37 posts in this topic
I need urgent help to setup my alienware m18x corrently. Firstly apologies for any typos as I haven't slept in 2 days due to trying to sort this graphics card out.
I have an alienware m18x r1. I recently upgraded to an gtx 880m.. and this is where my life became living hell. I cant seem to install any drivers for it, as Nvidia keeps showing me the 'graphics card cant find compatible hardware'. I then did a lot of research and have found I have to flash the bios. I have been searching for hours on end trying to find tutorials on how to flash the bios, also an unlocked bios for the m18x r1, currently im on the A05 bios.
I do not know why I cant seem to install any driver, even when I try to mod the ini files it doesn't install the driver.
I am at the point now that I will donate whatever you need in terms of money I have paypal, just to get this all working, can anyone help me.
Over the last month or so, I've been planning on overhauling my (slightly dated) P157SM to give it better cooling, and possibly higher performance.
There were a number of sources I used for inspiration, and I'll attempt to document all of them later on, but first, pictures!
This is the first modification I made. I increased the opening of the CPU fan to allow more air to go into the fan. As I recall, it helped with idle temperatures but I don't remember by how much.
This picture shows how much I increased the opening by, I didn't do just that bit and stop
Next up, I increased the width of the intakes directly over the GPU and CPU to reduce ambient heat buildup in those areas.
I ultimately decided that increasing the width was not the best route to go (and it was quite ugly) so I decided to simply remove the vents
I used some diamond mesh to cover those areas, but I don't have any pictures of that at the moment.
Next I used some HVAC tape to direct the air flow from the CPU fan into the heatsink and not out the tiny gaps in the area.
Then I swapped out the heatsinks (originally I ordered this from XoticPC and went with their copper cooling upgrade (I was young(er)) for some bigger ones.
Everything is all nice and snug
And finally with the lid back on.
With the changes made between cutting the vents, and the last picture, I was able to drop load CPU temps ~5C which I thought was pretty nice.
My goal is to also get rid of the vent over the fan, but I haven't found time to do it. I'm also planning on lapping the GPU heatsink, which will, again, take time.
I'll post more updates as I make them (and post the benchmarks I've already done).
So I have a 780M at the moment (I'm planning on going to a 980M, though I may just wait for the Pascal GPU's to come out) and I decided to lap the heatsink, since I'm planning on overclocking it.
Fresh of the block
400 Grit (10 minutes)
600 Grit (10 minutes)
800 Grit (10 minutes)
1000 grit (7 Minutes)
1200 Grit (7 Minutes)
1500 grit (about 25 minutes for this stage)
And I thought it looked pretty smooth. One of my references mentioned cutting off the little tabs on the block, since they're mostly there for adding additional pressure (since the plate is usually warped) and I wanted to just lap the area directly over the GPU die (plus I don't really have a good place for grinding copper with my rotary tool).
For the paste I used http://www.coolermaster.com/cooling/thermal-compound/mastergel-maker/ which I went with based on the favorable review posted at http://www.play3r.net/reviews/cooling/cooler-master-master-gel-maker-nano-thermal-paste-performance/ and the pads are Fujipoly high end (didn't think I'd need to go ultra).
I also added some little sinks on to the heatpipes, though they might be suspect (more on that in the results below).
And I sealed up a gap in the fan to direct more airflow through the larger fins.
I also used from more HVAC tape to try to prevent ambient air from being drawn in to the fans, but this too might be suspect (it might be needed to draw it away, since where else is the heat from all those fins supposed to go?)
And the results are... interesting...
So the initial benchmark had a 5C drop in temperature, but the following results aren't as promising.
In fact, the stress test results appears to be higher (I'm speculating that it'd be over 86C by 400 seconds).
I'm thinking that either the added heatsinks on the heatpipes are dispersing the heat before it can get to the fins, my lapping job wasn't so great, or I added too much TIM. I may try the washer trick from the p150 cooling threat mentioned below, but I'm spent on energy for this weekend.
June 3rd update
I finally got back around to working on my clevo some more and after a third re-pasting my temps are down (taking into account that today is hotter than when I first tested)
I suspect that my older paste jobs were either too thick, or I bent the heatpipe and kinda threw the plate out of alignment.
Modding my clevo in general:
Sealing up the gaps in the fins:
Additional cooling ideas:
First off, YOU TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR FLASHING THIS! YOU WILL NOT HOLD ME RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PROBLEMS YOU MAY RUN IN TO BY FLASHING MY MOD!
YOU WILL NOT HOLD TECHINFERNO RESPONSIBLE, EITHER! THIS IS YOUR CHOICE!
Now on to the good stuff...
I've officially cracked it - either by luck or persistence (I'm thinking LUCK, lol) -
A11 UNLOCKED BIOS FOR m18Xr2 (UNLOCKED BY SVL7 - FULL CREDIT GOES TO HIM FOR UNLOCKING!)
Here is what I've added/updated/modded/changed/etc...
ADDED LEGACY SUPPORT FOR THE m18XR2 -
You can now run Windows 7 with 900 series nVidia GPU's!
Changed the Default GPU from PEG to IGFX - No need to tear down laptop anymore. 8-Beeps are a thing of the PAST!
