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Trabant Dave

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About Trabant Dave

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  • Birthday 03/13/1959
  1. Still loving my AW17 Ranger Hangman33; I have recently done some upgrades but will sadly 'move on' from AW when it's time to change machines; the reason for this is the move towards 'consumer' rather than 'enthusiast' buyers which is apparent with the recent 2015 models which are far less upgradeable than the Ranger. I'm in the UK and had a HORRIBLE customer support experience which was resolved only when it was escalated to the President of Dell EMEA; the outcome was more than satisfactory and I love the aesthetics of the AW range, however, the likely future for me will most likely be a plainer, chunkier Clevo - simply because part of the experience for me is upgrading, tuning, improving my machine - which seems now to be a thing of the past with AW, which is really sad.
  2. Thanks runix18; I now have a 10.4cfm fan, and waiting for a spare 17R1 fan so that any butchery will not be of great consequence - thanks for the guide link!
  3. Thanks @runix18, I'll order one of those and give it a go! Regards Dave
  4. @runix18 Would you post the part number of your 10cfm fan here please? I'd like to try one on my AW17, not too bothered about the fan pitch as my hearing is rubbish anyway :-) Thanks Dave
  5. The 4930mx was on German eBay at 450EUR as a new tray item; that is in non-retail packaging and equates to 323.00GBP, and the 4900mx was a used item at 350.00EUR which at todays rate is 258.00GBP, so considering the MX is new and the MQ used, I thought the extra cost well-worth it! @KCPTECH Thanks for the info re R2 cooling fans; I'll seek one out and butcher it appropriately! PS Do you have the Dell part number for the R2 fan? I've had a Google sesh but no luck.......
  6. I've bought the MX but it's not arrived yet - I'm in the UK and the CPU is coming from Germany.....currently it's with DHL! What thermal compound have you used? I've been recommended to use Liquid Ultra and opinion seems to be that whilst tricky to apply it is unbeatable; if you are using something else perhaps consider a repaste with Liquid Ultra or the other favourite IC Diamond. My paste of choice previously was Gelid Extreme but someone of some knowledge of these substances said that if you intend even a mild overclock it would not be up to the job, so I'll keep the Gelid for GPU repastes. Obviously choice of thermal compound is a subjective thing but having done a bit of homework the L.U. seems to be a popular choice if you want to 'set the beast loose'! 97c does seem a little high to me........
  7. Thanks runix18, I've done the dirty deed and sprung for the mx, as I do like the ability to tweak the CPU and for the sake of 75 quid I thought if I went for the 4900 I would suffer the dread buyers remorse (why didn't I.....?)
  8. Seeking a bit of advice regarding potential CPU upgrades; I have the AW17 R1 (Ranger) with the i7 4710MQ processor and GTX880M card. My main use of the machine is to run the CPU-dependent MS FSX Gold Flight Simulator with a fair number of aftermarket add-ons that are pretty demanding, and Raliworks TS2015, (which is also a CPU hog) again with some quite complex add-ons. I have two options open to me with regard to processor upgrades, an i7 4900mq or an i7 4930mx. Both are used items with guarantee, and the cost difference is that the 4930mx is +75 GBP compared to the 4900mq, or about $113 USD. So good people, which way would your decision go, and why......?
  9. The problem with baby wipes is not the alcohol content; I've been using a substance sold in the UK as a telephone cleaner which is a dilute of Isopropyl alcohol. Used only occasionally on a soft multifibre cloth it's great for removing greasy fingerprints and build up of dirt. The damaging content of some babywipes are lanolin, which is a greasy substance derived from sheep wool, and also used in fabric softeners, and probably even worse in terms of damage to laptop components are a group of chemicals called Phtalates, which are plastic softeners.......... If the R3 has a 'soft-touch' coating applied, this has likely been degraded by phthalates and is probably unrepairable. You could try using a dilute Isopropyl/water mix a soft lint-free cloth - nothing to lose really there if you have sourced a replacement! As regards a how-to - have a look on the Dell site here: Product Support | Dell US You'll see there is a service manual that give a step-by-step on stripping and rebuilding the R3 Hope this helps! Dave
  10. It's very sad but the 'enthusiasts' (and by that I mean the type of person who swaps out CPUs GPUs drives etc etc ) are a tiny minority, even of AW owners - I would imagine that the massive minority see AW as a brand, in the same way that they see Adidas, Converse, Burberry et al. The fact is, AW is nothing more than a brand now that can be sold, resold and resold again, as the hardware becomes too outmoded to use - after all, Dell will sell the brand-conscious buyer a new AW every 3/4 years, whereas there's people here who still own cherish and upgrade their six-year-old M17x, and probably being more savvy don't pay Dell prices for components...... In reality, there is very little profit for Dell in continuing to manufacture machines with any notable upgradeability versus flogging a brand-new sealed-for-life unit every three years. Much as I love the aesthetic of the Alienware, my wife would beat every last shred of life from my vile body if I spend the kind of money it would cost to be on the leading, bleeding edge of Dellianware technology every other year or so, so I'll be building a gaming desktop over the next year, buying the best I can afford, and when the 17 finally dies, I'll be looking at a Clevo - possibly some sort of barebone unit that I can spruce up over a period.
  11. I don't think that there is any benefit in a sequential 'downgrade' as the whole BIOS is erased and rewritten; in fact the chances of anything bad happening would multiply by a factor of YxZ (where Y is the chances of badness and Z the number of times you rewrite the BIOS!) OK, the chances of a bad write are small, providing you follow the instructions to the letter; maybe you should revert the A14 bios to default - and write down the settings if you have a poor memory like me! And be sure to have the UEFI thing and RAID/AHCI settings correct or you could end up not being able to boot....... Hope this helps - maybe someone with more experience than me could give you more explicit instructions.... Regards Dave
  12. I know Bnosam from elsewhere and he has really had his patience tested - I also had issues with my first AW17 and this was only resolved by the intervention of someone at the top of the Dell EMEA tree, and up to that point it was a frustrating and demoralising process. I am fairly pleased with the outcome as regards what I had and the spec of the replacement unit but the stress I went through to achieve that result - Nah! Never again.... I'll keep the AW17 as long as it runs, do any upgrades that are worthwhile, and in the meantime start putting together a custom-build desktop; once that is built, run-in and performing to a satisfactory standard I'll put the Alien into semi-retirement - just use it to run a fish screensaver for the cat!!!!!! BTW - Hi Bnosam, how you doing there bud? Regards Trabant Dave
  13. I'm currently on my second AW17 Ranger ( the 2014 refresh with the GTX880M card ) after the original was butchered by a Dell tech subcontractor - but that's a story for another day! I mainly use Flight Simulator X Gold ( which I am pretty sure is more CPU-dependent ) and TS2105 which also seems to be more CPU dependent. I currently have a higher spec processor in the crosshairs; an i7 4910mq; my existing CPU being the i7 4710mq. Now the 4910 will cost me GBP 350,00 and I should be able to get GBP 175.00 for the 4710 meaning the cost to upgrade is 175 pounds..... I know that the 4910 has 9mb of on-chip L2 + L3 cache and the 4710 has only 7mb, and that the 4910 has a lot more instruction sets enabled, but in terms of real-world performance I know nothing! I'm interested in your opinions as to the value of the upgrade - is it a worthwhile move in any terms? The rest of the spec is as follows: Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate Core i7 4710MQ 16gb DDR3 Nvidia Geforce GTX 880M 512 gb SSD x2 256 gb mSATA Regards Dave
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