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MSI GTX 1070 MXM successfully working on Alienware M17X R4 (another socket victory against BGA crap)


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You should really post in the 1060 thread. You need to make sure you have everything required to run this GPU: GPT partition with UEFI and primary display set to PEG. If you have same issue as I had, you can find all informations in my first post to solve it. Unlocked bios will allow you to modify somme settings you can't change now. When you'll have issue booting the 680m, it will be the right time to put the 1060 in.

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3 minutes ago, An0npl4y said:

This is very interesting, I thought 1060 could not work in the M18x since it has only LVDS display: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/gtx-1060-1070-1080-upgrade-on-m18x-r2.797282/


So it means a SLI of pascal GPUs could work this way in a M18x R2?

No unfortunately because SG mode is not compatible with sli or crossfire.

My thread is also here


Edited by aaronloveweed
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1 minute ago, An0npl4y said:

Too bad it can't work with SLI. Do you know if 2 pascal GPUs would be OK, even if not linked with SLI cord? Maybe not because of optimus mode?

you're tempting me with this question..
If only had enough money to try, because if I remember well nvidia removed some sort of support from SLi/xconnect without cable

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If this lack of SLI support could be solved somehow, I guess my next laptop could be a M18x R2.


I searched and found a brand new good quality laptop with SLI of GTX 1070 or 1080 is around 4k$ to 4.5k$ at least. Using a M18x, it could cost "only" 2.5k$ (MXM cards price, and M18x R2 can be found at fair price on marketplaces nowadays).


This is really nice to see more and more old gen laptops can be upgraded with MXM pascal GPUs. That's exactly the reason why BGA is crap, because it would never allow such kind of upgrade.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi @An0npl4y, with so much support and love for the Alienware M17X R4 in the community, I knew I had to create an account to start pitching in. I've been following a lot of threads across different forums to accumulate the ultimate upgrade list for this laptop. I'm an upgrade addict XD. In your original posting you mention someone else to be the guinea pig for a GTX 1080 MXM. Well I would be quite willing to be just that guinea pig in about 6-8 months down the line when I'm done with graduate school. The only condition is if I see the power headroom. So, my questions to you are: 


1) For your temp issues, what thermal paste are you using? Have you considered applying liquid metal?

Liquid Metal Guide: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/alienware-17-r4-gtx1080-repasting-with-liquid-metal-my-experience.799962/


2) When you stress test both the CPU (3940XM no OC) and GPU (1070) at the same time under 100% load while using the 330W PSU, can you measure the power drawn from the wall using a clamp meter? You can find one on eBay for around %15 USD: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Electronic-AC-DC-Voltage-Clamp-Meter-Multimeter-Current-Volt-Tester-Lead-/110790015230?epid=1200385571&hash=item19cb9978fe:g:968AAOSwwzhZQkWD

If you'd like, I could purchase one for you and have it shipped to you to save you the cost. 


3) According to Tom's Guide - List of MXM GPUs and Resellers: http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-3429775/list-mxm-gpus.html the GPU I'm looking for is the MSI N17E-G3-A1 Type 2 since it's the only 1080 without a power connector. Do you know if there any other cards available from different manufacturers that fit our no power connector requirement? Since you mentioned that you have a ver1.2 MSI GTX 1070 card, which is upgraded from the v1.0, do you know where I can find out what the latest revision of the manufacturer's card is?


As far as sourcing the correct GTX 1080 MXM goes, I've only been able to find this listing on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSI-MS16L1-VGA-Upgrade-Kit-NEW-NVIDIA-GTX-1080-8GB-DDR5-MXM-3-0b-/122498233515?hash=item1c8576b4ab:g:HZUAAOSwK6RZGfg9

MSI N17E-G3-A1 Type 2.JPG

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I was using ICD7 so maybe using liquid metal can help but I don't think it can solve thermal issue alone. M17X R4 was not designed to cool down a 120W or a 150 W TDP GPU, so all the cooling has to be improved, not only thermal paste but the whole heatsink, especially if you want to upgrade to a 1080. You'll need to work on fan, DIE plate, copper stripes and radiator, everything will have to be modded.


No I can't make any measurement since I sold some of the stuff I was using to build another project I'm working on right now. I'm having more fun building projects than playing with it, I managed to reach my goal which was to get over 14k FS score. Only thing I can tell you is 330W PSU was mandatory to get full performance of the 1070, or there was a PSU bottleneck and I couldn't get full CPU and GPU load at the same time.


Instead of Ebay, search Taobao and you'll find interesting things, such as this one: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.15.ebb2eb2IIfArd&id=546741719542&ns=1&abbucket=5#detail

Be aware that 1080 without power connector are SLI ones, and are usually performing less better than standard ones so maybe it could be interesting to get electrical scheme of the power connector, and build a power source.


