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Ghostly121

Alieware m18x r2 GPU issues

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HI all!

So i got an Alienware m18x r2 and i wanted to upgrade to a gtx 980m. at first it gave me 8 beeps on start up, i did all the things that where supposed to be the solutions to that and nothing changed until i cleaned the GPU slot. the pc started booting again but doesn't detect the card at bios even though the card gets warm and the fans start going crazy trying to cool it. my bios version is A14 provided by dell. am not sure if this is a faulty card am yet to get another to try cause i tried both slots now.

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5 hours ago, Ghostly121 said:

HI all!

So i got an Alienware m18x r2 and i wanted to upgrade to a gtx 980m. at first it gave me 8 beeps on start up, i did all the things that where supposed to be the solutions to that and nothing changed until i cleaned the GPU slot. the pc started booting again but doesn't detect the card at bios even though the card gets warm and the fans start going crazy trying to cool it. my bios version is A14 provided by dell. am not sure if this is a faulty card am yet to get another to try cause i tried both slots now.

Hi!

I think you need to flash unlocked bios for your laptop model. Also read these related threads:

 

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so it really is the bios then, i did read that the alienware m18 r2 has compatability issues with cards that didnt exist at the time of its making. will check these out

 

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It could be a number of things. 

If the BIOS doesn't detect the card then just check if it detects the Integrated graphics. If it does detect it then your system may be in iGFX mode. You will need to get it into PEG mode to detect the dedicated card.

The M18x doesn't use Optimus (SG - Switchable Graphics) by default so it will only run in iGFX (integrated Graphics) or PEG (dedicated graphics) which can be switched in Windows using the the Function buttons. The Alienware OSD driver must be installed to use this feature. Having the unlocked BIOS will allow you to switch between video modes in the BIOS rather than Windows. SG mode can also now be used if you are just using a single dedicated GPU. 

If the machine will boot, go to Device Manager - Display Adapters and see what graphics is listed. If it says Intel 4000 then you're in iGFX and if it says Microsoft Basic Display Adapter then you're in PEG. This is your 980M without a driver installed. 

Unlocked BIOS gives driver support for the 900 series cards. If you use original BIOS then you'll have to install a modded Nvidia driver to get it to work.

Strange fan controls could be due to a bad or incompatible vBIOS on the 980M. You may want to look into flashing a different vBIOS. Be careful though as flashing any BIOS or vBIOS can result in a bricked board or GPU if it doesn't go to plan. If you can get the card detected in Windows then you can use GPU-Z to look up the current vBIOS on the card. Go to TechPowerUp and search for the vBIOS version. If it's for a different laptop manufacturer then try to find a Dell or Alienware version. 

You may also want to check that you have the thermal pads installed on the card correctly and you're using a good thermal compound. If the card is overheating then your fan will work overtime and you'll end up killing the GPU. 

You need to use the primary GPU slot for a single card. This is the slot that has the shorter stubby looking heatsink. 

Also make sure that your heatsink is the 3-pipe 100W version. There should be a sticker on the heatsink. If you are upgrading from a 660M then you probably have the lower Wattage heatsink and it may not be able to transfer the heat efficiently for the 980M. 

There is also a chance that the 980M is defective. There have been many reports of bad 980M's coming out of China so I wouldn't be surprised. 

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