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[Guide] M15x with AMD 6970m / 6990m - everything you need to know

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Hey guys,

Here it is ! My 6970m is in the laptop !

It's works pretty cool (2h uptime so far and 30 minute of deus ex) but of course, i have some issues.

First, my temp are 58-65°C idle and 87 full. It's a little bit high I think. I repaste twice since the termal paste from mxm-upgrade is not easy to use but I still have the same temperature.

When I ordered the card from mxm-upgrade, they asked me if I wanted the dell vbios, so I think it is the one one the card right now. But then I'm note able to make the DP sound working. I installed the HDMI Sound Driver from the M17xR3 video driver.

Thanks

Edited by krazar

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Check on GPU-Z whether you really have the Dell VBIOS on it.

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Okay, so in gpuz,

BIOS Version 013.011.000.009.000000

This is seems to be the Sapphire VBIOS, you need the Dell VBIOS to get the audio through DP/HDMI working. Files and instructions can be found in the second post.

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Thanks, you were right. After a vbios flash, the dp audio run perfectly.

I have an other question about m15x but nothing to do with the subject. Do you know if we can remove un key from the keyboard? In fact my key d doen't work very well. So maybe is there something in there.

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Good to hear this.

I've never done this, maybe some of the m17x users know how. It's definitely possible, but I don't know the best way to do it.

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I managed to remove the key an clean it but it didn't help.

I will look for a new keyboard, do you know a good supplier?

Back to the gpu, I have power issues in games (dirt 3 HD all settings ultra). The system reboots after 15 min. Which vcore and clock do you use on yours?

Thank you once again for your help :-)

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Check ebay for the keyboard, you should be able to find decent deals there, and different layouts as well. Else check parts-people, they might have keyboards as well.

I never overclocked for gaming so far, and was most of the time using stock voltage, did work fine for me. Check your temperatures, can you make a GPU-Z logfile and upload it here as attachement? (Make sure to check the two options in the sensor tab when making the log file, "log to file" and "continue refreshing this screen while...")

If you slightly raise your system at beneath the screen (e.g. with a book, but make sure not to cover the fans), you can significantly bring down the temps.

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The keyboard is on its way.

I first made a log while playing Deus EX but I didn't have problem.

During the second test, I first launched kombustor without any option. It goes far with 90 and above temp but still ok.

I attach the log of gpuz like you said and I used a book :-)

Then, I launched kombustor with max resolution, AA and directX11. Before the temp could raise, the system has reboot.

For information, I used paste from mxm-upgrade, I moved some pads to be in the right place.

One more hint: my PSU is unknown in the bios and I don't know why. Maybe a fall or something.

Do you use pads from mxm-upgrade ? I think I can use the memory ship like a grill

Do you use pads from mxm-upgrade ? I think I can use the memory chip like a grill

GPU-Z Sensor Log2.txt

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Software like kombustor of MSI afterburner isn't for stability testing, they're mainly designed to heat up the GPU, and they do this by drawing as much power as possible. I don't like it, and it's not necessary in my opinion. As long as you can play games without issues you don't have to worry. Kombustor and Afterburner stress the video card beyond any realistic level, which isn't healthy for the card. And it isn't even the GPU itself that gets stressed, it's mainly the voltage supply circuits that get to their limits (and beyond...). Can't really recommend them for such testing. Better to simply run a game.

Your temps are rather hot, make sure your heatsink fits properly and applies enough pressure on the die. Did you lift your system a bit in the back? As I mentioned, this can bring down the temps.

Also a lot depends on your ambient temperatures.

I still use the stock pads from Dell, they work fine for me.

Do you use the stock 150W PSU from Dell? This shouldn't give you an error message... this can indicate that something's wrong with the PSU... which could explain the crashes.

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Thanks for your information about kombustor. The crashes happened with not all the games.

I'm in holliday right now so the temps are higher than usual. I will check the heatsink when I'll be back and maybe replace the mxm paste by arctic silver 5.

The PSU is the stock 150w from dell but one day, it became unknown and I don't recall what happen. I'll test it with a voltmeter just in case if I find one :-p

If I have to change it, should I take a 240w from m17x ?

What do you think of that kind of retention mod ? It's in french but the pictures speak for themselves http://portables4gamers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12627

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Ok, this means the PSU might be the problem. If it isn't recognized anymore by the system it may be faulty and not deliver enough power anymore. If you still have warranty on the system, call Dell and let them replace the PSU. Otherwise I'd recommend getting a new one, just to be safe. They're not too expensive on ebay. A 150W will suffice, the 240W works as well, but it's bigger.

The retention clip mod (original from ashtefere) can yield impressive results, but it needs a lot of care. I haven't done it so far with the M15x, but it should work as well. Though I've seen that the heatsink makes pretty good contact with the GPU (in my case), so it might not make any difference.

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Hello,

I just tested the new psu (150w) from dell. I used this clock 680/900 and 1.1v for voltage. The temps are quite normal.

My test this time was on Driver SF. The system has reboot after 3-4min in game.

