Jump to content
EwinRacing Flash Series Gaming Chairs
Guardian241

Alienware M17x R4 680m to 980m upgrade.

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I've recently got my hands on an M17x R4 Alienware Laptop from 2013 which I love. I've replaced the screen, keyboard, RAM, and hard drive to make it into a fully modern laptop. However, I'm currently waiting on a replacement for the 680m GPU with a 980m from ebay. My question for you all is, do I need to do anything with the BIOS to make this 980m work? Is there a way to prevent the laptop from using Intel HD Graphics with Optimus? I think the Intel HD Graphics on this laptop are currently broken as I see static-looking dots flash on the screen. (See image below for example). My theory is that because Intel HD Graphics with Optimus is still in-use while in-game, the dots are being caused by it.

 

Thanks for any help in advance.

 

- M

 

GYvFO1q.png

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try pulling out the 680M to see if anything changes. If the dots go away then it's the 680M that is the problem. You can also try running the ePSA diagnostic (F12 during boot to get into the Boot Menu). This hardware test can pick up certain issues. 

 

If you want to force the dedicated card then you can try disabling the Intel 4000 graphics in Device Manager or you can flash the unlocked BIOS and set the video mode to PEG. This is the best  way.

To run the 980M you need to change the BIOS from Legacy to UEFI mode and disable Load Legacy Option ROM and Secure Boot. Then you will have to reinstall Windows because UEFI uses a different partition type on the drive and you'll get a 'no boot device found' message. The 980M will not work in Legacy mode. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, MattyB said:

Try pulling out the 680M to see if anything changes. If the dots go away then it's the 680M that is the problem. You can also try running the ePSA diagnostic (F12 during boot to get into the Boot Menu). This hardware test can pick up certain issues. 

 

If you want to force the dedicated card then you can try disabling the Intel 4000 graphics in Device Manager or you can flash the unlocked BIOS and set the video mode to PEG. This is the best  way.

To run the 980M you need to change the BIOS from Legacy to UEFI mode and disable Load Legacy Option ROM and Secure Boot. Then you will have to reinstall Windows because UEFI uses a different partition type on the drive and you'll get a 'no boot device found' message. The 980M will not work in Legacy mode. 

I disabled Intel 4000 Graphcis first then the 680m to test if it would fix the issue but niether did. Could it still be related to these devices or maybe it's something else? I've already replaced the display for this laptop and both displays had this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really should only be either the LCD, CPU or GPU. I'm leaning towards the GPU as CPU's very very rarely have issues. Pulling out the GPU will help you find out. There is a chance that it is the motherboard as it is the connection between the CPU and GPU to the LCD. 

 

It could also be a display cable. When you replaced the display did you use the old cables or did the replacement come with some? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, MattyB said:

It really should only be either the LCD, CPU or GPU. I'm leaning towards the GPU as CPU's very very rarely have issues. Pulling out the GPU will help you find out. There is a chance that it is the motherboard as it is the connection between the CPU and GPU to the LCD. 

 

It could also be a display cable. When you replaced the display did you use the old cables or did the replacement come with some? 

 

 

 

I used the replacement cables. I am also worried that this may be a motherboard issue as the problem is still there when the display is using the microsoft basic display driver. I will take out the GPU tomorrow and check the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will just be a matter of testing any way you can I guess. My garage is full of spare parts so it's easy to troubleshoot. If you physically pull the 680M and the screen is still distorted then you're left with the CPU or board. You could then try and grab a cheap i5 off ebay to see if it's the CPU. Unfortunately if it's the board then there aren't too many cheap options for replacement. Boards can still be quite expensive 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, MattyB said:

It will just be a matter of testing any way you can I guess. My garage is full of spare parts so it's easy to troubleshoot. If you physically pull the 680M and the screen is still distorted then you're left with the CPU or board. You could then try and grab a cheap i5 off ebay to see if it's the CPU. Unfortunately if it's the board then there aren't too many cheap options for replacement. Boards can still be quite expensive 

 

I took out the 680m and still got the same issue. I've purchased an Intel Celeron B820 on ebay for £7 which should be able to tell me if the CPU is to blame. Hopefully it's a simple CPU swap-fix.

 

EDIT: Obiously the Celeron isn't going to be my replacement CPU if my current one is faulty. But for £7 it's a great diagnostic tool. I'd probably get the best CPU for this socket if this one turns out faulty.

Edited by Guardian241

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2021 at 10:31 PM, MattyB said:

Ok, good luck. Fingers crossed it's the CPU

I flashed the my Alienware with an unlocked A15 bios ready for the 980m and reinstalled windows with UEFI as well as the other steps you mentioned. However, my 680m no longer shows up on device manager or on the bios; have I done something wrong or am I missing a step? Or will the 980m work fine when it arrives?

 

Sorry to ask all of these questions. You've been very helpful so far so if I get stuck I just returned to this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have the unlocked BIOS then just check what video mode it is set on. Video config will be under the second Advanced Tab. If the 680M is Not Detected then it's possible that the BIOS is on iGFX mode for some reason. Either that or the card is dead. 

Make sure you don't make any changes in the BIOS unless you know what you're doing. A small change can make a big difference. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MattyB said:

If you have the unlocked BIOS then just check what video mode it is set on. Video config will be under the second Advanced Tab. If the 680M is Not Detected then it's possible that the BIOS is on iGFX mode for some reason. Either that or the card is dead. 

