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RogerWilco69
1 Nickel

M18x R1 Upgrades

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Hey all,

So I have had my M18x R1 for about 2 years and its running great still.

here is my current config.

M18xR1, i7 2760QM, 8 GB DDR memory, 2x 580m SLI

So I was thinking of upgrading to the 2920XM CPU...if I'm not going to overclock is it worth it?

Was going to upgrade the 580Ms to 680Ms anyone have any issues so far?  I know with the R1 I will have to do a vBIOS flash to get the 680s to work.  Also do the Dell 680Ms come SLI capable or not?  

Any help would be great

Thanks!

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AndrewSi
4 Germanium

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

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Hi - IMO the 2760QM was the worst chip of the entire second gen series, so ANY upgrade would be good.

If your thinking of a 2920 why not go the whole hog and install a 2960XM - Add a SSD and you'll have a very fast laptop.

Are you sure you have to flash the vbios for a 680M upgrade, I thought a driver mod was the only thing required.

Yes Dell 680M's are SLI capable (FYI - 2GB 680M beats 3GB 770M by roughly 10%)

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/GeForce-GTX-770M-vs-GeForce-GTX-680M

From memory you will need to purchase different heatsinks, but your current SLI cable will swap over fine.

I would also STRONGLY suggest if your system is 2 years old NOT to use the old thermal pads from the 580's on the 680's - the 680's will run hot and I'd hate for you to burn them out for the sake of $50-$100 worth of thermal pads.

IC diamond is usually recommended by everyone, it's a good product and you will get a better temp reduction than arctic silver 5, but IC diamond can be quite difficult to use (maybe a 2-3 degree celcius different between the two) I've found with new thermal pads and arctic silver 5 I can keep my temps around the low 70's even after 3-4 hours playing COD: Ghosts or Call of Jaurez - I'm running two overclocked 680M's.

 

The new NVidia "8" series GPU's are just about to hit the market too, keep that in mind

Mr. Fox
4 Ruthenium

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

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There is very little difference between 2920XM and 2960XM. They perform more or less the same and if you know how to tune them correctly 2920XM can perform almost identical. If you have access to either one at a similar price, 2960XM is preferred because it is newer and a tad more efficient when overclocked.

Any NVIDIA 100W heat sink for the M18xR1/R2 including the GTX 580M heat sinks will work. I am using GTX 580M heat sinks with GTX 780M SLI in my M18xR2 without any issues. The only thing you need to purchase is video cards and support plates (aka X-brackets). You can reuse the support plates if necessary, but they are not easy to remove because of the adhesive rubber gasket that is bonding it to the GPU.

See this post for more information: Alienware M18x R1/R2 GTX 680M SLI Upgrade Information


ALIENKILLER II // EVOC P870DM3
7700K @ 5.2GHz ● GTX 1080 SLI ● 17.3" QHD 120Hz G-Sync ● 64GB DDR4-3200 ● 780W AC Adapter

EL CUCUY // EUROCOM TORNADO F5
7700K @ 5.0GHz ● GTX 1080 ● 15.6" FHD 120Hz ● 32GB DDR4-3000 ● 330W AC Adapter

5 Replies
AndrewSi
4 Germanium

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

Jump to solution

Hi - IMO the 2760QM was the worst chip of the entire second gen series, so ANY upgrade would be good.

If your thinking of a 2920 why not go the whole hog and install a 2960XM - Add a SSD and you'll have a very fast laptop.

Are you sure you have to flash the vbios for a 680M upgrade, I thought a driver mod was the only thing required.

Yes Dell 680M's are SLI capable (FYI - 2GB 680M beats 3GB 770M by roughly 10%)

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/GeForce-GTX-770M-vs-GeForce-GTX-680M

From memory you will need to purchase different heatsinks, but your current SLI cable will swap over fine.

I would also STRONGLY suggest if your system is 2 years old NOT to use the old thermal pads from the 580's on the 680's - the 680's will run hot and I'd hate for you to burn them out for the sake of $50-$100 worth of thermal pads.

IC diamond is usually recommended by everyone, it's a good product and you will get a better temp reduction than arctic silver 5, but IC diamond can be quite difficult to use (maybe a 2-3 degree celcius different between the two) I've found with new thermal pads and arctic silver 5 I can keep my temps around the low 70's even after 3-4 hours playing COD: Ghosts or Call of Jaurez - I'm running two overclocked 680M's.

