Aw m18x R2 Dual 980m SLI upgrade!!

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Peter, Nov 12, 2014.

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  1. shizz

    shizz Notebook Enthusiast

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    Heya all,

    So I finally managed to install a 980M in my M18X R2. Yes, it has the Prema vBios, and I believe it has the correct one.
    Now as we all know, it needs a IGFX - PEG switch on cold boot in order for it to work without throttling.
    Well guess what, this causes the famous sound issue. So I have a card that doesn't throttle and a laptop with no sound.
    Curiously, Doom works @ 60fps, no throttling, without even doing the IGFX switch, so there is sound there.
    Benchmarks as well as Shadow of Mordor experience throttling unless you do the trick. Even the lame Path of Exile engine causes the card to throttle if you haven't switched between IGFX and PEG on cold boot.
    My best course of action seems to be to return the card, get rid of the laptop, buy a g-sync IPS machine, listen to master Fox and forget this ordeal :)
    Cause even without the card, I only need Windows to freeze or do an improper reset and I'm without audio for at least the next hour. AFAIK, there's no fixing this.

    Edit: I have the 372.70 driver. Doesn't make sense if you can't have the latest. Also, Crysis works atrociously.
     
  2. jerryzago

    jerryzago Notebook Consultant

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    To repair the audio issue, just put the laptop to sleep by closing the lid, wait a bit and pop the lid back up. Audio should be ok. I also have a single 980m and 5 out of 10 times during GFX switch I have the audio issue. A small setback considering the power of this 4 year old laptop.
     
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  3. KKthebeast

    KKthebeast Notebook Consultant

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    Hrmm I have never had a single audio issue. What OS are you running. Could be a driver issue. Also did you check your default audio device. perhaps its switching to the hdmi out or another port like a goober.
     
  4. shizz

    shizz Notebook Enthusiast

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    No this issue couldn't possibly be resolved except in the way @jerryzago described. I've managed to get my card to be stable and with sound by putting it to sleep, and to my surprise, it does not always lose the audio when you switch IGFX, just like he said. Very strange. Anyhow, getting around 9K in firestke, Crysis seems to work a bit slow - I'm thinking a single 980M should handle ultra just fine without screen tearing or any stuttering, but newer games like doom and the witcher run fluently, the latter when optimized with Geforce experience. Might keep the rig as it is, after all, and thanks once again @jerryzago . Will do some more tests just now, didn't have time on the weekend. I'll hopefully make a final decision to keep the card cause I don't want to be returning orders I've been resolved to made.
     
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  5. Filthimoney

    Filthimoney Notebook Enthusiast

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    How's it going everyone?
    I haven't been on this thread in nearly a year. It has gotten ALOT bigger.. Last update I took was I believe nvidia 357? Seemed to be a pretty stable build. Alas, life took over and I haven't used my laptop for anything but occasional printing... I have skimmed a few dozen or two pages back and have come to realize I have missed out on alot.
    I'm going to have alot of spare time on my hands in the next month or so and would like to start from scratch and get fully updated. Last time I was around this thread, the windows 10 update would "permanently brick" your system. I understand that is no longer an issue and that the card actually runs smoother on the new OS? I plan to look deeper into compatibility of older games with windows 10 as I spend alot of time on the classics..

    At this point I believe this (obviously I will research everything more in depth) is basically all I will need:
    Fresh OEM copy of Windows 10 pro
    updated/modded bios files
    Newest modded nvidia drivers

    Not much has changed I guess aside from the new bios. I will be researching this much further but my main questions at this time are, can you flash new bios over any version of old bios? I know before you had to downgrade and "blind flash" to get the newest modded bios. I am also seeing the graphics/audio glitch that requires you to switch to igfx then sleep/wake the system to restore sound and avoid throttling. Has there been a fix to enable integrated graphics or are you simply fooling the system into thinking its running the 980m?
     
  6. jerryzago

    jerryzago Notebook Consultant

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    m18x R2 has come a long way since early 2012. It has been more upradable even than a desktop. In a desktop around 4 - 5 years you may need a major update to keep up (CPU - mainboard - RAM - PSU - GPU). m18x has been able to keep up only with a major GPU update. Mine still has the 3720q it came with and only 32GB ram update. Also it has the stock 2x256 samsung EVO SSD and now a dula 980m SLI to make it future proof for some time more. I believe that this system will be worh at least 3 -4 years more. 8 years sticking with a system, I believe it is quite a bargain. Sure, it is not a number-hunter or a cutting edge machine, but in terms of everyday usage and occasional gaming it is propably one of the best systems ever made.
     
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  7. usmc1488

    usmc1488 Notebook Evangelist

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    This, the M18X R2 is the concept of AW realized, I am saddened that the dual GPU AW is now a thing of the past. Ill be performing the 980 SLI swap after the holidays.
     
  8. KKthebeast

    KKthebeast Notebook Consultant

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    Windows 10 seems solid, It's a pain to get the audio driver panel to work right. I used a mix of windows 10 drivers for the newer AW18 on my M18X R2. Benchmarks (for me) where slightly lower then on windows 7. couple hundred points, but it wouldn't be noticeable in real life. Anyway I suppose it is a small sacrifice to have the latest and greats from Micro$haft Winblows 10. As far as "downgrading" I came straight from A12 (me thinks) to Swick's A11 with zero issues. Just made that bootable usb with rufus and installed. Reset the BIOS settings to stock, made sure i was in the correct HD mode for my systems (raid for me). Then tweaked settings for performance on the XM cpu as per Mr. Fox instructions (in another thread).

    Oh lastly, i installed windows 10 x64 in legacy mode (UEFI off?), so im not sure about anything other then that mode. I am still told (or havent been told different yet) to stay away from Precision tools. and MSI afterburner, although i used it for 2 weeks with no dead screen issues. I am guessing what happend is that they silently fixed it in an update as to avoid a lawsuit. just a theory though. All Seemed well. I THINK i might still have a usb with all the mixed drivers i used to get windows 10 running right. Oh lastly i think the AlienFX button on the top right just doesn't work in windows 10.

    Hope that helps some. :)
     
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  9. jerryzago

    jerryzago Notebook Consultant

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    @KKthebeast use the modder driver from j95 for the recon3di from techinferno. I used this with no problems.
     
  10. Homer S

    Homer S Notebook Consultant

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    Question: does the optical drive eject work?

    Homer
     
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