Dead GPU or incompatible vBIOS? (Clevo 8970M)

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Arrrrbol, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Evangelist

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    I recently tried to install a friend's 8970M into my M17X R2; I made sure to replace the X Bracket and apply the thermal pads correctly along with a copper shim for it to provide good contact. The card boots to Windows just fine, but it is unusable due to a terrible flickering/artefacting issue. The card had an M290X vBIOS when I installed it, so I attempted to flash the card to an original 8970M vBIOS, and 2 versions of a Dell vBIOS. None of these solved the issue.

    After that I tried reseating the GPU, display cable and reset the CMOS - the issue persists. As a side note, the BIOS screen and DOS display for ATIFlash are displayed just fine, it is only the boot screen and Windows which are horribly distorted.

    It seems to me to be the most likely case that the GPU is kaput, unless there is something i'm missing.
     
  2. GodlikeRU

    GodlikeRU Notebook Deity

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    Before nVidia driver initilalization in Windows GPU uses only small portion of it's power, reduced clocks and small amount of memory. In Windows it goes to full power mode and if some further memory regions are bad then it shows artifacts.

    Regards
     
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  3. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    You probably damaged the core. I ruined one 8970M like this, you have to be very careful when installing, very easy to overtighten the bolts and crush the GPU core.
     
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  4. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Evangelist

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    To clarify, my friend sold it to someone before he sent it to me. The guy complained of the same issue so I believe he didn't install it properly. Either he overtightened it or he did not give proper contact for the vRAM - or worse: tested it without the heat sink. Its a shame as apart from being able to see nothing the card booted just fine. I'll have a think about whether to stick two 7970Ms in here, weather to find another 8970M or weather to take the plunge and buy an M390X from China (which I believe with 99% certainty that it will work).
     
  5. GodlikeRU

    GodlikeRU Notebook Deity

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    Can't you just use Nvidia GPU? Almost no one uses AMD nowadays.
     
  6. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Evangelist

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    In the M17X R2 the AMD options are fastest. Its dubious as to whether the 780M will work, and an 8970M is faster than that. 7970M crossfire is a lot faster when its working and the M390X should be almost as fast as a 970M. Not to mention nVidia cards are usually more expensive to buy.

    The only reason people don't use AMD now is because there are very few mobile cards available. The M390X is not widely sold and the Polaris MXM cards are almost impossible to find. Nobody is using Vega on desktops because the prices are stupidly high for what you get.
     
  7. GodlikeRU

    GodlikeRU Notebook Deity

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    Wot? 8970M is same chip as 7970M, just with more memory and EC problems. R9 M290X is a rebrand of 8970M again. 780M is better than 8970M in every aspect and it's much more durable. R9 M390X is a rebrand of M295X that AMD for some weird reason didn't put to MXM.

    Crossfire is dead. No more profiles. AMD dropped support for it. There are also problems with forcing crossfire if game doesn't support it and it also suffers from framepacing issues. I wouldn't recommend getting into CF unless you want to waste your money. SLI support is low nowadays and Crossfire is almost non-existing.

    Nvidia cards are more expensive for a reason. They're much more durable than AMD counterparts (with few exceptions like 580M). Perf/w is also much higher. As for 780M+ models there are just few complaints about their longevity with hundreds sold. After 6990M + 7970M lottery We stopped buying them. It was too risky to buy a card that can be dead in months. Old 780M models are still alive and rocking. 8970M+ models suffers from broken EC fan control, incompatible heatsinks, drivers, no support from AMD and limited availability.

    R9 M390X is just an oven mate. I doubt you will get it running properly in M17xR2. 970M is on par with it with much lower power usage.
     
  8. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    OK but what you have to understand is nvidia cards do not play nice in the M17x R2 post 680M. 780M had IRQ issues and some models give only a white screen. 880M, only one reported case of it working, others say it was incompatible because of similar IRQ faults. Best card for the M17x R2 is the 8970M period. It is supported out of the box and it has no issues with the M17x R2 EC (native fan control with the dell and clevo 8970M). The GPU die is much better manufactured on the 8970M than 6990M or early 7970M. They do not get hot (max temp full load for me, no heatsink or fan mods, is 73C). Still I think it is worth adding a second 8970M since you can pretty much get two for 300 these days. Very capable card for 1080P or even 1200P gaming and no throttling BS to deal with.
     
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  9. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Evangelist

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    Pretty much my point exactly, if the 880M actually worked i'd definitely be considering one - but I have heard nothing but issues from people who have used them. I heard one guy tried to crossfire 8970Ms but did not manage to get them working without crashing. It would be great if they work in crossfire, though even one of them is pretty powerful. I do have my doubts as to whether it will work however.

    I have seen some screenshots from a Chinese seller showing the M390X working in an M17X R2. Obviously, not many people have tried that card as the cards are hard to find. I have a feeling that the Chinese sellers are just using W7170Ms with an M390X vBIOS modded into them. But if it works then its about as powerful as you can go for a single card.
     
  10. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    I would like to get my hands on one of them, but not at 450$ a card......much cheaper to go the 2 x 8970M route.
     
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