 

The new NVidia "8" series GPU's are just about to hit the market too, keep that in mind

Mr. Fox
4 Ruthenium

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

Jump to solution

There is very little difference between 2920XM and 2960XM. They perform more or less the same and if you know how to tune them correctly 2920XM can perform almost identical. If you have access to either one at a similar price, 2960XM is preferred because it is newer and a tad more efficient when overclocked.

Any NVIDIA 100W heat sink for the M18xR1/R2 including the GTX 580M heat sinks will work. I am using GTX 580M heat sinks with GTX 780M SLI in my M18xR2 without any issues. The only thing you need to purchase is video cards and support plates (aka X-brackets). You can reuse the support plates if necessary, but they are not easy to remove because of the adhesive rubber gasket that is bonding it to the GPU.

See this post for more information: Alienware M18x R1/R2 GTX 680M SLI Upgrade Information


ALIENKILLER II // EVOC P870DM3
7700K @ 5.2GHz ● GTX 1080 SLI ● 17.3" QHD 120Hz G-Sync ● 64GB DDR4-3200 ● 780W AC Adapter

EL CUCUY // EUROCOM TORNADO F5
7700K @ 5.0GHz ● GTX 1080 ● 15.6" FHD 120Hz ● 32GB DDR4-3000 ● 330W AC Adapter

RogerWilco69
1 Nickel

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

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Guys thank you both for the prompt answers.

A bit of Good news....right before I was about to hit buy on the upgrade parts my wife agreed to let me actually just purchase a new laptop with all the trimmings! So I have started looking at the m18 

I did read however the issues with the Extreme processors you were having over on notebook review....did the new Bios A05 update help?  Or is it still a little gimped (Oh and I will go over and promote the "Idea" sections as appropriate that you all are trying to get dell/alienware to work on).

I do have one question.  The AW site only lists 5200 rpm drives with m sata...if I called AW when ordering do you think they would change the HDD to 7200rpm ones?  Just curious.  

Again guys thanks for the help!

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Mr. Fox
4 Ruthenium

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

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Guys thank you both for the prompt answers.

 

A bit of Good news....right before I was about to hit buy on the upgrade parts my wife agreed to let me actually just purchase a new laptop with all the trimmings! So I have started looking at the m18 

 

I did read however the issues with the Extreme processors you were having over on notebook review....did the new Bios A05 update help?  Or is it still a little gimped (Oh and I will go over and promote the "Idea" sections as appropriate that you all are trying to get dell/alienware to work on).

 

I do have one question.  The AW site only lists 5200 rpm drives with m sata...if I called AW when ordering do you think they would change the HDD to 7200rpm ones?  Just curious.  

 

Again guys thanks for the help!

Yes, BIOS A05 helped to improve the performance of the 4930MX quite a bit. If you are only interested in gaming using the machine at stock performance levels it is a great product. It's built extremely well and very easy to work on. I think it is the nicest gaming laptop available anywhere, and certainly the best built option money can buy compared to offerings in other brands.

The release of GTX 880M will make the current flagship GTX 780M obsolete overnight. The GTX 880M should be released shortly, so you may want to wait until that configuration option shows up. If Alienware releases the option with 8GB of VRAM that would be the preferred GPU, especially if you plan to game on a 3K or 4K external monitor. 

If you are an overclocking enthusiast we can communicate offline about the challenges you will encounter with the new machine that you do not have with your current M18x.

I sent a request to add you to my contact list.  If you add me to your friend's list we can chat further by private message if you wish.


ALIENKILLER II // EVOC P870DM3
7700K @ 5.2GHz ● GTX 1080 SLI ● 17.3" QHD 120Hz G-Sync ● 64GB DDR4-3200 ● 780W AC Adapter

EL CUCUY // EUROCOM TORNADO F5
7700K @ 5.0GHz ● GTX 1080 ● 15.6" FHD 120Hz ● 32GB DDR4-3000 ● 330W AC Adapter

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RogerWilco69
1 Nickel

RE: M18x R1 Upgrades

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K thx Fox!

I indeed will be waiting I think if 880m is right around the corner.  Again thanks for the tips....I was thinking of adding a 3/4K monitor...but havent told the wife yet 

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