How to pinmod and further overclock the M11x R1 (SLG= Hardmod only)

Discussion in 'Alienware M11x' started by DavyGT, Jan 12, 2011.

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  1. DavyGT

    DavyGT Overclocker

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    DISCLAIMER: I accept no responsibility for your actions based on this guide. What you do is from your own free will, this mod is not forced upon you.
    Be aware if you do commit to this mod, you will be voiding warranty, no two ways about it. Do not post about how to retain the warranty with a pinmod, it is fraudulent behaviour.



    What is it?

    The pinmod consists of disconnecting the TME pin from the PLL, which is in this case, PIN 14. By disconnecting PIN 14, it is possible to unlock the PLL, allowing it to be controlled by SetFSB for further overclocking.

    What are the gains?

    You get out what you put in really. Add 30% extra clockspeed, you'll get 30% extra performance in applications that are bottlenecked by the CPU.

    Who can do it?

    As of now, I know there are 2 types of PLL used in the M11x: the ICS 9LPRS387 and the SLG 8SP556V. This guide only supports the ICS PLL for now. All M11x owners can attempt this mod, whether they have the SU 7300 or SU 4100.

    What sort of overclock should I expect?

    Overclocking potential is different for everyone. Your Mileage May Vary. Expect 1.9-2Ghz with a decent chip.


    How can I tell which PLL I have?

    To identify which PLL you have, use SetFSB and select the PLL “ICS9LPRS365BGLF” and select “Get FSB”. If SetFSB returns with “PLL ID error”, it means you do not have the ICS9LPRS387 and very likely have the SLG8SP556V PLL. To confirm if you have the SLG PLL, select the “SLG8SP513V” and click “Get FSB”. If SetFSB displays the FSB values correctly, (IE: 266mhz if Overclock mode is enabled in BIOS) then you definitely have the SLG PLL.


    I have an SLG PLL, how can I do this mod?

    You can't as the SLG PLL is not programmable. However, it is still possible to overclock to 1.73/1.8/1.95/2/2.16 Ghz using the FSLx mod. All the clockspeeds except 1.73Ghz are hard mods and require soldering fine pins. Do not use a conductive pen to connect pins, it will not work, you will get a brick with no warranty. A guide to get to 2Ghz has been provided by Nando4. 1.73Ghz is still 8.4% faster then 1.6Ghz.


    What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this mod?

    Advantages:

    1. It's faster: I gained more speed then with the system's Overclock mode. It's pretty much a low end full voltage Core 2 Duo now. At 2Ghz, it is 10% slower then the i5 TS 166.

    2. It's possible to use the M11x as it was sold: at 1.73Ghz with SpeedStep.

    3. It doesn't run any hotter.

    4. Negliable battery life loss: I only found the system to be discharging 800mW more than stock.


    Disadvantages:

    1. Cannot clock down: Once SetFSB clocks the CPU up, it cannot clock back down to stock without crashing. On another M11x, I found I could clock down perfectly. Must be just my M11x.

    2. Not automated: Must keep using SetFSB or buy the shareware version to automate the overclock during startup. I haven’t done anything fancy like setting up GRUB to set the overclock before Windows boots.

    3. When the system crashes, it will not boot. Rather, it will boot with a black screen saying “Operating system not found”. It requires a hard reset by pressing the power button.

    4. Warranty will be void.

    5a. Needs a good VID chip to clock further (Only applies if Overclock mode is enabled): The CPU is still receiving .9v with SetFSB, so obviously, one must have a good quality chip to keep increasing clocks. In my experience with desktop Core 2 Duos, a lower VID meant it could clock further at the same voltage so I think it applies here too. YMMV.

    5b. Needs good RAM to keep clocking up (Only applies if Overclock mode is disabled): The chipset sets the RAM divider to 1:2 during Stock 1.3Ghz speed. By default, the M11x R1 is shipped with 1066mhz RAM with timings of 6-6-6-15 (457mhz) being applied. This means if the FSB is increased beyond 228mhz, the RAM is being overclocked and YMMV. I can't comment on using Thaiphoon Burner or CAS7 RAM as I haven't been able to boot with it. I only got to 293mhz with 6-6-6-15 timings.


    Part 1, Unlocking TME: I have an ICS PLL, how can I do this mod?

