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Alienware m18x r1 with amd r9 m290x CF working!

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Okay here is what's going. I have a alienware m18x r1 running an amd 8970m, I wanted to upgrade it to crossfire but I could see a 8970m was more expensive than a r9 m290x

So I decided to buy a r9 m290x and see if I could make it work in my alienware and also run crossfire.

Even though many shops refused to sell me one because the didn't think it would work in an alienware m18x r1 only in the r2.


Here is the whole process.


19/08/17 23:15

No post bios showing when booting, so impossible to enter bios menu, but can boot into windows 10 with no problems.


19/08/17 23:20

Because I haven't deleted the old AMD 8970m the r9 m290x shows as a 8970m with no problems.


19/08/17 23:34

First performance test was a success. The r9 m290x changed p-state normally. The gpu fan start spinning normally. But because of no thermal paste, the test lasted 20 seconds because the temperature raised fast.


20/08/17 00:00

Created a backup of the vbios version


20/08/17 00:10

Flashed a new clevo vbios version

Caused the card to be corrupted and resulted the 8 beep code.


20/08/17 00:35

Finally managed to flash the back and return the graphics card to its original state.

20/08/17 00:50
Flashed a new dell vbios version
No change in behavior


20/08/17 01:07
After trying multiple vbios with no luck I finally found one.

Dell vbios Version

Brings back the post bios screen and I can now enter the bios menu through the r9 m290x.

Note: This vbios reduce the cards performance from 900 mhz to 850 mhz


20/08/17 01:21

After more testing I found one that is working with no limits.

Clevo vbios version

Brings back the post bios screen and I can now enter the bios menu through the r9 m290x.
This will be the vbios I will keep at the moment.

20/08/17 01:56
I completely uninstalled the previous driver and installed the newest driver. The graphics card is recognized as a 8970m but works normal.

21/08/17 20:15

I have inserted my old 8970m in the secondary slot and will start testing crossfire.


21/08/17 21:45

I have found out that the fan for the secondary fan did not spin. The is a cable that have felt out. I will fix it now.

21/08/17 22:00

In my try to test crossfire compatibility, I installed the newest AMD driver 17.7.2 but as soon it installed the driver for the secondary card it caused black screen. Only booting the computer in safe mode brings the screen back.

21/08/17 23:02
After many frustrating hours I finally managed to get crossfire working with the r9 m290x as the primary card and my old 8970m as the secondary.

I have flashed the same vbios on both cards so the r9 m290x shows up I device manager as a 8970m.


I first installed AMD driver version 16.2.1


Then installed AMD driver version 16.6.1 in order to play battlefield

21/08/17 23:20

First test run in battlefield 1

21/08/17 23:40

Battlefield 1 is flickering bad, this can maybe be solved with a new patch or driver.

Other games I have tried is working perfect with crossfire on.

Now what I would like to try is somehow force the r9 m290x driver to be installed and see if it will make it possible to run the latest AMD driver without getting a blackscreen.


I have tried to edit the .inf file like you would do with nvidia but no luck.

I have also tried to figure out how to edit the device id in the vbios, but I find it too complex.

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