I'm a little bit frustrated because you can use it without problem and even overclock it.

Here is the log.

Thank for your help

GPU-Z Sensor Log.txt

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Weird... it should work without issues for your system, you "only" use an i7 720QM. Just played BF3 for a while, no issues at all, temps were mid to high 80s.

The temps in your logs are low, if it shut down while taking this log then it's definitely not a heat issue. You could try to undervolt the card and see whether it helps.

Did you take the log file during a game? It's weird, your GPU usage never gets to 100%...

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Yeah, it's weird !

Here is 2 other logs. The first is on Dead Island. You can notice that the gpu load is not at 100% and I had a crash after 15min.

The second is on kombustor again just to see if the sensors was correct. And it is ! And the gpu load is well at 100% with higher temp in 30 sec.

So what's happening?

Dead-Island.txt

Kombustor.txt

I tried different voltage from 0.9 to 1.1v(cannot go further). At stock clock, it crashed after 5-20min in games. If I underclock the card (600/800 for example), the system became more stable.

I'm using ATI tray tools to adjust the vcore and the clock.

edit: I'm using the driver from your first post on this thread with the audio driver from the m17x driver and I was unable to install a more recent driver from amd (hardware no detected or something like that)

Edited by krazar

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Crazy... my card comes from MXM-upgrade as well and I don't have such issues. I can't think of anything specific which could cause these issues... Which driver are you using? You might wanna try to reinstall it or use a different one.

Also you could try to reinstall windows from scratch, but it's quite some work... I don't think the card is faulty, seems to be a software issue imo, it's very unlikely that it's because of the card itself.

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driver version : atiumdag 8.850.6.0(Catalyst 11.5) /Win7 64

I will try other drivers.

edit: Which driver do you use? I can't find an update.

Rihgt now, I don't know if it is a power issue or an unstable issue...

Edited by krazar

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I try modded 11.9 and it change nothing. The card switch several times between 100 and 680 when I'm launching basic soft like thunderbird.

I also lost the voltage sensor and don't understand why.

Other crazy thing, the gpu is at 100% load in Deus Ex and no crash. The temps are also higher.

edit: gpu 100% in 3d marks 2011 with crash after 5 min...

Edited by krazar

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You lost the voltage sensor? Hmm, this is probably software related... there's no "voltage sensor", GPU-Z and similar programs only report which value of the VBIOS gets used at the moment.

At the moment I'm using the FirePro M8900 drivers, I flashed my card to a FirePro. Not necessarily a good idea for gaming, but for other applications.

Do you know anyone who has a system with a 6970m? ...Then you could test another card.

You got the card from mxm-upgrade, right? Maybe you should contact them and ask whether other users have had similar issues.

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Thanks for the information.

I will contact mxm-upgrade. If I'm in luck, they will help.

I have doubt about my vbios, could you check my gpuz please ?

post-1129-14494991771082_thumb.gif

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Same VBIOS version as I used most of the time, shouldn't cause troubles.

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I would like to have more feedback about this but I maybe have an idea.

In your config, you have only one ssd which drain 90% less power than an dd. In my case, I have both (dd 7200tr/min).

Is it possible that the dd drain enough power to be part of the problem?

I say that without knowing what I'm talking about...

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Yeah... I was thinking about this as well, you also have more RAM. On the other side I'm running with an i7 920XM and was playing BF3 yesterday and everything worked like a charm. This really shouldn't be an issue. Maybe there are different mobo revisions, and some might not have as high tolerances as others... but that's pure speculation.

You already tried different drivers, undervolting, downclocking etc. ... I'm really running out of ideas. You could reinstall Windows to (more or less) exclude software issues... but this is time consuming.

You could try a different VBIOS, but your card definitely should work with the one you're running on momentarily.

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I'm stable with this clock 600/800 at 1V maybe a little bit higher but not much.

I will test BF3 beta just in case

edit: The system rebooted after 40 min of game, during an otherwise, the game is very smooth but not as beautifull

edit2: I got news ! The new PSU of 150w from dell is not quite the same than the one I got with the M15x

With my old damaged psu, I have got less reboot than with the new one. For example, with the same clock, one make the system reboot after 10 min and the other is stable.

IMO the old psu deliver more than 150w (180 maybe) and the new one delivers 150w or less. Since Dell doesn't sell the M15X anymore, they don't need 150W psu unless for the support. Maybe this one is cheaper to build.

Damn ! I should buy the 240W. Do you think I can complain and exchange 150 for 240?<alt><tab>

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Edited by krazar

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Answer from mxm:

I've had a few cases like this and the answer has *always* been cooling.

- Make sure the *enitre* surface of the GPU chip makes contact with the heatspreader (it must be level with the heatsink)

- Make sure the memory chips (all of them) make contact. Sometimes there's a gap between the heatpad and heatsink. The pads must be sandwhiched.

- Try too cool as much of the components on top as possible (the small black boxes) by using excess thermal pads or cut a small piece of the one you have.

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