Happy Dilemma - Fate of Alienware M18xR1

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Homer S, Aug 6, 2015.

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  1. Cryzer

    Cryzer Notebook Consultant

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    You can get SLI 780m which will cost you around $1000 (880m are slighly OC'd 780m with more VRAM but with more reported problems) for your R1, then, once they cannot play games anymore, get a M18x R2 barebones and buy whatever GPU is available in that future (Nvidia or AMD). M18x R2 is backwards compatible with R1 components, so you can switch those who are better to the R2 and sell the rest. As far as I know, SLI 980m doesn't work perfectly on the R2 but maybe the next cards will... or won't, or they might work on the R1 but not on the R2 (970m works on the M15x but not on the R1), so who knows.

    SSD might also be a good upgrade, dunno about 16GB Ram, it doesnt seem necessary.
     
  2. andrewsi2012

    andrewsi2012 Notebook Consultant

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    Here's my 5 cents worth.......

    Upgrade motherboard from R1 to R2 - Most of your current parts will be usable, the only difference will be the daughter (I/O) board and it's ribbon cable (R2 Cable is wider than the R1) and the Hard drive caddy and it's ribbon cable (Which is also larger than the R1)

    Everything else including the GPU heatsinks will be compatible (As long as you stay will the same brand GPU you have now)

    Dual 4GB GDDR5 GTX780M - These GPU's overclock to a high and more stable level than the GTX880M, they are massively cheaper than GTX980M.

    If you go GTX 980M you will have to install Windows 8.1 - SLI will NOT work in any other OS - Search NBR, there's a large discussion somewhere about this exact subject. Windows 8.1 will throttle your CPU and GPU so you won't get the full power of the GTX980 without extensive tinkering.

    Spend the money you save on the difference between the 780 and 980 on a R2 motherboard and a couple of SSD's, SSD's are cheap as chips now

    So here's your parts list if you go this way.

    1 x Alienware M18x R2 motherboard.
    1 x Intel 3rd Gen Core i7 CPU - 3860QM is more than enough, still big dollars for a 3920/3940XM
    1 x Alienware M18x R2 I/O Board and ribbon cable
    1 x Alienware M18x R2 Hard Drive Caddy and Ribbon Cable

    2 x GTX780M GPU's
    1 x 512GB Samsung Evo 840/850

    Some new high quality thermal pad and paste for your GPU's would be a good investment to

    And stay away from windows 10 and the new NVidia driver until they have sorted out why they are blowing up M18x R1/R2 LCD screens
     
  3. Homer S

    Homer S Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks all!

    This got lost: I'm already running 2x 500 GB Samsung 850 SSDs.

    I'm pulling the trigger on Phase 1: R1 to R2.

    These three parts are on the way from eBay:
    • 9D7N3 - M18x R2 Motherboard
    • XVNKP - M18x R2 3-Disk HDD Caddy
    • M9T51 - M18x R2 SATA Interposer

    Still need to find this one, anyone have a suggestion? or better yet one they want to sell?
    • YYFHR - M18x R2 I/O Daughterboard with ribbon cable

    Homer
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  4. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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  5. Homer S

    Homer S Notebook Evangelist

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  6. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Yes, I have ordered parts from them a couple of times and so have a few others here in our community. It takes a while with everything on a slow boat from Singapore, but when I have ordered from them it was parts I could not get elsewhere and it was worth the wait.
     
  7. faiz23

    faiz23 Macbook FTW

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    Have you tried calling Dell and see if they can sell you those parts? I have always got parts cheaper direct from Dell versus third party resellers. I noticed this on the triple copper heatsinks for the MX series chips.
     
  8. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Where did you find the M18x R2 motherboard? I haven't been able to find one for under 400$

    Or....if you have no use for your M18x R1 mobo/daughterboard, perhaps I could purchase from you, or trade my 3720QM CPU + M18x R2 daughterboard so you have something stronger to use in your new motherboard?
     
  9. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Well, a 2960XM CPU will run like a Swiss watch on the M18xR2 motherboard and stomp the daylights out of any 3rd Generation Intel NON-Extreme mobile CPU. I'd try to find one of those at a good price since there is nothing better available except for a 3920XM or 3940XM. A 3720QM might be better than the 2860QM. I've never compared those two. I think you can get a 400MHz clock bump on the 3720QM whereas the 2860QM is totally locked down. Is that correct?
     
  10. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Clearly the 3920XM/3940XM is the winner, but if OP has budget constraints, the 3720QM will also be a great upgrade chip. It does overclock. I had mine running 4 ghz single core, 3.9Ghz dual core, and 3.8ghz quad core (in comparison to its meager 3.6ghz single core stock mode). It is still, a great chip.
     
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