    1. Take a screenshot of the SetFSB screen in Windows with the ICS9LPRS365BGLF PLL. You’ll need it later.

    2. Disassemble the M11x motherboard. You may or may not need to disconnect the display.

    3.
    a. Solder a 10k resistor to PIN 14 and connecting it to Ground. Ground can be any screwhole edge.
    [​IMG]

    b.OMIT EASY MOD -Cutting pin 14 - DOES NOT WORK RELIABLY


    4. Reassemble the M11x.

    5. Boot up the M11x and login to Windows. If your M11x refuses to boot and has a beep sequence of 7 short beeps, it means you physically connected adjacent pins to Pin 14. "Separate" the connected pins.

    [​IMG]
    6. Open SetFSB and check Byte 9, Bit 6 (pictured). It should show 0 meaning TME is unlocked and ready for overclock. If it doesn’t you didn’t cut the pin well enough, try again.

    If TME is unlocked, you are ready to overclock. Do not pull the sliders on SetFSB as it will not work, only freeze your system. We must program the PLL to be covered in the next part.

    Part 2: Programming the PLL. I have unlocked TME. Now what?

    Use SetPLL.

    Tip: Enabling Overclock mode in BIOS can allow the RAM to be eliminated as a limiter to the overclock. It will isolate vcore and the chipset.

    That’s about it really. CPU overclocking unlocked and ready for stability tests.


    Cool story bro, I done that and I want moar speed:

    Consider making a DIY ViDock.
    Get a R2
    Do a volt mod if you’re limited by vcore.
    Get better RAM if limited by RAM.
    Wait for a R3 and buy it

    Thanks to Nando4 for discovering how to unlock TME, finding out how to do the FSLx mod for SLG owners and for fixing the table.
    Thanks to rpg-XPS for finding the essential datasheet.
    Thanks to Dufus for posting how to program the PLL.
    Thanks to bavman for finding the SLG datasheet.
    Thanks to some guy for confirming the FSLx mod works.
     
  2. DavyGT

    DavyGT Overclocker

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    Benchmarks and settings to use:
    3DMark06 1280x768 default settings
    TS Bench 32M and 1024M
    Feel free to suggest more benchmarks so I’ll add them to the chart.

    Name
    VID
    Used
    Overclock
    (mhz and mode)
    TS Bench
    3Dmk06
    Win7 WEI
    32M
    1024M
    Stock0.9v
    1600​
    65s
    4.6,5.4,6.5,6.5,5.9
    maddi2k &1.1v^3
    2100^1
    8059
    davy0.9v
    2070^1
    52s79525.6,5.9,6.5,6.5,5.9
    kittana0.9v
    2047^1
    some guy0.9v
    1995^2
    50s80395.6,5.5,6.5,6.5,5.9
    upaboveit0.9v
    1920^1
    JJ912840.9v
    1911^1
    5.3,5.9,6.5,6.5,5.9

    ^1 OC ON, TME-unlock pinmod ICS9LPRS387
    ^2 OC ON, FSLx-pinmod SLG8SP556
    ^3 CPU/voltage regulator pinmod required &
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  3. DavyGT

    DavyGT Overclocker

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    Additional mods, for more clockspeed

    To do, in order of priority:

    1. Bug Alienware for a BIOS update to allow official CAS7 support and let us adjust the RAM ratio.

    Success

    VID mod: Works. May trigger OVP.

    Found and tested the FSLx mod for SLG owners. Some guy tested and confirmed the mod works.

    Figure out a GPU voltmod. I haven't had luck finding it but it must be somewhere. Done in BIOS and testing new mod.

    In doubt (Need more people to try before I confirm fail)

    1. Find 1333mhz CAS6 memory to keep overclocking without Overclock mode. Kingston HyperX 1333 only go down to CAS7 or CAS6 at 1142mhz, by far the most promising kit. Corsair, ADATA, OCZ, Crucial, G.Skill, Geil- nothing.

    Failure

    1. Unlocking an 8x multiplier from SLFM. Unclewebb confirms its not possible as it was a reporting error- very hard to report SLFM as it enters and exits very quickly.

    2. Get a volt mod for the CPU for those who want to push further. Try and find a pencil mod for those solder shy. There is no need for this. The VID mod works.

    3. Figure out the SLG TME unlock and how to program it. According to Nando4 and Abo, creator of SetFSB, it is impossible as the SLG does not support such a function as it is missing programmable bytes.

    4. BIOS mods: Kizwan could not load the BIOS into the editor. That means no soft 333mhz OC mode and no GPU BIOS voltage mods. Reverse engineer?

