Alienware 17x R4 970M Upgrade

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by TomJGX, Dec 23, 2014.

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  1. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm looking to get the 970M as a an upgrade while I wait for summer 2015 and new cards! I've chosen Hidevolution since their the cheapest and the best IMO... These are some of the other options I looked at. The 1 year warranty is for me worth the extra!

    I have seen the following options:

    HidEvolution: I've been advised to purchase the upgrade kit from their website and use the Fedex international priority option and I was told that the price on the website would include all customs fees taxes. it comes to £441 and this has been confirmed. ( I have purchased the kit from here!!)
    RjTech: Price with shipping comes to $550 and its UPS Worldwide expidited but I'm again unsure if that includes customs fees. Theres also the problem IMO of the 90 day warranty and no returns policy. I'm also not sure what model Clevo's card I should chose and honestly, I would like to stay away from this option..
    Eurocom: £556 with shipping and customs.. (Ouch)
    PC Specialist: Refuses to sell GPU by itself..
    Schenker:Refuses to sell GPU unless you have XMG notebook..
    Scan: Refuses to sell GPU itself..

    After evaluating everything, I decided Hidevolution would be my best bet even after hearing some horror stories about them.. Their ebay rep Ted was very informative and the card was delivered with everything I needed. I think the important thing is to communicate. Call them up and talk to them on the phone to confirm everything will be provided and place your order through their website. It's cheaper then eBay.. Once order is placed, make sure you communicate to them that you need every bit of the kit and you should get it.

    I ordered on Christmas Eve, it was dispatched the same day in a matter of hours by Fedex International Priority.. I received it on the 29th of December which was a Monday.

    It arrived in a small box, well packed in bubble wrap and with the following components showed in this picture (Courtesy of Eurocom's Ebay upgrade kit posting)

    970M upgrade kit.JPG



    Now to install the card, you need to meet the following requirements

    - You need to have Windows 8.1 installed
    - You need to have your boot disk GPT formatted
    - Most important of all, you have to have a UEFI install of Windows 8.1. Legacy Boot option needs to be disabled in BIOS..
    - Uninstall your old AMD/NVIDIA drivers

    Your BIOS settings will look like this:

    Optimized-DSC_0033.JPG

    Now we can physically install the card. I would suggest following what the Eurocom 780M upgrade video does below. Honestly steps are the same. If you have an AMD card, you will need the screws given by Hide to install the heatsink on the NVIDIA card (AMD card has different screws for this). I would suggest using IC Diamond, which is provided because it's an excellent thermal compound. Just keep it in a cup of warm water to melt and become easier to apply when you need to do so.





    In essence, thermal pad layout is similar to that done in the Eurocom video however, it's better to have the following thermal pad layout (courtesy of TBoneSan/Mr Fox/ Mikecacho)

    DSC_1827f.jpg

    Heatsink wise, the AMD and Dell 3 Pipe heatsink is what you want. I admit it's bit of an overkill for the 970M but hey no harm in making it run as cool as possible :)

    The heatsink is ready to use, just rip the black tape off and if you want, you can "mod" or really just polish it like Mikecacho did in the below post

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-17-m17x/766867-m17x-r4-gtx980m-upgrade.html#post9857127

    If you have done eveything correctly, tada you now boot and you'll enter Windows.

    You need to mod the inf and install your GPU drivers. Now you can do this yourself or J95 has done it for us.

    Get it from here: http://forum.techinferno.com/nvidia/6307-[alienware]-aftermarket-upgrades-driver-support-modded-inf-11.html#post116879

    You download the NVIDIA driver, extract it with Winrar and replace the inf file in the graphics driver folder. Install, Restart and your upgrade is complete.

    Screenshot of GPU-Z with the 970M installed.

    GPU-Z.gif
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
    sC_b4n3, avands, Flaick and 1 other person like this.
  2. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    Reserved for future posts..
     
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  3. mikecacho

    mikecacho Notebook Evangelist

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    Fujipoly Extreme Thermal pads it what i use and they have lasted me over 2 years with no issues, but regardless the new cards run cold anyhow.
     
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  4. SteveConr

    SteveConr Company Representative

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    Our shipping to Europe would be TNT/UPS at 5-7 days as listed on our website.
     
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  5. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    Hi,

    What thickness pads did u get and about how much do you need to typically lay on the GPU? Is 0.5mm thickness enough? And jesus it's really expensive here in the UK... £11.19 for a 100x15mm strip... I'm thinking of these Phobya XT pads which are next best and much cheaper...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Phobya-Th...hermal_Compounds_Supplies&hash=item2c78dffe1e

    Will 0.5mm thick be enough? Also is the dimensions of this enough of laying on the whole GPU?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  6. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    You should get thermal pads when you buy the cards. I know Eurocom and HID include that. Not sure what quality pads they use but probably more than sufficient

    Pretty sure 0.5mm is too thin but you can always stack them. Best to go with 1.0mm imo
     
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  7. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    Only reason I'm thinking of 0.5mm pads as J95 suggested them when getting the 780M installed... @Mikecacho, what did u do with the fujipoly pads u had? What were their thickness?
     
  8. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    the only real difference between the models on RJTech are the fact that some come with an x-bracket and others come with a back plate. i am looking for the 980M with the x-bracket as i have a hunch that the back plate will cause some issues during the install of the card.
     
  9. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    Mike what thickness were the pads once again? Need to put my order in for pads..

    Yeah exactly.. And I don't know which ones are which.. I'm ordering from Hide because shipping customs is all included and I can live with the 1 year warranty and lifetime tech support :)..

    Only thing now is one last thing bothering me.. To flash vBIOS can you do it even if your laptop is in optimus mode? You have to do vBIOS flashing in DOS from what I remember so shouldn't be a problem right?
     
  10. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    go with the ones that have an x-bracket, that's my plan.
     
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