M17xR4 upgrade 680m to 1060
I kindly apologise for my atrocious formatting, I have never written such a long thread before.
Hey everyone, this is my experience regarding upgrading my m17xR4(2012) with a 680m and a 3D 120hz display to a GTX 1060. Please bear with me as it will be a long story.
A little bit of background, on May 11, 2017, my laptop suddenly shut itself down when playing some Witcher 3. No response, no power, no lights, certainly dead.
Called Dell India, they recommended motherboard replacement (not quite as much as a recommendation but as an only option.) 15000INR for that. (~235USD)
Still not resolved, no light, no post, no power. But if I remove the 680m, the laptop boots but gives 8 beeps, indicating a GPU or LCD failure. Putting the gpu back in causes a short circuit and no power to system.
Dell technician recommended GPU and LCD replacement. Will cost about 15000INR(235USSD) for GPU and 8000INR(125USD) for the LCD.
Sure, why not.
New GPU time. And boy oh boy, I was in for a headache.
Initial plan was for GTX 980m, easy and simple upgrade, tried and tested.
I contacted @woodzstack, he suggested me the 1060, approx. 30% more performance for the same price. I went ahead with that.
He is a well-known and an excellent seller here on NBR and other forums.
So I got myself a 1060 with a heatsink. The heatsink on my 680m had worn out screws and I couldn’t remove it to reuse it (tried a Dremel to make grooves). The 1060 was available and ready to ship, the heatsink was on back order which caused some delay. Thankfully, woodzstack provided me with a free upgrade to faster shipping. Thanks!
Then came the headaches. As I didn’t have a backup or fall back gpu (680m died), I wasn’t able to change the settings in bios required for 1060 and the system won’t boot with a 1060 ass the settings were incorrect. Also, I had the motherboard replaced which had stock bios. Got 8 beeps with 1060 installed, indicating gpu or LCD failure, which it wasn’t. Also, being a 120hz 3d display, I couldn’t use the intel gpu, as it won’t be able to run the display.
Stuck in catch22 situation there. I contemplated returning the gpu as I hadn’t gotten it to work, and it had gotten quite expensive(motherboard+gpu+heatsink). I posted on various forums for 2nd hand 680Ms or even lower gpu. Woodzstack offered a 680M but shipping was quite expensive.
Then @maxslo came to my rescue, he offered a used Quadro K1000M. Just pay for shipping and its mine. Notebookcheck states that its equivalent to a GT 630M, so it was from my series of gpu. I didn’t know if it would work or not, I took a gamble, if it didn’t work I would return all the stuff and get a new laptop (or a desktop maybe?)
It took its own sweet time to come as it was via national post (can’t complain, got the card only for shipping cost)
And when it came, I installed it, hit the power. I TURNED ON. It was alive!
I quickly got into bios, changed the settings and installed the 1060.
But alas, it didn’t start. 8 beeps again. Woodzstack helped here again.
The issue was default display setting in bios and the uefi settings. Uefi needs a compatible gpu to save that setting and boot with that gpu. As k1000m wasn’t a uefi compliant gpu, I was stuck again. But changing the graphics settings to auto and then it let me disable the legacy settings.
After applying these settings and installing the 1060, it let me boot.
No bootable media detected. Press any key to restart.
Turns out that the gtx 1060 is fussy even about bot drive partitions. Had to reinstall windows on a GPT partition. MBR to GPT conversion did not work. Needed a fresh install.
Finally, after 3 months of patience, I could revive my laptop.
II would like to thank these threads and their authors
Note: for 680m, the benchmark was done on max overclock +300 core and +500 memory. Stock score would be nearer to 3DM11 P=6300-6500, Ex=2200-2400
Unfortunately, I don’t have 3dmark scores for 680m
Note: This is same as my thread on NBR. Posting here as well for people not on NBR.