Pascal in M15x: The Final Verdict!

Discussion in 'Alienware M15x' started by Raidriar, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    To finally clear out any confusion about Pascal and the M15x, I purchased a Zotac GTX 1070 MXM that has a slightly different arrangement of components, but otherwise a standard MXM 3.0B card. I installed it in the M15x, and to my dismay (although, expected), it did not pass POST. So lets make this final:

    PASCAL IS NOT SUPPORTED IN THE M15x!!!!

    The final upgrade is a Maxwell GTX 980M or GTX 970M, no other cards will work in this machine.

    Sorry to crush your hopes out there fellas, but at least we know for sure now.

    @King of Interns @kosti @Mr. Fox @Prema @deadsmiley @MZWiZard
     
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  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    In the end it probably comes down to the output signal I guess?

    So its either figure out a way to get the output signal that the card supports or just find some way to increase heat dissipation to better handle the 980m?
     
  3. Strigae

    Strigae Notebook Enthusiast

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    Not much new here and definitely not a final verdict. It was already known not to be compatible with lvds directly routed to the graphics card.
    I'm not in possession of my M15x these days. A eDP mod is what's needed for pascal.

    Don't nail the coffin before the options have been tried. You will just get less people interested with this nonsense title. Did you read King of Interns post about this topic? Why not reply there instead?
     
  4. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    Have you tried using the DP or HDMI port by any chance?
     
  5. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Let’s see you get it working then. Love to see you solder in an edp connector, rewire the traces on the board, implement EC fan control, and the fit a new edp screen behind that plexiglas. Best of luck, will be looking for your thread....

    Yes, neither were able to bypass POST error codes in the keyboard.


    For the record: the card was able to POST in SG mode in the M18x R2 with a 2920XM and 3920XM as well as the Alienware 18 with a 4930MX. All failed in PEG mode as expected. M17x R2 failed to POST at all as expected. I was able to mod the INF and install the cards to be seen properly in windows with hardware acceleration, but I did not run any 3D intensive programs because the heatsink did not fit perfectly and I did not want to burn out the card, but there's no reason to think any further problems would ensue.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    This is with the MSI vBIOS as well?

    EDIT: Ah well none of them are eDP panels so is to be expected
     
  7. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    You said you were gonna sell it? Wonder if it's worth going 1070 from 1060. :confused:

    So I guess then the card works as the ebay seller assumed. Don't know how reliable it will be though compared to MSI 1060.

    @Raidriar can you run 4K 60hz using HDMI or mDP to HDMI 2.0 adapter with 980M SLI? I hate how in Optimus mode the iGPU has full control so being stuck with mDP 1.1 doesn't allow 4K 60hz.
     
  8. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Yes, tested MSI and Zotac vBIOS and found no differences as far as usage with an LVDS display was concerned.

    @ssj92 I wouldn't bother, it is missing MOSFETs compared to the MSI 1070, and I would estimate the performance of this card to be somewhere between a GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 that has all the proper MOSFETs. Unfortunately, I don't have a 4K monitor to test what you ask, so I can't check to see if I can do 4k60

    I plan on returning the card to the seller or if somebody wants it for 400$ I'll be happy to pass it on.

    So some final notes: If somebody wants to go this route, you will have to add 3 mosfets later one (only 7 of the 10 are present vs the MSI card), and you WILL have to grind your heatsink significantly in the M18x R2 because the the slight hump in the middle prevents proper contact, as well as the lip around the heatsink that's supposed to give contact to the MOSFETs has to be trimmed in a couple spots. @maxslo Quadro P5000 uses the standard layout, but is also missing some MOSFETs that would limit how much power can be delivered safely to the card. So at this point, I still recommend 980M SLI over 1070 until the prices come down or better yet, skip pascal altogether and wait for what Volta/Ampere/Tesla will show enough significant improvement over maxwell to warrant big changes and dumping SLI for a single GPU only.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  9. Strigae

    Strigae Notebook Enthusiast

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    No reason to get upset mate. We are on the side. You don't have to prove anything. I will let you know if I make any progress if ever. It's more of a museums piece to me.
     
  10. King of Interns

    King of Interns Simply a laptop enthusiast

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    That is a bummer. Particularly the no post even via eDP out...I cannot see a better option out there than the 970M or M4000M (970M on steroids) that would work well in the M15x.
     
  11. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    To be fair the laptop has had the best run out of all performance machines out there. It really is a shame they didnt have a sandy iteration.
     
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  12. MZWiZard

    MZWiZard Notebook Consultant

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    You can replace the gpu fan with a much more powerful one, which seems to work just fine in my M15x.
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/m15x-internal-fan-mods.799571/

    I have had some very long gaming sessions lately in "The Division". In that game, 980m still bottlenecks before 920xm. The 980m never gets above 79C, where it does seem to throttle a bit, but not noticable to the eye when locked on 60fps.

    Edit: Forgot to say that this 980m is using a slightly modified version of Raidriar 's vBios (It needed a bit more voltage).
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/release-980m-single-undervolted-vbios.800491/

    . Udklip.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  13. ssj92

    ssj92 Neutron Star

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    I kinda wish I had went the 980M SLI route, but it would have been much more costly, not to mention I would need a 2nd heatsink and SLI cable. If 1160 or 2060 (w/e they call it) is standard mxm again and it's faster than 980M SLI by a good margin, maybe I'll upgrade.

    I think I've decided to keep this laptop until it dies. This is my fifth time owning an M18x series laptop, I think it's a sign I should keep it even if I get another high performance laptop in the future. ;)
     
  14. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Still not too late to do that, 980M SLI can be had for ~$850 can you can sell the 1060 for ~$500. Stuff a 3920XM in there and you still have a monster machine. I'm never getting rid of the Alienwares in my signature, they are fantastic machines even today. No they won't be setting benchmark records any longer, but they still can game at max or near max settings.
     
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