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Dell Precison M6800 MxM GPU


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Hello everyone,

I own an M6800 with a 4710MQ and K3100M. The K3100M Kekler card is useless to me pretty much. I've been looking to upgrade it, and I have narrowed myself down to a few options:

- Quadro P3000 6GB (slower than 1060, can it have a 1060 6gb mobile bios flashed onto it??)
- Tesla M6 (apparently as fast as a RX480 desktop... when it works. no non-optimus output, apparently issues on steam games)
- 980M (only a few on sale here in UK, very overpriced, near 300 pounds often. also reports of this overheating in benchmarks)
- 1060 6GB (would have to be ordered from china, not ideal incase it doesnt work + long shipping)

I'm fully aware with all of these cards that the cooler is going to need to face modification, due to the different spacing of the MOSFETs on Maxwell and Pascal as compared to the Kekler cards this would have shipped with. Along with also NVIDIA .inf modding to get the driver to install.

I was very near to buying the P3000 and 980M, but apparently the P3000 needs an engineering sample vbios to not cause errors, and the 980M was really just more than I wanted to spend on a card of that age. Plus risking the chance it doesn't work + overheats too much. The Tesla card really seems like a good option, especially as they are very cheap compared to others for the performance. But I am concerned about being able to game on it since it was designed with Virtual Machines in mind. I really do not want to order out of the UK if I can help it for shipping waits and costs, and also likely bad returns if it comes to that.

Oh yeah, and did I mention it's going to need to work on Linux too. The laptop is dualbooting Gentoo Linux and Windows so it doesn't nessecarily need to be able to render under Linux as long as the iGPU will continue to run under Optimus (although it would be nice).

Does anyone have any guidance as to whether or not any of these will actually work (I know it needs to have a Dell, Clevo or Alienware vBIOS), and if there are any other better options. It doesn't really need to handle heavy games, but it would be nice to play stuff at a minimum of 60fps FHD Med on the thing.

Thanks!

Edited by MelonicOverlord
Made topic more clear
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Update: (?)
Just found some videos of a guy getting a Tesla M6 8GB certainly working in an M6800. Not entirely sure what or how since the video is in Russian (and so are all of the others showing this as far as I can tell), but they definitely seem to get it working. There is one on sale in the UK right now, working, for 72GBP. Should I just bite the bullet here and go for it? What steps would I likely have to take to get gaming working on this for both Microsoft Store games, and Steam games? Linux?

Edit:
Just found also a person playing WatchDogs 2 on a Tesla M6. The game (the person shows the settings) is registering it as a 980M. Can the M6 take a 980M BIOS?
image.thumb.png.828a2f5792642cd975a1da621079fe8f.png

 

Edit 2:
After digging further into this person, they've made a video on how they got this working. They have uploaded their BIOS used, this video also says an M6800 they're doing it on as well. They recommended using a 980M driver (w/ NVCleaninstall), hence the 980M showing in a game. I've downloaded this BIOS just incase, and I think I may be onto something here.

image.thumb.png.3e59fad1ad058cc590c5191f3a2cc14e.png

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After those gaming vidoes I feel quite confident that I could make the M6 game at least under Windows... might just buy it, and go for it that way anyone in future can know how to do it. At the end of the day, 70 quid isnt bad for this card especially if I can get it gaming as it should. Especially with that person's vBIOS which was used on one of these machines and known working.

I'm assuming I'm okay to use a flashing clip to flash the vBIOS, and I don't have to use the command line utility?

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Got two w7170m installed in two M6700s and they're noticeably faster than my Kepler cards and comparable to my M5000M. Even played Hogwarts legacy despite the lack of driver updates. The main reason why I like AMD mxm cards in most instances is that they are so easy to install and can just happy click without ever needing to mod the drivers never mind the vbios with only a single exception that I am aware of with the S7100X needing a custom vbios to drive a display.