Updated the Intel RST Legacy to v184.108.40.2066 (Supports TRIM in RAID0 - CONFIRMED)
Updated Intel RST UEFI to v220.127.116.116 (Supports TRIM in RAID0 - CONFIRMED)
Updated the ONBOARD Video Card for the HD3xxx to v2171 - FROM v2132)
Updated ONBOARD Video Card for the HD4xxx to v2171 - FROM v2132)
Updated the LAN Firmware & PXE Boot from 18.104.22.168 to v22.214.171.124)
ADDED NvMe Support for m18xr2
ADDED M.2 support for m18xr2
Updated CPU Microcode to v29 for the 2900 CPU's
Updated CPU Microcode to v1c for the 3900 CPU's
Updated CPU Microcode for other supported CPU's if available! Sorry, I don't remember what version, but if it could be updated, it was!)
Updated GOP Driver for Intel Sandy Bridge
Updated GOP Driver for Intel Ivy Bridge
Updated GOP Policy for the m18xR2
Raidriar added the "Package C-States Lock" to my bios mod - THANK YOU RAIDRIAR!
YOU TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR FLASHING THIS, AS FLASHING CUSTOM BIOS's HAS SOME RISK!!
I AM IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOUR PC BY FLASHING THIS MOD!!
My BIOS MOD should be available in the download section of TechInferno! They have KINDLY offered to host the file, thankfully!
You MUST meet the minimum requirements of T|I in order to download files from their download section!
PLEASE NOTE: Do not distribute this file. Please tell others that want the file to download it from TechInferno, as the file is GUARANTEED to be clean if you get it from here. If you download it from anywhere else, there is a chance that the code will be changed, and may BRICK your laptop. Therefore, PLEASE make sure you download from here and ONLY here!
I'd like to THANK the following people for testing my bios mods to make sure they are safe for the rest of you:
Mr. Fox, Raidriar, Rengsey R.H. Jr! Thanks for testing, I'm grateful!
RAIDRIAR, from nbr, needs an EXTRA shoutout for testing. He was UTTERLY amazing! He took risks no sane OR INSANE person would! I owe him for testing this! He deserves a LOT of credit for that!
Also, I do have an UPDATE to Intel Management Firmware v8.1.64 (I think), but that is a SEPARATE package. If you are interested, you can do that upgrade, too. HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE, if you plan on doing update you MUST do BIOS update FIRST - AGAIN, BIOS UPDATE MUST BE DONE FIRST! AFTER bios update is done, then you can do IME update.
If you update the IME then BIOS, YOU WILL BRICK YOUR SYSTEM! YOU MUST DO BIOS FIRST, THEN THE Intel ME Update!
If you like this mod that I've done, please donate a couple KEGS of beer to me, as I put a TON of work into this. I put more hours into this than I should have... LoL
I can also confirm that this has been tested by MANY people. Mr. Fox, Raidriar, and a few others, and they had NO issues. EXCEPT that they were finally able to install Windows 7 while in legacy mode (set from within bios), and the GPU works completely. The only ting I am still working on is the throttling issue on ALL GPU's (Some worse than others). IF you use Mr. Fox's modded drivers, 355.20 I believe, the throttling issue is minimal with the 780m GPUs. Anything above those drivers seems to throttle all GPU's at a more extreme rate. I AM working on this throttling issue, but I am not sure it's fixable. But I will TRY!
Again, I hope you ALL like this, and that it helps you out.
Lastly, IF you flash my MOD and you decide to purchase another 900 series GPU, please make sure you use woodstackz, as he sells them at the best rates. Please let him know you are purchasing the GPU because of this mod, as it will help me out a little!
I hope you like this!
Link To Donate:
EDIT: I forgot to put fparts.txt in the rar file with all the other files. sorry about that. I'm including it here on this post!
PS. I AM working on porting ALL these mods to the m17xR4, but dont know if I can get LEGACY SUPPORT ported! I AM TRYING, but if I can't, I'll be able to port EVERYTHING else...
File download link:
i just want to share you some Hardware mod ideas for the p170hm.
the goal was to improve the airflow for the fans, while maintaining a decent look of the notebook case.
GPU (GTX680M OC) about 7°C drop at 100% load
CPU (i7 2820QM) about 6° drop at 100% load
not sure if the two small fans helping that much. you guys think its better if they would suck in the cold air instead of blowing hot air out?
the fans are 30x30x7mm. the power is taken from the sata connector.
this took me about 3 hours to make.
Well, I was FINALLY able to MOD a fully UNLOCKED A05 Bios for the m18x R1.
I created several BIOS's that have the following Intel Raid OpRom v10.5, 11.2, 11.6, 12.9, 13.5. I'm told that 12.9.0 is the BEST version to use with our m18xR1. Also, these ROMS are modded to give TRIM on a RAID0 system! I've tested it and can confirm it does work!
I also have an intel ME Firmware upgrade that you can do, as well, but I only sugest people that know what they are doing use it. Only because, for some reason, if you flash the ME firmware, then the Bios, there is a problem and you can brick your ME Firmware. (You'd need a new motherboard). It locks your firmware.
Anyway, if you flash the bios that you want, and not even deal with upgrading the ME, then you're fine. But, if you do the ME firmware upgrade like I did, if you flash and bios's, you will need to downgrade the FW, before any BIOS flashing... (I THINK).
In any case, you may just want to stick with the BIOS upgrade, as this will give you TRIM in RAID0 support (confirmed with trimtool).
If interested, please let me know!