You project seems really interesting, here are may main advices:


-try to source your GPU on Taobao, it will save you money because 1080 MXM are very expensive and you'll need money for other components

-3940xm is not so much powerful compared to the 3840qm, and it can get very hot when overclocked. I think 3840qm is the best choice for the CPU

-building a modded heatsink is mandatory, you'll need to get a 1080 heatsink so you can use the DIE plate and the VRMs plate, with copper stripes from the stock heatsink (maybe you'll have to add other copper stripes) and stock radiator or bigger radiator if you find one which can fit in. Get ready to use a torch, it will be very hard soldering job.

-create your own thread, this is a huge project and you'll need advices from the whole community, there are lot of people with great computer knowledge here

-get ready to spend countless hours searching, testing and building before it will work


With a 1080 you could reach over 18k FS score, it could be a good target! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/11/2017 at 11:55 AM, An0npl4y said:

You need to remove little sides on the MXM connector, so the card can fit in. Before








You must get a modified MXM connector like that:







Hi An0npl4y, excellent modding work, thank you for the post.


I am curious about  the MXM connector modification. Did you simply cut those side pieces off using a dremel like with the chassis support? I am wondering if you could elaborate on that at all.


I am considering attempting this mod on my own M17x R4.



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Thankw An0npl4y.


I actually went ahead and bought a 1070 MXM. It's a N17E-G2-A1 but hardware revision is 1.0, not 1.2 like yours. ebay seller says it's from MSI G65 SLI system.


I modded my 680M heatsink and installed the card.


Unfortunately, it will not POST. I was already running a 980M perfectly. BIOS is set to UEFI with Load Legacy ROM disabled. I have 120hz screen.


First, I was getting five beeps. Now I'm getting 8 beeps (LCD failure?). When I put my 980M back in, everything boots up fine.


Do you think I need a different vbios on the 1070? Or maybe it's actually broken? Any ideas? Thank you.

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It seems someone was brutal on this one! You can find N17E-G2-A1 GPU cores on Taobao for around 100$: https://world.taobao.com/item/550718809982.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.675ba573gBilvX#detail

Youn can also find stencils: https://world.taobao.com/item/557884869609.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.675ba573gBilvX#detail for reballing: 



So even if your GPU core is dead, your 1070 can still be repaired. Some companies can do this kind of job, I guess you'll have to search for it. It would be better than throwing your expensive GPU to the trash.

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  • 1 month later...

Nice job.

I've seen your FS results on website and found that you are using gskill 2133 memory.

Do the sticks really work as 2133?

I have succeeded OCing memory upto 2000 on m17x R4 using corsair sticks but not higher.


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It depends which CPU you use. Only XM CPUs allow to use RAM at 2133 MHz, with other CPUs you'll get BSOD very soon after boot. I tried with 3940XM and I could set 2133 MHz on BIOS without issue, but with a 3840QM I can't go higher than 1866 or I get BSOD.

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  • 2 weeks later...



I don't have pictures but it was something like this:


Main DIE big copper plate and VRMs plate was from MSI heatsink as I explained in first post of this thread, 3 copper stripes and radiator was from stock heatsink. Anyway, even with such a modded heatsink when I was using the 330W PSU and reached full power there was still thermal issue, the system still needed to be improved.

I see now Eurocom offers such an upgrade, but with standard MXM form factor GTX 1070: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/quadro-p5000-with-m17x-r4.800489/page-8#post-10625469 (at least it's same width as standard so it can fit easily)






The card just looks just the same as Gecube one: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.


Gecube 1070 is rated as 115W TDP, while MSI one should be higher I guess. I saw mine over 125W on HWinfo when reaching 100% load. I think MSI card is such a beast it gets real hot, Gecube one must be a little less powerful but it should also get lower temp on the other hand. Other good thing is it looks like Gecube one can be used with stock heatsink. My advice is if someone want to make this upgrade nowadays, then go for the Eurocom / Gecube card. Form factor will avoid to dremel the chassis, and there is no huge heatsink mod to do. Also, it probably runs cooler so I think that's the way to go IMHO.


Have fun and high FPS ;)

Edited by An0npl4y
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I personally bought this heatsink from taobao through yoybuy: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=544407079991 


All I did was completely cut the left and right part because those push down on the card and lower the middle area.TB2SI70dhlmpuFjSZPfXXc9iXXa_!!107618820.thumb.jpg.0b42eca120340153290807443adb5dd2.jpg




During full load my MSI 1070 sits at 72-74 degrees and doesn't go up. Runs smooth and haven't had any problems whatsoever.

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