R1 GPU Upgrade

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by killbillur, May 29, 2020.

  1. killbillur

    killbillur Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey guys! I'm new in here but I researched so many things in one week on the web. And I still need your help o_O I've got this R1 in june 2014 and I think it's also known as M17x R5, but I'm not sure. I love my laptop and I don't want to say goodbye to it. A month ago its GPU got broken. I was using Nvidia Geforce GTX 880M. I can buy the same one but I think it's a chance for me to upgrade my baby. I've been looking the threads on this forum, youtube, ebay, aliexpress... My eyes are bleeding now. I live in Turkey that's why I need to put too much effort for this upgrade thing when I decide to do it. I really want to upgrade it but I don't think I'm ready. That's why I'll need to ask you lots of questions. Specifications:

    Motherboard: VAS00 LA-9331P (rev:1.0 - A00)
    Processor: Intel i7 - 4910MQ (It's overclocked but I don't remember how high it can go)
    RAM: 32 GB DDR3L 1600Mhz
    Graphics card: Nvidia Geforce GTX 880M (the broken one)

    Which graphics card would be suitable for it? I'm thinking GTX 980M - 1060M - 1070M but I believe they have different requirements.

    I've got 3-pipe heatsink for the GPU. I think I'll need to replace it with 5-pipe ones If I want to use 1060 - 1070. Actually I don't know whether 1070 will fit or not because it's MXM 3.0, mine 880M is MXM B 3.0.

    To be able to use the 1070 I think my lcd screen should be replaced with the 120hz ones. Mine is this one:
    http://www.panelook.com/LP173WF1-TLB3_LG Display_17.3_LCM_overview_17534.html
    Which panel should I choose I don't know.

    Do you have any other suggestions for me? What do you think I should do? Should I buy the exact same GPU and go on with my life or can it be upgraded easily? I understand a little about laptops, but not so much. I need to get information from you step-by-step. It might be too hard for all of us to do this thing, I don't know :D In Turkey Dell customers services can't do anything except replacing it with the new one at a very high cost. It's too expensive that I can buy a new laptop instead of that already got old 880M GPU!!! Please help me, guide me on this. Thanks for reading so far!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  2. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Consultant

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    You have a few options here. The 120 Hz screen actually is not a requirement for the 1060 or 1070 upgrade, but is recommended since you'll get a better gaming experience from a high refresh rate monitor, and generally a better experience with the cards too. I've heard they have some minor issues working in optimus mode. I'd perform the 120 Hz screen upgrade though. I can tell you from personal experience that games look much better on a high refresh rate monitor than a standard 60 Hz screen.

    If you want the easiest upgrade, go for the MSI GTX 1060. It'll slide right in. The MSI GTX 1070 is non-standard MXM (it has a little extra tab in the top right corner of the card) and requires a chassis mod to make it fit, although there was another version produced in standard MXM format, but I think people had problems with that one blowing up (quite literally). There is a later revision of this that works well and doesn't blow up in your face, but it has reduced performance over the MSI variant.

    The 3 heatpipe heatsink you already have should be enough for the 1060, athough I think you should get the upgraded 5 heatpipe heatsink anyway just because you'll see better temps. The 5 heatpipe heatsink is a must for the 1070 upgrade (for either version).

    In addtition to installing the card, you'll have to mod the nvidia drivers to force them to install. We can help you with that though if you have no idea how to do that.

    For the 120 Hz screen, this is the one you're looking for: https://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-LCD-scr...259670?hash=item36058b7596:g:DpsAAOSw6YtZVQqB

    The part number you're looking for is GN36T. Make sure it's the D01 or D02 revision for guaranteed compatibility.

    Here's a link to the eDP cable you'll need for that screen: https://www.ebay.com/itm/LVDS-EDP-A...555755?hash=item4d9d1f4beb:g:5oQAAOSwyO1dlXU8

    The part number is N392W.

    Let us know what you decide. The community is always here to help you.
     
