Alienware m18xr2 gtx980m help

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by NODicce, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. IXvirusI

    IXvirusI Notebook Enthusiast

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    @Radriar i have alienware 18 860 sli so i just need to buy 2 980m sli and use UEFI on bios and everything will be fine right?
     
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  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    No need for UEFI in bios a12, you can use legacy as well
     
  3. Micah Morgan Clair

    Micah Morgan Clair Newbie

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    @Raidriar Do we still need the unlocked A11 BIOS to run a single 980M? I'm waiting to be able to download from Tech Inferno, have my card already though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  4. awktane

    awktane Newbie

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    980m working on m18xR2

    Some notes for posterity...

    Without the unlocked BIOS there are some reasonably big problems:
    • If the laptop is not in UEFI mode (or if you disable it to flash the bios... oops) then the laptop will beep 8 times on boot and refuse to start. For stock BIOS you have to pull the GPU and use the cpu's built-in IGFX to fix it. Unlocked BIOS does not have this issue.
    • 980m throttled constantly (every 5 seconds under load) for voltage reasons... which didn't make sense. The fix is to switch to mess with the PEG setting which you can't do from stock BIOS.
    Some other notes:
    • There is a very recent BIOS update (A14) from Dell that includes the Intel spectre/meltdown patch. You can flash it then return to the unlocked BIOS but please note that the patch does come with a performance penalty. I don't notice it for every day things but some benchmarks do (1-8% difference in the handful that I ran).
    • Card had clevo prema v2 vbios prior to messing with anything. It does not fix the above issues.
    • Latest nvidia drivers without INF modification.
    • Better experience than mobile 1060 for multiplayer games even though fps is slightly lower. Optimus (which is required for m18xR2 with a 1060) adds frame lag and the occasional stutter. I would still probably choose the 1060 for single player games where beauty matters more than quick... (assuming you don't hit the I/D button when you don't have the time to reset your bios because of the fun 8 beeps - 980m can run PEG whereas 1060 only runs in SG mode and I/D button switches to PEG)
    Sorry for the necro but it took me far too long to learn what I just gathered into one post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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