i could be wrong
     
  7. QUICKSORT

    QUICKSORT Notebook Evangelist

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    Here at the Belgian website of Alienware the i7 4900mq is actually an option. I actually don't understand why it isn't an option in the US. After all all the orders worldwide get to the same manufacturing place in china. They assemble it and send it to the address to whoever placed the order as an international shipping. I can understand that prices can vary from country to country but that the option isn't available Doesn't make sense to me. (perhaps a marketing strategy, but still lame imho)
     
  8. Kidoman

    Kidoman Newbie

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    Nice post and pics. thanks.
     
  9. senzazn12

    senzazn12 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks bro!
     
  10. rtnlsltn

    rtnlsltn Notebook Consultant

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    Couldn't you just use a AW17 power brick to get the extra power you need?
     
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