    5. Use Thaiphoon Burner to flash slower RAM. Resulted in no boot at anything more then CAS6.

    Realistically, half the to do list has some chance of being successful. I'll be very happy if the "to do" and "in doubt" lists were emptied into confirmed successes or failures.
     
  4. some guy

    some guy Modding Addict

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    this post is to help with the common general questions that most people have about the SLG pinmod.

    quick and dirty answer for 2.0Ghz pinmod:

    attach 3.3v via a 10k resistor to pin 7 with OC mode enabled in the Bios. (see pic below)

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/att...rclock-m11x-r1-slg-hardmod-only-img_0092a.jpg

    (more details? read below)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    there are a lot of the same questions being asked and answered pretty much every day on this thread. they are all good and logical questions and deserve proper and quick answers. i have tried to organize the post so that you can quickly look at the first underlined subject of each paragraph to quickly address your issue or question with related info following below. this way you wont have to skim the whole thing for a quick answer to your question, i hope that helps.



    if your this far you have hopefully read DavyGT's first few posts of this thread (if not you should go do that now) and have sadly realized that you do not have the ICS PLL. don't panic! there are a few pin mods for the SLG owners thanks to DavyGT, nando4, bavman and some testers. but before i get the mods a few things to go over in regards to the R1s Bios and other important things we have learned.



    1. RAM. right now RAM is our bottleneck due to the R1s Bios being limited to Cas6 timings. this means that the R1s Bios will force Cas6 or lower on your RAM no matter what speed in Mhz you try to run it at. let me repeat this. THE RAM ALWAYS RUNS AT CAS6 OR LOWER. this has proven to make even most highend RAM fail at higher speeds. as it stands there are no known kits to buy that are guaranteed to get you 1000Mhz on the R1 because of this... BUT fortunately for us 1000Mhz @ Cas6 is easy to hit on most kits of RAM, even the stock RAM & generic kits like my GSkill. lucky for us 1000Mhz is all thats needed to hit a healthy 2.0Ghz.

    1a. RAM speed. an easy way to figure out what speed your RAM will run at is just multiply your base clock by 3 with OC mode enabled OR with OC mode disabled it will be your base clock x 4.

    Examples:

    stock with OC mode enabled your RAM will be running at 798Mhz. (266Mhz x 3 = 798Mhz).

    with the 333Mhz pinmod with OC mode enabled your RAM will be running at 999Mhz ( 333Mhz x 3 = 999Mhz)

    with the 266Mhz pinmod with OC mode disabled your RAM will be running at 1064Mhz (266Mhz x 4 = 1064Mhz)

    1b. how do i get my R1 to support higher Cas timings?as of right now there is no way to flash the RAM to work with the R1 at higher timings and there is no modded Bios to allow higher timings ether. it is what it is... until this changes we are stuck with the above constraints....

    2. OC mode ( enabled / disabled ). these 2 settings in your Bios have a huge effect on your R1s ability to overclock. the 2 settings have different voltages for the CPU. the CPU multiplier is different between the 2 settings. but most important of all IMO both modes have different RAM ratios.

    one very important thing to note: you need to set OC mode enabled or disabled in the Bios before doing your pin mod! the reason being that the wrong setting can cause your laptop to not boot and then you cant get into the bios to change it to the right setting with out un-doing your mod and going back into the Bios to set it up the right way.


    Example:

    the 333Mhz mod with OC mode enabled uses this PLL logic: FS_A, FS_B off with FS_C on. if you disable OC mode the logic changes... now by disabling OC mode FS_B turns on. so now your PLL logic has changed to FS_A off & FS_B, FS_C on. this gives you a base clock of 400Mhz! which means your not going to boot unless you have RAM that will boot at 1600Mhz. (not going to happen)

    2a. OC mode disabled. to be honest the only good thing about running OC mode disabled is that we get the 6.5 multiplier on the CPU. yes we get a higher CPU voltage with out having to do the VID mod. but what good is the higher Vcore if you don't need it? due to having the higher RAM ratio, the RAM will most likely limit your OC before the CPU does anyway. the RAM ratio is the real killer here. to save you some math just know that with OC mode disabled your RAM will run the same effective speed as your FSB (front side bus) speed. so if your running 1066Mhz FSB your RAM will also be running 1066Mhz (more than likely @ the Cas6 timing).

    2b. OC mode enabled. 9 out of 10 times this is the best way to run your system with the pin mods. it has a lower RAM ratio and takes a lot of stress off the RAM making the limited Cas6 timings not so bad and in most cases will allow for the highest possible CPU OC which is more important over RAM speed anyway in 95% of programs. on the down side the CPU multiplier is set lower at 6 and the Vcore is lower too which is set at 0.90v.

