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Ohtic

M17XR4 upgrade

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Hey

 

New to the forum and upgrading laptops. Decided earlier this year to pull my old M17XR4 out of storage. So far I have added 32gb of Corsair Vengance Ram, upgraded the CPU to an Intel I7 3940XM and installed the unlocked A15 Bios thanks to the forum user Klem.

 

I still have the AMD 7970M which I would like to replace with a Nvidia GTX1070 aswell as replacing the 60Hz monitor with the 120Hz monitor. Would appreciate any information on getting and installing these.

 

I have bought an M.2 to PCIe mini adapter for my next upgrade which will be the wifi card. I am looking at getting the Intel AC-9260. Seems like the latest model to not require CNVI. I have also purchased an adapter which will convert the M17XR4's U.FL antenna to MHF4 which will connect to the AC-9260.

 

The last thing on the list is to replace the twin 1tb mechanical hard drives with some modern ssd's. 

 

Is there anything else I should be adding? I know I could buy a new laptop but I find it fun bringing life back to such an awesome machine. 

 

**I just remembered one last thing, has anybody worked out a solution to the sticky rubber substance which the laptop is coated with? I have seen the results of somebody removing it with IPA but the look was not good. I was thinking of maybe doing a wrap with one of these ebay kits

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/KH-Laptop-Brushed-Sticker-Skin-Cover-Protector-for-Alienware-M17x-R1-R2-R3-R4-/173609124636?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=705-154756-20017-0

***

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17 hours ago, Ohtic said:

Hey

 

New to the forum and upgrading laptops. Decided earlier this year to pull my old M17XR4 out of storage. So far I have added 32gb of Corsair Vengance Ram, upgraded the CPU to an Intel I7 3940XM and installed the unlocked A15 Bios thanks to the forum user Klem.

 

I still have the AMD 7970M which I would like to replace with a Nvidia GTX1070 aswell as replacing the 60Hz monitor with the 120Hz monitor. Would appreciate any information on getting and installing these.

 

I have bought an M.2 to PCIe mini adapter for my next upgrade which will be the wifi card. I am looking at getting the Intel AC-9260. Seems like the latest model to not require CNVI. I have also purchased an adapter which will convert the M17XR4's U.FL antenna to MHF4 which will connect to the AC-9260.

 

The last thing on the list is to replace the twin 1tb mechanical hard drives with some modern ssd's. 

 

Is there anything else I should be adding? I know I could buy a new laptop but I find it fun bringing life back to such an awesome machine. 

 

**I just remembered one last thing, has anybody worked out a solution to the sticky rubber substance which the laptop is coated with? I have seen the results of somebody removing it with IPA but the look was not good. I was thinking of maybe doing a wrap with one of these ebay kits

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/KH-Laptop-Brushed-Sticker-Skin-Cover-Protector-for-Alienware-M17x-R1-R2-R3-R4-/173609124636?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=705-154756-20017-0

***

 

Hey mate, I see that you're in Australia, where about's are you?

 

It will be hard to find a 1070 for a decent price. I have been tossing up whether I sell the one in my M18x though. There are also a few different types with the MSI GTX 1070 having a slightly different PCB layout and some case modification is required to get it to physically fit. 

All the other upgrades will be pretty easy. You just need to find a spare 120hz display and eDP display cables, you can't use the 60hz cables. I just happen to be parting out an R4 right now though. I have sold the motherboard, blue-ray drive and a few other pieces but I still have the 120hz display. It's almost impossible to remove the plexiglass to get to the panel so you really just need to get the whole display assembly, minus the soft-touch lid. If your lid is sticky then I can help you with that too. The spare lid I have is in decent condition. If your palmrest is the bit that is sticky then yeah you can just use a wrap or you can do a respray, which I have done a few times on the M17x and M18x palmrests. It's time consuming but it looks pretty good if done right. Here's an image on a white M17x I've done

9gRFL86.jpg

 

 If you want to replace the palmrest then I'll see how good the spare one I have is. I was planning on putting all the parts I have on ebay soon. 

You have two 2.5" storage bays and also an mSata SSD slot. MSY has good prices on 2.5" SSD's but you'll have to go to eBay if you want to find an mSATA SSD. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, MattyB said:

 

Hey mate, I see that you're in Australia, where about's are you?

 

It will be hard to find a 1070 for a decent price. I have been tossing up whether I sell the one in my M18x though. There are also a few different types with the MSI GTX 1070 having a slightly different PCB layout and some case modification is required to get it to physically fit. 