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  3. killbillur

    killbillur Notebook Enthusiast

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    First of all thank you for your reply and concern Clamibot! The information you gave is like a gift from heaven. :D Guided me well, thanks! Based on this, 1060 M would be great for me. I don't want to deal with that 1070 issues. Also sometimes the sellers couldn't give me the right information about the graphics card. It's a big risk in every aspect. Having said that, does 1060 M have any different types? I mean maybe there is MXM 3.0 compatible one, not MXM B 3.0. Are all 1060 M GPU's in Type B? I don't want to order the wrong pieces.

    We can't use ebay here in Turkey (I hate it :mad:) that's why I have to find the equivalents of them. Thank god, I found almost all of them in aliexpress. Just the 5 pipe heatsink is too expensive in there. Is it okay to get an external cooler for the laptop? I know you have said it was not necessary to have 5 pipe ones, but I want to do something about it.

    I don't know how to use those modded drivers but I think I can handle it with some research. And maybe with your help a little, I will probably be around disturbing you because I have to wait my orders to come to me at least 15-20 days :D. Before dealing with the orders, is there anything else I need to be aware of? For instance my power adapter's watt, or BIOS settings, or anything different? I can check them up immediately.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  4. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Once you get a modded driver ini file, all you need to do is unpack (but don't install yet) nvidia drivers, open the unpacked folder and put in the modded .ini file (just find and replace), run Windows with 'driver signature disabled' (it can be done with Windows Troubleshooting Menu (F8 on startup I believe), and then install the drivers. Easy as pie. There are a few other methods, such as editing group policy, but that's a bit more complicated, and running PowerShell with a couple of commands. The options are plenty :)

    External coolers are always a plus. From my experience, exhaust covering ones don't fit Alienware laptops, since they dont have flat surfaces between screen and main 'box', but a cooling stand is always welcome. I'm running all my Alienwares on a stand, it helps to knock down around 10 degrees in all cases.

    Turkey, you say? Well, I'm from Poland, and I keep a keen eye on local bidding sites, that are in most cases cheaper than ebay, but unfortunately I can't offer much right now, the top range card on offer right now is Quadro P3000, which is something like 1050 in comparison. And the price is ludicrous - 450$, I've paid less for P4000.

    However there are a few 980Ms around, cost of about 350$, give or take.
     
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  5. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Consultant

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    You may be able to find a good deal for a 1060. I got mine for $350 as well when I bought it 3 years ago. As for the power supply, you're all set there if you have a 240 watt PSU, which you should already have since your laptop came with a GTX 880M. The GTX 1060 power throttles on the 180 watt PSU since the TDP of the card is 100 watts, and that power supply is meant for 75 watt cards like the 860M.

    There are 2 versions of the 1060, the Clevo (non standard) one, and the MSI one (standard MXM 3.0b form factor). You want the MSI one.

    And yes, as MrMogwai said, a cooling pad will help. Another thing that really helps is excellent thermal paste. You can't go wrong with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or Phobya Nanogrease Extreme. Phobya Nanogrease is my personal favorite since it provides the absolute best thermal conductivity of any conventional paste out there currently.

    Also funnily enough, I still have some of my modded INFs around for the driver mod for 3 driver versions, the most recent one being for driver version 441.66.
     
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  6. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    I personally use Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut for CPU and GPU cores and memory chips and MOSFETs with Cryonaut and/or IC Diamond.
     
  7. killbillur

    killbillur Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey guys! :) Thanks again for the replies! @MrMogwai Hi to Poland from Turkey! :) As you say I think downloading modded driver is easy! Maybe to find the source files of it is the hard part. But if I get the 1060M I think @Clamibot can help me by sharing his modded INFs :rolleyes::p.

    I've examined the Quadro P3000 and P4000, I can also buy the P4000 if I can get a better performance of my R1. It's double the price of 1060 M in Ebay but I think I can get it begging my parents :D They don't sell it in Aliexpress. We cannot find these kind of stuff in Turkey. There is no proper market for them. But I've got a new idea. My sister lives in Canada, they can use paypal and she can buy the stuff from Ebay and send it to me I think. Main problem about Ebay in here is that we cannot use paypal because they ended the business with Turkey. But I've got a solution now! :D

    As I'm planning to buy everything like 5 pipe heatsink, LCD, eDP cable, GPU, external cooler, thermal paste and stuff, I can go for a little higher like Quadro P4000. But if the requirements of it is different from the 1060, I need to know. I'm just thinking though, I'm still focused on 1060, but I can still get your opinions about it.

