M17X R2 - 920/940XM Install

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by UnlimitedX9, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. UnlimitedX9

    UnlimitedX9 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey all! Please clarify an issue.

    Ive become pretty good at disassembling and re-assembling my M17X R2 and have it working reasonably well.

    So I bought a 920XM from China and disassembled the laptop, used a little screw driver to unlock my 720QM, removed the 720QM, placed in the new 920XM, locked in new 920XM, placed on kapton tape and appropriate grease, then reassembled. I turned on the unit, and nothing but the usual keyboard backlights and fan spin and spin.

    I got a refund which was very reasonable, and bought a 940XM from a US seller. I repeated the install process exactly and got the same result.

    I should add that when i follow these steps and return my 720QM, it fully boots into windows and ive just typed this thread on it.

    I should also add Ive been using the A10 Bios, and Ive noticed that when the laptop successfully posts, the DVD clicks as it turns on. I have come to recognize this click as a happy POST beep.

    I think its a bad chip. The US seller is refusing a return and insists on a poor partial refund.

    More importantly he insists that it was working for him, and blames my Bios for having a locked TDP. Im aware that there are A10 unlocked bioses for overclocking, but shouldnt the standard A10 boot? I read on this forum somewhere that it should.

    Ill give it a try after an update, but i still think hes wrong. Personally i'd be happy to be wrong myself because I want this chip to work of course!

    Anyone with experience in an XM install please clarify this for me! I tried doing a CMOS clear as well with same effect.
     
  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Locked TDP has nothing to do with a XM chip not working. It was offered from the factory in the M17x R2, with all sorts of BIOS versions. You really don't need the kapton tape unless you are using liquid metal and want some sort of an insurance policy. The chip drops right in, turn the screw, attach the heatsink and power on. There is no magic involved with CPU upgrades.
     
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  3. UnlimitedX9

    UnlimitedX9 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Since I have your attention, once I do find a working XM, should I even mess with the unlocked BIOS? I think just having the standard A10 on an XM provides multiplier OC which is all thats necessary.

    Ive only glanced at the custom BIOS but it looks painful to me. Of course I can do it, but I feel hesitant.
     
  4. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    The unlocked BIOS provides nothing useful on M17x R2. Stock BIOS is perfectly fine and you can do all the performance enhancements with throttlestop
     
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  5. UnlimitedX9

    UnlimitedX9 Notebook Enthusiast

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    In the off chance that someone else faces this issue in the future...

    ***Update***
    There is no complication involved in the processor upgrade from a 720qm to a 920/940XM.

    I had to get ebay involved to return the defective 940XM but I got my money back. The seller was not at all happy about it and still maintains that it works in his Acer.

    I suppose its possible but I doubt it... the replacement 920XM booted right up and seemed quite happy to have a new home. It seemed to idle at 55C, but jumped up to 80C under just a mild load! Thats a little scary for me. Now I have to read the OC posts in this forum and decide how to configure.
     
  6. Dwarf King

    Dwarf King Notebook Evangelist

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    I got my i7 920XM from ebay. They do get rather hot though. If you disable Turbo boost in the bios it will get less hot but also lose a bit of performance. Thermal paste has to be used correctly in order to keep it reasonable cool. Mine idle around 49-55 Celsius degrees and will jump to 80 plus on heavy load. Before I repasted it it would reach 92 Celsius. Hence, the thermal paste job is a most and then of course you must make sure that you set up a good fan job in the HWinfo program. And yes the 920XM/940XM is really just a plug and play thing.
     
  7. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    When switching to 920/940XM It's advisable to use liquid metal. Overclocking this beast makes it a furnace. Also, if you have temps problem, check if your heatsink isn't bent (I've had that issue, because previous owner screwed the heatsink too hard and there was an arc above the CPU surface, and after gently bending it straight it worked fine). Once you go with Conductonaut you'll see an incredible decrease in temps, and you'll be able to use Turbo Boost (I personally think it's mandatory for any processor die, be it CPU or GPU)
     
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  8. Dwarf King

    Dwarf King Notebook Evangelist

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    I use that PK 4 thermal(I get really good results with that one) paste on my i7 920XM and the AMD ATI 7970m. I use the UE4 editor(set to medium or high) to work in and Visual Studio mostly. Never really had to activate the Turbo Boost in the Bios, but knowing that I have the options makes me feel very CONFIDENT that my system could manage all CPU stuff I need to work with right now. At worst my CPU hits 87 Celsius degrees. My HWinfo fans are set to hit 7000rpm when reaching 80c for the CPU and 60 for my GPU. That gives me a pretty silent system for most tasks. If I try to play games like The Witcher 3 I will set the GPU fan to hit max run on 50c plus.

    I mean we are in late 2020, December, 11 years after the i7 920xm was released and my GPU is from 2013. I bought this system in 2010 and yet I can use it for pretty much any demanding 3D task or work related stuff. It runs all RPG games I have thrown at it so far decent. Granted I have not tried for years to let it run a newer WoW version but I am sure and confident that the machine would run that on a medium settings without overheating as well.

    This machine is just awesome and I love its bulkiness and that pure metal feel it has. The keyboard is a dream. Pure quality. I have been to quite a bit gaming laptop vendors and tried to feel their keyboards and seen the ultra thin plastic fantastic cases.... Man I read a lot about overheating from those machines and how it is near impossible to open them up since they are more or less glued together :rolleyes:

    As long as the m17x R2 system keeps on being to fixable and even today that fast and efficient then I see zero reasons to "upgrade/downgrade" to a new system. I find the design of the new Alienware machines beautiful though :cool:

    Still thinking about trying one last time with a 8970m though.... However, after my last lemon then... :eek:

    So.... Alienware M17X R2 FOREVER! :D:p
     
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  9. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, m17x R2, with it's massive and solid curves, beautiful design and still usable despite years since it's release it still holds up :)
    Once you switch to liquid metal and enable Turbo Boost it gets it's wings :) Mine is running like that and, while my dual 7970Ms still worked (both vBIOS chips died) it reached about 10000-11000 points in 3DMark11 Performance. With an SSD and 16GBs it works perfectly with most things. Also consider modding the 330W PSU with 240W PSUID chip :) more room for Overclocking :)
     
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  10. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    I am parting out my machine so I have 2 x 8970M for sale I’d you want to go that route. Plug and play for single card, dual setup takes more work
     
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