    3. what pin mod to do? this is up to you. how much work do you what to do and what can your system handle. the 1.73ghz mod is probably the easiest to do for people that aren't good at soldiering. BUT... its hard on the RAM and may not work on your current set of RAM. the 2.0Ghz mod is a bit trickier but will give you more speed and is going to be less stressful on your RAM giving you a higher chance for success and higher speeds at the cost of more elbow grease.

    3a. list of logical pinmods

    nando4's post:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/ali...-m11x-r1-slg-hardmod-only-11.html#post7059466

    3b. understanding the SLG data sheet. if you wanted to go out of the norm for whatever reason and try different clocks this is totally possible. say you got some UBER RAM you think just might be able to run high speeds at Cas6? well just look at nando4's post and read the SLG logic table. see what pins need turned on or off depending on if you what OC mode (enabled or disabled).

    Example:

    to get 333Mhz to try to run with OC mode disabled for 2.16Ghz (this has not been done successfully due to RAM limits) you would look and see that @ stock with OC mode disabled the logic has only FS_B turned on. this is how the PLL is programed by default. to trick the PLL in this case you just turn off FS_B by disconnecting it and turn on FS_C by adding power to it. now the logic will have FS_A, FS_B off and FS_C all turned on. the PLL will now run 333Mhz x 6.5 and the RAM will run 333Mhz x 4.

    4. doing the pinmods. you want the right materials, tools and mind set. with out these your seriously looking to brick your mobo. these pins ARE SMALL! just to give you an idea, they are similar in size to a mechanical pencil lead maybe even smaller! not to mention they are super close together. many users have in fact bridged several pins together on accident when attempting the mods that require soldering (myself included). im not trying to scare you, just know what your getting into.

    the red circle is where you need to be:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/att...-slg-hardmod-only-2011-01-24_17-57-35_953.jpg

    this is what my work space looked like:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/att...-slg-hardmod-only-2011-01-29_12-33-25_765.jpg

    another pic to give you an idea of how small things are:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/att...-slg-hardmod-only-2011-01-29_12-05-53_335.jpg

    4a. turning off a pin. the easiest way to turn off a pin is to cut it.

    suggested supplies:

    small Philips screwdriver (to disassemble your laptop)
    hobby knife (to cut the pin)
    magnifying glass & lots of light (to see what you are doing)

    i use a hobby knife to cut the pin just try to leave some material left on both sides of your cut so if you what to reconnect the pin later you can with a quick dab of solder.

    4aa. i cut a pin and now i want to do a different mod, is it still possible? short answer, yes. now go to nando4's post ( http://forum.notebookreview.com/ali...-m11x-r1-slg-hardmod-only-11.html#post7059466 ) and look at the PLL logic table. does the pin you cut effect the mod you want to do? if so then just put a dab of solder on the pin over the area you cut to reconnect it.

    Example:

    you cut PIN2 to get 1.73ghz. but now you want to do the 2.0Ghz mod. well for the 2.0Ghz mod you need to set up 333Mhz with OC mode enabled. when you look at the logic table you see that for 333Mhz FS_A, FS_B are off & FS_C is on. so since PIN2 (FS_B) was turned off when you cut it you can just leave it cut. as you don't need it to be on for 333Mhz.

    4b. turn on a pin. the only way to turn on a pin is to apply power to it (3.3v via 10k resistor).

    suggested supplies:

    small Philips screwdriver (to disassemble your laptop)
    hobby knife (to scrape any extra solder away from the pins)
    soldering iron & solder (for soldering duh!) this is the one i use http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4314833&retainProdsInSession=1
    magnifying glass & lots of light (to see what you are doing)
    10k resistor(s) (needed so you don't burn up these small low voltage circuits)
    flux (for making soldering much easier)
    very small gauge coated wire (for connecting circuits)
    solder wick (in case you mess up)

    first and foremost try to get the smallest soldering tip you can possibly get. i can easily say this is the most important part of this kind of mod. if the tip your using is the same width of 2 to 3 pins on the PLL what do you think is going to happen when you go to touch just one pin? your most likely going to bridge all the pins in that area together. secondly, have lots of light & from multiple sources if possible. shadows can make this really hard when dealing with such small things.

