*OFFICIAL* Alienware 17 R2/R3 Owner's Lounge

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by Mr. Fox, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. wyvernone

    wyvernone Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    [nag box on]
    I just acquired a used Alienware 17r2 at a reasonable price (my first AW) just for the fun of it. Coming from a background of Clevo/Sager HW (having owned/used four Clevo generations) I've got to say it's a pain in the neck to clean and repaste the CPU/GPU on the 17R2.
    Yep the i7-4980HQ cpu hit 98 deg Celsius when I turned it on high performance power so a repaste is needed.

    Ok, the service manual is avail - checked, great, but man, to do the CPU/GPU repaste job I got to pull the entire system board out, to do this I gotta undo 30+ screws and disconnect 16 connectors. This is before getting to the actual heatsink screws.
    [/nag box off]

    The Clevos are much nicer to maintain - the ones I have had anyway - just remove the bottom panel and the CPU/GPU heatsink is removable immediately - but I gotta admit all the ones I have had all have MXM gpus and socketed CPUs. Perhaps the 17R2 series is the less expensive series AW and so has the CPU and GPU soldered. Perhaps the more premium R4 and R5 series would have MXM slots and the heatsink might be more easily accessible than the R2.

    Ah well good Alienware experience for me - I stayed away from the Asus ROG for the same reason - I will sell this 17R2
    now.
     
    Pallab, ole!!! and Vasudev like this.
  2. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    333
    Messages:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    1,399
    Trophy Points:
    231
    They do this to keep the heat away from the keyboard deck. But its not that hard though, i can do it in 20minutes. Few extra steps but you only need to do it once if you are happy with the temps.
     
    Vasudev likes this.
  3. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    3,324
    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    4,149
    Trophy Points:
    431
    Takes me 4-7 hrs to repaste and disassemble it.
     
  4. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    333
    Messages:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    1,399
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Damn, you must be super careful then.

    For me it became routine, and I have some tools to make disconnecting those ribbon cables easy.
     
    Vasudev likes this.
  5. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    3,324
    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    4,149
    Trophy Points:
    431
    At first it took 10-12 hrs. I have some diagrams to place the screws and other components on a piece of paper.
     
  6. HunterZ0

    HunterZ0 Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    54
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Speaking of disassembling, I'd really like to take a toothbrush to my Alienware 17 R3's fan blades, but it looks like you have to almost completely disassemble the laptop just to get to them.Ugh, why did they think that was a good idea?.
     
    Vasudev likes this.
  7. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    3,324
    Messages:
    6,341
    Likes Received:
    4,149
    Trophy Points:
    431
    The screw in fan section of cpu was stripped and the groove was damaged after i disassembled it once. SO, I just blow the fans using compressed air.
     
  8. HunterZ0

    HunterZ0 Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    54
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    41
    That's what I do too, but I can see dust on the fan blades still.
     
    Vasudev likes this.
  9. 95TA

    95TA Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    9
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Evening, I posted all of this in another thread (the AGA owners/benchmark) and didn't get a reply, so I figured I might as well post it here as well and see if anyone has any input. It is mostly about the 17 R3, so it mostly applies here anyways...

    A little background and then a few quick questions...

    First off, I just purchased a AW 17 R3. It was listed as new and everything about it seems like it is except for the fact the guy selling it replaced the MVNe SSD with a Toshiba SATA model and the 1TB Hitachi 7200rpm HDD with a 5400rpm WD Blue. Other than that it is a i7-6700HQ with a 4GB GTX980m, 16gb RAM and a FHD (1080p) display. Great laptop. I may end up swapping out the FHD display for a 4k UHD so I can do some drone video editing in the field.

    As fate would have it, I lucked out and found a Graphics Amplifier locally for a deal (guys wife bought it thinking it was audio equipment, which it obviously wasn't), so once I got the new 17R3 up and running I went and grabbed a GTX980 out of one of my kids rigs and popped it into the AGA to do some testing.

    Overall it runs well, best 3dMark Time Spy test at defaults without the AGA was 3052, best with the AGA and GTX980 was 4385 or thereabouts (this is all with 388.71 nVidia drivers). This was the best I could do benchmark-wise and it was both the first runs. The OS setup was an original 102xx Win10 Home that I did the in-place upgrade to 10699 to. I then installed all the drivers, things ran well. I did notice that when I press Fn + F1 nothing happens. If I press the button on the AGA cable, I shutdown (as per the ACC AGA screen). I am on BIOS 1.3.12 (latest).

    Me being somewhat concerned that I didn't do a fresh install of the OS on a laptop I bought from someone else might end up leave malware on it, I decided to play around a little driver/OS wise before I did a reset. I recovered back to 102xx OS, installed all the drivers there, then upgraded to 10699. My scores dropped to a best of 980m @ 3022 and 980 @ 4298. Now one thing I noticed is the system runs better with the power options at balanced as I get higher scores on both runs like that. On High Performance I get about a 30-40 score drop on both runs. I do notice that the AGA screen under ACC is not showing GPU statuses, it basically is acting like I don't have (or ever had) an AGA plugged in with just links to dell.

    So, I take that as a sign that I should stop messing around and just set the damn thing up correctly. So I kick off a OS Reset. It fully reinstalls, I log in, I start installing all the latest drivers (basically latest Dell stuff for everything except for RST, used the latest Intel download of 15.9.x.x, and the Killer NIC/Wifi/Bluetooth, as I used the latest from the manufacturer website for those).

    I did install the AGA driver before the ACC and I also made sure this time to update the Thunderbolt firmware and the TI Power Thunderbolt firmware as well, along with the latest Intel Dynamic Platform stuff.

    Nice part is I have the gpu status available under the AGA section of ACC again. Everything runs smooth. But, my scores are still on the lower side compared to when I did my first runs. I can hit about 3020 on the 980m and about 4265 on the 980 in the AGA.

    Now besides the small performance hit, I still get nothing happening when I press Fn+F1 at anytime (either at the desktop or even with the ACC up). Did they remove the Fn+F1 functionality in the latest BIOS or drivers/app?

    Lastly, I did some stress testing. With Prime95 the CPU gets to about 78-80c. With Furmark on the 980m I get about 64c at most. With both Prime95 and with Furmark together I get a max around 90c on the CPU and 71c on the GPU. I notice that the CPU at around the time I get to 90c, XTU shows that the processor starts power throttling and drops speed from 3.1Ghz down to around 2.8-2.9Ghz. Once I kill off Furmark temps drop back down to around 80-81c with Prime95 still humming away.

    Can I assume my thermal past is in good shape with temps like that?

    Is there any way to really increase my 3dMark scores back to where they were maxed out on the first runs?

    I do have Performance mode in the BIOS set to enabled, just not on the fans (too loud). Is this the best all-around configuration?

    Lastly, did Dell shut-off Fn+F1 to initiate shutdown to disconnect the AGA?

    Thanks guys, did some searching and really didn't find much on all this.
     
  10. Quicklite

    Quicklite Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    156
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Hi guys,
    Friend has recently picked up a 17 R2 (i7-4710HQ, 980M).

    -This is with turboboost on.
    With Furmark stressing only the GPU - GPU hits 76 max, CPU around 82 ish. If I also stress the CPU at the same time, the the CPU can reach 96 degrees c.
    With the turboboost off, it behaves at around 75 degrees stressing both CPU + GPU). Do I need open it up and repaste?

    Also this was one of the awkward unit with the 180W charger. I've got an 3rd party 240W charger I could lend them. Is it better to ask them to keep it at 180?

    Thanks,
     
Loading...

Share This Page