Step by Step: 980m Install in Alienware 18

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by 1Schumsta1, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Rundll32

    Rundll32 Notebook Guru

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    Bugger thought it was going to be an easy fix.. I tried to increase fans last night with hw info but couldn't adjust the gpu fans. But found your guide a few hours ago so I'll have another go tonight.. I really hate having aftermarket software controlling my fans but no other choice as I'm unable to clean and repaste till next week when I get home. My other thought is to make the holes in the grill on the underside bigger "if the repaste fails" as taking that bottom plate of dramatically lowers the temperature so drilling out the holes hopefully does the same

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  2. Rundll32

    Rundll32 Notebook Guru

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    [​IMG]

    Ahhhh FFS that's with all the fans @ 100%. I don't even have a screw driver to see if the heatsink is blocked.. really hoping the heatsink isn't stuffed them things are hard to find especially the ones made for the 980m's not to mention people charging a premium for them.. funny thing is this only happens with gears of war 4 and some of the games using the oculus. :/ :/ :/ :/

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  3. Rundll32

    Rundll32 Notebook Guru

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    All good was just thermal paste. Was thinking It couldn't be that coz I thought I had done the build only 6 months ago but my sense of time is terrible ha ha was well over a year ago so yer repasted and all good

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  4. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Consultant

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    Hello guys, I'm looking to upgrade from 880M SLI to 980M SLI (seems to be a nice upgrade for now). But I have some questions:

    • What second hand aftermarket cards work on the AW18? I'm thinking about cards pulled out from Clevo, MSI, etc.. All of them work on the AW18?
    • All the aftermarket video cards come with SLI connector? (SLI ready in other words)
    • Are the right and left video cards phisically the same? I mean, can I buy two separate (main) video cards and make them work in SLI, or do I need to buy one main (left) video card and one slave video card (right) specifically?
    • About the x-bracket. Why do I need to buy x-bracket? aren't they the same as the 880M x-bracket? or x-bracket can't be pulled out from 880M or what's the deal?
    • What's the mod in the heatsinks about? I can't really tell based on the first post pictures what you did.... The stock 880M heatsink is not compatible with the 980M as is?
    • The fans still need to use HWinfo to work? I thought the fans were working well with the last BIOS upgrade. Am I wrong?
    Thanks.
     
  5. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Consultant

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    Pleaseee help, I think I got solved all my doubts, except the one about the mod on the heatsinks. What's need to be done?????
     
  6. Kade Storm

    Kade Storm The Devil's Advocate

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    You don't have much to worry about, with the stock vBIOS from Dell (distinct ones for each card), the fans should work fine independently. Alternatively, Prema's vBIOS for the Alienware 18 also accomplished the same.

    The 880M heatsinks should work fine with the 980M. This has been my own experience and that of others.
     
  7. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    1. Look at Clevo, Dell, and MSI 980M MXM cards all work.
    2. Clevo and Dell 980M always have the SLI connector, some MSI cards did not so be careful.
    3. There has not been a master/slave type configuration for video cards in a long, long time. physically the same, no special vbios needed unless you have the Alienware 18, then you muse flash the Alienware 18 vBIOS to the corresponding cards or else the secondary card fan will not activate and you will cook your 980M secondary. M18x R2 does not have this issue.
    4. You will not need to change x-bracket if you use Dell 980M. Clevo 980M x-bracket uses smaller captive screws to tighten to heatsink. You can swap over x-bracket from dell 880M to clevo 980M just fine though
    5. Should be compatible as is
    6. Native fan control with nvidia cards, no need for hwinfo.
     
  8. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Consultant

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    Is this the right link to 980M SLI vBIOS?

    http://www.dell.com/support/home/cl/en/clbsdt1/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=9W9F7

    Also, is the Prema's vBIOS a better option than Dell's? What's the difference?

    I bought a couple of this MSI video cards:

    [​IMG]

    Based on pictures, they come with SLI connector, plus the seller told me they work on SLI. This video card come with it's own x-bracket. My question is if my 880M's screws would be compatible with the screw hole on the x-bracket??

    Aditionally and just in case of any issue I bought this x-bracket:

    [​IMG]

    This suppose to be compatible with 780M/880M/980M.

    About the heatsinks I read somewhere that without the mod the video card will fry, I guess that's just a myth :) . The bad thing is I already bought a Dremel just to make the mod ! Well I guess the Dremel will just sit there..

    The last thing is about the thermal pads. Would the old thermal pads work also for the 980M? I mean the ones that were there on the heatsink for the 880M. Or do I need to change the thermal pads?

    Thanks.
     
  9. Raidriar

    Raidriar ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

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    Yes that is a SLI compatible 980M. I would swap the xbracket with the dell one you have. Change thermal pad, use high quality 1.0MM pads all around.
     
  10. Tyranus07

    Tyranus07 Notebook Consultant

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    I bought generic thermal pads. Is there much of difference between one thermal pad and another? Here in my country is pretty difficult if not impossible to find high performance thermal pads...
     
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