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An0npl4y

MSI GTX 1070 MXM successfully working on Alienware M17X R4 (another socket victory against BGA crap)

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Hello,

 

980m i still selling at high price and there are buyers for it so you can easily sell it on marketplace such as Ebay. Then, if you want I can give you email of my russian contact who can get you a 1060 for interesting price, so upgrade won't cost you 500$ in the end but maybe around 200 to 300 only. If you can sell your 980m for a good price (I see it can be sold between 450$ to 550$), you can even upgrade to a 1070 for 300 to 400$ in the end, which seems interesting.

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@An0npl4y For what price does your russian contact sell a gtx 1060? A friend of mine is interested in doing the same upgrade I did, but I got a 1060 from ebay for 650 dollar, he's skeptical about such a high price.

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You have to deal that with him, but anyway it will be cheaper than on Ebay. Just check prices on taobao, you'll understand what's the real market price of those products in China. Obviously, Ebay prices are much higher.

 

I changed CPU today, I upgraded to a 3940XM. It's running quite fine while gaming, but in fact even if I can improve Physics score a little when benchmarking, I'm still bottlenecked by 2 things: the 240W PSU which is causing power limit throttling when CPU and GPU are at high load, and air cooling which can't barely deal with such heat to cool down. So next step is setting up a dual 240W PSU, and if it can fix power limit issue then I'll work on the final mod, which could be a full watercooling for CPU, GPU and VRMs. I ordered all components for the dual PSU mod, it should be here in a few weeks.

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damn dude, your going H.A.M on that bad boy arent ya lol, love the work so far man, i cant help but notice the wifi mod is it? thats on the case in the pic; what do you have going on there?

I'm also interested in the russian contact if you can pass him my info when you have a spare moment not modding the m17x. looking to provide a cheaper alternative to the high priced parts on ebay where its pay what the want or gtfo. (pardon if that violates any rules i might have missed, if so admin's please edit at will)

lucked out and got a 765m for 60+ 5 shipping here in the states but most want just under 100 for them and it only goes higher as you go up the performance ladder.

but my rant aside now lol, can you post up more info on the psu mod when you get it about started? and wasnt there a 330 watt psu for these or was that on the r1/r2 models only?

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Hello,

 

You're right, I'm just pushing this good old piece of hardware to its limits biggthumpup1.gif

 

Yes I also upgraded the Wifi, replacing the 802.11 n miniPCI card for a 802.11 ac one, and I added external antennas: http://www.canardwifi.com/2015/09/23/upgrade-wifi-dun-alienware-m17x-r4-avec-carte-intel-7260-802-11-ac-et-connecteurs-pour-antennes-externes/ (in french, use Google to translate). Now I get higher bandwith and range with that mod, I can also plug in a high gain external antenna letting me reach Wifi networks a few kilometers away if needed.

 

The PSU mod I want to make is based on @Mr. Fox 330W mod here: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/3207-tutorial-dual-330w-ac-adapter-mod/ I will do the same kind of case, but with dual 240W instead of dual 330W, since I already have 2 X 240W PSU, and dual 330W would be overkill for a single GPU laptop. With a single 240W PSU, I'm really on the edge, I really feel like it needs just a little more power. I'll include a wattmeter in the case so I can check current draw. I saw GPU already reached around 115 or 120W when hitting power limit, 3940XM TDP is 55W but with a little overclock it can be much higher. With all components of the laptop powered on, I'm pretty sure it can draw around 280W or more now.

 

Sure I give you my contact informations, no problem.

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It's looking pretty good but I'm curious about your decision to do a 2x240 watt psu mod, like you said with the 240 watt you're barely on the edge, but wouldn't a 330 watt psu suffice then? Seems like a lot of effort to do the 2x 240 watt mod, when you can just get a 330 psu. And for the cooling, yeah the 3940xm is a hothead, I'm personally going to add two extra heatpipes to my own laptop to cool the cpu better, would love to see your watercooling project though, but are you going to install the watercooling internally or externally?

 

Also the link that you provided to the antenna mod doesn't seem to work, it downloads a file for me.

 

@An0npl4y Could you also provide me with the contact informations? 

Edited by naightmehr

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The reason why I chose this way is I found a 240W PSU for cheap price, and components for the mod are also cheap. So dual 240W PSU mod will cost less than buying a single 330W genuine Dell PSU. And it will also offer higher amperage if needed.

 

There is not much room enough inside the laptop to make an efficient watercooling mod, so I think pump, tank  and radiator stuff will be outside. I'm mostly using my M17X R4 as a desktop anyway. But I need to be sure power limit problem is fixed before going further in this last upgrade step.

 

Link for Wifi mod should be OK now.

