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M18x R2 GPU upgrades


bilili
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Hi, everyone:

I have an Alienware M18x R2 with a single GeForce 675m 24GB RAM. (2012-model) running windows 8.1pro, BIOS A12 in Legacy mode.

Question: I am really confused right now about the graphics upgrade, seems there are lots of options open: https://eurocom.com/ec/upgrade(2,265,0)Alienware_M18xR2

I currently have the 19.5v 12.3A power adapter. Do I need to buy a more powerful power adapter (330w) if I am only upgrading 1 GPU (no plan for SLI, no extra heat sink and stuff)?

As for the GPU, what is the best GPU that would work on this machine? 1060m or 980m? would I have to update heatsink if I do 1060m? I read that I need to upgrade BIOS to some unlocked version? Would greatly appreciate some help here.

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I recommend looking into a 330w ac adapter, however your current 240w ac adapter should work fine with that 1060m. 

 

Honestly it's better to get this for cheaper: https://www.ebay.com/itm/403629040424?hash=item5dfa2a6328:g:juwAAOSwOWBe0C2X&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoP43e0VJvzAeuqYCEhiLkVRc5qIal97sDu%2Fakev5X4c2g5wuOlVKrOz2jzoD9D8AzUIj2Yt84zJB7uLMwOjH%2FPZOJsNWRmxD%2BNqdYc0oI8RXD%2ByaHpY60c%2BCSwY94T%2BoqP0znAUTS3xjUERfYmiIDOoB%2Fd2nKKtwUI15VGNQitY2W9tK4xOjuy9IWgxdyyL%2F2KXP9kVM2g7EndnhlUOsBZo%3D|tkp%3ABk9SR_KppuOsYQ

 

Both P4000 and that 1060 will not require any new heatsinks. It will plug in. 

 

For BIOS: 

 

Latest unlocked BIOS for M18xR2 is here.

 

Flash before buying new card. Go to BIOS, look for video settings and change mode from PEG to SG.

 

Save and then you can install new gpu

 

 

 

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Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware X14 R1 :       Intel Core i7 12700H 12th-Gen   | nVidia GeForce RTX 3060    | AX411 | SK Hynix 2TB PCIe4 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Alienware 18 R1 :          Intel Core i7 4930MX @ 4.0Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | SK Hynix 1TB NVMe 
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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16 hours ago, ssj92 said:

I recommend looking into a 330w ac adapter, however your current 240w ac adapter should work fine with that 1060m. 

 

Honestly it's better to get this for cheaper: https://www.ebay.com/itm/403629040424?hash=item5dfa2a6328:g:juwAAOSwOWBe0C2X&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoP43e0VJvzAeuqYCEhiLkVRc5qIal97sDu%2Fakev5X4c2g5wuOlVKrOz2jzoD9D8AzUIj2Yt84zJB7uLMwOjH%2FPZOJsNWRmxD%2BNqdYc0oI8RXD%2ByaHpY60c%2BCSwY94T%2BoqP0znAUTS3xjUERfYmiIDOoB%2Fd2nKKtwUI15VGNQitY2W9tK4xOjuy9IWgxdyyL%2F2KXP9kVM2g7EndnhlUOsBZo%3D|tkp%3ABk9SR_KppuOsYQ

 

Both P4000 and that 1060 will not require any new heatsinks. It will plug in. 

 

For BIOS: 

 

Latest unlocked BIOS for M18xR2 is here.

 

Flash before buying new card. Go to BIOS, look for video settings and change mode from PEG to SG.

 

Save and then you can install new gpu

 

 

 

Thank you so much!!! This is super helpful!

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@ssj92

Thank you again! Followed your suggestions and flashed my A12 BIOS back to the A11 official BIOS and made the USB bootable drive, and flashed it to unlocked A11 BIOS, and switched to the SG mode. 
Your previous reply was tremendously useful:

 

Waiting for the P4000 to arrive, (Order Placed). Should I still order a 330w power adapter?

Then it should be plug and play, right? Do I need to modify some nvidia driver for that?

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2 hours ago, bilili said:

@ssj92

Thank you again! Followed your suggestions and flashed my A12 BIOS back to the A11 official BIOS and made the USB bootable drive, and flashed it to unlocked A11 BIOS, and switched to the SG mode. 
Your previous reply was tremendously useful:

 

Waiting for the P4000 to arrive, (Order Placed). Should I still order a 330w power adapter?

Then it should be plug and play, right? Do I need to modify some nvidia driver for that?

For now skip the 330w ac adapter. They are normally needed when you have dual GPUs.

