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Hawkeye

Looking to upgrade to a 780m SLI... m18x R1

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Hey all,

I'm looking to purchase 2 780m video cards for my m18x R1. The 780's are coming from a Alienware 18

Currently it's running a 2960xm with a 580m SLI setup.

Have a couple of questions that need answering:

  1. Will I be able to install them without modifying the vBIOS?
  2. Is updating the BIOS to the unlocked A05 BIOS all that is needed?
  3. Thermal wise, should I go purchase m18x R2 video card heat-sinks? Can I get away with just the ones I have now?
  4. Any suggestions for a shop for replacement thermal pads? Can reusing the existing ones be enough?
  5. Is the 330w power supply adequate enough to power both cards and CPU before considering overclocking options?
  6. The CPU is still using the stock pad (since I got it). The temperature from the CPU hasn't gone up to warrant a repaste. Should I repaste anyways?
  7. I'm using Artic Silver MX-2 for thermal grease. I assume this is more that sufficient for the above thermal paste jobs?

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Someone can correct me if I am wrong but ill try to answer a few of these.

1 should be plug and play I think being came from another Alienware.

2 using the unlocked bios is always good on the R1. You have access to a lot more and pertaining to gaming just one example is ability to turn of Bi-directional Prochot which can throttle gpu/cpu performance.

3 unsure you if they can drop right in from R2 but I would imagine they would ( still confirm fit)

4 I have reused thermal pads and dont often see degredation of their performance, reusing paste is always a no no on the other hand.

5 yes all stock you would have enough power to power SLI 780m + 2960xm all stock. overclocked will have to balance cpu and gpu clocks as completely maxed out 780m could exceed 330w power adapter with a somewhat overclocked cpu.

6 no i would leave cpu paste till it needs it, might get worse temps and have to repaste more than once to get it just right, better left alone till necessary if temps are good.

7 yeah mx-2 should be sufficient for 780m

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No dice. It was too costly in the end for me.

What about you? It looks like you successfully installed the video cards in your R1 Steve135...

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Yeah I did. Just got back from a little trip so I haven't been active on the forums. Got the 2960XM with 780 SLI. It runs cool enough, and didn't have any issues when I put the parts in. However after playing Far Cry 4 for a little while sometimes the power supply will kick off, and sometimes the game will just crash. I had thought this may have been due to the dodgy overseas power at the time but came back and my machines still doing it. I think the cards and chip may be to much for the power supply when being pushed, though it's funny to note that this doesn't happen in 3D Mark. Also the cards run pretty cool showing 75 deg temps at load with the fans running at about mid-range.

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Hmm, what PSU do you have? My r2 has a 330w and they run sweet. Given you have a 330w use GPUZ and log all temps and it saves to a text file rapidly so even if it does cut out you can see the temps moments before. Look at the core temps and the VRM's both are important. Also look if utilisation looks normal and that they aren't throttling if they aren't and all seems well yes I'd say power.

Maybe in that case use a VBIOS from SVL7 (SLV7) I can't remember his username properly yet lol and maybe undervolt the GPUs for now until you can maybe get a 330w compatible PSU

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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Yeah I did. Just got back from a little trip so I haven't been active on the forums. Got the 2960XM with 780 SLI. It runs cool enough, and didn't have any issues when I put the parts in. However after playing Far Cry 4 for a little while sometimes the power supply will kick off, and sometimes the game will just crash. I had thought this may have been due to the dodgy overseas power at the time but came back and my machines still doing it. I think the cards and chip may be to much for the power supply when being pushed, though it's funny to note that this doesn't happen in 3D Mark. Also the cards run pretty cool showing 75 deg temps at load with the fans running at about mid-range.

It's been a while since I caught up in this forum. Can you verify that 5.1 audio is still passed properly via HDMI when you hook your laptop up to a TV or receiver? I may have to accept the fate with a pair of 680m's instead if this is the case.

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Hello and sorry for posting this here.

Since I cant open a new thread.

I am not an advanced Pc Tech , I am just a simple user with a huge issue.

Which means I cant provide any useful tips to help so I can never reach 5 posts with the current policy and my lack of knowledge.

About my issue.

I own an Alienware m18x R1 and I too want to upgrade to a GTX 780m.

but first I want to ask everyone who knows and has the time to help to view these links, understand my issue

and help me if its possible providing a solution.

Black Screens , Insufficient Voltage Resets and all that stuff! | NotebookReview

That link above has the 2 links that sum up my problem.

Thanks for understanding and for your time.

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Hello, I am currently just ordered 2 x 780m sli from upgrademokey from ebay, in anticipation for Fallout 4. currently i have a a05 bios, but i am not sure it is unlocked, and i am upgrading from 580m sli. does it a real necessity to upgrade to a05 unlocked?