    I use a cheap thermal paste called cooler master, it's white and a little more liquid, I don't know the exact information about it :D I don't know much about thermal pastes as you can see :D I can deal with that later when I pick the main parts first. I couldn't find Phobya pastes in here but I can check again the Ebay or Aliexpress. I found the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut at a high cost though, but I can figure it out somehow.

    @Clamibot As you say, I've got the 240 PSU. Then everything will be okay with 1060. Thanks for the heads up for MSI MXM 3.0b type.

    Note: I've come across a new info about the LCD panels, there are 2 types of LTN173HT02 D02. One has got LVDS interface and the other has got eDP, both of them are 40 pin. Does they differ from each other? I think I need to get the eDP version.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  8. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Consultant

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    You need the 40 pin eDP screen. The specifications for the screen should mention it has a 120 Hz refresh rate. If it's 60 Hz, it's not the right screen.

    If you're eyeing the Quadro P4000, I'd advise against getting it. The GTX 1070 is significantly cheaper and will give you more processing power. Quadros are really good if you do stuff like AutoCAD or anything else that can benefit from the extra hardware inside a Quadro card. Having said that, Quadros perform just as well in games af their GeForce equivalents, but the extra hardware inside Quadros will be wasted if you only game on them. However, a variety of factors always plays in our decisions, such as which card offers the best price to performance ratio at your location.

    Here in the United States, a GTX 1070 is significantly cheaper than a Quadro P4000, and is about an 11% improvement over the P4000. If you start eying the 1070, get the version with the black PCB, not the green one. The green one is the one prone to blowing up, whereas the black one is the revision that doesn't have problems.

    As for the MSI GTX 1060, those work exceedingly well and come only in black PCBs.
     
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  9. killbillur

    killbillur Notebook Enthusiast

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    I thought 1070 was not an option because it seemed problematic to me based on what you said, that's why I thought Quadro P4000. But I've eliminated it right now, I'm much of a gamer than a editor. I asked some sellers on aliexpress, they said 1070 is not compatible with R1s. Actually there are too many wrong information and titles in ebay and aliexpress. Buying these stuff from there is like trying to walk on a rope.

    All the 1070 graphics cards that I'm looking are in black PCB, and the sellers say all of them have got MXM 3.0, or in the title they say they're for type B but in detailed description they say they're for type A :D. I believe the sellers don't know that these graphics cards can also fit in MXM 3.0 B because in the photos they look so similar with the 1060 or 880M in the aspects of measures. Maybe I'm wrong I don't know. I will make sure of them by asking some questions to every seller, one by one if necessary. I will appreciate if you send me one of the right product of 1070 as a link that I can use it like a sample. Thanks again for the information you gave! :)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  10. Clamibot

    Clamibot Notebook Consultant

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    Sorry for the confusion. Let me clarify. There are 3 versions of the GTX 1070, one for Clevo laptops (non standard MXM), one for MSI laptops (also non standard mxm, but almost there), and one in standard MXM form factor.

    Here are some images for the different types.

    Clevo GTX 1070 MXM:
    [​IMG]

    MSI GTX 1070 MXM:
    [​IMG]

    Standard GTX 1070 MXM:
    [​IMG]

    The standard 1070 with the black PCB will work very well with the Ranger. The one you want to avoid is this one:
    [​IMG]

    The green PCB ones blow up. Don't get a 1070 if it looks like this. They're very bad quality cards.

    The black PCB 1070 is what you're looking for and will make you very happy. If you get the 1070, the 5 heatpipe heatsink is a must, and you're all set with the 240 watt PSU. These are perfectly compatible with the Ranger and will slide right in. Some of the sellers may not know what they're talking about, and you probably shouldn't buy from those sellers since they may sell you the wrong product. I've never bought anything from Aliexpress. I only buy parts from ebay because I've had a very good experience buying from there, but unfortunately that isn't an option for you in Turkey. Generally people know what they're selling on ebay as far as I can tell.

    This is what you want: https://www.ebay.com/itm/GeForce-GT...032578?hash=item3da23ed802:g:7JoAAOSw56petl~F
     
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