NVIDIA GTX 680M Thread - M18x R2 and M18x R1 Upgrade Discussion

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Bytales, Jul 4, 2012.

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  1. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    It should be the exact same graphics card people are buying from Upgrade Your Laptop and Eurocom. With a little checking, it should be possible to confirm that with SKU or part numbers if there is a concern. The "Clevo only" thing may be due to the included heat sinks. R&J Tech can probably assist with these questions. That being said, all of the upgrades I remember seeing have been on the M18x R1, but I don't expect any different results (other than slightly better performance with PCIe 3.0 bandwidth) on the M18x R2. All of the M18x R1 upgrades to 680M SLI have seemed to be a great success.
     
  2. ElGranCachudo

    ElGranCachudo Notebook Guru

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    So i'm thinking about purchasing 2 clevo 4gb 680gtx for my m18x r1. After reading through this entire thread, just wanted to make sure. the fn+f7 works correct to switch between intel and nvidia correct? Also is there anything else i would need to do besides installing the cards and installing the correct drivers? Like messing with the bios or anything else? Does everything work the way it should with the clevo cards?

    I wanted to upgrade through dell, so they'd replace the cards themselves, so if anything went wrong its on them, but the rep I deal with just told me the 680m gtx are only for the m18x r2 and m17x r4, which is a bummer. Anyways thks in advance.
     
  3. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    You will need to mod the driver INF file. That's very easy to do, so it's not a huge deal. Based on my communication with NVIDIA, they will only add the M18x R1+680M hardware ID to the INF with Dell/Alienware permission. So far, Dell/Alienware have not provided that information to NVIDIA with the request that it be added. Hopefully, they will do that before long. Until then, you will need to open the nvdm.inf in Windows Notepad and change the string information manually. Once you do, the drivers will install flawlessly.

    The Clevo 4GB GTX 680M GPU is the only one readily available for upgrades at this time unless you can find a pair of used/system pull Dell 680M cards for sale some place. The SLI bridge cable and 580M/675M heat sinks are the exact same parts as what the 680M uses.

    Graphics switching using FN+F7 works as long as you have 2 in SLI. I think there may be an issue with switching not working with a single Clevo GTX 680M, but I'm not sure why that is. With just one 680M the performance will be almost as good as 580M/675M SLI or 6990M CF. You can manually switch to IGFX in the BIOS. Unless you used IGFX frequently, that may not be a big deal as much as a minor inconvenience.
     
  4. ElGranCachudo

    ElGranCachudo Notebook Guru

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    Thks for the fast response mr. fox! Just wondering after opening the .inf file, what line needs to be changed and what does it need to be changed to? Thks in again
     
  5. DarkMx2000

    DarkMx2000 Notebook Consultant

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    The reason why there is a price difference in the 7970 vs the 680m is because AMD launched there GPU 3 months before Nvidia released there card. If I'm correct as well the 4g 690m is incompatible with the M18x due to the fact that the VRAM is both on top and bottom of the card and could cause over heating issues seeing that there is no way to cool the chips.
     
  6. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    You need to change at least one of the 11A0 (680M ID) strings to the M18x hardware ID of 048F in each section. I just choose the first hardware device ID string in each section that has 11A0... [NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.0], [NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.2], and [Strings] are the sections. There are 4 lines of code in each section with 11A0. I change 0550 to 048F.

    Updated 12/01/2012: To make the INF mod compatible with the M18x R2, you can change the lines with 0580 to 048F instead of 0550.

    Code:
    [B][NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.0][/B]
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.[B][COLOR=#006400]048F[/COLOR][/B].1028% = Section187, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_[COLOR=#006400][B]048F[/B][/COLOR]1028 
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.0551.1028% = Section189, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_05511028 
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.057B.1028% = Section191, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_057B1028 
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.0580.1028% = Section192, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_05801028 
    
    [B][NVIDIA_SetA_Devices.NTamd64.6.2][/B]
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.[B][COLOR=#006400]048F[/COLOR][/B].1028% = Section187, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_[COLOR=#006400][B]048F[/B][/COLOR]1028 
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.0551.1028% = Section189, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_05511028 
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.057B.1028% = Section191, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_057B1028 
    %NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.0580.1028% = Section192, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_11A0&SUBSYS_05801028 
    
    [B][Strings][/B]
    NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.[B][COLOR=#006400]048F[/COLOR][/B].1028 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M"
    NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.0551.1028 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M "
    NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.057B.1028 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M  "
    NVIDIA_DEV.11A0.0580.1028 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M   "
    
    Well, compatibility has already been demonstrated by at least a half dozen members of our community that have installed Clevo 4GB 680M GPUs. They don't have overheating issues. The space the higher capacity memory takes up might prevent Alienware from meetings Dell's "skin temps" spec, but that spec is designed around end user comfort and regulatory compliance in some venues. That spec is well within the safe realm and probably does not represent a concern for upgraders. Dell has to comply with the spec, but we don't have to because it's not a problem as far as safety or system reliability is concerned. Even the 2GB Dell 680M GPUs have memory on the bottom of the card. The support plate has a heat spreader and thermal pad for one of the memory banks.
     
  7. ElGranCachudo

    ElGranCachudo Notebook Guru

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    Thks Fox for the info!
     
  8. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    I just received a PM from a long time forum member looking for information on upgrading his M18x R1 to GTX 680M SLI. Here is the technical information I provided, for anyone else considering the same.

     
  9. steviejones133

    steviejones133 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Nice info, Bro. Tell me.....are these 680m's being purchased direct from Dell or are they 3rd party 680m's? - I ask only because I was under the assumption that these 680m's are not available as an upgrade and that they are only available via tech support if you have issues. At least this is the story from Dell EMEA, which could be different from Dell US/Canada.

    Would be good to know......
     
  10. LannBot

    LannBot Notebook Consultant

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    I got mine through replacement via Dell techs. I'm only selling it cause I went with the Clevo 4GB version already lol. As far as I know, Dell isn't letting customers buy these as upgrades or even allowing them to replace the GPUs (680M) on their own without onsite.
     
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