Clevo P170EM BIOS upgrade + GPU upgrade

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by Gabber359, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. Gabber359

    Gabber359 Newbie

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    Hey Forums,

    First post here, I've been shadowing these forums since finding the 'Keeping MXM 3.0 alive' thread.
    I bought a Clevo P170EM back in Sept 2012 (under the Dutch BTO reseller...Built To Order).

    It has been working amazingly since then, 8.5yrs hard labour. The biggest gripe was the dogshit 7970M and drivers. It took 2 years to get a stable driver for this card. I had nothing but bluescreens, blackscreens, flickering etc until then. I finally found an AMD driver that worked and all was well, until now.

    Recently swapped my SSD/HDD from a 500GB Evo 850/WD Black 750 to a 2TB EVO 860/1TB WD Black.
    Win10 1709 build installed fine, updating/upgrading did not, no matter what I tried.

    Fell back to Win7. Alas I'm having issues with the GPU again. Drivers don't work/are dogshit. Screen flickering/bad performance and Windows going from yellow 79070M to Standard VGA driver ********. UGH.

    I've been doing a LOT of reading on updating my bios, ever since I came across the 980M/1060M upgrade paths and Prema's bios. I've been on 1.00.06 since 2012, never needed to update...until now?

    I found this thread:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/clevo-bios-older-models-released-in-after-2012.740492/
    But alas all the links there are DEAD. My own BTO download website has drivers for the laptop, but the BIOS link gives a 404 error. I did find this though:
    https://clevo-computer.com/en/support-drivers/
    https://my.hidrive.com/share/yze8mg...mware/CLEVO/P_Series/P17x_Series/P17xEMx/Bios

    So I've downloaded the following from the Clevo website:
    1.00.10 and 1.02.12
    I read that you can't directly upgrade to 1.02.12 from 1.00.xx for 'reasons' (EC first than KBC?)

    See screen shots. What I plan on doing is going to 1.00.10 FIRST. USB DOS boot stick, run
    1) ECFlash FIRST
    2) THEN MESET
    [​IMG]

    If that's succcessful, I'll go to 1.02.12
    1) ECFlash FIRST
    2) MESET
    [​IMG]

    That should be fine, right? I'm asking here for confirmation, I'd rather not brick my laptop. Last time I did a bios upgrade was over 15yrs ago lol.

    Side note:
    I'd like to upgrade my laptop to a 1060M, but these are VERY hard to find. Eurocom is not an option, I'd be looking at €700+ costs etc etc. Pointless, I'd rather buy a 3080 for that money (and get a desktop).
    Ebay only gives me China resellers:
    clevo 1060m | eBay
    and I'm not sure how much I'd trust them
    Years ago I asked my reseller for upgrade options and they told me only 980M lol was viable. This forum tells me otherwise. But honestly in 2021 with the age of this laptop and new tech I'd rather not spend too much money.

    Any advice/input would be appreciated.
    (If it helps, I've been doing IT and building systems since mid 90s, so not totally braindead :p)
     
  2. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Reasons will likely be an incompatible mix of ECU with BIOS, I'd do the two steps like you mentioned.

    Find a China reseller with good feedback and it should not be much of a risk.
     
  3. PhOeNiX_H

    PhOeNiX_H Notebook Geek

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    Usually when I do bios updates I like to follow little steps, just to be safe, so yes, do exactly what you said. If you want to be even safer, installing every version until finally reach 1.02.12 is an option (I don't think this is necessary, tho').

    For 1060 options, there is also this one on Amazon. I have no idea if it's safer than ebay, though and not even if this also comes from China, but since it's estimated to be delivered on the middle of February, probably.

    980M is not a bad card, but still has less performance than 1060, gets hotter and uses a lot of energy, forcing you to buy a 230W AC Adapter. I don't think it's a good idea, even costing $70 less on average.
     
  4. kothletino

    kothletino Notebook Evangelist

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    My p170em also came from BTO.
    First of all try to contact with Frits from laptopparts4less and ask him for mxm graphics cards.
    The online store shows no offers, but I know they have been selling radeon 8970m (clevo) and gtx980m (MSI) in the past.
    I bought 8970m there, after about half a year I changed to GTX 1060m.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Gabber359

    Gabber359 Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies and the confirmations! Before I start, Koth, cheers for the link I'll look into it. Out of curiousity, how much did you pay for that 1060M? I assume you installed it yourself as well? No problems right?Just redo the thermal pads and gtg, as far as I've read from others. 1070 requires a bit of modding but I'm not looking to go there anyhow.

    So my solution, as I said, the 7970M and AMDs drivers are total ****e and nothing but trouble:

    1) USB DOS boot stick
    2) First 1.00.10. I did EC first, then BIOS.bat. Followed the steps to the letter (readme files). Worked like a charm
    3) Next came 1.02.12/17. I did EC first, then FlashMe.bat
    EC is now 1.02.12, BIOS is 1.02.17
    NOTE: I forgot ONE step from the Readme. I forgot to turn off Intel Anti Theft in the bios. Oops, but didn't seem to have any effect on the outcome.

    I fought for many years with AMD drivers and as I said, I forgot to check which one worked before I took it apart to add the new drives. No I couldn't get it back working at one point, something screwed up with the boot files. Anyhow, what worked:

    1) BIOS update.
    2) Before this I had tried every single AMD driver compatible with the 7970M, to no avail. Total **** performance.
    3) Install standard CLEVO 7970M driver:from the download site.I got mine from
    https://www.btodownloads.nl/v1/Note...US MODELS/17CL46 - 17CL47 (P170EM)/Windows 7/
    Pretty sure the Clevo site are the same.
    4) Download and install:
    Non-WHQL-64Bit-Radeon-Software-Crimson-16.5.2.1-Win10-Win8.1-Win7-May16
    Note: You do NOT need to uninstall the standard 7970M drivers installed in step 3.

    Before anyone asks, I always made/make sure the old drivers were uninstalled, registry cleaned, nothing left etc. etc. etc. In the case of above you didn't need to.
     
  6. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    The pre enduro models did seem much smoother in experience.
     
  7. Gabber359

    Gabber359 Newbie

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    I can't comment on that, but in the P170EMs case it's just the AMD drivers. The 7970 vs 680 were neck and neck regarding performance, but AMD came out significantly cheaper. If I had known the problems it would give me I'd have bitten the bullet and spent a bit more for the 680M

    In any case, I've been extremely happy with my P170EM over the past 8.5yrs. It's been a hard worker, as I use it for both gaming as well as work/study (GNS3/VMWare/virtual servers/testing etc). It's a solid chassis, cooling is top notch. I was actually looking at the ASUS laptops back in 2012, because I loved their stealth design. Alas, none of their models had the combination of hardware that I wanted. The BTO/Clevo did.
    On that note I recommended to family members these style of laptops and 2 others now have them as well. I'll never buy a store laptop as long as I live.
     
  8. kothletino

    kothletino Notebook Evangelist

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    I bought my GTX 1060m for 400 € that time. Maybe think about a cheaper card for the P170em. On aliexpres you can find 980m for ~ $ 200, or even 8970m for 110 €. Damn me, I have my original HD8970m (clevo) for sale, but I'd rather keep it as a backup graphics card for my laptop then selling it for € 110.
    You can also check home Marktplaats.
    For gtx 1060m you need "little heatsink mod" + nvidia inf.mod.
     
  9. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Even the 970M would be a nice step up.
     
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