Greetings, M15X adventure here

Discussion in 'Alienware M15x' started by FearKillr, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. FearKillr

    FearKillr Newbie

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    Seriously though, thus far this laptop has taken me through the runs. Ok, got a m15x(scrapper) for $15. It originally had a i7- Q720, 6GB Ram, GTX 260M, 500GB Seagate Harddrive, original power supply 160 or 180w. Can't remember. Upgraded to 500GB SSD first then upgraded the ram to 8GB. After some research and updating BIOS to A09 then to A09(Unlocked) with the thermal controls. Purchased a I7-940XM ,put it in. Drove myself insane trying to figure out why the laptop was running and no post, no nothing. Black screen. Contacted seller(Ebay, ordered from States didn't trust Chinese reselller) Seller said that I need a bigger power supply to run it. So, I bought a 240w, figured I might need it since I bought a GTX 970M to replace the 260M. Got the power supply, still nothing. I was beginning to think the MOBO was going out. A buddy of mine let me borrow a test MOBO with a 1st gen socket. So I tested my original CPU, boots up fine. Tried the 940XM, nothing. So I figured it was a dud. I contact seller telling my story of trial and error.

    The seller them admits to me they got the CPU from a Chinese reseller and had same issues and was selling to recover loss. At this point I'm just feeling like FML, from opening, breaking down, and reassembling this laptop so many times now at this point. So, from this point I went to a local pc store. The dude there knew a guy to get a i7-920XM he could order from, with a money back guarantee. So I figured why not, ordered it. In the mean time. I got my GTX 970M in, modified the necessary files for driver installation( shoutout to blazeghost! Massive help reading your threads and uploaded files.)

    Installed the 970M, would make it to starting the NVIDIA driver installer and the laptop would shutdown. Restart, make it into windows. Shuts off again. I'm like wtf?!? So I wait a bit, try again. This time I run Speedfan to see my temps quickly. I noticed the GPU temp is jumping all over then going to 95 celsius to shutdown. So disassemble all over again. Looking at the GPU and the heatsink. I noticed there is a fairly large gap from between the heatsink and GPU. The screws don't exactly fasten all the way down on the heatsink. Ive seen some videos where they pop the original screws off because they are capped. They put deepscrews that go all the way down into it. I didn't feel comfortable with that. So I bent the outer brackets upwards a little so it pulls downward more when I screw them on. The heatsink and GPU were finally touching atleast. Reassembled, pushed that little alienhead and prayed.

    Boots up, gets into windows. I install the modified driver immediately. Everything is still running strong. I was overjoyed. I take a look at temps CPU was running 38°C idle and the GPU 40°C. Tested out what the 970M could pull. So, i throw Killing Floor 2 on. All settings Maxed. Ran really well, the GPU temp didn't top 78°C. I was satisfied with what I had so far, CPU was only thing holding me back now. Don't get me started on the 10 minute load in on Killing Floor 2. Well, the I7-920XM arrives. I install it with no issue. Everything boots up CPU is running cold 36°C Idle, but the GPU is now much higher between 52-54°C. So I figured I would check the thermal paste resmooth it(Thin layer) put new thermal pads around it on the Vram chips(Could that be issue with gap between heatsink and GPU earlier?) Reassemble, boot up. GPU now runs worse than before stays at 55°C idle then goes up to 85-87°C when trying to game. Also the CPU is running hotter for some reason. The CPU idles at 43°C and climbs rather quickly when using the Laptop. I notice a drop in temp when I run off of just battery, but not much. Regardless of which psu original or the 240w the temps still remain in a higher range.

    With all that said, I do have 6 year old Arctic Silver 5 on everything which I believe lies some of my heating issues. I ordered Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut hoping it will help some. Since I've put the i7-920XM i have a new issue where sometimes it boots. But only boots into my plugged in display.. as if the main monitor boots in sleep mode. I hit the power button once.. the screens go black then hit it again to "wake it up" and the laptop screen starts working again. Any ideas or experiences with these or suggestions on settings? Apologies for the long post..I had a story to share lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  2. blazeghost

    blazeghost Notebook Geek

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    Wow really interesting textwall, thanks for the shoutout :)

    I only see one thing missing in your story, correct me if I´m wrong, you haven´t modded your PSU. You need to pull out the center pin of the 240W PSU or use an L-shapped adaptor with the center pin removed. Next thing is to disable the PSU warning in the bios as your system won´t be able to recognise the plugged PSU. By doing this, your M15x will be able to pull all the power needed to run your 920xm and 970m at the same time. If you want to charge your battery then use your 150W PSU or if you buy one, remove the L-shapped adaptor of your 240W PSU.

