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675m to 880m upgrade m17x r4 120Hz 3D screen

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Hi All,

First of all I wanted to thank all the contributors on this forum who have helped many-a-people like me in upgrading their gear and solving the issues which arise along the way. Kudos to all of you!

I have been lurking around this forum and sub forum for about a month now trying to understand how GPU upgrades work on alienware m17X laptops and how will I go about doing this on my own laptop. The purpose of this post is to share what steps I am going to undertake once I begin upgrading my GPU and also post a comprehensive guide for beginners like me (or noobs if you wish :) ) as I feel there is some good information here in multiple threads on this subforum but it can sometimes be hard for beginners to grasp all the information in the various threads.

Firstly I would like to share my m17x R4's specs:

Processor : Intel Core i7 3820QM (8MB Cache, up to 3.7GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)

Display : 17.3" 120Hz w/ 3D Bundle WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD

Memory : 16384MB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3 Dual Channel

Power Supply : Alienware 240W AC Adapter

Graphics : 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M

Sound Card : Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di with THX TruStudio Pro Software

Operating System : English Genuine Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium (64 BIT)

I have decided to upgrade my GPU from GTX 675m to GTX 880m. I have ordered the card from Upgardemonkey (ebay) and should be with me by Tuesday (10.03.2015).

I do understand I would loose my 3-D functionality when I upgrade the card, but that is not a big drawback to me as imho it more of a gimmick anyways.

UPDATE: I have now successfully installed the card. Please see the below post for steps on how to do the same.

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Hi All,

I have now successfully installed the 880m in my M17X R4. As promised, please find the steps below:

1) Install windows 8.1 in UEFI

a) Create bootable UEFI USB drive by downloading Rufus and using these steps -> UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

B) Restart and go into BIOS. Set boot list option to UEFI and F10 save and exit. Restart with USB inserted and perform a clean install of Windows 8.1.

c) Once install finishes, open windows as normal and let all the updates finish. Don't worry if Nvidia drivers for your existing graphics card get installed as we will be removing these later. Also make sure all your laptop drivers are installed and all hardware is detected properly.

2) Install the A11 V2 unlocked BIOS using method 2 -> http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware-m17x-aw-17/1964-%5Bm17x-r4%5D-unlocked-bios-versions.html

3) After you have updated the BIOS, load default setting and reboot. Go into BIOS boot options and

a) Disable legacy options rom

B) Disable fast boot

c) Disable secure boot (should be default)

d) In advanced menu under video configuration set display to PEG (should be default for 3D cards) and Disable IGP (integrated graphics).

4) Perform this step only if you cannot disable legacy option ROM (error - Can't detect MXM card GOP driver).

a) Reboot and go into boot options and boot from the USB with Windows UEFI. Select repair and go into advanced options and then command prompt. Input command "diskpart" and then "List disk" (without quotes). Make sure all disks partition table are set to GPT (Should have a * sign in the column).

B) Install 675m unlocked vBios. Use the steps in this link -> http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware/2658-%5Bm14x-r2%5D-%5Bm17x-r4%5D-%5Bm18x-r2%5D-uefi-fast-boot-secure-boot-gpu-issues-%2Asolved%2A.html

5) Removing Nvidia drivers - Use DDU clean and shutdown option -> https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/550192/geforce-drivers/display-driver-uninstaller-ddu-v11-1-released-01-23-14-/

6) Disable driver signing:

a) Open command prompt

B) Enter command "bcdedit /set {current} testsigning yes"

c) Exit command prompt and shutdown

7) Remove old card and swap for new card. Use this guide for thermal pad placement -> http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware-m17x-aw-17/3702-m17x-r3-gpu-upgrade-gtx-780m-23.html#post71956

8) Install modified drivers for new card:

a) go to laptopvideo2go

B) under drivers look for driver version 347.52 and download the win 64 bit version. Also download the modified inf file by copying the page and pasting into notepad and saving the file as nv_dispi.inf

c) Extract the driver once installed and copy paste the nv_inf file in the display.Driver folder. A overwriting prompt will appear. Click copy and replace.

d) Run setup.exe and choose custom install clean install option.

9) Enable driver signing:

a) Open command prompt

B) Enter command "bcdedit /set {current} testsigning no"

c) Exit command prompt and restart

I hope the above steps help you in your upgrade.

A big shout out to @J95 and @svl7 amongst many other who have helped many people like me in installing new cards and troubleshooting.

Thanks :):)


I don't take any responsibility for any possible damages on your system. All tools/softwares mentioned in this post are the property of their respective developers and I hold no affiliation with any of these third parties.

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