Can you identify 980m g-sync vs 980m non g-sync by the board alone?

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by javers, Jan 29, 2017.

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  1. javers

    javers Notebook Guru

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm trying to help a mate out who's bought a GTX 980m to go in his M18X R2 and looking for a little advice.

    Basically the story goes that this card has come out of a Clevo P870DM-G (and therefore should be the gsync version?), and the seller said he tried it in an Alienware and it didn't boot so he sold it for spares / repairs.

    I've tried the card in the M18x R2 and indeed it doesn't work - running UEFI / legacy disabled with SG only the intel shows up and when you boot PEG you just get the 6x beeps.

    So next step I desoldered the vbios chip from the 980m and read the contents on my CH341A eeprom programmer. Turns out its currently flashed with Premas "GTX980M_8GB_MXM_OC_PM_v2" rom. ie the non G-Sync version.

    So could this be the fault? It's been flashed with a non g-sync vbios when in fact it should be running the g-sync version? Is there any way I can visually check the board to see if its genuinely g-sync or not? (have read there should be a resistor somewhere?). Would like to know for certain if / what rom I should be reprogramming the vbios chip with before soldering it back onto the mxm card.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jon
     
  2. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    Well I learned something here, I thought that the laptops had separate G-Sync modules but discovered that no it's just a matter of the card itself doing it.

    Two questions:

    1. I wonder if the card was flashed with the wrong vbios, i.e. the non G-Sync vbios and promptly bricked

    and

    2. Can we run a G-Sync 980M in the M18x R2 and benefit from G-Sync?
     
  3. javers

    javers Notebook Guru

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    Hi Vulcan,

    From what i understand you need 3x things to get g-sync working
    • G-sync version of the nvidia card with g-sync vbios
    • Laptop panel that's gsync compatible and on nvidia's supported list (which I believe are all edp, no lvds)
    • A cookie in the main system bios
    I'm sure one of the pros could maybe insert the cookie into a modified M18x R2 system bios but since the motherboard has no edp connector I don't think you'd ever be able to attach a supported gsync edp panel.

    That said - I think the 980m (normal and gsync version) both support g-sync via an externally connected monitor. I wonder what would happen if you somehow installed an edp panel and connected it to the mini display port output.

    Jon
     
  4. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    Is there anyway to transplant the display out of something else and into the M18x R2? Probably not because of it's unique size, the 18.4" isn't very common, but I imagine there are other technical hurdles as well.

    I'm already thinking about getting my hands on a slightly used 17" unit with a GTX 1070, G-Sync 120Hz 1080p display and half-decent CPU for hopefully $1k in the next few years. I'm sure that when Volta arrives the market will be flooded with such 17" units by people with more money than sense, I imagine it won't be that difficult to find one of the above in good shape for around $1k.

    But yeah, I'm really happy my M18x R2 is lasting as long as it is, it's going on 5 years of age! I'm also happy that we at least have 980M as an upgrade path, back in 2012 I would never have imagined having nearly the power of 680M SLI on one GPU.
     
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