    the general idea here is you need to connect from a 3.3v point to the pin you want to turn on with a 10k resistor inbetween. there are many other pins that you can solder onto to get this needed power ( PINS 1, 6, 19 & 55 to name a few) but there is a alternate point that is easier. the lead off the resistor here:

    Laptop Forums and Notebook Computer Discussion

    credit: ron g

    4bb. i messed up and bridged a bunch of pins now what? don't panic. you can do a few things, you can try to cut your way out of this by cutting the solder away in between the pins you bridged (this takes a long time) or you can try using solder wick to soak up the excess solder by placing it in the area you want to remove the excess solder and put the iron on it to heat it up. as long as the wick is fresh and your touching the solder the heat from the iron should help draw the excess solder into the wick and you should be good to go (try watching some youtube videos).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg2hxpy--gg&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PRKJXJrnvo&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o61KuYNpXP4


    5. i did a pinmod and now my laptop wont boot. first thing is first. drain all the power out of your mobo by disconnecting it from the battery, AC adapter (you shouldn't have to remove the CMOS batt) and hold down the power button for about 10 sec. then connect everything back up and try again. still nothing? try taking out your RAM and doing the same again then boot with out the RAM installed (it will beep at you a bunch of times, then power it down again, reinstall your RAM and try to boot again). still nothing? disassemble your laptop again and make sure the mod was done completely right, if you bridged something or whatever, fix it and try again. in the odd case you may have forgot to set the Bios setting correctly for OC mode enabled or disabled according to what mod you were doing. you will have to unsolder your circuit and go into the Bios to change it to the right setting. i have had one friends M11x not like the 2.0Ghz mod due to the CPU. it wouldn't boot at all with the stock Vcore. the VID mod was need to get it to boot.

    6. i think ive hit a bottleneck. maybe your not stable with your OC... blue screens? system hangs? random restarts? 335Gt not being recognized properly? in that case you need to figure out if its a RAM or CPU bottle neck.

    6a. ive hit a CPU bottleneck. in this case you have 2 options. try a slower base clock or raise your Vcore. the easiest VID mod for more Vcore. turn off PIN32 on the voltage regulator chip located under the heatsink (this works for OC mode enabled only for a VID mod with OC mode disabled PM me and i will figure one out for you).

    voltage regulator chip datasheet:

    http://www.intersil.com/data/fn/fn9251.pdf

    picture of 1.1v VID mod (this mod only works with OC enabled only. cut were the red line is):

    Laptop Forums and Notebook Computer Discussion

    6b. ive hit a RAM bottleneck. a easy way to test for RAM instability is to try just running with one stick of RAM installed, still unstable? take that stick out and try the other stick by its self. if your stable with one stick but not the other then you may need new RAM that can handle your OC. or reduce your RAM speed by trying a slower base clock or running with OC mode enabled to reduce the RAM ratio (if your not already) dont for get to check to see if your PLL logic will allow you to boot back up if you change OC modes in the Bios.

    7. stability testing for testing stability, i suggest we use DavyGT's method of Intel burn. 20 passes @ max stress for systems with 4Gb & 8Gb or RAM. if you only have 2Gb this test may not prove to be as solid for stability. while testing make sure your 335Gt is active. i have had tests pass just fine with the 335Gt disabled and then once i enabled the 335Gt things went all crazy. driver crashes, video corruption, ect...
     
  5. slickie88

    slickie88 Master of Puppets

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    Excellent guide, DavyGT. It people like you, Nautis, kopicha, unclewebb, RigelKent and the rest that take the time to mod, hack and improve things for the rest of us. Way to blaze the trail!
     
  6. DavyGT

    DavyGT Overclocker

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    I shouldn't take that credit. I'm orders of magnitude out from them. I merely implemented what was already available for a long time. Put simply, I'm no architect, just a builder with somebody elses designs.
     
  7. roxxor

    roxxor Notebook Evangelist

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    +1 rep for pure awesomeness.
     
  8. some guy

    some guy Modding Addict

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    just sent a email to Silego. ill post back with the reply.
     
  9. Mackan

    Mackan Notebook Evangelist

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    There are some things I wonder about:

    1) You say once SetFSB clocked it up, you cannot clock down again without crashing. But speedstep does still work?

    2) I am not sure what the advantages are with first enabling the overclock BIOS. Doesn't that disable speedstep, and locks a low multiplier and voltage?
     
  10. some guy

    some guy Modding Addict

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    i think if you dont set it to overclock mode in the bios the ram becomes a bottleneck due to a different ram/fsb ratio
     
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