 

P4000 should work with 240w ac adapter. 

 

You will need to mod INF file to install driver.

 

I have a video here: [I am working on a video of the easier way of doing this but probably will be in 1-2 weeks]

 

 

Here's P4000 in my M18xR2:

 

https://www.3dmark.com/fs/25466379

 

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Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware X14 R1 :       Intel Core i7 12700H 12th-Gen   | nVidia GeForce RTX 3060    | AX411 | SK Hynix 2TB PCIe4 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Alienware 18 R1 :          Intel Core i7 4930MX @ 4.0Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | SK Hynix 1TB NVMe 
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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Hey @bilili listen to @ssj92, He set me up with that P4000 and I bought 2. My m18xr2 and m17xr4 are both running like Charms, very happy with those P4000's

Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920xm-16GB DDR3-Quadro P4000  Alienware M17x R4 i7-3940XM 16GB DDR3-1866 Quadro P4000

Precision m6700 i7-3840QM - 16.0GB DDR3 - GTX 970M     Alienware M17x R4 i7-3940XM 32GB DDR3-1600 GTX 680M 120hz 3D
Precision m4700 i7-3610QM-8.00GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz-K2000M

GOBOXX SLM  G2721-i7-10875H RTX 3000-32GB ddr4(Gave to my Wife)

 

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2 hours ago, bilili said:

@ssj92Addtional question: UEFI mode is a requirement, correct? and in the PCI Express setting, what MUX schedule should I choose? 

Yes use UEFI. 

MUX should be muxless dynamic scheme I believe. You can leave it on whatever the default one is first and see. 

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware X14 R1 :       Intel Core i7 12700H 12th-Gen   | nVidia GeForce RTX 3060    | AX411 | SK Hynix 2TB PCIe4 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Alienware 18 R1 :          Intel Core i7 4930MX @ 4.0Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | SK Hynix 1TB NVMe 
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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Bilili, you are where i was except i had SLI dual GTX675's which died 6 weeks apart. I went from dual gtx675's to a single gtx970 + integrated. I wanted to go down the MXM Quadro route myself with NVME adapter as well, but cant do that now.

 

Still amazes me that a 10 yr old laptop can still rock.

"I have a 10-11 year old laptop"

"I feel sorry for you..."

"Dont, its better than your new work laptop, i have m.2 NVME and RAID 0 sata SSD's, 32GB RAM, Quadro RTX capabilities + integrated in SG mode and an 18" screen...."

('.' )

 

keep us updated and GL.

 

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@ssj92 @simon hHelp!

So I put the new GPU in as shown. (took me a long while, haven't done this for years)

However, 8 beeps and no post! Did I miss anything? 

 

Hope you guys have some idea before I tear it back open...

Before the GPU replacement, I was in IGFX mode (UEFI) since my 675m was dead, SG mode would hang... Should I have switched to SG mode before installation? 

 

Right now, I can't even get in BIOS to switch...

IMG_1381.HEIC IMG_1384.HEIC

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@ssj92 @simon h Sorry about the panic! 

Situation defused after unplugging the CMOS battery and System battery for 30s. 

Managed to get it to post, and switched to SG mode. Got into Windows. Will install nVidia Driver according to your video.

Will share benchmark soon. 

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This made me smile....Had to chuckle sorry....SG mode Ahoy. I bet you was twitching for a while. It gets us all once.

 

So this is the P4000 GPU you have put in then?

Looking good there. list your spec as of now bilili. I am interested seeing what people are up to. It is great to see. I have a special affinity to the Alienware M18x R2.

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One more question: So I realized that this set up still does not allow the Alienware to output 4k, although the P4000 supports it since it routes to the integrated card.

Is 1920x1080 the best we could do? or there's a way around it. I tried playing with the nvidia control panel, and tried setting P4000 to be the preferred GPU, but still doesn't route the output.

image.png.ed4c685d0e2f8df112cbfb284602d2d3.pngimage.png.647fad247dd6910fa705d0468706f5aa.png

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52 minutes ago, bilili said:

One more question: So I realized that this set up still does not allow the Alienware to output 4k, although the P4000 supports it since it routes to the integrated card.