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Tesla M6 is theoretically as fast as a desktop RX470 though if I can get it working. My new latest concern is that I cannot see any 8-leg bios chips anywhere on the board meaning I'd have to try my luck with NVFlash. Especially as the one I'm looking at is a HP replacement card.

Do you know how well the S7100X performs? From what I've seen it's really nothing impressive over what I already have.

Edit:
In fact looking at it, the M6 has a different chip in the location of where the BIOS chip on a 980M is.

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image.thumb.png.dd64a2c4102df4e5625939169d51c593.pngW
Wait is this the one? If so, bargain if it's as fast as you say. The 4GB vram could be a bit constricting though considering even my Kekler K3100M has that much.

How were the frames whilst gaming on it?

It also seems that sadly there are no AMD M6800 GPU coolers on UK ebay right now, not even international as far as I see. Is it possible to make do with the NVIDIA one and some thermal pads do you think?

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That is fairly cheap these days compared to what they were during covid where I payed around $160 or so each and they are just drop in. Went and looked up the Tesla M6's specs and yes it would be faster by a perceivable margin though not greatly but I have no experience getting one of those working. 

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Do you have any performance examples of the FirePro at all? All I'm finding are videos of a guy playing BeamNG on it, no clue of the settings (med-high if I had to guess) at like 40FPS. Also as for the cooler, do you think it's possible to make the NVIDIA one work with the AMD card reliably?

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For my daily I've been using the WX7100 and it holds up very well but I haven't kept up with the latest titles with the exception to Hogwarts legacy. I'd say the wx7100 which is a good part of two thirds faster than the M5000M and likewise the W7170m/SX7100 so it would be around the performance if I had to guess that of a P4000 mobile give or take 5-10%.

 

I did go looking through my bookmarks for a link to a google drive where someone had some fixed roms for the Pascal generation but it was deleted.

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When I installed my M5000M into my spare M6800 I had to grind part of the heatsink with a dremel due to one of the inductors being blocked beyond that it fitted fine afterwards. As for the drivers admittedly have taken care of partly due to having a six day work week and mental fatigue.

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Fair enough. Which part did you have to remove on the heatsink and how much (I might try and do it in advance)? I knew it had to be done but I don't really know where or how much. Am I likely to be able to just saw off the part / sand it / hammer it away?

I'm about to order the M6 now and I'll document how and if I get it to work for future people, since these cards are quite cheap for the performance and most M6800's are NVIDIA.

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Missed the "action" but some notes.

  • Tesla M6 has the same specs as a GeForce 980M or Quadro M5000M, and there have been a number of cases of people using it in this system without issue, though you do have to forego direct video output and use it with Optimus.  This also means that the HDMI and DisplayPort on the laptop will be non-functional.  I believe that the display outputs are physically disabled on these cards so you can't get them back by flashing a different GPU's vBIOS on.  (VGA port will work, it is hooked up to the iGPU.  If you have an ePort dock, you can also configure one of the DVI/DisplayPort ports on the dock to attach to the iGPU, in BIOS setup.)
  • Pascal GPUs need a vBIOS flash before booting Windows will work.  With regular commercial vBIOS, you will get an ACPI BSOD when booting Windows (even if you are just trying to boot Windows PE or the installer).  You have to flash an early "engineering sample" vBIOS on to get around this.  We only have working vBIOS'es for Quadro P3000, P4000, and P5000; no GeForce cards.  (Somehow, this is not an issue under Linux and you can boot it up with any Pascal GPU, without messing with the vBIOS.)
    • ...But Turing GPUs will work with Windows without any issue from the vBIOS, if you can find one that you can physically mount.
  • My recent experience with Optimus on Linux was that I had no problems at all with it rendering games out through Optimus.  I tried both native Linux games/emulators, and Windows games running through Steam+Proton.  No trouble at all.  Things have improved a lot over the past several years and it is now basically "plug-and-play".  However, I was working with a GeForce 3080 Ti GPU (Ampere) and I am not sure if NVIDIA has done the same work with earlier GPUs.  I saw lots of driver notes about certain things only working with Turing and up.
  • As noted, depending on which cooler you have in your system, you may have to dremel off a bit of metal in order to have it fit with a newer GPU.  This is true on NVIDIA GPUs in particular, anything Maxwell and later has a VRM on the board in a different spot than it was on the Kepler GPUs and it will be "in the way" of a bit of the heatsink that sticks down off the bottom.  I'm not sure what the situation is on AMD GPUs.  There is a version of the NVIDIA heatsink that is flat on the bottom and won't need any modification.  It is not very common and it has the same part number as the normal one that you do have to mod, so you can't tell without physically inspecting it.  Just sort of luck of the draw which one you got.
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Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2023 (personal) • Dell Precision 7560 (work) • Full specs in spoiler block below
Info posts (Dell) — Dell Precision key postsDell driver RSS feeds • Dell Fan Management — override fan behavior
Info posts (Windows) — Turbo boost toggle • The problem with Windows 11 • About Windows 10 LTSC

