Upgrading my Ranger

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Tenoroon, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Tenoroon

    Tenoroon Notebook Guru

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    Hello there, first off, I just want to thank all of you who have put time into figuring out how to push this model to its limit. I would also like to thank those who have helped people like upgrade and learn about the Ranger.

    Story
    About 2 and a half years ago, my father picked up the Ranger from a local Pawn shop for really, really cheap. The people at the Pawn shop said it had been running really slow, hence the reason it was dirt cheap. My father and I opened it up, and cleaned out what was probably the most dust I had ever seen in a laptop. I took this time to also re-paste both the GPU and CPU. After that, it was working very well, and much faster. It was then used by my father for about a year until he upgraded to a more mobile laptop. Ever since then, it has been sitting around. I've been saving some money and have been doing research about the Ranger for the past month. I'd like to resurrect it, and use it as my main rig. I'm well aware that upgrading costs a lot of money, but I enjoy working with computers, and especially laptops. So potentially upgrading this laptop doubles as a project for me.

    Specs
    This model came with a GTX 880m, and a core i7 4710mq, I may be wrong, but I think this was one of the lowest-end CPU's that the Ranger shipped with, so I'm guessing the original owner cheaped out on the CPU. This model also only has the 60hz 1080p display and no mSATA drive.

    What I would like to upgrade it to
    My ideal upgrade would be a GTX 1070m (I'll refer to the MXM 1070 as the 1070m,) and a 4930mx. I'd also probably want to throw in an mSATA drive too.

    Heat pipe situation
    This mostly goes with my questions I have, but currently, the GPU has 3 heat pipes while the CPU only has 2.

    Major questions
    • I know for sure that the Ranger can take a 1070m with a bit of driver modification, but would 3 heat pipes be enough?
    • I also know the Ranger can easily take a 4930mx, but I would like to do a bit of overclocking on this CPU, would I need more heat pipes to safely OC?
    • If I were to upgrade to a 1070m, can I stick to the 60hz display, or would I need the 3D 120hz display.

    Minor questions
    • If I DO need to upgrade my heat pipes for my CPU or GPU, isn't there a seller on Ebay who sells better cooling solutions for the Ranger, I think I've read about him on the forums, but don't remember his name.
    • Is it normal for a 1060m to go for about 300 U.S dollars and a 1070m to go for about 400 U.S dollars?
    • I'm aware of Woodstackz, and have heard very good reviews from people who have done business with him. Just to make sure, does he still sell Pascal MXM chips?
    • Is it true that the modded drivers for the 1070m DON'T allow you to have access to the BIOS?
    • Is it recommended that I upgrade to a 330W power supply for a 1070m and an overclocked 4930mx?
    • Last question, but if i do plan to OC a 4930mx, would Arctic MX-4 be good enough, or would any form of Liquid Metal be best?
    Conclusion
    This whole community and idea of pushing the Ranger has really peaked my interest, and I would love to be able to push my Ranger to its limits. I would like to give another thank you to this community, and to those who have spent there time, patience, and money doing what they do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  2. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Hello, I'll try to answer as many questions as I can but hopefully a few more guys will chime in with extra info for you.

    I believe the 3-pipe heatsink will do a decent job for you. I use the OEM 3-pipe in my M18x but there isn't another option for me unfortunately. You can try the 4 or 5-pipe custom one. Here is the original eBay seller who also does the 4-pipe CPU heatsink. If you want to push your CPU then the 2-pipe probably won't be enough. I've never seen any decent before/after comparisons between the OEM and Custom heatsinks though.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ALIENWA...535971&hash=item3b03a14a3b:g:AfMAAOSwmuVafDUN

    It has always been suggested that the 120Hz display is the best way to go but others have said that the 10 series will still work with the 60Hz. You will need the unlocked BIOS to set the video mode to PEG. The 120Hz machines are set to PEG by default.

    The prices seem about right. $400 is the max for the 1070 and it's what i paid. I have seen them go for a little less though. $360-380.

    I have heard that you can lose access to the BIOS but I've also heard that this isn't true. I can't comment on this one as I've only tried the 1070 in my M18x.

    I would definitely upgrade to the 330W adapter with that combo especially if overclocking.
     
  3. Tenoroon

    Tenoroon Notebook Guru

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    Alright, Thanks! Though, it looks like there is only 3 heat pipes from that seller, I'm guessing there's 2 that are stacked? Let me know if I'm wrong though.
     
  4. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    330w isnt needed, you cant pull more than 118w on the 1070 and you will be hard pressed to push 100w on the CPU for a daily clock, wouldnt want to anyways since it doesnt have the foundation to support that for long periods of time.

    The N173HHE-G32 is the best panel you install for the laptop to date, its a nice panel especially if you prefer matte over glossy.

    The heatsinks arent explicitly needed but they are nice for stunting spikes in power. I used the stock heatsink initially from the 780m and I still maintained a 58c temperature with the MSI 1070n

    the aftermarket CPU heatsinks are "better" but they seem to have issues with the contact plate, so it renders it moot more often than not. Give it a try with the stock heatsink first before moving to something else.
     
  5. Tenoroon

    Tenoroon Notebook Guru

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    Thanks for the help! Now, for the display upgrade, would I need to get a new display cable or can I use the current one.
     
  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    If you have a stock 60hz panel then yes as that panel is LVDS with any 120hz panel that this laptop can use is eDP.

    There is an upgrade thread in this subforum by mogrules! with all the part numbers and details
     
  7. Tenoroon

    Tenoroon Notebook Guru

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    I found the forum, thanks for the info.
     
  8. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    I have the heatsinks, fans, cables, panels, 4930mx, 32GB 2133MhzCL11 RAM

    Even got a couple of dead boards, palm rest, my own custom heatsink (was thinking of using a 2 fan heatsink) etc etc

    Let me know if you are interested, I will retest the components to make sure they are working if you are.

    If you are interested I can take some pictures, Ive been trying to come up with ways to re-use them for ages now and always seem to get pointed into another direction, currently its my P750ZM that gets my attention now...
     
  9. Tenoroon

    Tenoroon Notebook Guru

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    I am intrested mostly in the 4930MX, though, I'm quite new to the forum so don't know my way around everything. How would I be able to PM you?
     
  10. Tenoroon

    Tenoroon Notebook Guru

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    I found your listing from a year ago and saw that you got it at a stable OC of 4.4 GHZ, how many heat pipes was this done with?
     
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