M18xR2 - GPU Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Sgt.DeeTrix, Nov 8, 2018 at 10:54 PM.

  1. Sgt.DeeTrix

    Sgt.DeeTrix Notebook Consultant

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    Someone told me I could simply purchase a 1060 /1070/ 1080 card and install it on my Ivy Bridge and everything should be ok...is this true?
    Both my 680's are dead in the water and want to continue using this awesome laptop. Is there any advice as to what I could do with my M18xR2 to bringing it up to par? Is there life after death?
     
  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    you can flash my improved BIOS and install 2 x 980M.
     
  3. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    1060 require grinding the heatsink and require you to go to the BIOS (using @Raidriar BIOS) and turning video mode to SG. This will enable nVidia Optmius and you'll be limited to one card.

    980M SLI works with the BIOS as well but there have been known issues with throttling.

    Price wise 980M SLI can be had for $328 per card on eBay.

    1060 can be found for $499 sometimes less depending on the listing.

    There's also this new 1070 that has been listed:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Nvidia...h=item2cdd7c974f:g:VgYAAOSwNo9b0ulz:rk:1:pf:0

    This card will fit right inside in place of your 680M card and also requires Optmius mode. This is probably the best route to go.
     
  4. Sgt.DeeTrix

    Sgt.DeeTrix Notebook Consultant

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    The GTX 1070 as you mentioned that would fit perfectly, can I go SLi or just one card? If I can only use one card, a new question came to mind, what do i do with the dead secondary 680 GPU? I can't just leave on the board, can I remove it and wouldn't that leave an open hole removing the heat sink
     
  5. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    All newer cards (10-series+) require Optimus so you are limited to one card. The second 680m you just remove. So you'd be using one card in slot 1 and slot 2 will be empty.
     
  6. Sgt.DeeTrix

    Sgt.DeeTrix Notebook Consultant

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    What is Optimus mode? Is this something I have to install prior to changing out new hardware 1070 (GPU) for the card to work correctly on older Ivy bridge?
     
  7. Grant B Gibson

    Grant B Gibson Notebook Deity

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    Because the Alienware 18 never shipped with a 120hz panel, it only supports LVDS screens. Pascal cards output eDP signals, which are entirely incompatible. But, with optimus, the iGPU can translate the eDP to LVDS
    It is incompatible with SLI however
    It is an option in the unlocked BIOS, or there should be a FN+F7 I/D GFX button that you could press to enable it
    Your options are 980M SLI (300-250 per card) 1060 ($400-500) and a 1070 (500-600)
    As well, you could opt for other cards, but they aren't really worth it.
     
  8. Sgt.DeeTrix

    Sgt.DeeTrix Notebook Consultant

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    Concluding, I will go the route with the GTX 1070, is there variables on the 1070 purchases like 1070m, 1070mxm or other prefixes at the end?
    On a final note, I thought about upgrading my memory, what is the maximum MHz I can go with. I think I am currently at 1333 MHz or maybe 1600 MHz, could I push to 2133 MHz at 32 gigs?

    Thanks all for your support on bringing back this laptop to life
     
  9. Grant B Gibson

    Grant B Gibson Notebook Deity

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    1070 is the best option, as long as its standard size MXM module.
    RAM Speed makes little to no difference, and 2133mhz DDR3 is very expensive atm. it should work though
     
  10. Sgt.DeeTrix

    Sgt.DeeTrix Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks again your support. Just to go over once more since this will be an investment to upgrade, I can install the GTX 1070 MXM without any modding besides installing the GPU driver?
    Step would be to install card, paste gpu and heat sink, power up computer once everything is hooked up, and press and hold down FN key to cycle boot up, then install GPU driver?
    Please confirm.
    Thank you.
     
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