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Doomon17

M15x - want to upgrade laptop for chrismas/birthday need help

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Yea im new to this site but i found info i browsed usefull even before i joined because im looking for a good upgrade for my M15x alienware laptop for december (christmas / birthday) instead of getting an entirley new system which would cost alot of money cause i like aiming for laptops due to the fact i got the space for this thing and desktops even though cheap are stationary. so due to that fact ,till i get the space eventually for a desktop i want to try and see the upgrades i can get for this laptop. and this is my problem, i dont really know what would be compatible with the laptop so ima just say the upgrades im looking to get, the specs of my current cpu, and price range.

So what im looking for is increased RAM (if possible), a new graphics card, and a new hard drive. (any other suggestions i will exept too if you think somthing else would be nice also, or in place of one of my suggestions).

My basic specs are:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120830-0333)

Language: English (Regional Setting: English)

System Manufacturer: Alienware

System Model: M15x

BIOS: Ver A09 1.00

Processor: Intel® Core i3 CPU M 370 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz

Memory: 4096MB RAM

Available OS Memory: 4020MB RAM

DirectX Version: DirectX 11

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M

and the price range really for total upgrades im lookin for is about less then 500$- maybe little over (but mostly lookin to go cheaper if anyone knows any deals)

NOTE: txt attachment is if your interested in my full specs.

DxDiag.txt

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An Intel i7 (Clarksfield) would be a big increase in performance over your i3. The best option is the i7 920XM or 940XM as these are unlocked processes and can be overclocked quite heavily.

Both work well in the M15x.

Graphics card depends on your preference but the AMD 7970M works well but does experience throttling issues when combined with a XM processor. I run mine undervolted to keep it running cool and it generally works very well. Nvidia options: GTX 660M, 670MX, 675MX, 680M, 770M all work well with the 680M being the best option. Apparently the 680M doesn't throttle as bad as the 7970M whilst offering more performance but it is considerably more expensive. All Nvidia cards after the 460M require a slight driver inf file mod that should be available on this forum.

You can buy Clevo or Dell graphics cards but you will need a different x-bracket for AMD cards.

You can get any 1333Mhz DDR3 SODIMM memory, or even 1600Mhhz but it will downclock to 1333Mhz due to that being the max supported speed. x2 4GB sticks of 1333Mhz would be a good upgrade.

A SSD will be a very nice boost in boot times and various other things. The Samsung 840 or Crucial M4 are both good options as the M15x can't take advantage of faster write speeds due to being limited to SATA 2 interface.

All of those things may add up to $800-1000 however....

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yea thats the bad part that the price seems steep but ill look into what upgrades might be more important then the others but i just wana know as far as RAM goes how far do you think i can go on this model cause i like the other suggestions and im truthfully heading for nvidia brand graphics cards as far as those go so the cards seem quite good upgrades but i wana know the RAM capability on this machine.

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16GB 1333Mhz DDR3 is the max although only 8Gb will be displayed in BIOS, 16GB is reckoned and used by windows.

Also something like an i7 720QM or 840QM will be a great performance boost from your current processor and is much cheaper than an XM processor.

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i like the stuff listed and the lenths i now know my cpu can go to but im not really that high on money, like can u tell me what upgrades would be best recomended right now for me thats in my budget range also i wana know if i can get a good hard drive upgrade too cause my external drive is really spose to be for backup yes but i used that and my main drive for space and now i just really want everything on 1 drive so everything works properly cause some stuff dosent operate corectly on my external drive and now both are filling up a bit so i was wondering like if can get like a 2TB drive at least or somthin also due to current gen games are just getting bigger and bigger too.

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For your information :

An i7-820qm can be found around 120$ on ebay

7970M can be found at around 340$.

And 2x4 Go RAM will cost around 60$

This will be a bit above your budget but it will be a very strong update.

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Don´t forget thinking on the second hand offers scene. If you look well, you could find on ebay and other sites, bargains with almost no use from the vendor

or spare parts on different shops etc...

Most of the time, people who want the last in tech, use to sell theirs vga´s or whatever, when only have past months since they upgraded the last time :)

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yea i kinda get what ur sayin and thanks for recomendations too but i also now have help from a friend of mine who said he can help me out upgrade cause he works on building computers so he said he can set up an appointment for my laptop with me and he can help out good with the pricing too apperently, so i hoping he can help me out and upgrade my system for me for a good price but ill tell him about these suggestions too and see how this goes but thanks guys.

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i like the stuff listed and the lenths i now know my cpu can go to but im not really that high on money, like can u tell me what upgrades would be best recomended right now for me thats in my budget range also i wana know if i can get a good hard drive upgrade too cause my external drive is really spose to be for backup yes but i used that and my main drive for space and now i just really want everything on 1 drive so everything works properly cause some stuff dosent operate corectly on my external drive and now both are filling up a bit so i was wondering like if can get like a 2TB drive at least or somthin also due to current gen games are just getting bigger and bigger too.

Better late than never, some suggestions:

- Moving OS to a SSD is by far the most noticeable improvement i've made in my own m15x. Even the cheapest are great, and investing to a medium size 120-240Gb is not too painful. I've tested OCZ Agility3 120, Samsung 830 128 and now a Samsung 840pro 256 (this one expensive) with great results. 840 non-pro seems to run very well being much cheaper, but not tested on my own alienware.

Lack of space because ssd? easy and cheap fix: buying a HD caddy and removing the DVD to place a second hd.

SATA 2nd Hard Drive HDD SSD caddy for Dell Alienware M14X M14Z M15X M17X M18X | eBay

If you barely use dvd is a great improvement. I've placed a cheap 750Gb 2nd disk to store garbage, but i always move current playing games to ssd, loading times are fantastic. Downside: you must disassemble almost every piece of the notebook to reach the dvd.

Regarding other upgrades, I went from i3 to a i5 560M long time ago, but now a i7 is a much affordable option. I'm looking for a 820 or 840qm, (120-140€ at ebay) cause XM's are too expensive, but can't assure worth the money from my current cpu, from a i7 i'll consider it or even a i7 620 or 640 (pointing cheap)

Graphic card i've been on a 5850 with some oc , and today moved to a 6990M. Not deep tested, but first impressions is that has twice the fps than the older one, and sadly a lot more heat. If is stable may be an affordable option for a short-medium shot, thinking long term may be too slow. Mine found at 140€ on ebay, but was selled as 6970 (yup!)

Hope it helps, good luck upgrading

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id go in this order" ssd, gfx card, processor, then ram.

for the ssd somewhere in the 128-256gb range would be good

gfx card im not sure on prices but i would think that the gtx 670-675 and the gtx 770 would be cheaper then the 780 and still have good performance on the lower res screen.

for the processor i was going to say an i5 would be fine but if the i7 is similarly priced then go for it.

for ram i don't see a need for going with any higher then 8gb and its not to expensive to get compared to the rest of the items.

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I agree with most comments here - but if you want to really spruce up your game quality - go with an upgraded GPU first!

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