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Samariton

Dell AMD 7970M GPU in ailenware M17X R2 VBios questions.

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Hey guys, I have got a Dell AMD 7970M Card and before i start upgrading my M17X R2 i wanted to go over a few things and i hope you can help me.

Flashing the VBios. I thiught this would be simple but the more i read into it the more confused i get. I have the stock A10 VBios and i have read in places that this will work and in other places that it wont. Could someone just clarify what bios i need and then, if you would be so kind, give step by step instructions on how do do it.

Card Drivers. Do i need modded ones or are the official DELL drivers OK? Links would be greatly appreciated.

Other than that i am about ready to go. This isnt the first time i have upgraded a GPU but this is the first time it has been this complicated. I really hope you guys can help me out.

Thanks!!

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Welcome to T|I Samariton :)

It's not complicated at all. Your motherboard BIOS is not important with regards to the 7970M installation and the stock A10 will accept your card just fine without issue.

What does affect your installation is the model of 7970M. Dell cards like the one you purchased has HDMi sound and video as opposed to the CLEVO card which only has HDMi video. DisplayPort does not work with both cards. Fan control is automated with a CLEVO card and you will have to use HWinfo to control your fans with your Dell card.

You can use the latest drivers from AMD without modification. This has all been covered in various threads though. The most comprehensive of them all is this one which should address all your questions. A lot of the info is geared towards running CrossFire but it covers your needs as well.

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Thanks, just a few things have got me worried. In that guide it is mentioned that "Dell cards are restricted to being released with vBios versions up to and including 015.021. 015.022 vBios cards are not supported (the machine will fail to Post) nor can they be downflashed (Attempting to do so will brick the card)." Well on the back of my card is written a bios number of 015.022.000. Is this going to be a problem going forward?

It also mentions "- Prepare, in advance, a USB stick preloaded with FreeDOS and the AMD 7970m modded vBios pack provided by svl7 over at TechInferno. This is an absolute requirement. Do not avoid this. There are very big chances that your cards may require bios reflash to work in your machine, and not having access to these vBios'es will cripple you and ruin your experience. (Alternatively, you can try the experimental vBios extracted from AlienHack's ES card, which helped fix a few compatibility problems in some cases)" does this mean that I will need to perform a vBios flash and should I do that before or after I have installed the card?

Forgive my lack of knolage around the subject.

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So I went ahead with the upgrade. I managed to find a lot of the answers to my questions in the guide if I looked hard enough and I installed the card according to the guide. I am now experiencing a stability problem. My laptop now crashes and powers down completely. approximately 10min after I power it up. The GPU hasn't gotten hot in anyway and as far as I can tell everything is running fine so I can't see where the problem is. Can you give me some advice? Thanks.

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So I went ahead with the upgrade. I managed to find a lot of the answers to my questions in the guide if I looked hard enough and I installed the card according to the guide. I am now experiencing a stability problem. My laptop now crashes and powers down completely. approximately 10min after I power it up. The GPU hasn't gotten hot in anyway and as far as I can tell everything is running fine so I can't see where the problem is. Can you give me some advice? Thanks.

What are the max temps that you saw? There were initial reports of the Dell card shutting down the laptop around 80C-85C but none recently so I assume it was resolved somehow.

My suggestion would be to relook at the card's heatsink installation. Download GPUshark and post up a screenprint of the detailed view so we have more info.

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So... I had a look at my heatsink installation and it seemed ok but I reapplied the thermal paste just the be sure and now the display doesn't function properly. There are lines all across the screen. The best was to describe it is it has the a presence of the picture being broken. Not sure what to do about it but needless to say I am petrified that I have broken something. I used all the ESD precautions I could. I work in an electronics factory so I have a good idea of the risks. Any tips of how to continue? Or am I looking at the worlds most expensive paper weight?

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I would check your card installation again. Make sure it is seated properly in the slot. Also look at the card from the side and make sure the heatsink is making proper contact with the GPU die on all sides.

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Yea, i totally noobed the whole thing up but its fixed now. Got the GPU running nicely thanks to some pointers from a guy who does this often and the temp seems stable. I have, however, experienced a cut out due to the temp increasing too high and i was wondering what tips you could offer to help keep my laptop a bit cooler? I have already got a cooling tray and i have got HWinfo but i am not sure how to use that to control the fans. Thanks for all you help as well,very happy with my new GPU :)

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Glad you got it working :)

Check out the author's post here for instructions on how to set the fan control using HWinfo. Play around with it till you find the perfect settings for your setup.

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Hi Samariton, I am using the same vbios dell 7970m but can only get external display to work and not my rgb led. Which vbios did you flash on your 7970m? Or did your stock vbios work fine?

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Welcome to T|I Samariton :)

It's not complicated at all. Your motherboard BIOS is not important with regards to the 7970M installation and the stock A10 will accept your card just fine without issue.

What does affect your installation is the model of 7970M. Dell cards like the one you purchased has HDMi sound and video as opposed to the CLEVO card which only has HDMi video. DisplayPort does not work with both cards. Fan control is automated with a CLEVO card and you will have to use HWinfo to control your fans with your Dell card.

You can use the latest drivers from AMD without modification. This has all been covered in various threads though. The most comprehensive of them all is this one which should address all your questions. A lot of the info is geared towards running CrossFire but it covers your needs as well.