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It's been a while since I caught up in this forum. Can you verify that 5.1 audio is still passed properly via HDMI when you hook your laptop up to a TV or receiver? I may have to accept the fate with a pair of 680m's instead if this is the case.

Sorry, I can't verify that as I've only hooked it up to HDMI once and didn't use audio when I did.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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Hmm, what PSU do you have? My r2 has a 330w and they run sweet. Given you have a 330w use GPUZ and log all temps and it saves to a text file rapidly so even if it does cut out you can see the temps moments before. Look at the core temps and the VRM's both are important. Also look if utilisation looks normal and that they aren't throttling if they aren't and all seems well yes I'd say power.

Maybe in that case use a VBIOS from SVL7 (SLV7) I can't remember his username properly yet lol and maybe undervolt the GPUs for now until you can maybe get a 330w compatible PSU

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Yes I am using svl7's vbios, I've got all the parts for the psu upgrade now but still gotta find the time to do it. Work, family, business all get in the way of my inner geek, Lol. I'll post back when I get it done.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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Personally at this point I may have to accept my fate with a pair of 680m's in SLI instead. I do use my laptop hooked up to my receiver so I require the audio to come out properly via HDMI passthrough. The current methods with the 780m are not fully supported in that sense unless your able to prove otherwise 'Steve135'. Though I could route the audio through the optical, not everything works as expected especially when KODI comes to mind.

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Hello and sorry for posting this here.

Since I cant open a new thread.

I am not an advanced Pc Tech , I am just a simple user with a huge issue.

Which means I cant provide any useful tips to help so I can never reach 5 posts with the current policy and my lack of knowledge.

About my issue.

I own an Alienware m18x R1 and I too want to upgrade to a GTX 780m.

but first I want to ask everyone who knows and has the time to help to view these links, understand my issue

and help me if its possible providing a solution.

Black Screens , Insufficient Voltage Resets and all that stuff! | NotebookReview

That link above has the 2 links that sum up my problem.

Thanks for understanding and for your time.

Besides the 330w PSU and a little tweaking, R2 heatsinks (you can actually get away with R1's), new thermal pads, a new SLI cable (might as well, these cables do degrade over time), the 780m's will run SLI well as the power usage is identical to running SLI 680m's anyways.

That said, if you want to play it safe, the 680m's are pretty much plug n' play if the Dell BIOS is installed on them. But it really comes down to price at that point. Whichever way you go, just make sure you get a 4GB video card so you can be a little future proof in the event this is the last laptop you'll ever own.

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Personally at this point I may have to accept my fate with a pair of 680m's in SLI instead. I do use my laptop hooked up to my receiver so I require the audio to come out properly via HDMI passthrough. The current methods with the 780m are not fully supported in that sense unless your able to prove otherwise 'Steve135'. Though I could route the audio through the optical, not everything works as expected especially when KODI comes to mind.

Tell u what, I'll test it for you when I get a day off and let you know

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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So I finally got around to testing my rig for you @Hawkeye. I played a video that only contained a DTS Audio track (graphic below) and played it through HDMI to my living room receiver. It worked fine with the 780's. As an experiment I switched to the integrated graphics and tried again. Again the video worked fine with the receiver. Let me know if you want any more tests done.

post-32156-14495001190752_thumb.jpg

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So I finally got around to testing my rig for you @Hawkeye. I played a video that only contained a DTS Audio track (graphic below) and played it through HDMI to my living room receiver. It worked fine with the 780's. As an experiment I switched to the integrated graphics and tried again. Again the video worked fine with the receiver. Let me know if you want any more tests done.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16529[/ATTACH]

That was the answer I was looking for Steve135! Now the question is how am I going to get away with funding 2x 780m's... Maybe I should start with 1 for now.

Overall, power wise did you see a huge draw compared to before?

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Hello, I am currently just ordered 2 x 780m sli from upgrademokey from ebay, in anticipation for Fallout 4. currently i have a a05 bios, but i am not sure it is unlocked, and i am upgrading from 580m sli. does it a real necessity to upgrade to a05 unlocked?

Just occurred to me that I didn't reply to this message. Yeah I would highly recommend getting the lastest BIOS at the very least. Unlocked is better as it allows you access to hidden BIOS features that are not available on the stock one.

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That was the answer I was looking for Steve135! Now the question is how am I going to get away with funding 2x 780m's... Maybe I should start with 1 for now.

Overall, power wise did you see a huge draw compared to before?

Well I didn't measure the power draw before the upgrade but right now with everything at stock clocks, it pulls about 290-300W measured by my kill-a-watt meter during 3D Mark tests. The funny thing is every attempt to overclock my rig actually reduces it's performance so I'm thinking it's a power issue. I have all the parts to make the PSU upgrade now, I just need the free time :-). If your looking for a pair of 780m's I'd try the notebook review forums. They have a bunch of guys selling stuff and you can usually get better prices then ebay.

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