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M18x R2 - Display overclocking using Custom Resolution Utility


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I'm trying to overclock the display on my M18x R2.

It just upgraded it to a 3940XM and a GTX 1070, running SG from the unlocked bios (the NVIDIA Optimus option sort of speak).

Right now it's at 60Hz and I'm trying to overclock it with CRU (Custom Resolution Utility) in Windows 10, hoping to get it to 85 Hz or something.

But for some reason I just can't get it to work. I add custom resolutions with higher refresh rates to it like so:

 

image.png.a587e64bcfe134ddb04241d05b8b587a.png

 

Afterwards I reboot the laptop and I should be able to see the added refresh rates, but I can only see the standard 2 which were already present (the 60Hz and 40Hz ones):

 

image.png.5401c99d23e0ebfc7a6a4750b8b75467.png

 

If successful I should be able to see them there no?

 

I know other users have overclocked their M18x displays using CRU.

What am I doing wrong here?

 

I see in CRU also the following display settings:

 

image.png.79b0d91726cefe30cc1ac5895e5f091e.png

 

Do I have to change anything here?

I hope someone can help me out here as I've been stuck on this for half a day now lol :)

 

I'm starting to think it has something to do with the fact that I'm using Optimus and Intel HD graphics is not allowing changing refresh rates.

I tried adding a custom resolution in the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel:

 

image.thumb.png.6359de2545eb86656340d13493ec304d.png

 

But it says that "Custom Resolution Exceeds Maximum Bandwidth". Even If I try to put a value lower than 60Hz. So it just can't be changed it seems.

I read somewhere online that it took a while for Intel to change their drivers so that 3rd party EDID applications for internal and external panels on Intel platforms were allowed to make these changes to the refresh rates. But I also read they only did this for Intel 4th generation (Haswell) and up. But I have a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge. Which means I'm out of luck? How did all those other people achieve overclocking the display in the M18x R2 then? They're all running Ivy Bridge CPU's. Or is it because they have iGFX disabled and are only running on the discrete nvidia GPU? Because afaik that's not something I can do with the gtx 1070. I need to run in SG mode in bios, if I do PEG mode I get the 8 beeps scenario and get stuck. I don't think I can run purely on discrete GPU, or can I somehow?

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you have to edit and replace the 40hz option and export it as a .exe, then u run and flash the EDID with that custom exe and reboot. im sure @ssj92 can go into more detail about it as he helped me with it. this way you get the 60hz option as well as the custom higher refresh rate, mine runs at 75hz without issue. If you like i can upload my exe but obviously use at your own risk.

Alienware M18X R2 | Nebula Red | i7 3740QM [OC'd to 4Ghz] | 32GB RAM | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 | 75hz OC'd Display |

MXM to NVMe Adapter with Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB

Alienware 17 R4 | i7 6700HQ | 16GB RAM | GTX 1070 | 100hz OC'd LG 1080p Display

Alienware M18X R1 | Space Black | i7 2960XM | 16GB RAM | GTX 780M

 
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5 hours ago, Azther said:

you have to edit and replace the 40hz option and export it as a .exe, then u run and flash the EDID with that custom exe and reboot. im sure @ssj92 can go into more detail about it as he helped me with it. this way you get the 60hz option as well as the custom higher refresh rate, mine runs at 75hz without issue. If you like i can upload my exe but obviously use at your own risk.

Yeah I figured out in meantime that it's not possible with Ivy Bridge CPU's. I read something on NBRchive (also form @ssj92btw) that exporting the EDID bin file from CRU and using linux to flash it to the display. I was looking into that, but your option sounds like a lot less hassle if I can somehow make an windows executable with reboot. Can't wait to hear from him how it's done. Fingers crossed :)

 

EDIT: I actually found how to do it! In Custom Resolution Utility, change/add everything you want. Then click the "export" button and save it as an executable.

 

image.png.524e8c4d70ef3127c4607cc180af2e50.png

 

Afterwards, close CRU and run the executable.

Just do Install EDID. It will tell you to reboot.

 

image.png.293fd11a33f666535f684f8528c31241.png

 

I rebooted but got a black screen when reaching windows.

I rebooted again and got to windows without a problem.

And eureka, all higher refresh rates that I set were available.

And they work :)

 

image.png.99f133351b4ee6764d39ac6e0fb863a8.png

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1 hour ago, GMP said:

Yeah I figured out in meantime that it's not possible with Ivy Bridge CPU's. I read something on NBRchive (also form @ssj92btw) that exporting the EDID bin file from CRU and using linux to flash it to the display. I was looking into that, but your option sounds like a lot less hassle if I can somehow make an windows executable with reboot. Can't wait to hear from him how it's done. Fingers crossed 🙂

heres how you do it within CRU, highlight the 40hz option (under detailed resolutions) and hit edit, then change the timing to native HDTV and then pick ur desired resolution like so:

cru1.png.53dd31cc7a79ba05c3e88b8d34d8132d.png

 

then after clicking ok, hit the export button and change the drop down to exe and name it whatever you like:

cru2.png.a42e92d0edebb8cbef926783288a5783.png

 

after that just run the exe created and hit Install, then once u reboot ur pc the 40hz should now be whatever custom value you set it at. its a registry change as far as i can tell, when you reinstall windows it reverts back to 40hz so you would just rerun the exe again

