M18x R2 running two different GPUs

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by MagicMike, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. MagicMike

    MagicMike Notebook Consultant

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    Hi folks

    I have tried searching for a thread on this and whilst I found some bits on AFR and SFR none really mentioned what would happen if I added a second GPU into my M18x R2 which is different from the primary GPU. There is a video on YT with a guy running two different GPUs in a desktop via DirectX12 but obviously it's a different kettle of fish entirely.

    I.e. a 780M with my 1070 running as primary...what would happen, would it even boot?

    When I bought my laptop the seller chucked in a broken 780M, or so they claimed, but if was to get it fixed (if even possible) would it work?:)
     
  2. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Consultant

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    Funny you brought this up. I usually run dual 780M's in mine but I threw an 880M in the secondary slot last night to see if it was actually dead (like I think it is) or if it's a vBios issue (hopefully). I didn't get a chance to test it as it got late. I'm going to boot mine up when I get home from work tonight. I'm not expecting the machine to recognize the 880M at all.
    I'm not sure how drivers will go having different cards installed especially cards that are so different like yours would be. I would think that it would boot fine as you wouldn't have SLI enabled. It should boot straight from the master card but it should still show the second card in Device Manager
     
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  3. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Consultant

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    Well my machine booted fine using the 780M but the 880M isn’t detected in Device Manager or BIOS. I’m guessing it is dead after all.
    Can’t really test your question sorry. Don’t have another GPU to try in the second slot.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. MagicMike

    MagicMike Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks buddy, appreciate the effort. When I get a moment I will try my 780m but I will be in the same situation as you as I dont know if it works or not...so if anyone has experience of this already would be great to hear from them!:)
     
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  5. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Consultant

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    My system seems pretty bad now actually. I thought it was fine but now I have an Error 43 on my 780M and even though it looks like my driver is installed, apparently it isn't. I've just removed it with DDU but now my modded NVidia driver won't re-install. Could be a long night of troubleshooting ahead

    EDIT: Strike that. Second attempt at re-installing worked. Still no 880M though.

    What is the reason you want to run two cards in your R2? Even SLI is basically dead these days, along with physx
     
  6. MagicMike

    MagicMike Notebook Consultant

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    Glad you managed to recover the situation:)

    The reason is, the slave mxm port is just sitting there not being used...so is the 780m gpu...so I thought "what if...?" :)

    I cant put another 1070 in, which is something I have considered, as the MSI variant wont fit due to some port on the mobo being too close and it's not like I can dremel a gap there! A standard size 1070 does not have an SLI port so that avenue is a dead end too.

    If using two different GPUs is a no go, then the next train of thought is sticking a heatsink there and joining it up to the master GPU heatsink to effectively double the heat exchange surface. Anyone try that?

    Would be great to hear from the forum's greats, you know who you are;)

    Thanks
     
  7. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Consultant

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    That's an interesting idea. I've never heard of anyone trying it so you could be the first if you give it a shot.
    I know what you mean about using the second slot. I've thought about upgrading my M18x with a 1060/1070 but leaving that slave spot open makes me feel sad :(
     
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  8. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    That's a genius idea for linking the slave heatsink to the master GPU. Excellent idea indeed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  9. MagicMike

    MagicMike Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks Rengsey, I was thinking of getting the extra heat pipe across here, where the black outline is and then insulating the mxm ports and either soldering it all together or perhaps using thermal pads instead but the latter may be too much of a botch-up:

    upload_2019-9-24_22-39-3.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  10. electrosoft

    electrosoft Tick Tock Clarice....

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    I had a similar idea when I had an Alienware 18, but I was going to use the secondary slot with a cut MXM spec copper plate and heatsink and link it up the CPU cooler and manually control the fan in the secondary slot since heat is the ultimate culprit with Hotwell chips to stop them from climbing lofty heights of sustained speeds (Not outliers or benches, but real day to day speeds that pass decent stability and criteria).
     
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