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M17X R3 SSD and GPU Help!


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Hello Techies!


New to the forums and I own a Alienware M17X R3 that has never had anything done to it and finally after 9 years the HDD crapped out, i purchased a Samsung SSD that I will be receiving next thursday so just getting a low down on what the proper procedure is. I currently have Bios A03 which will not give me SATA III speeds either from what I have read and will need A08? Will the Dell Bios update work for me or should i be trying to go with A12 unlocked? Can i do the update off windows as soon as do a fresh install on the new SSD? Or do I have to make a bootable usb? Sorry im not dumb with computers but not as smart as I want to be haha Thanks in advance for every ones help!


I also want to upgrade my GPU at some point which current is an Nvidia 460M, what is the best/cost effective upgrade I should do and do I have to have a certain Bios to run that as well?

Edited by TheChamp
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while, but I believe SATA III works on at least one of the ports on the stock BIOS.  For sure, there's unlocked A08 and A12 BIOS versions out there with a "SATA fix" as well.  Should be easy to find if you google for m17x r3 unlocked bios sata.  You can flash the BIOS from a utility in Windows.


As for the GPU, I'm not sure.  It mostly depends what you can find for sale nowadays.  Nvidia 5xx/6xx should definitely work.  Maybe more than that.  I currently run an AMD 7970m, which replaced my 6990m when it died.

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  • 1 year later...

Like handale30 mentioned, (unofficially) the max gfx card you can put in is a 980m - but be aware you will face some issues. first, you need to make sure you have a 240w power adapter, and also make sure your system can actually cool the card. you'll need an unlocked A12 bios as well. The onboard sound can create conflicting issues with irqs so you will have to disable that initially. You'll also have issues with the Optimus system (switching graphics), and will have to disable the internal gfx card (only use the discrete card). its a lot of hassle, and if you aren't up for that, perhaps look at a GTX 660m (its the max officially supported card, so no issues as with the 980m).

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