Alienware M18X R2 | Nebula Red | i7 3740QM [OC'd to 4Ghz] | 32GB RAM | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 | 75hz OC'd Display |

MXM to NVMe Adapter with Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB

Alienware 17 R4 | i7 6700HQ | 16GB RAM | GTX 1070 | 100hz OC'd LG 1080p Display

Alienware M18X R1 | Space Black | i7 2960XM | 16GB RAM | GTX 780M

 
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6 minutes ago, Azther said:

heres how you do it within CRU, highlight the 40hz option (under detailed resolutions) and hit edit, then change the timing to native HDTV and then pick ur desired resolution like so:

cru1.png.53dd31cc7a79ba05c3e88b8d34d8132d.png

 

then after clicking ok, hit the export button and change the drop down to exe and name it whatever you like:

cru2.png.a42e92d0edebb8cbef926783288a5783.png

 

after that just run the exe created and hit Install, then once u reboot ur pc the 40hz should now be whatever custom value you set it at. its a registry change as far as i can tell, when you reinstall windows it reverts back to 40hz so you would just rerun the exe again

Thanks for that.

I just edited my previous post as I figured it out myself in meantime.

But it works so I'm very happy :)

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9 minutes ago, GMP said:

Thanks for that.

I just edited my previous post as I figured it out myself in meantime.

But it works so I'm very happy 🙂

ah good, sorry didnt see the edit. Only thing to be aware of is the screen might display odd behavior when the screen is cold (if the laptop has been turned off for awhile for example) but once its warmed up it goes back to normal (takes about 5-10mins) just depends how high you go with the refresh rate

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Alienware M18X R2 | Nebula Red | i7 3740QM [OC'd to 4Ghz] | 32GB RAM | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 | 75hz OC'd Display |

MXM to NVMe Adapter with Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB

Alienware 17 R4 | i7 6700HQ | 16GB RAM | GTX 1070 | 100hz OC'd LG 1080p Display

Alienware M18X R1 | Space Black | i7 2960XM | 16GB RAM | GTX 780M

 
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2 minutes ago, Azther said:

ah good, sorry didnt see the edit. Only thing to be aware of is the screen might display odd behavior when the screen is cold (if the laptop has been turned off for awhile for example) but once its warmed up it goes back to normal (takes about 5-10mins) just depends how high you go with the refresh rate

Good to know, thanks a lot!

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not really, its trial and error from best i can tell, if it starts artifacting then i wouldnt use it, i just tried 75hz myself and kept it there. others have reported 80 and 85 work but white lines start to appear beyond that

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Alienware M18X R2 | Nebula Red | i7 3740QM [OC'd to 4Ghz] | 32GB RAM | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 | 75hz OC'd Display |

MXM to NVMe Adapter with Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB

Alienware 17 R4 | i7 6700HQ | 16GB RAM | GTX 1070 | 100hz OC'd LG 1080p Display

Alienware M18X R1 | Space Black | i7 2960XM | 16GB RAM | GTX 780M

 
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good job on getting CRU to work, definitely a very nifty tool to have 🙂

 

as for refresh rate testing, be careful and take it step by step. i know its more time consuming, but its better to just go in 5 Hz steps or so. if u go too high too fast u might get stuck in a black screen or with artifacts / glitches.

 

as for stability testing, ull be able to see it very quickly if a refresh rate is stable or not. its not like overclocking or undervolting cpu/gpu/ram where errors might need several hours or days to show up. just be sure to have a close look, sometimes its just a thin green line or similar showing signs of an unstable refresh rate setting. more obvious signs is a total black screen or big artifacts / glitches with crazy rainbow colors all over the place. enjoy! 🙂 

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Yes exe method works on all AW even 2nd gen Sandy Bridge based laptops. 

 

I got 85hz on AW18 & 80hz on M18xR2 fully stable (technically 90hz & 85hz but I like to keep it down one level)

 

 

One thing to keep in mind is, letting the display "warm up" for 20 minutes may result in a higher OC. This also means that OC will require the display to 'warm up" until you can use it after laptop has been off for awhile. 

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  • 3 months later...

Figured id post this for those who decide to experiment with display OCing so they know what to expect on these older displays. Recently went on holiday so had the laptop powered down for a few days and this is what happens when the display is cold. Takes a few minutes to warm up and as it does so the pixels come on row by row going down the screen until it all comes on. So if you are OCing and see this dont panic, it just needs time to warm back up again if you power down the machine at any point for an extended period.

 

IMG_4102.thumb.jpg.60832bc8a32f4213981de76d8df353f5.jpg

Alienware M18X R2 | Nebula Red | i7 3740QM [OC'd to 4Ghz] | 32GB RAM | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 | 75hz OC'd Display |

MXM to NVMe Adapter with Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB

Alienware 17 R4 | i7 6700HQ | 16GB RAM | GTX 1070 | 100hz OC'd LG 1080p Display

Alienware M18X R1 | Space Black | i7 2960XM | 16GB RAM | GTX 780M

 
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