Bad Primary GPU on M18x R2, need opinions

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by KNG SNKE, May 1, 2016.

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  1. KNG SNKE

    KNG SNKE Notebook Guru

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    Hello,
    I'm new to the forum. I didn't realize how capable the laptop is that I purchased year and years ago. Let me start, I'm not a gamer. I bought this laptop years ago and I have a very capable desktop (also years old) but I have them in case I get back into gaming. I do see that Doom is coming back out and this is the laptop I take with me when I go out to sea so I need advice.

    My current setup
    M18x R2 with 3 HDDs, (124g SSD, 500g, and a 1tb), i7 3610qm @ 2.3. Stock setup was the larger power supply and 2 7970's in crossfire (I never used them in crossfire because it would always crash Diablo 3). It currently has 8gb of RAM and I am running Windows 10 (upgraded from 7) with the A11 BIOS. A couple weeks ago my primary GPU went out. I know this because it started showing lines etc. I was finally able to get it to reboot into safe mode and I switched to the integrated graphics.

    Here is my dilemma
    Seeing as I don't game I am wondering what I should do with this laptop. I do want to be able to run Doom on it so I want to keep it semi relevant.

    My options as I see them, if you know of other options or can help me decide please let me know.

    1. Remove the primary GPU and move the secondary over to the primary and run a 1 GPU system (this is basically what I was doing before the primary GPU went bad since I wasn't using crossfire, remember this will be 1 7970 GPU)

    2. Upgrade the GPU to 1 larger faster GPU (I have no idea which one to upgrade to that would be cost efficient, I assume almost every GPU on the market will outrun my 7970)

    3. Upgrade both GPU's and go nuts

    4. Buy a new laptop (Price of Alienware 17 inch laptop is about 1400 with the 970m card)

    I am very capable of following directions so installation and reloading software should be a non issue. I am unable to do the dual power supply modification though due to the limitations on my ship (it has to be inspected) so dual card setups that require that are a no go. I'm fairly certain I have 3 pipe heatsinks as well but not 100% on that on yet. (Is there a quick way to tell?)

    Thank you all for your time.
     
  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    single 980M would do nicely, you can add a second later when prices drop
     
  3. KNG SNKE

    KNG SNKE Notebook Guru

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    So they do have 980m working on Windows 10 now? That will run off my 300 watt power supply and A11 BIOS? Do you think its worth it to spend the 900 dollars or buy a new laptop for slightly more?

    I guess my 2nd question is Is the 980m worth double the 970m in terms of upgrade?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  4. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    980M was always working in Windows 10, nothing new here. I don't know any laptop with a 980M for 900$, but I would go that route instead if it's really that cheap, considering the 980M is about 700$ by itself. I would stay stick to a single 7970M for now, wait for the new graphics cards to be released later this year, and decide then. It is a stupid time to buy graphics cards at this point, with new ones just around the corner.
     
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  5. KNG SNKE

    KNG SNKE Notebook Guru

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    Solid advice. I'll keep an eye out for the new gpus to drop. Guess I'll swap over the one good 7970. At least I hope it's good.
     
  6. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    Or you could by my last 980m that is in the marketplace. Cheaper you will ever fine. :)
     
  7. KNG SNKE

    KNG SNKE Notebook Guru

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    Looks burnt no? Or is my phone messing with the photo?
     
  8. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    It's your phone lol.

    Edited: that burnt looking image is the reflection of my phone case that used to be white, but it's dirty brown now. I used my phone to take those pictures. :)
     
  9. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Rengsey is a solid forum member, he wouldn't sell you a burned card lol
     
  10. KNG SNKE

    KNG SNKE Notebook Guru

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    So it's your phone lol. I'll be in touch. Your price is lower than what I've seen and I'd like to keep the laptop fairly current. Anything special required to install that card?
     
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