m18x R2 with NVidia 780M

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by GameEngineer, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. GameEngineer

    GameEngineer Notebook Enthusiast

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    I upgraded to that single video card about 8 months ago from a dead 660M gpu and had to do the Nvidia driver INF file customizations which went fine. The laptop has been working flawlessly until recently. After being on a while the screen goes pixelated color barf like the driver quit working then sometimes turns black and comes back or reboots. Powering up again typically works and it can run fine again. When it happens and rights itself without completely going black the device manager still shows the 780M video adapter and the driver appears to be working still.

    I tried blowing the board by carefully tilting the laptop on its side so I can blow the bottom gpu fan and for a second it did that whole screen pixelation thing when the laptop tapped the desktop. That made me think it might be a loose connection or something. So I am planning on re-seating and adding new thermal paste to the board. Its such a pain to get to the gpu on this laptop!
    EDIT: I actually got brave and after writing this post I tilted the laptop on its side again and banged (gently of course!) on the bottom where the gpu board is located and forced the board failure. Yeah I'm thinking its a loose connection (or a broken board trace, argh!)

    I already tried re-installing the modified driver and it worked fine but didn't fix the problem.

    I'm praying its not a bad board because it was over $300 and its not even a year old in my laptop yet. The only thing I can think of is the re-seating and cleaning the connector with alcohol.

    Anyone see something like this before?

    -Steve
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  2. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    bad GPU ...
     
  3. Raja786

    Raja786 Notebook Consultant

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    Definitely your GPU is on it’s last legs.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    Are you using the GPU in the primary slot? Have you tried installing it in the secondary slot?

    I think as long as you're only using one GPU, it should be able to work in either slot as primary.

    This should isolate any slot issues and point to the GPU as the issue.
     
  5. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Guest

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    Sounds very much like a failing GPU. I doubt its any loose connection.
     
  6. GameEngineer

    GameEngineer Notebook Enthusiast

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    It may be the board which would mean this board only lasted 8 months. Let me ask this question. If I remove the board completely will the laptop run on the Intel HD graphics alone? I ask because the HD graphics hardware isn't being detected and I read somewhere that if there is a GPU installed it will ignore or disable the onboard GPU. I'm not sure I want to risk buying another bad board.

    Where I bought the board wasn't Ebay and they appear to have a 1 yr limited warranty. I'm pursuing a replacement. It states if the product fails within 365 days they will replace it. That might be my saving grace.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  7. M18x-oldie

    M18x-oldie Notebook Consultant

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    You can switch it by holding FN then hitting F7 + a reboot.
     
  8. GameEngineer

    GameEngineer Notebook Enthusiast

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    I know about that and that used to work when I had a 660M, the original board. After installing the new 780M last year the HD on-board graphics hardware was not detected. Its not even detected by the BIOS. I tried installing the Intel HD driver but it errors as well. I'm wondering if I pull the bad NVidia GPU will the BIOS detect the HD graphics at least.
     
  9. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    If you have the unlocked BIOS you can just go into the BIOS and switch from PEG (dGPU only) to IGPU (intel HD graphics only) mode.
     
  10. GameEngineer

    GameEngineer Notebook Enthusiast

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    I just have the latest stock BIOS downloaded from Dell. Do you know where I can get the unlocked version?
    If I cannot get a replacement board from the place where I got the board then I want to enable the HD graphics and maintain a non-gaming laptop until I can save up for a replacement card. I think I will go for the 980M if there aren't any temperature problems running it with this laptop. I have the 100W heat pipes already installed. I replaced the original one when I installed the 780M.

    Cooling doesn't appear to be a problem. I monitor the temps and when it gets to 65 °C the fan kicks in and it drops to the 40s to 50s. I tested while running a GPU bench test. Usually stayed in the 50s during the bench test with fan.
     
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