Dell Precision M6800 gpu upgrade help

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Troika, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. Troika

    Troika Notebook Enthusiast

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    So, I just got a pretty solid deal on a Precision M6800 mostly barebones laptop. It needs some stuff but most of I can transplant from my old HP Probook like storage and ram. It coming with a good cpu in it already, a i7 4810MQ. What it has, according to the seller, is a Firepro M6100. That kinda weak sauce for the games I'll be playing on it. I'd like to get as close to a GTX 1650's performance level. I'm fine with a quadro of some sort since it'll probably be out of the box compatible given that Dell Precisions are professional workstations. I don't want to get too crazy with the budget for the gpu since I still have to buy a battery and probably a better wireless card. Ideally, I'd like to stay under $300 USD for the gpu. That should get me a pretty high end kepler gpu, maybe even a maxwell gpu. I just don't know too much when it comes to mxm card compatibility. All I know is the slot is mxm 3.0b but from what I've red, just because a card is mxm 3.0b compatible that doesn't mean it actually is compatible. That's the part I'll need help with. Finding a good, high end gpu that's compatible and within budget.
     
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    There's a whole thread on this that you can peruse.
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/graphics-card-upgrade-for-m6800.806352/

    M6800 has different heatsink models for AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. You will need to source a NVIDIA GPU heatsink if you install an NVIDIA card.

    Any Kepler card should work. Maxwell cards depend on which GPU heatsink you have. Maxwell cards have a different VRM layout, and the most common M6800 NVIDIA GPU heatsink has a protrusion where a VRM needs to be... so you have to either source the M6800 NVIDIA GPU heatsink with a flat bottom surface (uncommon) or use a dremel or something to cut the interfering bit off of the more common model. You can install either a Quadro or a GeForce card. GeForce 980M is a common choice. Quadro M5000M is also good. (The two cards have the same chip/specs and equivalent performance.) That's about the best card that you'll find that is "easy" to get working.

    Pascal Quadro cards require a vBIOS flash from Linux to get working. Pascal GeForce cards will not work at all (unless you want to run Linux).
     
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  3. Troika

    Troika Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks a bunch! I didn't even see the owner's thread for it. Maybe I just missed it. I do have a dremel so I don't mind modifying a heatsink to fit properly. I'll definitely do some more digging when I get home. A 980m/M5000M would get me in the ball park of where I want to be if the price fits the within my budget. As nice as getting a pascal card would be, I don't think the hassle will be worth it for my use case. Perhaps something to play around with in the future. I'm sure pascal mxm cards will get cheaper as they get phased out of business workstations and high end gaming laptop in a few more years.
     
  4. nforce4max

    nforce4max Notebook Consultant

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    This is not a good idea and you'll likely end up making a mistake plus there are more differences that a dremmel isn't going to fix. Anyway the heatsinks are usually pretty cheap so it is rarely that much of an issue. If you are happy with jerry rigging the drivers the M4000M/M5000M are good bets while I would avoid paying the premium for Kepler at this point being so much slower and without proper driver support at this time.
     
  5. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Going to have to disagree here. If you start with the regular NVIDIA heatsink for the M6800, there is only one piece that needs to be cut off for a Maxwell card to fit. Several other users have done it without issue. Getting the "flat surface" version of the NVIDIA heatsink would be ideal but it is nearly impossible to find at this point. (Unfortunately, the two variations of the heatsink have the same part number so you can only do a photo confirmation of which part you are ordering.)
     
  6. Troika

    Troika Notebook Enthusiast

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    So I did some digging, price wise, the M5000M and 980m are practically identical. That makes sense since the key differences between them are drivers and gpu clock speeds. Is there any particular advantage to getting one over the other? Obviously, gaming performance will probably be better on the 980m since it has a boost clock and that'll make it clock higher than the M5000M will. Is one easier to get working over the other? Or is the difficultly basically the same?
     
  7. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Both M5000M and 980M will boost above the clock speed listed on the specs. Typically you hit the 100W power limit if the GPU is fully loaded, and that is what drives the speed down. (The 100W power limit is hard, no way around it as far as I know.)

    With regards to drivers, you can install the GeForce drivers with a Quadro card if you so choose. You cannot install Quadro drivers with a GeForce card. Use this advanced driver search page to search for drivers to see the full list of options available. (Nowhere on NVIDIA's site to they advertise that Quadro drivers are compatible on the GeForce driver releases, but you can install them and they will work without hassle.)

    The release strategy for Quadro and GeForce drivers are different. GeForce drivers have a single release chain, while Quadro/enterprise drivers have multiple branches supported at once, and you can choose when you want to "upgrade" to the next one. See for example, driver version 452.96 was a bugfix release for the R450 branch that dropped after the R460 branch had been available for a while. I'm the sort of guy who likes to hang back on the old version for a while until the issues are worked out so the Quadro driver release strategy suits me. However, that means that optimizations for the very latest games are missing from the Quadro line until they get around to releasing a new branch that catches up with them. (E.g. Improvements in GeForce drivers 465-466.xx were not present in the Quadro driver line until they released the R470 branch just recently.)

    Bottom line. Performance will be about the same either way. Quadro gives you more flexibility in terms of which drivers you can install.
     
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  8. Troika

    Troika Notebook Enthusiast

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    All things being equal, the pro aspects that the Quadro offers would be lost on me since I'm just going to be gaming on it. If the boost characteristics are the same and both are limited to 100w on this machine then it doesn't really matter. If the quadro was cheaper, I'd get that one but they're the same price.

    For the heatsink, I just need to get a Nvidia compatible one and hack off a chunk from it so it fits.
     
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