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Everything posted by Nospheratu

  1. Spending a large amount of money on a high end system is a big decision. Choosing the right retailer to partner with to make the purchase is crucial especially if you're shopping internationally. There's a lot of trust involved. I can honestly say I trust HIDevolution wholeheartedly. This review is for my second purchase from them and it's been 6 years apart yet their customer service is still second to none. When everything goes smoothly it's easy to view a retailer in good light. It's only when things go wrong that the real calibre of a company is revealed and HIDevolution is a shining beacon in this sea of incompetent, unfeeling imposters that promote "good customer service". They treat your order as if it were their own personal purchase. Ted and his team fought Dell's robotic representatives for 3 months after receiving a DOA refurbished Alienware 17 R4. They kept me updated almost on a daily basis throughout this ordeal and managed to push for a brand new system replacement as well as a warranty extension. Would I make a purchase from Dell again after experiencing Dell's nonsensical and incompetent customer service? Yes I would, but only if it is through HIDevolution. It's comforting to know that as an HIDevolution customer you could be anywhere in the world and have someone in the US that cares about excellent customer service in your corner. Ted, I know I've said this numerous times before but THANK YOU. Thank you for providing international PC enthusiasts with HIDevolution's exceptional services. Your work ethic and communication is a benchmark that every company out there should aspire to.
  2. Yes! sorry about that. Edited accordingly. You can purchase them from their online shop here. I purchased mine through a group buy organised by a few members on NBR but I'm sure someone can organize a group buy on T|I.
  3. Indium Heatspring. It's not a paste but it's the best TIM for laptops imho, as you never have to replace it and performance never degrades. Negatives are that it's not easy to purchase since its sold in bulk and is expensive. I'm using it on my CPU and GPU's and performance is still the same as the day I installed it (more than a year on my CPU).
  4. Your HDMi should work, it worked for me. I'm saying that when you do use it, it might be detected as you using your DisplayPort. But before you do that I would suggest you update your motherboard BIOS to the latest if you have not done so already. From what I understand the P370EM supports the 7970M Crossfire configuration officially so you shouldnt be having these issues. It would be interesting to note what your graphic cards are doing when you're running in Crossfire mode. You can open two instances of GPU-Z, one for each card and enable logging. Then play the game and exit and see what your cards are doing. It could be that for some reason your cards aren't really running in full 3D mode settings when in Crossfire.
  5. Sorry for the delay in response @ozi87. Welcome to T|I Yes you can, I have also tried P370EM vBIOS's on my machine that's why I think it will work fine (CLEVO 7970M v1.2 in CrossFire). However I think your Display Port and HDMi might be swapped around since this is based on the P270WM vBIOS. The P370EM is also Non-Enduro so you should not have any problems. Btw, 15.10 beta is out. You probably had a Dell vBIOS loaded on the card hence the force flash. It's normal to force flash between different vendors vBIOS versions. The "Subvendor: Dell" will always appear as GPU-Z read's your motherboard data to populate this field. I can understand it's misleading but flashing a vBIOS won't change this value since you have an Alienware M17x (Dell).
  6. Sorry for the delay in response @Gibbynator. This is a driver mod so it's highly unlikely it will help alleviate what seems to be vBIOS incompatibilities which I assume you are experiencing before getting into Windows. Some CLEVO 7970M users experienced white screen issues but it was resolved by using a specific vBIOS. I'm uncertain about the RAM, I haven't researched the upgrade as I dont really have use for more than 8GB at the moment. I do know most users that use 16GB on our machines are using Corsair Vengeance or Kingston HyperX. Bear in mind it will only run at 1333Mhz. If you are considering upgrading to gain gaming performance have a look at this article. Asking me for my opinion is going to get you a very biased answer since I still think this is an incredible laptop especially considering its age and feature set and I honestly dont know what I would replace it with if it ever had to die on me. That said, a lot of blood, sweat, tears, time and money is involved trying to keep it current. If you're not planning to install a 920/940XM and run Crossfire in the M17xR2 I would say upgrade to the most powerful single GPU laptop you can afford. Last I checked the 9X0XM's are going for around half your budget, so it might make more sense to purchase a proper single GPU laptop. Avoid the AMD CPU's though, they can hinder GPU performance.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Sorry for replying so late marc87us. It's been quite a while since I did these mods so I'm a bit rusty but I'll help where I can. Yes, to my knowledge Dell cards do not cause any issues to the RGB screen on our machines. Please bear in mind though, that a substantial amount of time has passed since the initial mod so newer revisions of the cards may have come out which could change things. Clevo cards do not have this limit. Actually theres very few Dell users reporting this as well apart from the initial reports, so its either the cards are running really cool or Dell has fixed it in a newer vBIOS or card revision. Again, I'm just thumb sucking. My cards only go above 80c on a very few games. Granted I havent played a new game in a while. Crysis 3 at 1200p, high settings and very high textures still stresses these cards to the point where my average temps are in the 80's. The last game I played was Metro LL and the cards never went over 80c. I hope this helps.
