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Everything posted by Robbo

  1. Maybe it's not just the vBIOS that's important, maybe Alienware will release a new system BIOS. Perhaps that will be the key to getting the 980M's to work super reliably in the Alienwares.
  2. What a nightmare you had! Yep, if it ain't broke don't fix it, stay with what you've got - you've had too many issues to bother getting Windows 10 to work for no real benefit! I don't know if the sound driver I linked will work with Windows 7 - it's a Windows 8 driver - but as you say, if it ain't broke don't fix it so I'd leave your sound drivers alone if they're working as you want.
  3. I found it a bit of a headache upgrading to Windows 10 from Win 7. The in-place upgrade didn't work properly - black screen - had to do a Reset using the USB Windows 10 installation media. I did a backup image of my Win 7 OS partition using Macrium Reflect before upgrading to Win 10, so I could put everything back to how it was without any fuss if I wanted to. After the Reset Windows 10 worked ok but still needed some tweaking to sort various cold boot issues - see post #440 & post #442. If you're not willing to have to tinker with your laptop again, then I wouldn't recommend upgrading to Window 10 - for gaming DX12 games probably aren't going to start coming out till sometime next year, and I think I read there's only 2 DX12 games slated for 2016. EDIT: your sound issues, you might have to do the same installation process on Win 10 to get it to work - I don't know.
  4. Note I'm having some cold boot low GPU performance at the moment due to PCIex1 rather than PCIex16, which is fixed by a restart (warm boot). However, I've updated to the latest Windows 10 IMEI drivers and it seems that now only half the time I have Cold Boot Low GPU Performance. Will be experimenting with different intel chipset drivers to see if that improves the situation. Note that a restart solves the problem, so it's not a massive problem, but is an inconvenience. Yes, I think you can disable driver signing enforcement the same as Windows 8 (although don't have Windows 8 to check). There is a good way though to get the legacy boot menu back - accessed by pressing the F8 key repeatedly during boot (which enables you to select Disable Driver Signing Enforcement quickly & easily for that particular one boot), you run an elevated command prompt and type the following which will bring back the legacy boot menu: bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
  5. +135Mhz is about 850Mhz on the core right? If that's the case, then you could probably get another 150Mhz to break the 1Ghz barrier using one of the unlocked vBIOS on here if your temperatures are ok. You'll have to do the testing to find stable settings of course, just like you've done with your current OC. I think it's worth doing, but you want to see definitely less than 90 degC on your GPUs, and hopefully less than 80 degC.
  6. I don't have the 780M, but I do have a non-standard GPU in this laptop (the 670MX), and I managed to upgrade sucessfully to Windows 10 from Windows 7. It wasn't without issue though. The in-place upgrade only worked for me by running the setup.exe (from within Windows 7) from Windows 10 USB installation media created at the following link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10. Even then, it wasn't without issue: I was greeted by a black screen after updating, and could only access the PC by Ctrl-Alt-Del, Windows Task Manager, and then right clicking on a Process to 'Open File Location' - the desktop was just a black screen & non-responsive. I managed to do a Reset though of the operating system by starting up with the USB Installation Media I had created - at which point I chose Reset and Retain Personal Data. So, that erased all my programs, but kept my data - meant I had to reinstall all my programs, but it's working flawlessly since then. Obviously I had to disable Driver Signing Enforcement & then install the NVidia driver with a modified inf, but it's working well now. So, I'm expecting that you'd be able to install Win 10, but you might have issues with an in-place upgrade. Note also that I lost control of the Alienware lights, I haven't bothered to try to install Alienware Command Centre to see if I can control the lights - my keyboard lighting setup has remained from my previous install, so I don't want to change it anyway - quite possible that I could install Alienware Command Centre & regain control, but I'm not interested in that. (Using drivers for all hardware components that Win 10 installed automatically, apart from NVidia driver, and I decided to install the latest Killer Wireless driver (now Win 10 approved)). EDIT: Alienware Command Centre does work, but use the Win 8 version from the M17xR4. You can find the link at the following post: M17XR3 IDT Windows 8 Driver v. Maxx Audio 3 + Quality | NotebookReview You can also install the IDT drivers from that post too. Also note that I was having cold boot issues with Windows 10, but I found out how to fix that, make sure you have Fast Start-Up disabled in the Power Options, see following screeshot for where you disable Fast Start-Up:
  7. The vBIOS is not related to fan control. Your fan control is determined through the EC & BIOS I believe. I'm surprised to hear you're knocking up against the TDP limits in the vBIOS. When I used Kepler BIOS Tweaker to look at the svl7 vBIOS that I'm using (out of curiosity), I saw that the TDP limit had been changed to about 145W if I remember rightly. If that's also the case for your 770M I don't think you'd be knocking up against that.
  8. I've been using my Kepler GPU at 1.05V for 2 years now, no issues. I wouldn't want to use more than 1.1V if I was you, if you can keep it in the 70's or below.
  9. Haha, well hopefully you got a good deal on it at least! ;-)
  10. You might be out of luck considering you've got the 4GB version of the 8970M. I don't think the 7970M ever came in a 4GB variant, therefore flashing a 7970M 2GB vBIOS to your 4GB card could well brick your card I think. If you had the 8970M 2GB variant, then I think it would have been safer to flash it to a 7970M 2GB. If you like, see if you can find examples of 7970M 4GB cards, but I don't think they exist - if you could find a 7970M 4GB vBIOS then you could probably try flashing that (pretty sure they don't exist though!).
  11. Right, that's a pity it's still not working after following those instructions. I don't know what else to suggest, I hope some other people reading this will be able to offer some ideas or help.
