Alienware m17x r4 Extreme

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by Henrik9979, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello I got suggested to share all my alienware mods.

    Specs:
    Alienware m17x r4
    BIOS - A11 Unlocked
    GPU - MSI GTX 1070 with 200w vbios
    CPU - i7 3920xm
    Harddisk1: msata 120gb SSD
    Harddisk2: 750gb 7200rpm
    Harddisk3: 750gb 7200rpm
    Wifi: intel centrino advanced-n 6300
    RAM: 3x Samsung 4gb 800mhz DDR3-1600 pc3-12800 (M471B5273DH0-CK0)

    Mods performed:
    Unlocked bios
    Gtx 1070 vbios mod
    Dual PSU mod
    Watercooling
    Extra fan for Vram
    Extra copper on heatsinks
    PCH temperature enhancement
    Wifi card upgrade
    GPU overclock
    CPU overclock
    Ram overclock

    Special thanks to:
    RMSMajestic
    Mr. Fox
    svl7
    Johndill
    cicichen https://www.ebay.com/usr/cicichen594



    Before I get to the exciting stuff, I will share the guide to get an unlocked BIOS, which you will need later on.
    Some of the important links does not work but I found some working ones elsewhere.

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/1516-m17x-r4-unlocked-bios-versions/&


    Here are the files needed. Notice the prr is called prr2, you might have to rename it to prr to make it work.
    FPT_DOS.zip
    prr2.zip

    This is the download link. If you can not use it, it is because you have not made enough quality posts yet. (Read the techinferno rules)
    https://www.techinferno.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=11973
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  2. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Dual PSU mod
    [​IMG]

    This is the items I used. I ordered all the parts in my own country, for around $24 except the 2 alienware DC power jack connectors.

    https://el-supply.dk/raaprint-160x100mm-35um-enkelsidet-epoxy/varenummer/0-7610.160100
    https://el-supply.dk/aluboks-hammond-stoebt-111x60x31mm-ip65-115x65x30mm/varenummer/0-7251H
    https://el-supply.dk/mbr4060pt-schottky-diode-60v-40a2x20-to247/varenummer/0-25MBR4060PT
    https://el-supply.dk/glimmersaet-top-3/varenummer/0-6549
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-DC-Pow...281626?hash=item2364efa25a:g:JuEAAOSwBvNTo~za

    I had a lot of trouble making this mod work. But in reality it was working all along. The whole issue was my wattage meter only showing half of the value.
    So when the cpu in my m18x r2 throttled to 800mhz from 4.8ghz, but my meter only showed 360w it was because my m18x r2 really was drawing 720w and my PSU start to power throttle.

    If you want to see how other people did you can read this thread:
    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/3207-tutorial-dual-330w-ac-adapter-mod/&page=5


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I made some small changes here. I changed the brown wires to some thicker wires.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  3. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    How did your 200w 1070 perform?

    We have witnessed throttling with the 1080 installed and most of us abandoned the idea as it looked like it was lack of power delivery from the MXM slot.

    Thanks for sharing your experience thus far!
     
  4. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    MSI GTX 1070

    Okay, this upgrade needs some modification to the chassis and motherboard because of the cards physical size.

    I bought the card from RMSMajestic. If you want this card, then order it from him. He is very helpful too.

    The original threads can be found here:

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.p...x-r4-another-socket-victory-against-bga-crap/

    and here

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/1070-gtx-in-an-m17x-r4.813593/page-2

    Also, this card only supports EDP output which means a 60hz screen will not work.
    Also before mounting the card you need to disable legacy support and run purely in UEFI mode, otherwise it will give you 8 beeps.
    There is one exeption, you can make 60hz and legacy work IF you only use SW/switchable graphics/Nvidia Optimus

    WARNING, IF YOU ONLY HAVE A 120HZ/EDP SCREEN DO NOT GET RID OFF YOUR OLD NVIDIA CARD
    IF YOU RESET THE BIOS YOUR LAPTOP WILL GO BACK TO LEGACY AND BE STUCK AT 8 BEEPS
    THE SOLUTION IS TO PUT THE OLD NVIDA CARD IN AND CORRET THE SETTINGS

    Alienwares that has an AMD GPU is having a 60hz screen
    Alienwares that was born with gtx 660m or lower has 60hz
    Alienwares with Nvidia 3D Vision support has 120hz which means it uses EDP

    You can also see the difference by removing the keyboard and look at the screen connector.
    EDP has two screws on them and LVDS has no screws.

    I bought my screen from here:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-17-3-D...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

    You can also search for these two part numbers:
    C30PY
    XM2J5


    [​IMG]

    What you see in the picture is the MXM connector protected with black tape, because you need to remove the small tap which is not covered with tape.
    The small metal tap can be pull straight up with some force.
    Next, you need to remove the plastic piece, it is pretty soft plastic. I used a nose plier [​IMG] to brake it off. A dremel causes a alot saw dust and is hard to control in such crammed space. (I have tried the mod two times so I know)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now you can see there is space for the card.

    Also you need to mod the chassis too. Remember it is aluminum, so be sure to keep your components far away so you dont get metal dust in them and ending up fry them.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    It perform fantasic. With no overclock it has no throttle at all.
    With the stuck vbios it was set to 115w and it kept throttling.
    Now I run it overclocked at 2100 mhz but I have set the powerdraw to max 86% otherwise the CPU and GPU will throttle each other.
     
  6. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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  7. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Looks like I really should get started on tuning mine via the flasher. Under light loads I can get 1886mhz on stock vbios.

    Under heavy loads like monster hunter: world I get around 1600mhz.

