Upgrading my Ranger, Questions and Recommendations

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by captain008, May 17, 2020.

  1. captain008

    captain008 Notebook Consultant

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    Good day everyone;

    I am taking the leap and upgrading my Ranger (AW17 R1) and want to replace the RAM and GPU. I am going with a recommendation from @TheReciever and getting the HyperX ram from Amazon found here. To be honest for the speed and price difference is probably the best I have seen. I also want to upgrade my GPU to a 980M with the primary factor of price. Unfortunately, I have spend the last couple weeks researching the 17's forums looking for information on the upgrade and to be honest it brought more questions than answers. Do you guys mind shedding some light on my questions or at least pointing me in the right direction?

    Here is my current specs for my Ranger

    i7 4700QM, 16GB RAM, ATI R9 290m, original screen (not 120 or 3d), Stock A17 BIOS, and 240watt PSU.

    GPU Upgrade Questions:
    1. First looking for MXM cards I found these options from Amazon and Aliexpress. Would either of these two work?
    2. Are the GPUs simply Plug and Play?
    3. I am currently on Win7 legacy, can I stay on that or do I need to go WinX, UEFI?
    4. I am currently on a three pipe heatsink, do I need to buy the modded heatsink or mod/upgrade the fans?
    5. How do I tell if the GPU has GSYNC?
    6. Do I need to install the modded BIOS?

    Many thanks to everyone, while I love to game on my system, I am not a FPS chaser but just want to be able to run and play modern games.
     
  2. 2CPU

    2CPU Notebook Evangelist

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    A lot of those questions are covered by the GPU mod guides posted. Just pick a particular card and follow someone else's post.
     
  3. captain008

    captain008 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the reply, but that is kind of my dilemma. I have read several threads posts here, Tech Inferno, and Eurocomm and I have seen different methods and answers. I was hoping those that have done it could give their $0.02.
     
  4. 2CPU

    2CPU Notebook Evangelist

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  5. Mastermind5200

    Mastermind5200 Notebook Virtuoso

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    1. Looks good, but pricey.
    2. Anything not 7xx or 8xx or R9 M290X will never be plug n play for a variety of reasons
    3. Might as well be the time to move to a newer UEFI W10 environment anyways
    4. Not necessarily, but it results in better thermals
    5. GSYNC Doesn't work properly and won't afaik, I think someone here may have gotten it working but /shrug
    6. No but it helps
     
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  6. MrMogwai

    MrMogwai Notebook Evangelist

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    Try the HyperX 2133 variant, if you can find a pair, they are becoming more and more scarce for some reason (I'm currently running 2x8 DDR3L 2133MHz and there is a noticeable difference).
    120Hz screen is good to have, although you need a certain version (LTN173HT02 revision D01, it's the only one that works, I've got one spare C01 revision and it works fine while on 60Hz, but gives black screen when switching to 120Hz)

    UEFI ain't that bad. Boot time is significantly faster, and most advanced cards will work with it, while on Legacy you get 8 beeps. With Win10 you get a proper driver support and in my opinion it's just much less of a hustle to set everything up, but I'm getting complacent with age, I just want it to work. If you switch to Win10 say goodbye to the card reader though...

    If you can spare a few more bucks try a Pascal card, with Quadro you don't need to worry about the heatsink, the temps are crazy low.

    As to plug and play of the 980M, one just needs a glance at the topic titles on this forum that it ain't so easy, this card seems to cause a lot of issues.

    If you want I've got two M4000Ms on sale, can't deny that isn't far weaker than 980M, but it's adequate and extremely low temp. There is a guy around here selling an M5000M, maybe try that one instead of the 980M?
     
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