Need help upgrading M17xR3 - mafia3

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by mudtracks, Jan 8, 2017.

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  1. mudtracks

    mudtracks Newbie

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    Hey what's up guys, I recently purchased mafia3 and I'm unable to play the game due to its system requirements:

    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit.
    • Intel CPU: I5-2500K.
    • AMD CPU: AMD FX-8120.
    • RAM: 6GB.
    • AMD GPU: Radeon HD7870.
    • Nvidia GPU: GeForce GTX 660.
    • Video Memory: 2GB.
    • HD: 50GB (free space)
    Here is a list of what my computer is running on at the moment:

    msinfo32

    OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home
    Version 10.0.14393 Build 14393
    Other OS Description Not Available
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
    System Manufacturer Alienware
    System Model M17xR3
    System Type x64-based PC
    System SKU xxx123x#ABA
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz, 2001 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
    BIOS Version/Date Alienware A06, 7/8/2011
    SMBIOS Version 2.7
    Embedded Controller Version 1.01
    BIOS Mode Legacy
    BaseBoard Manufacturer Alienware
    BaseBoard Model Not Available
    BaseBoard Name Base Board
    Platform Role Mobile
    Secure Boot State Unsupported
    PCR7 Configuration Binding Not Possible
    Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
    System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
    Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
    Locale United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "10.0.14393.206"
    Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
    Total Physical Memory 3.95 GB
    Available Physical Memory 2.86 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 7.95 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 6.20 GB
    Page File Space 4.00 GB
    Page File C:\pagefile.sys
    Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions Yes
    Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions Yes
    Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware Yes
    Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection Yes



    dxdiag

    ------------------
    System Information
    ------------------
    Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit (10.0, Build 14393) (14393.rs1_release_inmarket.161102-0100)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: Alienware
    System Model: M17xR3
    BIOS: InsydeH2O Version 1.0 A06
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
    Memory: 4096MB RAM
    Available OS Memory: 4044MB RAM
    Page File: 1771MB used, 6368MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 12
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    User DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
    System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
    DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
    Miracast: Not Available
    Microsoft Graphics Hybrid: Not Supported
    DxDiag Version: 10.00.14393.0000 64bit Unicode


    I found out that my computer can be upgraded to 16gb of RAM, as you can see I'm at 4gb right now and what's required is 6GB. Is that all I would have to do is upgrade the RAM to be able to play or would I have to upgrade the graphics card as well? Thanks for checking out my post and any help will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    When you run the game, do you get an error of some sort?

    What graphics card are you using? I don't see it listed in the specs. If your laptop has switchable graphics, make sure the dedicated graphics card is running.

    You may want to update your system BIOS as well as update your drivers. Go to Dell's support page and plug in your service tag to list the available updates. The latest BIOS for the R3 is A12 and Dell addressed some issues with switchable graphics in that release. The problem you may be having is that the integrated Intel graphics is running instead of the dedicated card.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/m17x-r3-a12-bios.691187/

    You probably should upgrade the RAM. 4GB is sort of outdated nowadays. 8GB is more or less the new minimum today.
     
  3. mudtracks

    mudtracks Newbie

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    No errors, I'm actually able to play the game. The graphics are like watching an outdated television as opposed to watching TV in HD. The major issue is that it's ridiculously laggy, it takes me about 5minutes to move the character from one side of the room to the other which makes me believe that it's the RAM.
    I'm not sure which graphics card I have, pretty sure it's an invidia. I'm not home at the moment to check. But I'll definitely go and update my drivers and BIOS when I get home.
    Do you know if upgrading my RAM is a simple task? Pretty much take the 4 out and replace them and it should work or do I need to do some other tinkering around to get them to work?
     
  4. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    Increasing your RAM will not necessarily increase framerates in games (unless you are using integrated graphics which use system RAM). But I would upgrade your RAM once you get the other issue sorted out.

    Your system has 4 DIMM slots and supports a total of 32GB of RAM since you have a quad core i7.

    M17X R3 Mobile Manual. See page 74:

    http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_alienware_laptops/alienware-m17x-r3_user's guide_en-us.pdf

    Two of the slots are located under the bottom panel which are easy to access, and two are located under the keyboard which require a little more work to get to.

    VIDEO GUIDE:



    Chances are, the slots under your keyboard are occupied with two sticks of 2GB RAM for a total of 4GB and the other two slots are empty. To confirm this, just remove the bottom panel and see if those two DIMM slots are empty.

    To upgrade, you can simply leave the current sticks where they are and just add another two sticks to increase your total RAM. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go about this. If you get another two 4GB sticks for example, your entire RAM will jump up to 12GB which should be more than enough for most people.

    The fastest RAM compatible with your system is DDR3L-1600 MHz. To find out the speed of your current modules, download HWInfo64 and go to the memory section. If your current modules are slower, say 1333MHz, you can still add faster 1600MHz modules, but they will run at 1333MHz. You probably won't notice much of a difference between 1333 and 1600MHz.

    Here is a link to Crucial.com for your laptop for compatible RAM:

    http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Alienware/m17xr3

    If you want you can of course remove the stock modules and install four 8GB DDR3L-1600 modules for a total of 32GB (overkill imo), or four 4GB modules for a total of 16GB.

    Service Manual for your laptop:

    http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_alienware_laptops/alienware-m17x-r3_service manual_en-us.pdf
     
  5. mudtracks

    mudtracks Newbie

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    Alright, looks like I'm on the right track here now. I went to the crucial website and did a scan of my computer and you are correct in that the 2 slots have blanks in them. So I have the crucial 8gb kit (2x4gb) DDR3L-1600 SODIUM on order.
    When I receive them I should take out the 2 cards and replace them with the 4gb cards and basically you're saying that I have the option of putting the 2gb cards in the blank spots or not use them at all? Correct?

    Also I checked to see what graphics card I have and it's a Intel (r) HD 3000 with 1632mb available. Like I said before the game plays but with lag so hopefully the new RAM will take care of my problem, but just incase I need to upgrade my graphics card, what would you recommend?

    And I appreciate your help so much! Thanks for taking the time to help me.
     
  6. Solo wing

    Solo wing Notebook Consultant

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    Mafia III IMO is one of the worst games in terms of optimization/porting. The frames suck big time. I struggled to keep a steady ~50-55fps.
    Depending on your current GPU, you could also upgrade it to a 680M/780M/880M.
     
  7. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    I have a 680M that you could use to upgrade your M17x R3, should give you double the FPS of a 580M
     
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  8. mudtracks

    mudtracks Newbie

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    That would be awesome! Yeah right now I have a Intel (r) HD 3000, which I believe is working ok from what I was able to see, but still looked kinda snowy or fuzzy when I tried to play the game. The lag is what's preventing me from playing so hopefully upgrading my RAM will solve this issue. I'm sure I'll need a gpu as well though. Is installing that 680M pretty easy?
    Also yeah I've read on the forums that people are complaining about the fps, hopefully that problem will get fixed but I'm just dying to play this game. I got hooked on mafia2'a story line so I hope this game won't disappoint​
     
  9. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    680M is easy to install, especially in the M17x series. Guides are plentiful.
     
  10. mudtracks

    mudtracks Newbie

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    alright guys, so I got my 2x 8gb RAM cards in, replaced the 2gb cards with the 8gb's and removed the keyboard then added the 2gb cards into those 2 empty slots. Which jumped my memory from 4096mb ram to 12288mb ram. So it looks like I've got a TON of space of my computer now but when I loaded mafia3, it looks like the graphics improved, went from snowy to clear but the character is still super laggy. So it looks like the graphics card is going to be my next purchase.
     
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