Alienware M17 R4 980m Upgrade

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by PTaylor, Jun 29, 2018.

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  1. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    I went through a lot of that cra* with the 675 in my R4. Replacements, tec visits, MB, GFX, display all changed. The machine would work OK for a few weeks and then gradually the NV would fail, having to reboot until it worked. When it would only start in safe mode I got the 680m. Best card I have ever used, takes a LOT of OC!

    Anyhoo, first can you confirm this is a 60hz panel or is it a 120hz panel? I thought the g-sync thing was a red herring :)
     
  2. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey Micky, I hope life has been treating you well. It appears to a 60hz panel. I only have the intel card to go by. When I check the display adapter under list all modes there is no listing over 60hz refresh rate. Tried pulling it up with the service tag but when I checked the Original config nothing displays there. And I do mean literally nothing. Like they shipped an empty box or something.

    I agree on the G-Synk thing being a red herring. I thought it was a long shot. Especially since everything I have read said get the Cleo card. Did I spell that right? I am unsure. Which I believe are the 13D7 and D8s.

    The problem now is this thing has not detected any of the 3 cards I have had in it. The original 675, the 13d8 and whatever revision of the card I had in it today. Not by the bios or device manager.

    Any input is welcome at this point. The r4 bios does not allow me to disable the intel card. It is a very Base Bios. I hate when they do that. I get it save problems with technical illiterates from going in and screwing things up. But they are really just putting the screws to people like me that do this for a living.

    Sorry if my frustration is coming through. I guess I should look on the good side. At least I got that MSI out today. Ya I am going to go with that. Look forward to hearing back from you Micky. Probably wont see it till tomorrow. Have a great day buddy.
     
  3. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    Hi, doing good thanks!
    Yeah, if you see the intel then it's a 60hz display. There are unlocked bios files for the R4 but IIRC the 980m in the R4 needs to be 'booted' on the intel.

    It is sounding like there is another problem with all those cards not even showing but I'm afraid I am at a loss as to what to try next :(, I recall you tried various bios options re faststart/fastboot UEFI. I thought this was where the issue was.

    Good luck and let me know if you find anything.

    PS 'Clevo' ;)
     
  4. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Update: New board came in yesterday and I got it installed this morning. Turned it on, went into the bios and the original 675 showed in the bios. So all of my previous problems were motherboard side. That is kind of encouraging. At least now I know it wasn't something I was doing wrong.

    I am currently cloning the original ssd to a larger ssd and waiting on the new 980m to get here. Not sure how long that will take. But will update with my progress as soon as it comes in.
     
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  5. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Update: The new 980m got here today. Turned the system on it showed in device manager and in bios. I didn't even have to run the driver. Windows 10 went out on got it on its own. Bench marked it and all seems fine. It was amazing how easy this was when everything was is working condition.

    I wanted to say thanks @MickyD1234 for your your assistance and being there to bounce ideas off of. It was very helpful. Now on to the next one. Should I go ahead and mod a driver and install that? Or just leave well enough alone?
     
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  6. MickyD1234

    MickyD1234 Notebook Prophet

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    NP :).
    You might find that a stock driver will now install. Just make a note of the version win10 went for, but... if it's all working well:p, enjoy!
     
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  7. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well it has been ok... I ran into 2 issues after testing. The first I fixed. there was a spot where the thermal padding I put down need replacement with a thicker pad. The 2nd problem I have had no luck finding any info on and is as follows.

    For some reason the fan (GPU Side) does not kick on. It works, I can use HWinfo64 to turn the fan on and crank it all the way up and even got a heaven benchmark of 2198 with an operational temp fairly consistent around 65 to 70 degrees. Not to shabby. But if I leave it to the system I only get brief instances where the fan bumps up to around 900 rpm and then drops out to 0. I suspect there is some issue with the fan. Any thoughts guys?
     
  8. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    OK after a little looking around I think the issue is with the vBios. Seems this model laptop wants to control the fan speed through the motherboard and the Clevo card wants to do the same. I am off to hunt down a vBios for this card and will update later today or Monday.
     
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  9. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    So I now have HWinfo64 running a custom auto fan config. Consistently getting Heaven benchmarks scores around 2.1k to 2.2K. No over heating or throttling. I am going to go ahead and chalk this on up in the W column.

    HWinfo64 seems to be kind of slow on both ramping up and winding down the fan speeds though. Can anyone recommend a better software controller for the fans?
     
  10. PTaylor

    PTaylor Notebook Enthusiast

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    I got HWinfo64 working correctly. Turn out I was missing an entry in that was needed in the ini file. System runs like a charm now.

    For future reference the entry that was needed was "OpenFanCtrlMin=1" without the quotation marks.
     
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