Alienware M17x r4 GPU upgrade

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by IYIonster, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. IYIonster

    IYIonster Newbie

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    Hey guys, I want to get back into gaming a bit more and I need a new GPU.
    I have an Alienware m17x R4 which used to house an AMD 7970m. This card broke years back and i took it out but never replaced it as gaming was becoming less interesting to me and replacement cards were expensive.

    What I want: something that can run Monster Hunter World at decent settings. Ive had a look at upgrade possibilities and the Nvidia 980m is decently priced and I think it should be able to run most games? Otherwise i saw the AMD 7710 recommended but as my last AMD card **** itself im not sure about that.
    Nvidia: https://www.ebay.nl/itm/GTX-980M-Gr...942566?hash=item33e302c8a6:g:wkAAAOSw4FRcrx4p
    AMD: https://www.ebay.nl/itm/Dell-Precis...949520?hash=item2642787bd0:g:xWEAAOSwEVBfK2pa

    What do you recommend and what do I need to know before I invest in this.
    Ive heard i need to update the BIOS? Is this difficult? I'd like to make the operation as easy as possible.
    Is there a step by step guide I can find somewhere?

    Thanks in advance,
    IYIonster
     
  2. Reciever

    Reciever D! For Dragon!

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    Monster Hunter World is a pretty heavy hitting title, I would really recommend a 1070 to really appreciate the game. 980m/1060 will definitely play it but you will be playing around medium settings

    Avoid that W7170, Im not sure if it was confirmed to work on the M17x R4 or not but regardless the performance metric would be less than satisfactory.

    980m should be the simplest upgrade path, 1070 would be the best but requires some conditions to be met as well.
     
  3. IYIonster

    IYIonster Newbie

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    Sweet, thanks for the quick reply, I think im fine with MH on medium and I dont want to invest more than I need to.
    So I had a look inside my laptop and I see i miss 2 screws from the heatsink and I dont have any screws for the card so where can i get those?
    Also can I use my existing heatsink for the 980? Is there anything I am missing?
     
  4. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    The 980M will require a modded Nvidia driver to get it working. It can seem tricky to learn but it's not too hard. I can always help if you need or you can try this guide

    https://null-src.com/posts/nvidia-notebook-driver-inf-mod/post.php

    GPU heatsinks use M2x3 wafer head screws and the the two screws for the card are M2.5x5. You should be able to grab these off ebay or maybe a local PC repairer will have spares.

    I've never had an issue using the AMD heatsink for Nvidia cards but you'll have to peel off the black plastic square thing on the heatsink plate and remove the adhesive. The AMD GPU die is set differently on the PCB than the Nvidia one. It's best to grab some new thermal pads as well as a good thermal compound.
     
  5. IYIonster

    IYIonster Newbie

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    Ok sweet so I am ordering the card(comes with thermal pads), some screws, some thermal compound.
    I reckon i should also upgrade my RAM since right now i only have... 8 GB at the moment. How much do you guys recommend? And what type/brand etc.
     
  6. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    aconix likes this.
  7. IYIonster

    IYIonster Newbie

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    Eyyyy, the order has been sent.
    I also ordered an 128gb ssd and a new 1TB Hdd so this baby will finally live in the present again :)
    Once everything is in i will be back to ask for advice im sure
     
  8. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    128gb is a bit small in my opinion but it's your cash. Half of it will be filled up with Windows. 240-256gb are the smallest ones I usually grab and they only cost around $42AUD which is about $30USD. Something like the Crucial BX500 or MX500 usually does the job for a decent price.
    Did you already have an mSata SSD in the laptop? If not you can fill that spot too, for some extra storage.
     
    aconix likes this.
  9. IYIonster

    IYIonster Newbie

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    Ah I was wrong i actually ordered a 256GB :)
     
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