  10. As mentioned in the my PM, I do not know of anyone who sells modified 330W power supplies. I would suggest buying a normal Dell 330W and speaking to a local electrician to modify the PSU for you. You can show him the PSU modification guide so he knows exactly what to do. Any good electrician will be able to do it. It is possible as the ID chip is tiny but the ferrite choke is there for a reason to reduce interference. Do we really need it on a power cable? That I'm afraid I cannot say for certain as this is not my area of expertise. I left mine in place and used another cable as I mentioned in the guide.
  11. The vBIOS in the OP was built specifically for the CLEVO 7970M v1.2 card and to be used in a non-enduro laptop. Some users have reported success with Dell cards but that was with an M17xR2. I'm sorry i coudlnt be of more help.
  12. Lol, I'm also running out of things to tinker with. At this point I dont think I will change this machine, I still haven't seen a worthy successor. The new nVIDIA mobile cards are really impressive though. I've actually stopped using the Dolby effects as it sounds too processed at times. It doesnt help that the TactX headset has its own customised soundscape. Although the bass isnt as bad on the TactX as I thought it would be, its definitely not well suited for music.
  13. I've managed to get the Dolby Home Theater v4 application working on our machines. If you need a change from the boring IDT control panel you can find the thread here.
  14. Dolby Home Theater v4 - M17x R2 and IDT High Definition Audio So I decided I needed a headset with a mic and I'm a sucker for matching peripherals so I set my sights on the TactX headset (Rebranded SteelSeries 5HV2). There's some pretty appalling reviews of it online but I have to try them out for myself. One of the "problem" areas is an apparent lack of bass since its tuned for FPS gaming. In preparation I figured I should get some sound enhancement software. I've been using the Dolby Home Theater v4 application on my HTPC with a Xonar DX soundcard and its very effective particularly with movies and it's volume leveler feature. All processing effects can be switched off for music by just switching profiles using a handy system tray utility so its very convenient to use. You can read more about it on Dolby's official page. System Tray Utility I'm not sure if many users are still soldiering on with the M17x R2 but heres a fix if you wanted the use the Dolby Home Theater v4 application. Support for the IDT High Definition controller used in this machine is non-existant. The only driver I could use was the one's directly from Dell (apart from this Dolby Driver) so I hope this is of some help to fellow M17x R2 users who are looking for more customisable sound. I've replicated my steps a few times and I'm fairly certain should work without isue on an Alienware M17x R2 with Windows 8.1 as that's what I'm using. You could give it a try if you have an onboard IDT HD Audio card as well. Fixing the INF for use with an IDT High Definition Audio sound card 1. Uninstall all audio applications/drivers and reboot. Windows should install the default "High Definition Audio" driver. 2. Download the installation files from here. Extract the rar. 3. Extract the "Dolby PCEE Drivers.msi" installation file using msiexec and the command line. eg... msiexec /a "C:\Dolby PCEE Drivers.msi" /qb TARGETDIR="C:\Extracted Dolby PCEE Drivers" 4. Using the above extraction path as reference, go to C:\Extracted Dolby PCEE Drivers\Dolby PCEE Drivers\Drivers64\Release. You should see a file called PCEE4-DHT.INF 5. Open the file and find and replace all occurances of HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_11D1 with HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_111D. Save and close. 5.1 Optional depending on whether you're running Windows 8.1. Reboot with Driver signing off. ie. Hold down Shift when clicking Restart. Select Troubleshoot->Advanced Options->Startup Settings. Click Restart. Once the machine reboots press F7 at the Startup Settings screen to Disable driver signature enforcement. 6. Go back to the extracted Dolby PCEE Drivers folder and run "Dolby PCEE Drivers.msi". Select the "DHT(release)" driver. You should be prompted on whether to install the driver or not, select Install. Your drivers should now be installed. If you're using another machine (not an M17xR2) with IDT HD Audio and can hear a marked difference in sound when you go to your Playback Device's properties and switch between the Dolby profiles on the Dolby tab you can go ahead and install the "Dolby Home Theater v4.msi" application. If you do not have the Dolby Tab under your speaker playback device and have the Enhancements Tab instead read on. At this point if I plugged in a pair of Headphones into the 2nd or 3rd audio jacks, the Headphones properties under Playback Devices contained the Dolby Tab and the Dolby effects were working with the headphone playback devices. Enabling the Dolby Tab and effects on the Speaker Playback Device 1. Open regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices\Audio\Render. There should be multiple entries here. Expand the entries and look for the ones with both "FxProperties" and "Properties" keys. To identify the Speakers playback device one of the "Properties" key values will have a string value called "{a45c254e-df1c-4efd-8020-67d146a850e0},2" with a data value of "Speakers". We're interested in the "FxProperties" key above this "Properties" key. 2. Under this "FxProperties" key, delete all values apart from (Default). 3. Copy and paste the below to Notepad making sure to change ****** to the name of the parent key of that particular "FxProperties" key. eg. Mines was called {36018a56-954a-437d-8bdb-0b6bbf830dbc}. The name will vary as it changes with every driver install. Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices\Audio\Render\*********************\FxProperties] "{b725f130-47ef-101a-a5f1-02608c9eebac},10"="Dolby PCEE4" "{d04e05a6-594b-4fb6-a80d-01af5eed7d1d},3"="{C53E5AAF-5F6F-41c2-9F63-ADEBBC9B6B64}" "{d04e05a6-594b-4fb6-a80d-01af5eed7d1d},0"="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" "{d04e05a6-594b-4fb6-a80d-01af5eed7d1d},1"="{BC8E3B67-3306-4eef-B230-6798E9A67F0B}" "{1da5d803-d492-4edd-8c23-e0c0ffee7f0e},5"=dword:00000000 3. Run this reg file and select yes when prompted on whether you want to add this information to the registry. If you have a look at the same "FxProperties" key again you will notice the above values have been added. 4. Reboot the machine. 5. You should now have Dolby effects working on your speaker device. Install the "Dolby Home Theater v4.msi" and you're done! Notes: The effects are only really worth while if you're using headphones, the M17x R2's speakers aren't that good. So this exercise is a bit pointless really. I'm not a fan of processed sound but what really annoyed me was that the effects only worked when the Headphones were plugged in. Hopefully some of you guys enjoy it. Credits: I'd like to thank @fr33jack from guru3d forums for providing the install files on his post here and @epguy19 also from guru3D for pointing out the flaw in the drivers INF for the IDT device ID on his post here. I'd also like to thank @erp-ster7n from the laptopvideo2go forums for the insight into the enhancement tab mods with his post here. DISCLAIMER: Perform this modification at your own risk. I take no responsibility for any damage caused by technical error, user inexperience or stupidity.
  15. You're most welcome @orankid1972, hope you have lots of fun with your new mod Edit: Just remember that the PSU works up to a limit of 240w without the mod. If you exceed that limit you know for certain that the mod was successful.
  16. The blue ID wire should be thin and at the centre of the cable exactly like in the picture in the guide. If you connect the blue ID wire coming from the PSU's PCB to the negative wire you have nothing to worry about. The Dell 330W actually switches and grounds the ID wire on its own when it receives the correct signal back from an M18X/X51. This is how the 240W limit is lifted. In this case by connecting the ID wire to the negative wire we're manually grounding it. edit: to set your mind at ease, I've taken an excerpt out of imsolidstate's blog...
  17. Yes that would be a cleaner method. Good luck!
  18. if i remember correctly CLEVO owners only need to ground the ID line (the thin blue wire in the guide). This simply means the blue wire needs to be connected to the negative wire (you can see a picture of the stripped cable in the guide showing the positive, negative and ID wires). You may also need to get the specific connector for your laptop (If its not the same as Dells) or just cut your your existing CLEVO PSU connector and use that. You dont need to connect the ID line to the connector as CLEVO's dont use the ID line.
  19. Welcome to T|I @Blueneon, I'm terribly sorry for not seeing this sooner. I purchased mines though Amazon US. They seller shipped to South Africa and at the time these 330W units were going really cheap. I paid around $42 if I remember correctly. The total cost after converting to Rands was under R500 including customs/VAT. Dell South Africa's new Alienware division is a pain in the ass honestly, I ordered Alienware parts absolutely fine with no problems from Dell before Alienware arrived here. Last I spoke with Alienware SA, they wanted me to order via the UK and there was a lot of politics and nonsensical rules they had to follow... so I no longer buy anything through them. Sorry for replying so late, @dw1992817. Yes, you can use anything really. As I mentioned in the first post, I used a piece of PCB that I broke of a spare mouse that had a SOT-23 chip. I removed the chip from the PCB, made sure that the connection points were independant from each other cleaned it up a bit and it worked perfectly. The entire point of using the PCB is so that theres no strain on the chips legs. If you find another way to do that without using the PCB, go for it!
  20. If I remember correctly the Dell 6970M's did not have auto fan control in the R2. You would have to use HWinfo's fan control to automate the GPU's fan's spinup according to GPU temps. Read more about it here.
  21. The reason I asked for your OS is, I dual booted Windows 7 and 8 and I didnt get the BSODs on Windows 8. It could have been due to the fresh OS install since I used the same driver that gave me BSODs in Windows 7. This was also only on 3Dmark whereas 3Dmark11 ran fine.
  22. He deserved far worse... that was too easy. He should have suffered the same way as Theon Greyjoy imho. I think Sansa did it. Great actor though to evoke such hatred from the viewers
  23. I also get a bsod in Firestrike depending on the driver version I'm using. Make sure ULPS is disabled. Are you running Windows 7?
  24. Welcome to T|I Luigid Is there any strange colours or anomalies on screen before the laptop shuts down? I remember a while back another user could only get the loading screen of Sims started before the machine shut down and that was due to improper installation. I suggest you remove the card and re-install the heatsink. After you installed the heatsink look at the card from the side to make sure the heatsink is making proper contact with the vRAM and GPU die, then install it into the laptop. Best of luck.
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