  12. The M17xR4 shipped with 7970M as a standard option, and the 8970M is effectively a 7970M with a slightly higher core clock, so perhaps you could try flashing the 8970M to a 7970M using a 7970M vBIOS. Then perhaps it will be compatible with your M17xR4, then you can just overclock it a bit to get the 8970M performance. Make sure you've got the same amount of VRAM though as the 7970M vBIOS you're going to flash, and if I was you I'd also check for examples where people have flashed from 8970M down to 7970M just to be certain there's no problems doing so - can't imagine there would be though as they're the same chip (make sure same amount of VRAM though).
  13. Ah, you're right, my mistake, I got confused with IGD (that needs to be disabled in the BIOS - that turns off the Intel iGPU). This is the guide to follow for installing 780M in M17xR3 (post #92 at following thread): Alienware M17x R3 460M to 780M - Questions/Concerns | Page 10 | NotebookReview (Maybe you need to reinstall the IDT drivers if you're having strange problems with games freezing when IDT is enabled).
  14. You're supposed to have IDT disabled - that's the onboard Intel iGPU.
  15. You only need a modified vBIOS for overclocking really, so you might not need to flash another vBIOS to you K5100M. You might just need to use a modified inf to install the NVidia drivers.
  16. I don't think I've ever seen anyone test a Maxwell GPU (eg 980M/970M) in an M17xR2. It's possible that Maxwell just aren't compatible for whatever reason. For instance, Maxwell are not compatible with M17xR3 - won't POST. Maxwell is compatible with the old M15x though. If your system is heavily related to the M15x in terms of when the product was released and the way the BIOS and system is set up, then I think you've got a good chance of getting Maxwell to work in your machine - could just be incompatible though. I'm not convinced a different vBIOS is going to fix it for you. If anything I would think that your BIOS settings and other factors might be more important in getting it to work. For instance, Maxwell in dedicated GPU mode (No Optimus) will only work on M17xR4, A17, and M18xR2 if you have Windows 8, disk GPT partitioned, and within a 'pure' UEFI environment (no legacy boot option selected) - so these Maxwell GPUs can be very specifically incompatible or compatible based on very specific factors and settings. The factors needed to get a Maxwell GPU to work in your M17xR2 might be very specific as well, that's even if it is gonna be compatible - just letting you know what I've learned in case it can help you at all or give you some ideas.
  17. Might not be worth trying the svl7 980M vBIOS if you're getting good overclocked performance with no throttling from the Prema version. I think there's the ability to overvolt/overclock/unlocked sliders on both versions (certainly on the svl7 version anyway).
  18. SkyDiver seems ok when I compare it to my score. Padding up diagram is fine, although I also padded the red cross marked section (but apparently you don't have to pad that area - but I padded it anyway) - the thickness of the pads is not stipulated in that diagram, so you just have to work out the correct thicknesses yourself, which you probably did. So, are you saying you don't have an issue with your 780M anymore? Your SkyDiver score is fine as far as I can see. Are you still getting the strange freezes during Windows startup & occasional crashes when running games & benchmarks?
  19. I'm not sure which diagram you're referring to, but the diagram is only going to be applicable for pad thickness & position if you've got the same heatsink as the person who created the diagram. I don't know if that's the case. The only parts on the back of the GPU that need to be covered are the VRAM chips that surround the core - I used an x-bracket which had a little padded heatsink sticking off from it to cover 1 bank of VRAM chips, then I re-used the thermal pad that is on the motherboard to contact the 2nd bank of VRAM chips. You might want to check everywhere is padded up properly, you might see little indentations in the pad which will help you verify that they're making contact.
  20. Try using a different NVidia driver. Some NVidia drivers went through a period of blocking overclocking - try the latest NVidia driver on the NVidia website. (Although it may have just blocked Maxwell GPUs, eg 980M, but can't remember exactly, but might be worth trying a different NVidia driver anyway).
  21. Hi, it's strange to hear you say that it freezes when booting up, but then you say you can get into Windows, how can it do both? Does it sometimes freeze forever on that white screen unless you reboot, or does it just freeze for a while & then eventually continue to load into Windows? The fact that you can run Heaven Benchmark, but then get these crashes with different colour screens - it sounds like a hardware problem to me, like the card is losing stability. I'm thinking that maybe the card is not padded up properly and some of the components on the card are overheating & then causing instability - I think this because your core temperatures are OK, the other components on the card such as the VRMs do not have temperature sensors so those components could be overheating. I suggest you double check your heatsink padding, making sure that all chips are contacted & covered.
  22. Sounds super good - I want a Clevo!
  23. Excellent, looks like you've got a good chip for overclocking! Will be interesting to see how far you can go with a 330W at stock voltage (assuming the +170Mhz you have now is not the max stable - from your post sounds like you're limiting the core overclock due to the small power brick).
  24. Well, you can use 0.5mm pads & stack them, but you probably get better heat transfer efficiency by stacking 1mm pads, because then you don't need to stack to so many together, and the interface join between each pad would decrease heat transfer slightly I would think. I didn't need to use 0.5mm pads anywhere, apart from leaving the existing 0.5mm pads in the same position, and I think I stacked a few 1mm pads on top of the 0.5mm pads in some areas, can't remember exactly. The 0.5mm pads are the ones that were in contact the with the big square raised inductors.
  25. Hi, make sure you're following the procedure than j95 outlined in Post #92 at the following thread: Alienware M17x R3 460M to 780M - Questions/Concerns | Page 10 | NotebookReview Hopefully that will fix the issue.
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