All the other upgrades will be pretty easy. You just need to find a spare 120hz display and eDP display cables, you can't use the 60hz cables. I just happen to be parting out an R4 right now though. I have sold the motherboard, blue-ray drive and a few other pieces but I still have the 120hz display. It's almost impossible to remove the plexiglass to get to the panel so you really just need to get the whole display assembly, minus the soft-touch lid. If your lid is sticky then I can help you with that too. The spare lid I have is in decent condition. If your palmrest is the bit that is sticky then yeah you can just use a wrap or you can do a respray, which I have done a few times on the M17x and M18x palmrests. It's time consuming but it looks pretty good if done right. Here's an image on a white M17x I've done

9gRFL86.jpg

 

 If you want to replace the palmrest then I'll see how good the spare one I have is. I was planning on putting all the parts I have on ebay soon. 

You have two 2.5" storage bays and also an mSata SSD slot. MSY has good prices on 2.5" SSD's but you'll have to go to eBay if you want to find an mSATA SSD. 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm in Sydney. How about yourself?

 

Will any GTX 1070 mxm 3.0 card (that will fit) work? I'm assuming some are better than others. I was considering a Clevo 1070 from ebay (N17E-G2-A1) assuming the GPU lines up with the heat sink. I have read that there can be audio problems after replacing the GPU? Is there a known best replacement?

 

The respray you have done looks amazing!

One day I may try it. Both the lid and palm rest are sticky, but the lid is the worse effected. 

 

I completely forgot about the msata ssd. I may just look for a replacement for that. 

 

I have  noticed since I started using the laptop again, the speakers are ruined. They are very "buzzy" but still usable. Probably from getting bumped around in house moves and getting shifted from different storage locations. 99% of the time I use headphones anyway but at some point, this will be another part I would like to replace.

 

Pm sent about the screen, lid and palmrest.

 

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The blue PCB gtx 1070s have known issues, these card were specifically produced for clevo's. The black PCB 1070s should work properly. Some experience throttling which can be solved by setting your machine to hibernate and waking it back up.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/164899268286?hash=item2664c326be:g:AgUAAOSwZohguzrt

 

That being said, I've done this upgrade around 4 years ago. Back then the upgrade was worth putting the effort in but nowadays I would recommended purchasing a new laptop. 

The process of upgrading to a 1070 isn't just inserting the card and plugging a 120hz 3d panel in. 

 

Let me sum up all the steps for you:

  • You would need to edit the case, since the 1070 would hit a part and it would short circuit (I recommend taking the whole laptop apart, if you accidentally hit your motherboard during this process, you're back to square one)
  • The 2 mxm sliders on the left and right would have to be removed since the card is thicker than the HD7970m
  • A 3D panel is required
  • You would need to mod your bios to a custom A11 version that allows you to set your videotype to GPU only
  • You need to mod the heatsink for it to properly fit on the 1070, if you mount the heatsink as is and screw it in place, you'll destroy your 1070

 

Every step has a risk and requires time. Taking the costs of a 1070, 3D panel and possibly the tool necessary to mod your casing, in my personal opinion it wouldn't be worth it in the end. 

But in case you really want to, I can answer all your questions and show you pictures of the complete process.

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On 9/6/2021 at 9:27 PM, naightmehr said:

The blue PCB gtx 1070s have known issues, these card were specifically produced for clevo's. The black PCB 1070s should work properly. Some experience throttling which can be solved by setting your machine to hibernate and waking it back up.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/164899268286?hash=item2664c326be:g:AgUAAOSwZohguzrt

 

That being said, I've done this upgrade around 4 years ago. Back then the upgrade was worth putting the effort in but nowadays I would recommended purchasing a new laptop. 

The process of upgrading to a 1070 isn't just inserting the card and plugging a 120hz 3d panel in. 

 

Let me sum up all the steps for you:

  • You would need to edit the case, since the 1070 would hit a part and it would short circuit (I recommend taking the whole laptop apart, if you accidentally hit your motherboard during this process, you're back to square one)
  • The 2 mxm sliders on the left and right would have to be removed since the card is thicker than the HD7970m
  • A 3D panel is required
  • You would need to mod your bios to a custom A11 version that allows you to set your videotype to GPU only
  • You need to mod the heatsink for it to properly fit on the 1070, if you mount the heatsink as is and screw it in place, you'll destroy your 1070

 

Every step has a risk and requires time. Taking the costs of a 1070, 3D panel and possibly the tool necessary to mod your casing, in my personal opinion it wouldn't be worth it in the end. 

But in case you really want to, I can answer all your questions and show you pictures of the complete process.

 

He bought the parts off me and successfully did the upgrade. There is no need for chassis modifications with the standard MXM3.0b black 1070, the MSI 1070 is different though which is probably the one that you had. 

 

A 3D panel is preferred but not required as the 1070 works in SG mode with the 60Hz LVDS display. He had it working with the 60hz before switching to the 120hz. 

An Unlocked BIOS is not required with either display. The laptop will switch to PEG mode when the 120Hz display is installed and it's on SG mode as default for the 60hz display

The heatsinks fit perfectly fine in the M17x R4 and M18x R2, no need to modify.

 

Other than the need for a modified Nvidia driver, it's mostly Plug and Play. 

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