Clevo P170HMx GPU upgrade - request for information

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Eben Yong, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Eben Yong

    Eben Yong Newbie

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    Hi Everyone! My first post :)

    The laptop in question is a Clevo P170HMx from Ava Direct (way back in 2011). I have been using this laptop, for many years. Recently, the video card has apparently stopped working... let me explain. I was using Windows 10 and the system had blue screen of death. After many restarts, I was unable to repair it and I decided to perform a fresh install of Windows 7, mostly because I did not have Windows 10 media. Unfortunately this did not solve the problem. Even with a fresh Windows 7 install the video card did not work due to blue screen of death related to NVIDIA graphics driver, the file "nvlddmkm.sys" error. It seems like the same problem under Windows 7 and 10. Currently I am using the standard VGA adapter driver because the Nvidia driver always results in blue screen of death. Given the age of the laptop, I would not post this request for help, except that the laptop screen resolution is best at 1920x1080, but, the VGA adapter is limited to 1280x1024, and so I am looking for expert advice.

    Here are the laptop specifications:
    Laptop series: P170HMx
    BIOS revision: 1.01.06
    KBC/EC firmware revision: 1.00.05
    VGA Card: nVIDIA GTX 485M
    VBIOS Revision: 70.04.26.00.01
    VBIOS Build Date: 09/20/10

    After doing some internet research, I am wondering if I can replace the GTX 485M graphics card. I saw an upgrade kit on eBay for almost $500 which is too much for me. I see cheaper options such as GTX 765M, 675M, 560M, 460M... each for under $100. In short, I spent two weeks and many hours trying different things, and reading on the internet, and I am beginning to realize, this might be complicated, at least for me! Bottom line, if you/anyone has an idea for a way forward at a reasonable price, I am open to hearing it.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    The 460m and 560m will function plug and play. The 675m will only work properly if you flash the vbios to that of a 580m, which the card is physically identical to. I am not sure what functionality you will have with a 675m vbios.
     
  3. Eben Yong

    Eben Yong Newbie

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    This is excellent info--exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you :)
     
  4. kingofswag187

    kingofswag187 Notebook Deity

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    7970M should work
     
  5. Marvin H Muckley III

    Marvin H Muckley III Notebook Consultant

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    I dont believe he can put an AMD card into that machine. I have the exact same machine with the same problem he has. The 400/500 series is easiest and should be plug and play. From what the company told me when I bought mine, when that model was released the mobo was designed to accommodate either the AMD or Nvidia cards but not both. You couldn't switch once you picked one without getting the other board. I have the 470m and ended up taking it out and baking it and that's gotten me another year out of it.

    Edit: make sure you get the Dell/MSI/Clevo version and not the Asus version of the card.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  6. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    I had a couple of P150EMs that I ran both AMD and NVIDIA cards in without issue. I don't see why the P170HM would be different.
     
  7. Eben Yong

    Eben Yong Newbie

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    I bought a used Alienware GTX 460M off eBay for $50. I thought about the "baking" option with my 485M but, decided to try the 460M. Anyway, I should be receive the 460M in a few days and then I can try that. Who knows I may also bake the 485M. Will post update later.

    About the Radeon cards, probably could work if I flash my BIOS and what-not. But I am more comfortable with the plug-and-play options. I read Khenglish's amazing DIY job; it's way beyond me, but I am surely impressed! https://premamod.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/clevo-pascal-mxm-standard/
     
  8. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    You don't have to flash any bios to do the Radeon card. They didn't make any changes to offer two different cards that I know of. Doing a quick search shows users going from an NVIDIA card to an AMD card.
     
  9. Eben Yong

    Eben Yong Newbie

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    I see Alienware 7970M on eBay as low as $80. I assume the TDP is lower for AMD compared to Nvidia? Anyway, will try things out first with the 460M. But I'll admit to being tempted for the price.
     
  10. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Deity

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    The 7970m will only work if it is the Clevo card and has the v1.2 pcb. You will then need to make sure it has vbios meant for dgpu only systems on it, requiring a blind flash if not.

    Dell cards do not work due to temp sensor reading not working resulting in thermal shutdowns 1 minute after boot. Clevo v1.1 cards are of a later base pcb design (supposedly same as 8970m board) and will not work.
     
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