Nospheratu im confused as much as this guy i read the same page as him ive read mulitple things all over the internet thru google and it just gets more confusing.

I have a m17x-r2 with 5870 i want to upgrade to a single 7970 there is one for sale it says amd wimbledon v1.1 2g vbios:015.024.000.001 if i put this into my laptop i assume it will have hdmi working but it will require hwinfo to manually run the fan and it will crash when unplugging the charger from the laptop and the other things notebook review mentioned? That same page also mentioned flashing it to Clevo vbios wont fix the automatic fan issue and someone would need a motherboard hack, however there is no link to the motherboard hack on that page?

I've already spent hours reading/watching videos on youtube/searching google

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Nospheratu im confused as much as this guy i read the same page as him ive read mulitple things all over the internet thru google and it just gets more confusing.

I have a m17x-r2 with 5870 i want to upgrade to a single 7970 there is one for sale it says amd wimbledon v1.1 2g vbios:015.024.000.001 if i put this into my laptop i assume it will have hdmi working but it will require hwinfo to manually run the fan and it will crash when unplugging the charger from the laptop and the other things notebook review mentioned? That same page also mentioned flashing it to Clevo vbios wont fix the automatic fan issue and someone would need a motherboard hack, however there is no link to the motherboard hack on that page?

I've already spent hours reading/watching videos on youtube/searching google

Welcome to T|I steven :) The card that you mentioned seems to be a CLEVO card. With CLEVO cards and the M17X R2 only HDMi video works. HDMi audio does not work as the AMD HDMi Audio device is not detected.

CLEVO cards have automatic fan control on our machines. The guide that you looked refers to Dell cards which are much more common and need HWinfo to control fans on the M17X R2. That said, I would avoid purchasing the v1.1 CLEVO card as that has other issues related to bluescreens when using the vBIOS that is compatible with the M17x R2 RGB screen. Try and find the v1.2 2G hardware version. Ask the seller if they have stock of the v1.2 version or are able to source it for you.

There is no motherboard hack to get the fans working as far as I know and I doubt there is. Our machines are ancient now and as a result theres hardly any interest in new mods. As an example the unlocked A10 BIOS has been abandoned ages ago even though not all of the features work.

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Welcome to T|I steven :) The card that you mentioned seems to be a CLEVO card. With CLEVO cards and the M17X R2 only HDMi video works. HDMi audio does not work as the AMD HDMi Audio device is not detected.

CLEVO cards have automatic fan control on our machines. The guide that you looked refers to Dell cards which are much more common and need HWinfo to control fans on the M17X R2. That said, I would avoid purchasing the v1.1 CLEVO card as that has other issues related to bluescreens when using the vBIOS that is compatible with the M17x R2 RGB screen. Try and find the v1.2 2G hardware version. Ask the seller if they have stock of the v1.2 version or are able to source it for you.

There is no motherboard hack to get the fans working as far as I know and I doubt there is. Our machines are ancient now and as a result theres hardly any interest in new mods. As an example the unlocked A10 BIOS has been abandoned ages ago even though not all of the features work.

The seller on ebay told me it is a Clevo card. Unfortunately I do not see a v1.2 version available. I suppose i wouldnt be able to flash the v1.1 to v1.2 as it seems you are implying its a hardware not software thing? I am looking at cards on ebay, but also trying to be price effective as theyre oold cards but still expensive... I have a 150 watt power supply currently do you think that would be enough to power 1 7970m ?

Will the v1.1 7970m for sure work as soon as i put it in, no having to flash anything?

Would a 8970m be a viable option?

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The seller on ebay told me it is a Clevo card. Unfortunately I do not see a v1.2 version available. I suppose i wouldnt be able to flash the v1.1 to v1.2 as it seems you are implying its a hardware not software thing? I am looking at cards on ebay, but also trying to be price effective as theyre oold cards but still expensive... I have a 150 watt power supply currently do you think that would be enough to power 1 7970m ?

Will the v1.1 7970m for sure work as soon as i put it in, no having to flash anything?

Would a 8970m be a viable option?

Yes the v1.1 I was referring to is the hardware revision. I would rather you purchase a Dell card than the v1.1 CLEVO. If you want more detailed information send a PM to TR2N on the notebookreview forums who is running a CLEVO 7970M v1.1 card in his M17x R2.

The reason why these cards are still expensive is because the newer 8970M and R9 M290X are rebrands of the same chip used in the 7970M.

I think you should get away with the 150W PSU if you running your CPU/GPU stock as they normally exceed their specs. What CPU are you using at the moment?

the v1.1 is not plug and play like the v.1.2. There is a specific vBIOS you have to use and even then you get white screen with our RGB screens occasionally which can only be resolved by plugging in an external monitor. Again, contact TR2N from notebookreview forums for more detail.

I would avoid the 8970M as theres not much M17x R2 users with it so troubleshooting will be an issue.

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As I own a simliar Alienware, all I did install the card into the laptop and it worked you need to remember to install it properly and also use a psu with 180w or higher (if you want to overclock) otherwise you might have bottlenecks. When I put the card in it worked without any issues, didn't need to modify drivers, nothing. It just worked.

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