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14 hours ago, An0npl4y said:

You have to deal that with him, but anyway it will be cheaper than on Ebay. Just check prices on taobao, you'll understand what's the real market price of those products in China. Obviously, Ebay prices are much higher.

 

I changed CPU today, I upgraded to a 3940XM. It's running quite fine while gaming, but in fact even if I can improve Physics score a little when benchmarking, I'm still bottlenecked by 2 things: the 240W PSU which is causing power limit throttling when CPU and GPU are at high load, and air cooling which can't barely deal with such heat to cool down. So next step is setting up a dual 240W PSU, and if it can fix power limit issue then I'll work on the final mod, which could be a full watercooling for CPU, GPU and VRMs. I ordered all components for the dual PSU mod, it should be here in a few weeks.

 

Taobao prices after adding shipping and Paypal fees end in the 750-800€, on eBay its "only" around 100€, and one or another will be hit hard by customs in my country, so extra 23% VAT over all that :(

Lets wait for volta to come out to see if Pascal gets cheaper lol.

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Yes, of course depending of which country you're living in, you may have custom fees, usually it's around same amount as VAT. With some sellers you can negociate declared value so you can avoid having huge fees. I think we'll have to wait next gen GPUs before having a real price drop. Even 980m is still expensive nowadays, MXM cards always had high prices. Even if I found a good deal, I agree buying a GTX 1070 MXM is still very expensive, but I think it's worth the upgrade, my M17X R4 is a real beast now ;)

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hell you can get a 1070 8 gig on there for what a 980 sells for out here in the states on ebay lol, but look at it this way, it will be the last upgrade that machine would need gpu wise

pretty sure once the top cpu that works for these starts to bottleneck the card its time to lay the ol girl down and grab and msi and start modding that, altho i'm partial to the asus designs personally

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Yes you're right, this is like a chinese Ebay with all products cheaper. But buying there is not so easy as on Ebay, this is why it's not so perfect...

 

I keep my ol girl for now, I still haven't pushed it to the max. I'm aiming for over 14k FS score :frantics:

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2 hours ago, naightmehr said:

I'm personally going to add two extra heatpipes to my own laptop to cool the cpu better,

Something like this?

Maybe you wanna go on 5 Heatpipes on the GPU Heatsink.

20160816_175155.jpg

20160816_192304.jpg

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an ebayer making a similar job to me for a gpu's heatsink of m18x r2...


Are you? ^_^

$_12.JPG

$_14.JPG

Edited by aaronloveweed
added pics

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@Zoldago Is that your own mod? Looks amazing, and yeah I had something like that in mind, my original plan was to add 2 heatpipes on top of the existing ones, and add a bit more radiator between the fan and current radiator.

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thats about how i would do it too, just wish these machines had more hight off the bottom or at least a lip to raise the back of it, then i could see about doing some dremeling to the chassis so the top pipes are exposed with some font stenciled on them in vynil to peel off after painting flat black, copper fonts! would look awesome imo lol

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19 hours ago, naightmehr said:

@Zoldago Is that your own mod?

Yes ist my own mod, but it needs a lot of dremel work to the chassis.

I made it before i get the red R4.

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Hello,

 

A few updates, there are some improvements.

 

So first thing is I made the dual 240W PSU mod, but it's not giving good results. PSU is still seen as 240W by the BIOS, no change at all in benchmark or games.

 

I installed latest Nvidia driver and had a few crashes with it, so I upgraded from vbios 86.04.2B.00.14 to latest MSI vbios 86.04.56.00.3A from GT73VR 6RE here: https://www.msi.com/Laptop/support/GT73VR-6RE-Titan.html#down-firmware

 

It seems to fix the problem, but I saw lot of MSI users had same kind of issue even with brand new laptops: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=280126.63

 

So since dual PSU mod gave no results, I tried with 330W PSU. I just tried a Delta electronics 330W PSU from AW M18x. ID chip is well recognized, and it appears at 330W in the BIOS. This is good thing.

 

Other good thing is now I could just reach my 14k FS score I was trying to achieve for a while: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/19888925

 

As you can see, there's not much big improvement with graphics score or physics score, in fact I'm just a little lower. But there is big improvement (around 20% better) with combined score, see 240W high score vs 330W high score comparison: http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/12610633/fs/12542431

 

Also you can notice now my GPU is seen as GTX 1070 in bench results, it seems 3dmark updated their GPU database.

 

Yeah 14k with a M17x R4! :)

 

m17x-r4-14k-fs-score.png

 

The fact is 240W PSU is giving enough amperage to feed CPU or GPU at full load, but not when both are at full load at the same time. Here was the bottleneck. So if you want to make the GTX 1070 upgrade on your M17x R4 you need to buy a 330W PSU, or you'll have PSU bottleneck like I had. It will work, but GPU won't perform 100% when gaming. This is good thing to know.

