Upgrading Alienware 17 R1

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by James Huang, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. James Huang

    James Huang Newbie

    Reputations:
    5
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Hi, I recently gotten this laptop with it powered on showing lots of dots then goes black screen. Doing some research, I find it is possible the GPU (860m) is dead. Given the situation, I was thinking to upgrade it and heard @woodzstack could provide upgrades.

    The spec of the laptop is as follows
    CPU: i7-4710MQ
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M 2GB GDDR5
    RAM: 8GB
    It's got a 3D glass so I assume it's a 120hz (which people on the forum mention it is recommended for 980m or 10 series cards)

    So I am just wondering 2 things,
    1. how do I debug to make sure if its GPU so I can upgrade to the best GPU that's supported
    2. Is the CPU worth upgrading as looking at the specs, it's not clocking too fast
    Ultimately, this will be my portable gaming laptop and eventually a gift to my cousin.

    Thanks for the help in advance, and apologies this is my first post so I'm not sure what rules are there for posting.
     
    Mr. Fox likes this.
  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

    Reputations:
    805
    Messages:
    3,823
    Likes Received:
    2,353
    Trophy Points:
    231
    The system needs balance so if you are running 3.5ghz you'll get most of the performance in most games but 4.0 or higher would be ideal. The point of the xm chip is to clock it higher.

    With the 1060 I had very high utilization in games like siege but not all games behave the same way.

    Generally if you go to the device manager a dead gpu may display as error 43 or simply won't report to the OS at all.
     
  3. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    123
    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    553
    Trophy Points:
    106
    It's a little harder to test for GPU issues with the 120Hz display since you can't just pull the card and see how it performs on Intel graphics. I would start by opening the machine and cleaning out the fans/heatsinks and reappling the CPU and GPU thermal compound.

    You could try to run the pre-boot assessment by selecting the Diagnostic in the boot menu (F12 during startup). This checks for hardware issues but it may not pick up an issue if the card is only just starting to fail.

    A cheaper GPU upgrade would be a 780M or you could also go for a 980M, 1060 or 1070. It depends how much you want to spend. The 10 series cards also take a little more work to get running. A 4900 or 4910 processor would be good options and you'd only need to go for an extreme CPU if you want to overclock.
     
  4. James Huang

    James Huang Newbie

    Reputations:
    5
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Thanks for the advice @TheReciever, the issue is I can't even get to windows so I wouldn't be able to see the device manager... In terms of CPU, I really want to overclock this as I plan to use this as HTPC/Gaming PC in living room (it will be hidden and connected with HDMI and USB3 hub)

    Yea, I saw post mention you can pull the GPU out and use integrated Intel graphics, so I will give that a try but hopefully there isn't a BIOS setting to prevent this. In terms of overclocking, I would want to do it to get the most juice out of this machine. I saw that my current CPU i7-4710MQ and i7-4900MQ does not support overclocking and only i7-4930MX does, hence I ask if I need to upgrade. I haven't done enough research on overclocking yet as I can't even boot this machine up properly... which will be my next thing once I fix this machine.

    Part of the reason I tagged @woodzstack as apparently he sells GPU and the heatsinks so I thought maybe I can just install the working "better" one.
     
    woodzstack likes this.
  5. Mastermind5200

    Mastermind5200 Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    370
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    814
    Trophy Points:
    131
    All haswell i7's can do a certain level of limited overclocking, XM chips however have unlimited multipliers. There is realistically no reason to get any chip higher than a 4900MQ.

    With a 860M heatsink, you should be able to upgrade to a 970M fine, if you swap the heatsink you can use a 980M fine. 1060/1070 is a little weird and not really recommenced unless you know what you're doing.
     
    M18x-oldie likes this.
  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

    Reputations:
    805
    Messages:
    3,823
    Likes Received:
    2,353
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Grab anything from I think 7xx and up and you can test with the eDP panel (120hz 3d), obviously the cheaper the better.

    Where are you located?
     
  7. James Huang

    James Huang Newbie

    Reputations:
    5
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ah, so what I'm hearing is, there isn't a point to get the 4930MX as 4900MQ would overclock good enough? Would I be able to hit 4Ghz or 4.3Ghz with the 4900MQ (need to purchase if 4710MQ isn't good capable of doing that)

    I'm located in Ontario, Canada :) Oh so any 7xx MX GPU would work, that means I would need to purchase one, which brings me back to the original question of whether I should just go for the best GPU available that's reasonable pricing, which sounds like 780m, 970m or 980m, as 1060m and 1070m are super expensive?
     
  8. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

    Reputations:
    805
    Messages:
    3,823
    Likes Received:
    2,353
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Problem will be you wouldn't be able to rule out variables correctly. If you swap gpu you couldn't say it was a dead mobo versus a doa gpu.

    I wouldn't get a 780m just for testing, or even 7xx but the quadro equivalence may work as they can be cheaper at times. Market is quite volatile at the moment.

    In some platforms you can bypass the limits of the lower end sku chips, that being said i was never able to do that in the ranger personally. Yet to see an example of that as well anywhere on the net with the ranger.

    I have an 860m and 4930mx, as well as 32gb 2133mhz ram I could part with. Sadly the 4980hq doesn't work in the ranger.
     
  9. Mastermind5200

    Mastermind5200 Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    370
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    814
    Trophy Points:
    131
    If you need a testing card, get the cheapest Nvidia card you can find, K3000M is pretty cheap and I've confirmed it to work in 120HZ in the Ranger.

    As well, its not some platforms, it's all platforms.
     
  10. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    123
    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    553
    Trophy Points:
    106
    You can’t pull the card and test with no GPU. The 120hz has to have a dedicated NVidia card. You’ll just get a beep code error.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
Loading...

Share This Page