Need help with upgrading my 2012 Alienware M18xR2, is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by I_AM_MUSTANG, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    I'd have to agree to an extent. The question is, can one upgrade to an Extreme Processor and 9 or 10 series MGPU for less than $700-$1k?

    If one could acquire a 3920-3940xm and 980M / 1060 for ~$500 then there is a value argument.

    Let's not forget that simply buying a new system outright is very expensive, good luck finding a 10 series + extreme processor equipped unit for less than $1500.

    https://www.amazon.com/slp/gtx-1070-laptops/n7x6ydo7fmzj8ou

    And then there a compromises to consider, such as many if not most of these units listed having a 15" display and inferior cooling ability. How much faster is a locked 7700HQ vs a 3920-3940xm @ 4.3 GHz?

    https://www.3dmark.com/fs/14800386

    Not faster, at all. In fact it's slower.

    https://www.3dmark.com/fs/11643547

    The difference between an 18" and 15.5" display is huge.

    There is a value argument to staying with this chassis and upgrading the components, if it can be accomplished for less than $1k.
     
    M18x-oldie and imest like this.
  2. imest

    imest Notebook Consultant

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    I agree completely. Consumers sometimes need to take a step back and ask themselves if they can afford a new system (can they hold out and wait to save enough money)?

    In the end you need to do what you feel will benefit you the most.
     
  3. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    Brand new 980M ($332.50) : https://www.ebay.com/itm/nVidia-GTX...f:g:nWoAAOSwu7hbSFzV:rk:3:pf:1&frcectupt=true

    3920XM: ($170): https://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Core...28f3b7:g:GusAAOSwivlcYv~I:rk:10:pf:0&LH_BIN=1

    Total upgrade cost: $502.50

    OR get a 1070 which is 2x 980M damn near: ($543.10)

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Nvidia...f:g:VgYAAOSwNo9b0ulz:rk:1:pf:1&frcectupt=true

    Total cost: $713.10

    I'm sure you can bring that 3920XM price down to $150 at least. I've seen some sellers pop them up for $130 every now and then as well.

    3920XM can keep up even today with most quad-core laptop CPUs:

    [​IMG]

    1060 performance:

    https://www.3dmark.com/fs/16862474

    680M SLI performance:

    https://www.3dmark.com/fs/17969094

    I'd say 1070 is best bet. If you have 680m sli, go straight to 1070 or 980m sli otherwise ain't worth upgrading. Any lower GPU config will get a nice boost from 1060+
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    vulcan78 and M18x-oldie like this.
  4. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    Nice work!

    How is the fitment with 1070 in the R2 though? Is the 120W copper heat-sink sufficient?

    I upgraded from 680M SLI to single 980M and it was an upgrade considering how non-existent SLI support has become and the jump from 3 to 8 GB of video frame buffer.

    It's basically 680M SLI on one card with 8GB of VRAM, although it's not necessarily faster, given that SLI support is maybe some 65% of titles nowadays and that 3GB of VRAM is completely inadequate it is absolutely an upgrade.

    I don't recommend 980M SLI.

    If I had the money I would pay the difference up to a single 1070, assuming there are no fitment, driver and thermal issues with that.
     
  5. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    The 1070 I posted is standard mxm 3.0b format. No mods needed. Only need the unlocked A11 bios, switch to iGPU>turn off system and replace with 1070>go to bios and set to SG mode. Modify nvidia driver inf and it'll work. It's limited to 115W TDP according to the seller so should run fine stock heatsink.
     
  6. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    I see, what are the limitations of running in SG mode though?
     
  7. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    mDP port is limited to 1.1 so no 4K 60hz, no 2560x1440 @ 144 I believe.

    You are limited to iGPU control panel so no display overclocking without flashing EDID like I did.

    ~5% performance hit.

    It’s fine if you plan on playing internal monitor or a resolution/refresh rate monitor thats supported with mDP 1.1.

    Oh and no SLI support
     
  8. I_AM_MUSTANG

    I_AM_MUSTANG Notebook Enthusiast

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    Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the advice on upgrading my machine. I think I’m going to go with either the 980m or the 1060. The 980m at £300 is enticing me the most


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    Oh so mDP port is limited to 1.1 running laptop in SG mode vs. a higher rate without?

    Checking your signature, youre getting away with 85 Hz on the M18xR2 display? That's very impressive, the last time I tried to increase the refresh rate through NVCP I managed 70 Hz, any higher wasn't stable and there was some degradation to the contrast where you could also start to see scan-lines.

    And that 3920 needs to go in the unit with the 1060!
     
  10. vulcan78

    vulcan78 Notebook Deity

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    I'm selling 980M, PM me if youre interested, it has a version of Prema's vbios but undervolted at 1.0v (default is 1.1v, which is too hot for the 120w heatsink, i.e. temps in the mid 80's). I haven't used my R2 since 2016 and there are zero issues with the 980M. I'm located in California, I think if you purchase through the Marketplace here you can avoid VAT completely, unlike possibly ebay etc, although I could be mistaken.

    I will look into trying to sell it in the marketplace here.
     
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