    Also, for your knowledge, when you use your system unplugged from the PSU, it automatically switches to Stealth mode, throttling down your CPU and GPU, that´s why it runs way cooler.
    For your GPU thermal issues, just try reseating it, the sweetspot it´s only a matter of try and error. Double and triple check that the heatsink is making propper contact and vRams pads are also being pressed down. It´s a pain but, when it´s right, it´s a huge difference.

    Lastly, what OS are you using? I have experienced similar issues with the screen after windows updated to the new 2004 build, it turns out the new quick screen output selection feature in the notification area conflicts with the OSD program. Just uninstall OSD and it should solve that issue.

    Good luck.-
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  3. FearKillr

    FearKillr Newbie

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    Sorry, when I started typing I just kept going. Been driving my wife crazy with it over the last week.(She is NOT PC savvy) I didn't know I needed to mod the PSU. I thought that was needed when BIOS isn't catching the correct wattage. It shows up as 240w in BIOS. I did disable the Battery notification. If I still have to modify the PSU that's fine. Can you direct me to a "How to" with taking out the center pin. Somethings I skipped over in my story.

    Sorry about that. I didn't know about the Stealth mode. I'm a desktop guy. This is my first dive into gaming Laptops. What better choice right?

    As far as OS build goes I'm unsure. I know it's the absolute latest update on Win. 10. I'll be able to give exact details once I'm off work. Also what should my display be labeled as in device manager? It just says standard display. I had to reinstall all the drivers manually to get AlienFX, Command Center, BluRay functionality back. Can't find a driver for the display..if there is one.
     
  4. blazeghost

    blazeghost Notebook Geek

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    The thing to consider is that the M15x will "limit" power only when the center pin on the power adaptor isn't disabled. Having a charge adaptor (the 150W will do) and a gaming adaptor with pin pulled out solves the issues and allows you to pull power to the limit. The stock adaptor you can use to charge the battery.

    Or just get on of these:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pwr-Right-...or-Dell-HP-Power-Adapter-Charger/371342402101
    And pull the center pin of it

    You don´t need a display driver, just try uninstalling the OSD app and see if that works.
     
  5. FearKillr

    FearKillr Newbie

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    Ah. I see. So I assume use the 150w for charging and the 240w for gaming just pull the pin out of the 240w? I assume it's low tech stuff, Needle nose pliers and pull? I did buy one of the power adapters anyway, bc...well you never know when you need it. I like to have extra parts and such for any situation. Thanks for the link.
     
  6. FearKillr

    FearKillr Newbie

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    Alright, I'm home. I am running Windows 10 Pro 10.0.18363 Build 18363. OSD has been Uninstalled. Rebooted the m15x a few times to see if it fixed. It appears it has so far. I'll mention if anything changes. Oh before I forget I was looking at my 970m information.

    GPU: GM204-B Revision: A1,
    BIOS: 84.04.48.00.31
    Device id: 10DE-1618
    Subvendor: Dell(1028)
    ROPs: 48
    Shaders: 1280 Unified
    PCIe Interfac: 3.0@1.1x16
    Bus Width 192 Bit(120.2GB/s)
    Memory size 3,072 GB
    Mem Type: GDDR5 (Samsung)
    Driver Ver: Geforce 452.06 - [ r452_02-2 ]
    GPU Clock: 924 MHZ
    Memory: 2505MHz
    Boost:1038MHz


    I used nvidia inspector for the information. Everything look good? Just wanted one of the best I could get atleast for this M15X, don't need the top, but comparable atleast.
    Also awaiting pin removal approval of pliers. Thanks so much for your help and insight.
     
  7. blazeghost

    blazeghost Notebook Geek

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    I would recomend using GPU-Z for checking your GPU, your memory size indicates a 3GB card, I´m curently using a Clevo model with 6GB, which is what most 970m users try to get. I don´t know how much performace difference is between both models.

    If you already have the L shapped adaptor, then just go ahead with the center pin removal, that way you´ll be able to use your 240W PSU for both gaming and charging your battery with only applying or removing the adaptor (less stuff to carry around).
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
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