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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    Hey, time to share my Win 10 experience so far. I upgraded from 7 cause it had software issues.
    10 does seem solid, audio still makes its own thing. To experiment, by the way, I bought an external USB creative soundcard and it works in case you need the audio immediately after a clean reboot with the IGFX trick. Ofc, you have to plug something in, cause speakers are a no-go, and still, to get the internal audio to work, you have to put it to sleep for a while. Then you have a working GPU and sound.
    The new afterburner works great. It even has a better skin as I see.
    Major problem: fan control is not kicking in right with the Swick BIOS. I have HW64, however there's still a limit on the fans. The problem is, I do get the fan to run faster than the OS and bios regulations, but still not fast enough, even if I set it @ 5000-6000 RPM, I don't believe it goes that far. GPU hits 92C, interestingly, it does not seem to affect performance, but still. Afterburner shows a straight line at 1100 clock. So no thermal throttling at 92, I can't explain this.
    I remember with a previous bios, probably stock A12, I was able to run the fans at the absolute max. I had a 780M at 1 ghz in it, at 90C and was able to play Crysis 3 like a champ with fans blowing like a jet engine. I'd like to get them to run like that again, the 980M absolutely needs it. It's probably the swick bios that's preventing HW64 from running to the absolute max. I can hear it, even if I crank it up, the blow of the fans is not the same as it used to be.
     
  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    You have other serious issues if you had a 780M or 980M at 90 degrees C or above. With ambient room temp of about 75 F, 2 inch elevation of the computer, fresh pads and paste, I top out at 70 degrees, average at 65 with a 980M and native fan control.
     
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  3. KKthebeast

    KKthebeast Notebook Consultant

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    @shizz Same here. The highest I have seen is 71C with dual 980m after a 30 min burn test. There is a glitch in HWinfo where it reads the wrong temp on one card. You just disable a setting. Can't remember what it was. I'll have to check.

    Disable COMPAL EC: alienware
     
  4. jerryzago

    jerryzago Notebook Consultant

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    Anyone expiriencing random black screens with 980m SLI? It feels like installing drivers. Tried mulriple drivers and vbioses but no luck. I thought chrome was to blame, but not. It happends when browsing or watching youtube and videos.
    Never while gaming or benching. I have a m18x r2 and its really annoying.
     
  5. KKthebeast

    KKthebeast Notebook Consultant

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    Does a small message show up in the bottom right side after the black out saying smt like ...Window Recovered from a Display Driver issue blah blah... Also are you on battery power only when this happens?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  6. shizz

    shizz Notebook Enthusiast

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    If I'm correct in my assumption, somewhat similar symptoms have happened to me, when gaming specific games tho. Happened on mortal kombat and some other game. The screen goes completely off, backlight and all. Thought it had to do with afterburner and GPU overclock. So no, @KKthebeast , no driver recovery if he's talking about the same, in fact you have to reboot. But if his screen recovers and it "feels like installing drivers", then this is different.
    I'm about to swap systems soon though, and report back. Found a good deal in Europe on an M18X R2 with a 980M.
    Also I asked the seller about the sound issue. He said he had it, but Dell replaced the mobo under warranty, so it happens no more on that system I'm about to buy. If he's to be trusted and has paid attention to this, then great. Gonna combine it with my 980M and have a SLI to test.
    On another note, reading what temps you guys got on a 980M compared to mine makes me wonder at the least. Thought the tech guy had put in a good thermal compound and tightened it well, this is a huge discrepancy in temps from what you're describing. About the HWinfo setting, could only find "EC support" under the "Safety" tab in settings, disabled it, gonna test tomorrow. I have version 5.37-2977.
     
  7. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    I had those issues , It's a Windows 8/10 combined with nvidia drivers. For some reason, all these " windows " update is screwing up the 980ms.

    thanks to @Raidriar advice, I solved this issue by going back to windows 7. ( I was going to sell my 980m to him for $250 just over frustration, but his advise saved me from selling it lol )
     
  8. jerryzago

    jerryzago Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you for your reply everyone. @KKthebeast
    No message after the black screen not the sound that reports an error. Just a black screen for a mere second and then back on. It does it on battery and AC power too.

    @shizz
    Please inform is of your findings. Also my temps seem to have dropped a bit since one GPU helps the other. Also during gaming there is no black screen, only when browsing. Tried fallout 4, evolve 2, Doom, witcher 3, transformers devastation and GTA V with redux mod and all options at very High. Temps don't exceed 70 degrees. When I was on single 980m I was climbing to 77 tops.

    @Rengsey R. H. JR
    I think also its a driver related thing. I don't want to revert to 7 and look it further. Disabling SLI on browsing seems to fix it. Enabling back only when gaming.

    I also read that desktop 980 gtx users report the same and has something to do when the GPUs switching P-states and voltage. They get 'out of sync' some sort...
     
  9. shizz

    shizz Notebook Enthusiast

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    Reporting. I get black screens when gaming while using firefox in 10, no black screens with Edge. My black screens require restart.
    Second, I've bought a new R2 with a perfect mobo, no more sound issues.
    Third, I've installed SLI, repasted, ran 10minute firestrike stress test, passed it with 99.1%, temps did not exceed 85. BUT that was with SLI disabled.
    SLI, however, is a different story. 12k in firestrike in SLI, 9k single card. Power issue enough to explain this? Cause I am running a single adapter, but is it enough of a trouble to show these results?
    Also, in SLI it doesn't pass the stress test by far, and not because of the temps, because they don't exceed 77. But I'm thinking GPU utilization and throttling, for whatever reason, either SLI does not work well or 330w power makes for such dismal results.

    Edit: No overclocking whatsoever, of course, otherwise I wouldn't hope to run it with a single 330w. Will measure electrical output tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  10. KKthebeast

    KKthebeast Notebook Consultant

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    @shizz for the time being try disabling hardware acceleration in FF and see if that patches up the issue. Then when either FF updates or nVidia updates the drivers try switching back on.
    How to disable HW Accel
     
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