M17xR4 upgrade 680m to 1060

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by rjtnag, Aug 24, 2017.

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  1. rjtnag

    rjtnag Notebook Evangelist

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    M17xR4 upgrade 680m to 1060

    I kindly apologise for my atrocious formatting, I have never written such a long thread before.

    Hey everyone, this is my experience regarding upgrading my m17xR4(2012) with a 680m and a 3D 120hz display to a GTX 1060. Please bear with me as it will be a long story.

    A little bit of background, on May 11, 2017, my laptop suddenly shut itself down when playing some Witcher 3. No response, no power, no lights, certainly dead.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...t-motherboard-replaced-but-still-dead.805508/

    Called Dell India, they recommended motherboard replacement (not quite as much as a recommendation but as an only option.) 15000INR for that. (~235USD)

    Still not resolved, no light, no post, no power. But if I remove the 680m, the laptop boots but gives 8 beeps, indicating a GPU or LCD failure. Putting the gpu back in causes a short circuit and no power to system.

    Dell technician recommended GPU and LCD replacement. Will cost about 15000INR(235USSD) for GPU and 8000INR(125USD) for the LCD.

    Sure, why not.

    New GPU time. And boy oh boy, I was in for a headache.

    Initial plan was for GTX 980m, easy and simple upgrade, tried and tested.

    I contacted @woodzstack, he suggested me the 1060, approx. 30% more performance for the same price. I went ahead with that.

    He is a well-known and an excellent seller here on NBR and other forums.


    So I got myself a 1060 with a heatsink. The heatsink on my 680m had worn out screws and I couldn’t remove it to reuse it (tried a Dremel to make grooves). The 1060 was available and ready to ship, the heatsink was on back order which caused some delay. Thankfully, woodzstack provided me with a free upgrade to faster shipping. Thanks!

    5987.JPG

    Then came the headaches. As I didn’t have a backup or fall back gpu (680m died), I wasn’t able to change the settings in bios required for 1060 and the system won’t boot with a 1060 ass the settings were incorrect. Also, I had the motherboard replaced which had stock bios. Got 8 beeps with 1060 installed, indicating gpu or LCD failure, which it wasn’t. Also, being a 120hz 3d display, I couldn’t use the intel gpu, as it won’t be able to run the display.

    Stuck in catch22 situation there. I contemplated returning the gpu as I hadn’t gotten it to work, and it had gotten quite expensive(motherboard+gpu+heatsink). I posted on various forums for 2nd hand 680Ms or even lower gpu. Woodzstack offered a 680M but shipping was quite expensive.

    Then @maxslo came to my rescue, he offered a used Quadro K1000M. Just pay for shipping and its mine. Notebookcheck states that its equivalent to a GT 630M, so it was from my series of gpu. I didn’t know if it would work or not, I took a gamble, if it didn’t work I would return all the stuff and get a new laptop (or a desktop maybe?)


    It took its own sweet time to come as it was via national post (can’t complain, got the card only for shipping cost)


    And when it came, I installed it, hit the power. I TURNED ON. It was alive!

    I quickly got into bios, changed the settings and installed the 1060.


    But alas, it didn’t start. 8 beeps again. Woodzstack helped here again.

    The issue was default display setting in bios and the uefi settings. Uefi needs a compatible gpu to save that setting and boot with that gpu. As k1000m wasn’t a uefi compliant gpu, I was stuck again. But changing the graphics settings to auto and then it let me disable the legacy settings.
    6990.JPG
    6991.JPG

    6992.JPG

    After applying these settings and installing the 1060, it let me boot.

    Somewhat.

    No bootable media detected. Press any key to restart.

    Turns out that the gtx 1060 is fussy even about bot drive partitions. Had to reinstall windows on a GPT partition. MBR to GPT conversion did not work. Needed a fresh install.


    Finally, after 3 months of patience, I could revive my laptop.

    II would like to thank these threads and their authors
    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/10982-m17x-r4-gtx-1060-upgrade/

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.p...x-r4-another-socket-victory-against-bga-crap/


    Before and now pics

    Note: for 680m, the benchmark was done on max overclock +300 core and +500 memory. Stock score would be nearer to 3DM11 P=6300-6500, Ex=2200-2400

    Unfortunately, I don’t have 3dmark scores for 680m
    WINWORD_2017-08-24_17-02-00.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  2. rjtnag

    rjtnag Notebook Evangelist

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    Some benchmarks
    680m 3dm11 perf.png
    1060 3dm11 perf.png

    680m 3dm11 x.png

    1060 3dm11 X.png

    1060 fs.png
     
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  3. rjtnag

    rjtnag Notebook Evangelist

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  4. Arrrrbol

    Arrrrbol Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice to see you finally got it working. :) Hopefully the results make the pain worthwhile
     
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  5. Eurocom Support

    Eurocom Support Company Representative

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    Here are some pics of our GTX 1070 standard size MXM3 card - it is 82x105mm and fits into MXM 3.0b slot.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. rjtnag

    rjtnag Notebook Evangelist

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    Ahh, thank you very much. But currently not looking to upgrade. But just for information, will the 100watt heat sink be enough for it?
     
  7. Wetpretzel2

    Wetpretzel2 Notebook Enthusiast

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    How did you change the display to auto?

    Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
     
  8. woodzstack

    woodzstack Alezka Computers , Official Clevo reseller.

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    unlocked display or having a card that was already in PEG with the 120hz panel. However EUROCOM is referring to using 60hz display for thier EURO 1070. It does not yet work with the 120Hz panel. The MSI versions like the 1060N or like the 1070N from an F5 Tornado do work in dedicated mode / PEG with 120Hz panel.

    not sure why they didn't specify this.
     
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  9. woodzstack

    woodzstack Alezka Computers , Official Clevo reseller.

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    LOL, all those issues, yeah I need to check with people now if they are in legacy mode and stuck or not.

    In all our testing in the warehouse, you know we have access to so many videocards, and we immediately would just stick in a 980M to set things up.


    So legacy mode is a no go unless your using 60hz panel and want to use Optimus.
    for 120Hz panel - which was the first way we got these running, before INTEL added support, we need full digital UEFI compliant without ANY legacy stuff in the way to boot.
    So disable legacy and switch disks to GPT.

    Anyways when you finally boot you need to clear your HDD's and convert them to GPT when installing windows.

    At the "INSTALL" screen you can hit ctrl F11 I think, to bring up the MD prompt.

    just type DISKPART
    list disk
    select disk "X" where X is the disk your converting..
    Convert gpt
    list disk (to see if it worked, you will see an asterisk)

    if I got the commands wrong it might be convert disk X gpt.. but I do it all the time so I just have a habit of doing it without thinking much.

    Then you should be able to load windows on your HDD.

    If you need to get to a windows install screen, well loading into a USB boot media for installing windows should allow you to see your HDD that was not loading(in the diskpart program, list disk).
     
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  10. rjtnag

    rjtnag Notebook Evangelist

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    oh yes, even i would recommend people to get a 980m over a 1060 just to avoid the headaches and VERY SPECIFIC configuration requirements needed for the upgrade. But the performance difference might just be worth it(+30-40%).
    Must have a 120hz display, unlocked bios, gpt boot disk AND a fall back gpu just to change bios settings. These requirements narrow down the prospective upgraders/compatible systems quite a bit.
     
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