Alienware 17 R4 GPU Upgrade

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Jnobles, Jul 16, 2018.

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  1. Jnobles

    Jnobles Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm getting a AW 17 R4 for a steal price, it has a i7-6700 and a GTX1060. I have a brand new aurora at home with a 1080 and 8700K, as well as I'll be starting to upgrade my AW 17 R1 Ranger, which will be the two I mostly game on. I'm planning on upgrading to a SSD on both the R1 and R4, as well as upgrading the R1 to a 980M instead of a 770, along with the 100hz heatsink. Both systems are running 32 gb RAM so I'm too worried there. I mainly want to upgrade the GPU on the R4 from the 1060 to hopefully the 1080. I know that they are soldered to the motherboard now, and I've found a few options, each having their own issues. I was wondering which option will be the most helpful / bang for my buck.

    I know that I can replace the entire motherboard with one that has a 1080 already in it, I'm not sure how much this will cost me, but I know it wont be cheap. Are there any motherboards for the R4 that I could install that wouldn't have a soldered GPU?

    I also have heard I can install a new graphics card into the graphics amplifier to run alongside the 1060, but I have heard of issues with the new GPU not running properly, or that I would only be able to run the GPU on an external monitor if I did this?

    Or, should I just do nothing and leave the 1060? I don't plan on using this as too much of a gaming laptop but I might dabble with it, as I'll have the aurora and R1 and Aurora, but I may plan on using it to run some more intensive programs (CAD, ArcGIS, and what not). Would it be more worthwhile to just leave the 1060?
     
  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Everything after the Ranger is soldered, there is no LGA / MXM variants in existence.

    Graphics amplifier doesnt run alongside the laptop GPU IIRC it disables it when the AGA is in use. To get the best performance you would want a external monitor as the AGA link is PCIE 3.0 x4. Its not a lot of bandwidth to work with.

    Just stick with the 1060 in that machine, some people have issues cooling the 1080 in it anyways. That and you'd essentially be buying another laptop by the time your done with the expenses.
     
  3. Jnobles

    Jnobles Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah I guess I’ll just leave it how it is and use it as a more “family laptop” style and just load it down with all my random ****. It’s got like 512GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD so I’m probably good on that for a while. Thanks for the help again
     
  4. Sentential

    Sentential Notebook Evangelist

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    Couple points, AGA is 8x not 4 and it does electrically disable the onboard chip and it frankly has plenty of bandwidth and isn't prone to the same issues TB3 is since it is a direct PCI-E connector with no overhead. The bit about the external monitor is correct and you are also correct about it being more of a docking station rather than being a portable appliance. You are also correct about the penalty hit when running through the primary display but it is not nearly as bad as TB3.

    The 15r3 and 17r4 use the same motherboards FYI so you can try finding something cheap but as the previous poster said there is no MXM boards for alienware
     
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  5. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Ah yes I did feel that particular detail might have been off, thanks for clarifying.

    6700hq will hold back the higher end graphics however. I remember seeing a few benchmarks of this guy running r6: siege benchmark and it looked quite disappointing. Still an improvement for sure but certainly holding back his AGA.
     
  6. Jnobles

    Jnobles Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah, I'll probably be better off just leaving the 6700 and 1060 in there, rather than spending the money on an R4 motherboard, plus don't the 15s usually cap out CPU and GPU below the capabilities of the 17? I don't think I'll want to run the R4 through an external monitor, I was hoping that wasn't the case
     
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