Need Help with M17x R3 - Mobo/780m/Display Problem

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by just1tree, May 26, 2020.

  1. just1tree

    just1tree Notebook Consultant

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    Hello All,

    I'm currently typing this post on my M17x R3 with a fresh windows 7 install (because I couldn't get the windows 10 driver to install). The problem is that when i have the 780m installed in the system I get no display on the built in monitor of the laptop and have to use an external display. I posted about this many months ago and didn't continue to troubleshoot because I got tired of fooling with it.

    I've since come to not rely on this pc nearly as much but I want to get it working. I'm hoping that there is someone with wisdom to perhaps guide me to a solution or possible resolution (if it's a hardware replacement that I'd need).

    Here is the summary
    No 780m installed, using integrated graphics the laptop will display on the built in display using the intel gpu 2760qm.

    Once 780m is installed, the bios hangs about 25% through bar (display still works at this point).

    Removed the 780m and in the bios I disabled onboard sound, primary graphics set to peg, disabled integrated graphics. Also enabled the always enable peg.

    Connect an external display via vga connection and quickly press fn F6 at boot will allow for display to switch to external monitor allowing for use of bios and windows. (this is required after every reboot as well).

    Once windows 7 was fully installed, I successfully installed the eurocom 399.07 driver. GPU-z shows the 780m correctly as GK104, subvendor is Dell. Can provide picture if needed.
    Installed steam and ran Far Cry 2 (smaller game but minor push to gpu) at ultra settings and ran great 140 - 160 fps.

    So I believe GPU is ok. I'm thinking something in the motherboard has failed or is the cause, I've found replacement M17xR3 mobo on ebay so that could be an option. I've considered a re-flash of the bios in case it is corrupted somehow. I'm thinking the display is ok because even when the bios startup hangs, I can still see an image on it.

    If thoughts are motherboard has failure, should I do straight replace with same mobo or upgrade to m17x r4 mobo.

    I appreciate any feedback or help. This is a great machine and I'd like to keep it working. Thanks
     
  2. Mastermind5200

    Mastermind5200 Notebook Virtuoso

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    So the TLDR is internal monitor doesn't work with the 780M?

    Do you have any other MXM cards to test with, and could you try using optimus (iGPU) to drive the display and just use the dGPU?
     
  3. just1tree

    just1tree Notebook Consultant

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    Not sure if optimus works with the m17xr3 and 780m. Maybe with compatible gpu's like a 580m from what i've read in the past. My past mxm cards were a 6990m and 7970m and both died. Not sure what happened to them after we packed for moving
     
  4. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    I bought a broken R4 that had a 7970M and it would only display on an external monitor (no beep codes). I tried another display (including cable), GPU and CPU without any luck. I could only put it down to the board. Shortly after, it started giving a 7 beep code so I tried switching CPU's again which didn't fix it. I'm not sure if the two problems were related and maybe some sort of controller on the board finally failed.
    In my case, removing the card also didn't allow a display on the LCD so it may not be related to your issue but I thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

    If you'd like to try a newer Windows 10 driver I can make one for you.
     
  5. Mastermind5200

    Mastermind5200 Notebook Virtuoso

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    It could be one of the MUX chips on the board failing, I have no clue if thats a common occurence but it could be the culprit. Also, optimus is not GPU dependent, as long as you have a NV GPU and a iGPU present.
     
  6. just1tree

    just1tree Notebook Consultant

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    Well the motherboard is original since I bought the system and it's been through three different gpu's at this point, i'm not sure what the MUX is but I can look that up. So is there a specific setting I should look for regarding optimus in the bios?
     
  7. Mastermind5200

    Mastermind5200 Notebook Virtuoso

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    MUX chips are what controls what display inputs going where, for instance in macbooks, the internal display runs to a mux chip which goes to the internal GPU and dedicated GPU, so when you switch between one or the other the display is "directly" connected to that GPU
     
  8. just1tree

    just1tree Notebook Consultant

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    If I remove the card and reset the bios to allow integrated graphics from the built in, it works and i can get to desktop bios etc. I might eventually need a windows 10 driver but for now i wanted to prove the gpu works.
     
  9. just1tree

    just1tree Notebook Consultant

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    So should I just bite the bullet and buy a replacement motherboard? And if so, would it be better to get an r4 motherboard and not the r3 again
     
  10. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Yes, the R4 is definitely better as it opens up more upgrade options (980M and 10 series). I don't think the R3 has mSATA either. I'm sure I've heard of people doing the board upgrade before but I'm not sure if there are any hurdles or it's a simple process.
     
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