    I have the programmer just never got around to getting it flashed. I guess I've just been timid, lot of work getting my ranger to where it is now.

    I don't think 200w is possible but maybe 150w or 145w might be doable.
     
  8. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Water cooling

    [​IMG]

    Both my GPU and CPU is having their own loop. I made it so I can disconnect everything without having to bleed the whole system. There will be a little drop of water but it is almost nothing. That way I can carry the whole setup around to my friends.
    The fittings on the laptop can also easily be removed, and replaced with some very tiny plugs if I want to use it as a normal laptop, and don't have to worry about the fittings being bend.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    The heatsinks is costume made. The guy who made it for me is cicichen https://www.ebay.com/usr/cicichen594
    He is also the guy behind the all copper 5 piped heatsink for the GPU and the 3 piped heatsink for the CPU
    He is a very good guy who wants to help and is up for a challenge.

    Also the CPU fan is modded by him. Instead of the original 2 cfm fan, this fan is 10.4 cfm.
    You can read about this mod here:
    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/2699-m17x-cpu-fan-upgrademod-2cfm-104cfm/


    [​IMG]

    This Koolance EXOS LT Water cooler is a whole chapter for itself. I had to do some changes to make it work without a desktop computer.
    I build the thermal sensor so it is inside the unit, instead of inside the computer. I made it so it get the power from the wall and not from the computer. I mounted quick fittings at the back. I switched out the fans with some completely silent fans, and made it blow the hot air out of the top instead of the sites.


     
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  9. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Your throttle might be caused by the nvidia driver bug.

    I just made a video for you with how to fix it.

    But remember it has to be Hibernate not Sleep otherwise it will not work.

     
  10. Henrik9979

    Henrik9979 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Flashing 200w Vbio
    Original Thread:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...er-update-and-feedback-thread.806161/page-189

    Okay here is what I did.

    First of, I made a folder with all the tools for a ch341a.

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AukTois8CyjMyUWESYZO-1RlGokz

    This is my setup:
    [​IMG]

    Okay first, here is a small guide to get the ch341a working.

    First, download and extract my "Ch341a_tools.zip" folder.

    Drivers:
    1:1. open "CH341A tools" folder
    1:2. open "Driver-Install-First-Alway" folder
    1:3. run and install "CH341PAR"

    Now you are ready for the next part.

    Hooking everything up:
    2:1. Study the photo of my setup so you connect everything correctly.
    2:2. Before connecting it to the USB port, first, connect the clip to the bios chip.
    2:3. A trick to make sure you have connected everything correctly before applying power is to take a multimeter and check for ground. Touch the USB with the red wire, and a screw hole on the graphics card with the black wire. If the multimeter beeps you have connected everything correctly.
    3:4. Plug your programmer into the USB port.

    The software part:
    4:1. Navigate to the folder "CH341A Programmer 1.18"
    4:2. Run CH341A.exe
    4:3. Navigate to the folder "AsProgrammer_1.4.0"
    4:4. Run AsProgrammer.exe
    4:5. Navigate to the folder HxDSetup
    4:6. Run and install HxDSetup.exe

    The complicated part:
    [​IMG]
    5:1. Next, to the "unprotect" button I put a red ring around is a button for reading ID, press it.
    5:2. It should detect it as "W25Q80EW_1.8v"
    5:3. Press the unprotect button. In the textbox at the bottom, it should say
    "Old SREG: 00000011(0x03), 00001000(0x08)" or something. Then press the stop button.

    6:4. Open CH341A.exe from earlier.
    6:5. Press the "Read" button
    6:6. Press the "Save" button save it as backup1
    6:7. Repeat step 6:5 and 6:6 and save it as backup2

    7:1. Open HxD you installed earlier.
    7:2. Press the CTRL+K
    7:3. Select backup1 as "1. Data source:" and backup2 as "2. Data source"
    7:4. It should say that backup1 and backup2 are identical. If not, reseat the clip and repeat step 6:5 and 6:6


    8:1 Open CH341A.exe from earlier
    8:2 Press Detect
    [​IMG]
    8:3 It will detect it as W25Q80V (It is a problem because it says the size is 1Mbyte, it is too small) We'll come back to that.
    8:4 Press Erase
    8:5 Press Blank (if it says "Chip are not null" repeat step 5:1, 5:2 and 5:3, also you might try reconnect your programmer. Then press Blank again)
    8:6 Press Read, now it should say "FF" everywhere.
    Your chip is now Blank

    9:1 Select the chip name W25Q64BV
    [​IMG]
    9:2 Press "Open" and choose the modded vbios you want to program onto the chip.
    9:3 I will say "chip with the contents are in disagreement" that is because the ch341a program does not support W25Q80EW. If you did not change the chip name and kept W25Q64BV, the HEX disagreement will already start at line 00020000
    [​IMG]
    It will cause the graphics card to not boot up.

    Now because you choose a chip with a bigger size the HEX disagreement starts at line 00040000, almost at the end where there is no important data. It means the graphics card will still work.


    A side note. You will meet a lot of errors and it will most likely not work the first time, be patient, stay calm, try playing around with steps I gave you, reconnect the setup, clean the contacts, also you can try some of the other versions in the "Ch341a tools" folder.

    The conclusion
    You can use the ch341a programmer without the 1.8v. I did test it and it worked BUT it gets EXTREMELY hot as soon you press Erase and slows down the process. I do not recommend doing it without the 1.8v because you're risking burning the chip. If you are doing it anyway find a way to keep it cool.
    A fan is not enough, you will need a heatsink!!! I was lucky doing it without, but you might not be.

    Also, I do not recommend using the Ch341a programmer, it is too much hassle. Buy a good programmer, it will make your life easier.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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