 

More than bench result, this is big change when gaming. I noticed GPU load was not high enough, it was around 50% to 80% average depending on game scenes (I'm playing GTA 5). Of course, it was same usage as firestrike combined, when there is load on CPU and GPU at the same time. Now with 330W PSU GPU load is around 85% to 95% average when gaming, so for same settings there is a huge FPS increase, this is really major change. I noticed with 240W PSU I had regular MSI Afterburner voltage limit alerts preventing to get higher GPU load before. I guess this is because power rail could just not feed more amperage, so voltage was getting low and it could not reach required voltage such as needed on frequency / voltage curve. Now there's no more voltage limit alerts anymore, everything seems to run fine.

 

Since I could reach my 14k target with air cooling, I don't think going for water cooling is really useful and worth the money. It could allow higher CPU overclock, but it won't bring major improvement to the setup. Now I'll just try to work on finding best settings combination for stable and performing gaming, and it will be enough. This M17x R4 is now performing as well as a 2017 brand new 2.5k$ MSI GT73VR 6RE laptop with 7820HK CPU, for real, see just same FS score: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/12002833

 

This is enough for me, there's nothing much to improve now.

 

If someone want to make the upgrade on his M17x R4, well it can be done and as you can see the good old M17x R4 can still be up to date against today's laptops, for much cheaper. I hope all informations here will help.

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What are the temps of the 1070? I presume you're using a 3 copper heatsink?

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Hello,

 

Yes in fact I made a modded heatsink using M17x R4 100W 3 copper stripes heatsink and a MSI heatsink same as this one: https://world.taobao.com/item/540331819333.htm

 

When GPU was not at full load, I had temps around 70 to 75°c max while gaming, which was good. But now GPU can go up to max 99% load, it's getting hot as hell! After playing around 15 or 20 minutes, it can reach up to 85°c so I'm at hardware overheat level, this is a problem. I need to find a way to cool it down. I already swapped the 3940XM which is getting way too hot for my previous 3840QM, but it's not changing GPU temp at all. It still increase minute after minute.

 

I don't know if I should give a try to a cooling pad, or if I'll watercool the GPU, or the whole setup. Maybe I could also try to improve my modded heatsink by adding it a pair of copper stripes.

 

There is a real thermal problem here. I saw in hwinfo the GPU went up to 125W draw. Even whith modded heatsink, the stock radiator was not designed for that.

 

The next challenge is to cool down the beast.

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Yeah the i7 3940xm is a hothead, best you can do to decrease temps is add another heatpipe, lap the heatink and do the m14x r2 fan mod. 

 

Would love to see some cool heatsink modding if you're planning on doing any :-)

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On 11/04/2017 at 6:55 PM, An0npl4y said:

 

I can't download the zip file on the link you provided for the gtx 680m.

 

any help please ?

 

also the PEG display is not available on my bios, is that a problem since a have a stock 120hz ? 

 

Quote

I noticed it can't be disabled if you're running a GPU which vbios doesn't have UEFI compliant driver. If this is the case, you'll get the "can't detect MXM card GOP driver" error like this:

 

gop-driver-error.JPG

 

Once again, thanks to svl7 you can fix this using vbios with UEFI driver for your GPU: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/2079-m14x-r2-m17x-r4-m18x-r2-uefi-fast-boot-secure-boot-gpu-issues-solved/ This is not what I did, I just enabled integrated graphics again (it's UEFI compliant), so I can disable Load legacy option. Then I could put the 1070 in, and boot successfully. With this option enabled, I had 8 beeps "GPU not recognized" error at boot, stuck with no POST like a loser.

 

Edited by decool

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Hello,

 

Sorry I don't understand what you mean. Are you trying to install the 1070 in your M17x R4? What is your issue?

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Nop the 1060

But i have the same issue with the legacy boot option rom, i can't disabled it and I get 8 bips on boot with the new card

So i need the unlocked vbios to do that, i you have a valid link to dl it I'll take that

 

Also i don't find the PEG display option on the bios menu, so i'm not sur that i have enabled 

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You should post in the 1060 thread. It's not unlocked vbios that you need, but unlocked bios which is not the same. It's not the video bios, but the laptop motherboard bios. I gave the link to svl7's unlocked bios thread in the first post here. If you have same issue that I had, then you just need to follow steps I explained and it will work fine.

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Thank you for your answer

if I understood correctly it is necessary to have an unlocked bios (for me it's version A11 I believe, that's what I see under information system).
So This will solve the problem "can not detect MXM card GOP driver" and allow me to disable load legacy option rom.

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