Dell Precision M4800 Upgrades

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by xacques, Oct 25, 2015.

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  1. xacques

    xacques Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have had the Dell Precision M4800 laptop for almost a year. It came with the i7-4940MX processor. Nvidia Quadro K2100M graphics card and blu-ray burner. A week after owning it, the bezel that covers the blu-ray burner had a vertical crack running down the center. Dell mailed a new bezel. I also chose the 1920x1080 display and Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 WiFi & Bluetooth.

    The first thing i did was clone the HDD to an SSD. So i installed the Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD as the main C: drive.
    Next, I installed a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD into the mSATA slot as the F: drive for file storage. I use the samsung magician software to optimize the SSD and I deactivated the Intel (RST) rapid storage technology program that came running with the M4800. HardwareInfo reports the drive controllers for both the SATA and the mSATA as SATA 6Gb/s @ 6Gb/s, and the Matshita BD-RE Blu-ray drive as SATA 1.5Gb/s @ 1.5Gb/s.

    The computer came with BIOS "SATA operations" settings as "RAID On", but I changed it to "AHCI" which included some registry changes before changing the BIOS setting to "AHCI" to get the change to work. Otherwise one would get the BSOD if the AHCI drivers aren't loaded upon boot. Samsung Magician software will now report AHCI mode is activated and ON. Registry settings are:
    Under "Start" set the value to "0".
    Under "Start" set the value to "0".

    The Precision M4800 is set to auto switch between the internal Intel HD graphics chip and the external Nvidia Quadro K2100M graphics card when certain program demand is high. I tried experimenting with the Nvidia Control panel to manage when it switches, but I ultimately went into BIOS and under "Switchable Graphics" unchecked the box marked, "Enable Switchable Graphics". The laptop now uses the external Nvidia Quado K2100M graphics card all the time. Also after unchecking that box in BIOS, look under Device Manager, Display adapters, the Intel HD Graphics family is now not listed.

    The laptop came with 8GB of Samsung 1600MHz memory. I tried upgrading it to 32GB of memory using Patriot Viper model: PV316G160LC9SK. 2x8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz. When only the Patriot memory was installed, the laptop wouldn't recognize the memory. It wouldn't boot up and I would receive an LED blink code: "No memory modules are installed/detected". If I mixed the original Samsung memory sticks with Patriot memory sticks, it would then recognize all memory at 24GB, but the speed was reduced to 1333MHz instead of 1600MHz. When I could boot up by mixing the original Samsung memory sticks with the Patriot memory sticks, CPU-Z reported the timing tables as: EDEC#3, JEDEC#4, JEDEC#5, XMP-1600. All voltages were 1.35V

    The BIOS version at the time was A13. I felt it was a BIOS issue, but dell was no help. There are no memory settings or XMP settings in the BIOS which would probably get the memory detected. Also there is no CPU overclocking settings in the BIOS, yet DELL sold this laptop with i7-4940MX Extreme Edition unlocked processor. Although I believe Dell Alienware laptop's BIOS has memory and CPU settings, the DELL Precision laptops does not. I am now on BIOS A15 and there are still no CPU or memory settings.

    I received the laptop with the 97Wh 9-cell battery and the external 97Wh 9-cell SLICE battery that clips on to the bottom of the laptop. It elevates the bottom of the laptop on an angle and helps airflow if laptop is sitting on a soft surface like a bed, pillow, couch, etc. There were two soft rubber feet on the bottom of the SLICE battery, but the rubber has fallen off leaving a hard smooth white plastic foot. The SLICE battery can be charged while connected to the laptop or you can remove the battery and plug the laptop power supply directly into a socket on the SLICE battery. There are battery charging settings in the BIOS. One can also use software called Dell Command Power Manager. The Primary battery has choices of Standard, ExpressCharge, Primarily AC Use, Adaptive, and Custom. The external SLICE battery settings only has two choices: Standard and ExpressCharge.
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