Spoiler

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2023 (personal)

  • M2 Max
    • 4 efficiency cores
    • 8 performance cores
    • 38-core Apple GPU
  • 96GB LPDDR5-6400
  • 8TB SSD
  • macOS 14 "Sonoma"
  • 16.2" 3456×2234 120 Hz mini-LED VRR display
  • Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3
  • 99.6Wh battery
  • 1080p webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

Also — iPhone 12 Pro 512GB, Apple Watch Series 8

 

Dell Precision 7560 (work)

  • Intel Xeon W-11955M ("Tiger Lake")
    • 8×2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading ("Willow Cove")
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 ECC
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB
  • Storage:
    • 512GB system drive (Micron 2300)
    • 4TB additional storage (Sabrent Rocket Q4)
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021
  • 15.6" 3940×2160 IPS display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX210 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3)
  • 95Wh battery
  • 720p IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Previous

  • Dell Precision 7530, 7510, M4800, M6700
  • Dell Latitude E6520
  • Dell Inspiron 1720, 5150
  • Dell Latitude CPi
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1 hour ago, MelonicOverlord said:

Do you know if the AMD and NVIDIA coolers need the same parts removed?

 

I don't know anything with regards to the AMD GPUs or GPU heatsink.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2023 (personal) • Dell Precision 7560 (work) • Full specs in spoiler block below
Info posts (Dell) — Dell Precision key postsDell driver RSS feeds • Dell Fan Management — override fan behavior
Info posts (Windows) — Turbo boost toggle • The problem with Windows 11 • About Windows 10 LTSC

Spoiler

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2023 (personal)

  • M2 Max
    • 4 efficiency cores
    • 8 performance cores
    • 38-core Apple GPU
  • 96GB LPDDR5-6400
  • 8TB SSD
  • macOS 14 "Sonoma"
  • 16.2" 3456×2234 120 Hz mini-LED VRR display
  • Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3
  • 99.6Wh battery
  • 1080p webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

Also — iPhone 12 Pro 512GB, Apple Watch Series 8

 

Dell Precision 7560 (work)

  • Intel Xeon W-11955M ("Tiger Lake")
    • 8×2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading ("Willow Cove")
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 ECC
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB
  • Storage:
    • 512GB system drive (Micron 2300)
    • 4TB additional storage (Sabrent Rocket Q4)
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021
  • 15.6" 3940×2160 IPS display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX210 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3)
  • 95Wh battery
  • 720p IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Previous

  • Dell Precision 7530, 7510, M4800, M6700
  • Dell Latitude E6520
  • Dell Inspiron 1720, 5150
  • Dell Latitude CPi
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I used the nvidia heatsink with my M5000M and had to perform the mod, you'll grind a fair bit of that off otherwise it won't seat correctly due to one of the inductors being blocked by that bit of copper. I had to grind all the way into the aluminum.

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