Make sure you don't make any changes in the BIOS unless you know what you're doing. A small change can make a big difference. 

 

Fortunately I was just being a moron and the NVIDIA GFX Card is detected in the bios but not in device manager. Currently investigating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there's a good chance that the card is on its last legs if it's in the BIOS but not Device Manager.

If you have the 60hz display on SG mode (Optimus) then you should see the Intel 4000 and 680M under Display Adapters. Without a driver the 680M will be called a Basic Microsoft Display Adapter, or something like that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, MattyB said:

Then there's a good chance that the card is on its last legs if it's in the BIOS but not Device Manager.

If you have the 60hz display on SG mode (Optimus) then you should see the Intel 4000 and 680M under Display Adapters. Without a driver the 680M will be called a Basic Microsoft Display Adapter, or something like that. 

I got a new unlocked A15 bios from @Klem and I found the most up-to-date version of the on-screen display software for my alienware. With lots of fiddling I now have the laptop running solely on the 680m and it's ready to be upgraded to the 980m when it finally arrives :D

 

To make matters better, the static dots problem has disappeared! The screen is clear now and the laptop feels fantastic. I'm really looking forward to getting this 980m into it.

 

Thanks for all of your help so far, I may bug you again if I get more problems with the 980m.

Edited by Guardian241

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news! It sounds like it must be the integrated graphics that's causing the issue. A CPU replacement may be required at some stage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, MattyB said:

Great news! It sounds like it must be the integrated graphics that's causing the issue. A CPU replacement may be required at some stage. 

So I installed the new GPU which arrived today but my screen keeps looking like this. The 980m shows up on device manager but nvidia geforce experience can't find drivers for it. Is the GPU faulty or did I miss something?

 

UYQGPO8.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to use a modded driver for anything higher than a 680M. 

 

But....if this is what it looks like on PEG mode then the GPU is bad. That really shouldn't look like that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/20/2021 at 10:47 PM, MattyB said:

You need to use a modded driver for anything higher than a 680M. 

 

But....if this is what it looks like on PEG mode then the GPU is bad. That really shouldn't look like that. 

I agree about the GPU being bad. I know that there's modded drivers involved but I shouldn't be seeing lines like this across my screen lol. The seller has agreed to send a replacement but I'm a little disappointed as I now have to return it and wait for the new one to arrive. I guess I'm too much of an Amazon Prime Zoomer who wants everything next-day delivery.

 

iMuttc7.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very strange stuff indeed. So it goes back to normal when you remove the GPU? 

I've heard a lot of bad stories about secondhand 980M's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MattyB said:

Very strange stuff indeed. So it goes back to normal when you remove the GPU? 

I've heard a lot of bad stories about secondhand 980M's

Yeah the previous GPU works just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I have the same problem in peg mode whit de first image (with cats), pixels blink, but in SG mode everything works perfectly, it only happens in peg mode. In SG mode when I run games with the GTX980m it works perfectly, it only happens in PEG mode. Does anyone have an idea about it?

Edited by katakraos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Henrik9979
      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
      015.032.000.004.044450
       
      20/08/17 00:10
      Flashed a new clevo vbios version 015.032.000.003.044465
      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 015.046.000.014.045579
      No change in behavior
       
      20/08/17 01:07
      After trying multiple vbios with no luck I finally found one.
      Dell vbios Version 015.041.000.000.044966
      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
      015.036.000.005.044618
      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.
    • By Klem
      Klem's_vbios_DELL_GTX880M_80.04.F5.00.07_UNLOCKED.rar
      For 8Gb card.
      1. Unlocked Nvidia core limit +135 MHz.
      2. Unlocked core voltage adjustments.
      3. Unlocked Power Limit.
      4. Unlocked Power adjustment by software (for example with Nvidia Inspector).
      5. Increased Power Limit and Power Target.
      6. Enabled some additional tweaks.
       
      If you liked my mod, you can buy me some beer:   https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ekushukovZ
    • By Bananoid
      Hello, guys!
      The situation is the following. I am a 3D artist and I work for a Ukrainian company. After the events in our country, most employees moved to safer cities, while the rest have to work remotely. I purchased a non-working Clevo p750dm-g from my hands. The reason for the inoperability is that the owner tried to flash the BIOS with coffee lake support, but something went wrong and he stopped showing the picture (black screen), but the laptop itself starts up, the fans spin, the keyboard lights up, the SSD heats up (too much). I tried flashing the bios using a USB programmer, but that didn't work. I would be very grateful if someone could help revive this car. It is imperative to return to the functional system at work.
    • By Noxco
      Hello to all can you help me change the graphics card?
      Alienware m17x r4
       i7 3610qm
      quadro k4100m
      display 120hz 3d
      bios a15
      trying to install 980m but not getting 5 or 8 beeps removed the battery and reset the bios. disabled legacy and secure boot in settings windows 10 gpt uefi
      help how to be?
    • By laxus
      i want to ask two favours and a question from this community ..
       
      1.) Can someone mod my 940 mx to increase the target temperature and allow higher overclocking than 135hzband voltage control
       
      2.) Allowing my i5 7200U to be undervolted to reduce overall heat 
       
      The question : I repasted my gpu and cpu cleaned it thoroughly, made sure twice everything is connected properly, use a cooling pad and yet the upper portion of my chasis above f1-f12 keys is so hot that i can roast peanuts on it. 
       
      (if i left out any info or missed something please reply i would really love to have a page that has everything for people who have this laptop specifically for light gaming.)
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.