Is 1920x1080 the best we could do? or there's a way around it. I tried playing with the nvidia control panel, and tried setting P4000 to be the preferred GPU, but still doesn't route the output.

image.png.ed4c685d0e2f8df112cbfb284602d2d3.pngimage.png.647fad247dd6910fa705d0468706f5aa.png

Unfortunately because we rely on iGPU we are limited to mDP 1.1 which cannot do 4k @ 60hz. It should be able to do 4k @ 30hz

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware X14 R1 :       Intel Core i7 12700H 12th-Gen   | nVidia GeForce RTX 3060    | AX411 | SK Hynix 2TB PCIe4 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Alienware 18 R1 :          Intel Core i7 4930MX @ 4.0Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | SK Hynix 1TB NVMe 
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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20 hours ago, bilili said:

@simon h @ssj92 Everything works like a charm now! Thanks again for the community support. 

Here's my benchmark: https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/58123672

I am very happy to see a 10-year-old laptop beating my work laptop. Alienware M18xR2 is a time-tested gem.

P4000.PNG

As far as benches here is my m17x r4 with P4000 https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/51362291

This is what you have to look forward to but I see you have a single pipe CPU heatsink, here is the best deal I found

https://www.ebay.com/itm/152267821142?epid=2254528943&hash=item2373de9056:g:wFIAAOSwOyJX9RD6&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAsKhrXktCZ9MyAhU8Q72xZNvJqOypvDdVwpUNRHJr80ySK2SZm3jhhsYsL40epOTH1B46o8ho1L%2FsM1c%2FmVmZ%2B5zDulWPBL8lE1c%2BmCY%2BrRnlxB3p0zGvD8fCAiyDwKTYKLMvRBhRkt%2Fuv%2B8K1br8R3u6CKsC0TeLfdvagd76%2B1oVnNjd8oQAkXBJKeb6%2BunJghKpIdnaYp5A2QvvQWSUG7qYvQg3oxy9J8gZBvWkweVp|tkp%3ABk9SR7rXg8exYQ

 I would really like a all copper vapor chamber heatsink but could only find for the m17x r4

and if you upgrade the CPU get the i7 3920xm cause the i7 3940 runs too hot. I get better scores with the 3920

I get about the same scores with m18x r2 but I am having some issues with it. BSOD's and such. Running alot of tests and driver installs. I might have damaged something when opening it up. I have the m18x r2 since 10/12/2012, bought it new at Micro Center, it has been through alot.

Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920xm-16GB DDR3-Quadro P4000  Alienware M17x R4 i7-3940XM 16GB DDR3-1866 Quadro P4000

Precision m6700 i7-3840QM - 16.0GB DDR3 - GTX 970M     Alienware M17x R4 i7-3940XM 32GB DDR3-1600 GTX 680M 120hz 3D
Precision m4700 i7-3610QM-8.00GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz-K2000M

GOBOXX SLM  G2721-i7-10875H RTX 3000-32GB ddr4(Gave to my Wife)

 

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Thanks again for sharing! This couldn't be done without community supports. It is amazing to see that a 10-year-old Laptop can still go strong, defying Moore's law. 

Hope this post can encourage more fellow Alienware owners to upgrade their machines.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/21/2023 at 5:17 PM, bowhunter3303 said:

Wondering if so wone can help me. I have a m18x r2 with a si gle AMD 7090 in it and I want to up grade to a Nvidia GTX 1060 and I'm wondering what I need to do.

Also I'm on  bios A14 with windows 10

Thank you 

 

I replied to your post on TechInferno but that site is run by d1ckh@ds so I'd prefer not to go over there again.

 

You need the Unlocked BIOS which I believe you now have. Go to the second Advanced tab and change the video mode to SG. You should now be able to see the Intel graphics and the Nvidia dedicated graphics show up in the BIOS. Just check to see that the 1060 is listed in Device Manager as a Basic Microsoft Display Adapter. If it is then you just need to install a modified Nvidia driver

 

@ssj92made this YouTube video which should be easy to follow. Give it a try and ask questions if you need. 

 

 

 

Alienware M18x R2 - i7-3920XM - GTX 970M - 16GB 1866Mhz DDR3L - Samsung 970 Evo with MXM to NVMe Adapter - Custom Delft Blue

Alienware M18x R2 - i7-3840QM - GTX 680M - 16GB 1600Mhz - Custom Yellow     Alienware M17x R3 - i7-2760QM - GTX 580M - 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3

Alienware M17x R2 - i7-720MQ - GTX 460M - 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3 - 1920x1200 RGBLED   Alienware X51 - i7-3770 - NO GPU - 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3

Alienware Area 51 ALX - i7-975 Extreme - GTX 980 - 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3   Alienware Aurora R2 - i7-3770K - GTX 670FTW - 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 

Alienware Aurora R4 ALX - i7-3930K - GTX 1060 - 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3        Alienware Aurora R4 ALX - i7-3930K - GTX 670FTW - 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3

 

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