*OFFICIAL* Alienware Area-51M R2 Owner's Lounge

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by Spartan@HIDevolution, May 9, 2020.

  1. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Virtuoso

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    You're could be right, it's possible that the BIOS detects when it's run for the first time, and then - and only then - enters the build mode. Afterwards, the door is shut, and there is no way to reset the flag, and fool it into thinking it's build time again. That said, I find it hard to believe there is no maintenance backdoor in case they want to move the mobo to a different unit for example: my guess there is some "secret" key combo that brings up this mode, ideally protected by a well known rather than mobo specific password. Probably the best way to get more colour would be to chat up an engineer performing mobo replacement.
     
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  2. Rei Fukai

    Rei Fukai Notebook Deity

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    I think you're on to something. I've never looked at the bios myself. Probably would be able to only extract the hex codes which could be translated theoritecally to the bios calls it employs. But to be able to read the hex codes I would need to have an bit (Bios Information Table) which I could use to search for any remaining development/maintenance/God mode flags to enter the bios as root.

    It would then be able to read the whole memory and translate al it's functions and if there was write permission available, the bios could be altered on OEM level. Meaning unlocking the full feature set of the current lock down crap dell employs. The work is relative "simple" (you just need an spd programmer for reading/writing, or you could place the bios/eeprom chip in a breadboard and alter the values from there)

    The biggest deal breaker is obtaining the encryption key of the bios chip which is unique for every machine (or they where stupid enough to just use the OEM level to edit, and use the same encryption key in all their mobo's). If Prema hasn't bothered with it neither would I. To edit a bios you need very deep understanding of the said microachitecture the bios supports. You're taking about being able to alter the microcode of the CPU directly which can impact performance serverly (like adding or excluding CPU instruction sets) but those eventually can be disabled or enabled on bios level which is why the spectre/meldown patch had such severe performance penalty.

    Seems like Prema is having fun with the new Clevo X71-SMG. Just like @Mr. Fox which made another masterpeace.
     
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  3. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Virtuoso

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    Well, that sounds a bit complicated to impossible due to the encryption. I would try the good old physical route first - arrange a mobo replacement, get the tech a coffee, a bit of friendly banter, maybe send in any attractive household members/neighbours/friends if available as a distraction lol, film the tech to learn any keyboard shortcuts etc. :)
    I have a vague recollection of the tech pressing some key combo to enter into the build mode....

    I mean the fact that we are even talking about this Dell nonsense makes me think it's time to go desktop with a thin RDP client laptop going forward, the security is a bit of a concern there though, it could be a drag on any limited data plans, and ultimately connectivity is not always there....

    Yeah, I would look in the Clevo direction if needed at DTR, however, I tend to require and enjoy more portable laptops with decent battery life.
     
  4. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    The X170's biggest shortcoming is Insyde BIOS. They should have stuck with AMI/Award BIOS. Insyde H20 is very much a compromised Achilles' Heel that should not even exist. It's deplorable that idiot decision-makers at Clevo and Alienware should select this trashy firmware vendor. Know why? Cheaper. They cut corners on "flagship" products. This is why laptops suck and why none of us can have nice things. Because OEMs are dumbasses and cheapskates that never waste an opportunity to screw consumers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  5. DreDre

    DreDre Notebook Consultant

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    They will not. Dell/Alienware only allows upgrades in same generation. So unfortunately if you want 3000 series upgrade you will have to get new Area 51M R3 notebook.
     
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  6. kylera

    kylera Notebook Consultant

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    Are the 17" panels across both the 17m and Area 51m lineups identical in terms of physical dimensions? Or are they different?
     
  7. circuit

    circuit Notebook Evangelist

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    Maybe there is hope. R2 has significantly better cooling compared to R1. R1 was basically flawed because of it and also it was a first generation product. You never know. R2 owners might get lucky this time around. I most likely won't upgrade as I am happy with 2080S. But having the option to feels nice and gives a sense of security for your very expensive purchase.
     
  8. Sohail Mehmood

    Sohail Mehmood Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey! Great performance i must say..what voltage are you setting your CPU at?
     
  9. Docsteel

    Docsteel Vast Alien Conspiracy

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    Thank you. This pretty much confirms the AW A51M R1 will be my last AW after this nonsense. Going Lenovo Legion next go round if I ever need another game laptop (I don't travel in my new job which made it a necessity before).
     
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  10. HaloGod2012

    HaloGod2012 Notebook Deity

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    5.2ghz stock voltage
    5.1ghz -50mv
    5.0 ghz -100mv (my 24/7 clock)
    4.9ghz -125mv
     
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