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Alienware 18 System BIOS A05 Released


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BIOS A05 is now available for download. You can grab it here: Alienware 18 System BIOS A05 or directly from the FTP folder here: AW18A05.exe

This seems to be better to me, too. I'm excited about testing to see how it performs. Right off the bat I noticed something good! My Processor Current Limit default is now 190.000A versus a pathetic 55.000A before! Yay! I used to have to set this manually at every boot with XTU or ThrottleStop. Since I just flashed it, I still need to test the behavior, but in additon to the Processor Current Limit now being 190.0000A versus 55.000A, there is a new feature in XTU that was not there before the flash. It is called Package Turbo Power Lock. XTU's description is "Unlocks the model specific register to allow overriding of the processor package's default power limits." This option was enabled by default.

The BIOS also goes higher than 1866 for memory clock speeds now. It used to be limited to 1866 if I am not mistaken, and the Corsair Vengeance 2133 I tested would not exceed 1866. I am going to pull those stick from the M18xR2 and test them to see if they will work correctly in the 18 now.

Below is a screen shot of XTU that another person posted recently and a screen shot I just captured showing what is new.

Previous Options


New Options


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Well, here is what I discovered. Package Turbo Power Lock caps your sliders to match what you set manually in the BIOS and grays out the Package Power Limit entries in ThrottleStop, but if you choose "Disabled" for Package Turbo Power Lock and reboot, that button disappears from XTU and then the sliders and ThrottleStop settings are unlocked. I am seeing better XTU benchmark scores (by a little bit) and temps are about the same as before, so nothing negative to report so far... only positive about the Processor Current Limit not being gimped at the 55.000A default.

CPU hits 140W without much effort and temps are still managed with Liquid Ultra paste. The CPU still turns lower Physics scores in 3DMark11 than my 3920XM, but overall there is good reason to be happy because the BIOS is better than it was before. I still need to check to see if Secure Flash was removed. I have to go find svl7's tool in the A04 thread and find out. Will do that sometime today. Not going to hold my breath on that, but hope springs eternal, LOL.


Edit: here is a 3DMark11 Physics Test. Note the good temps with Liquid Ultra. This is not as good as 3920XM (over 11K at this speed) but it is about 200~ 3DMarks higher than it would do with A04 at the same clock speeds. And, it seems like my 4930MX is throttling less than it used to. So, moving in the right direction.


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Works fancontrol with hwinfo?

Gesendet von meinem Nexus 7 mit Tapatalk

Nope... unfortunately, the GPU fans are still as dead as a door nail when you try to use HWiNFO64 for manual fan control. Have to leave it set to "Auto" or the GPU fans still do not kick on and the GPUs will overheat.
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Sweet thanks Brother Fox. Gonna update now!! Fans still NOT sorted, far out what is wrong them ppl..

Edit: Wow, CPU acts heaps better now as well. Turbo boost actually ramps up fully and it ramps up hard to where you lock / set it manually. Before it was kinda like it was running out of juice.. :S

Now all we have to do is get that stupid secure flash done away and get this mess of a mistake fan situation sorted.. in this case that is a lot to ask. lol

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Hello All,

I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but here's the story:

I ordered and received an Alienware 18, Fully Loaded (4930MX, 780SLI, Quad 256GB SSD Raid, 32 GB, Win8) just before December this year (Build Date Dec 7). I did not really get a chance to "use" the laptop for a month or so after ordering. As soon as I did, I immediately noticed the performance issues - especially with the overclocking. Spoke to Alienware Tech's, and they tried for about 2 hours to overclock this for me (which now I realize was pointless). As they were trying, I noticed them downclock 3/4 cores to 36x, and bring one to 43, 44, and 45x, then run Prime95 on ONE core. They still couldn't touch the advertised speed on one core. Of Course I inquired about their one core crock of BS, and asked them if they ordered a car with leather seats, and it came with one leather seat, would they accept it? Engineering contacted me a few days later, saying they "Did not have a fix at this time, but were working on it." Gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited a month and a half. Called again, basically was told still not possible. Asked why I paid $500 for an upgrade to a 4930MX. They said "well what do we need to give to compensate you for this not preforming?" I replied a refund for the $500 upgrade as either cheque or "Dell Store" credit. The guy actually laughed and said "There is no chance of that happening, I was thinking more along the lines of a mouse pad, and since you have had the laptop more than 21 days, it is not returnable, so should I ship a mouse pad?." Hung up instantly before I got ignorant and vulgar.

Next morning March 10th I think, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau regarding this information, of this being advertised as "Overclocked to 4.3Ghz" and not "3.0 Ghz, with the possibility of 4.3Ghz when our engineers around to fixing it" My requests when filing the complaint were any of: a) Credit for upgrade b)Fix it c)Letter stating that this will be fixed. Also, aside from that, I requested Dell remove the "False Advertising off the website."

Just received call from Dell Customer Resolution/Relations, and here is what I got:

"At this time, Dell Engineers have been informed of this issue. It has been brought to our attention before. We are not sure if or when this problem may be resolved. Even though you have had the laptop for over 21 days, we will allow you to return the laptop for a full refund, minus the Dell Promotional Card that you received when you purchased this laptop. As for the website, that is a sales issue and it has been forwarded. and blah blah blah blah blah."

Spec price on this machine was 5100 on Dell's website and with Loyalty Bonus's and Discounts, I paid under 50% of that price. So I'm up in arms what to do, as I cant really complain about the price for performance issue. I think I will wait it out. I was not really expecting that as an answer, was more hoping for the fix it or letter deal, so we could all have some hope/insight.

But, if they are offering to let me return the Laptop after 3+ months, rather than any of my requests, and lose a 10 year customer, I don't think they anticipate on fixing the problems. So, that being said, anyone who wishes to not deal with the headache, I'd suggest filing a complaint with the BBB and returning the laptop. If you would like a copy of the letter I wrote to get this out of them, feel free to ask.

Sorry for the long schpeel as a "first post" but I thought I would let everyone know.


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WOW nice @Birdalicious Nobody ever does anything about things like this and that is why Big companies and corporations think that they can get away with anything these days. I am impressed with what you did and you are 100% in the right to do so after paying a premium amount for something that has not delivered on what it should and what is advertised.

I would do something similar but i am kinda semi happy with the machine right now as far as what i use it for and games etc.. Plus i got it at a good price But the truth is it still falls well below what it should be able to do and what is advertised to us enthusiasts which is the sad truth. Well done there bird and cred to you. :encouragement:

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Well, as an update, I decided to keep my Monster of a machine.. Although I am not impressed, it's far too big of a pain to deal with the swap out... I'd imagine they would do the "Spit on the hamburger" prank with the new laptop anyways!

Just noticed they released A06 for us today.... Doesn't say anything useful is fixed, but we shall see!

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I'm not planning to flash A06 at this point. If what hear others saying about it is accurate, the fans are back to their old ways of not running and the system overheat like it did with A04, as though they "un-fixed" that problem.

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