Alienware

Last reply by 02-04-2021 Solved
Start a Discussion
2 Jasper
2 Jasper
2840

18 R1, SLI GTX 765m, GPU upgrade

Hi, new Alienware owner.. My first Alienware!

I,ve bought from a friend the Alienware 18 2013 with i7 4700mq and Gtx 765m Sli...

With games that make use of Sli, I play fine, but Sli has been discontinued  i guess, and some moderngames dont make use of Sli and only one gpu works.

I have searched in the web and found that my Alienware 18 2013 can work with a single Gtx 970m or 980m that outperforms by far my 765m in Sli.

I am posting here just to make sure that it is ok doing this upgrade.

I have updated the motherboard Bios to the latest one (A15). I don't need any modified bios for this upgrade,  or do I?

Also, the Gtx 970m or 980m must have Dell vbios, am I correct? Where can I find this vbios?

Sorry if someone else posted similar questions. Just want to make sure that is safe to do this upgrade.. Since in modern games, my sli 765m dont work and a single 765m struggles..

Thx in advance.

 

Solutions (3)

Accepted Solutions
1969

Really, you're best to upgrade the heatsink even with the 970M. This card is a little bit better than the 780M which also needed the 3-pipe heatsink. 



Main Machines
Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920XM, GTX 970M, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3L, 970 Evo NVMe
Alienware Area-51 ALX i7-975, GTX 980, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, Dell U2913WM Ultrawide
Others
M18x R2, 17 R1, M17x R3, M17x R2, M15x, Aurora R4 ALX, X51 R1

View solution in original post

1857

They are all SATA 3.0 which means they should be at 6Gbps but if you use a cheap SSD without a DRAM cache then the speeds will slow down.

 
If my reply solved the issue, click the, "Accept as Solution" button! 

View solution in original post

1746

You are best using a Dell vBIOS. There is one available in the Driver and Downloads section for the AW 18 in the Support section of this site. From what another guy said, it is very easy to flash and you don't need to use NVFlash.

There is only one version of the 18 so yours is the R1 as there are no R2's or R3's. Some people do consider there to be other revisions because they were released with the 700, 800 and 900 series Nvidia cards. The 18 is also sometimes referred to as the M18x R3. 

You will have driver incompatibility issues if you have the 980M and 765M in your machine. Driver support for the 700 cards ended some time ago. There is no benefit to having two different cards in the laptop either. You shouldn't lose HDMI in with the 900 series as it is a supported GPU with the latest BIOS. I believe the feature is lost with a 10 series card. 

The 980M does not have to run in Optimus. It can run fine on a 17 R1 that has the 120hz display that has no Optimus. You need an unlocked BIOS to be able to switch your video mode between iGFX, SG and PEG modes. iGFX is the Intel Graphics, SG is Switchable Graphics (Optimus) and PEG is dedicated graphics only. 

The 18 is set to use iGFX or PEG and it can be changed between the two using a Function key to save battery power when required. The BIOS is not set up for SG as Optimus is not available when running two dedicated GPU's. 

If you don't want to leave the secondary MXM slot empty then there are options such as an MXM to NVMe adapter. I should be receiving one for my M18x R2 in a few weeks. 



Main Machines
Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920XM, GTX 970M, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3L, 970 Evo NVMe
Alienware Area-51 ALX i7-975, GTX 980, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, Dell U2913WM Ultrawide
Others
M18x R2, 17 R1, M17x R3, M17x R2, M15x, Aurora R4 ALX, X51 R1

View solution in original post

Replies (31)
4 Beryllium
1919

The 18 was released with the 980M so you'll have full driver support if you decide to go for the 980M. It should still work with some of the other vBIOS' but yeah it is probably best with the Dell one. You can find all the vBIOS' you need from TechPowerUp. 



Main Machines
Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920XM, GTX 970M, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3L, 970 Evo NVMe
Alienware Area-51 ALX i7-975, GTX 980, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, Dell U2913WM Ultrawide
Others
M18x R2, 17 R1, M17x R3, M17x R2, M15x, Aurora R4 ALX, X51 R1

1974

Thx @mattyb3 for the response

I,m still thinking about the 970m or 980m, beacuse I think the heatsink for my 765m works in 970m, but for the 980m, I have to change the heatsink,  and it will cost more.

But thanks for the reply.

1972

Yes you will need to upgrade to the 3-pipe heatsink as the 765M would have only come with the 2-pipe. The 970M will still give much better performance that your old cards. 



Main Machines
Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920XM, GTX 970M, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3L, 970 Evo NVMe
Alienware Area-51 ALX i7-975, GTX 980, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, Dell U2913WM Ultrawide
Others
M18x R2, 17 R1, M17x R3, M17x R2, M15x, Aurora R4 ALX, X51 R1

1970

Really, you're best to upgrade the heatsink even with the 970M. This card is a little bit better than the 780M which also needed the 3-pipe heatsink. 



Main Machines
Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920XM, GTX 970M, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3L, 970 Evo NVMe
Alienware Area-51 ALX i7-975, GTX 980, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, Dell U2913WM Ultrawide
Others
M18x R2, 17 R1, M17x R3, M17x R2, M15x, Aurora R4 ALX, X51 R1

1873

Hi, me again..

Just to not open another thread..

I've installed a 256gb msata drive in this laptop, and added a second drive  (sata ssd 480gb) in the drive bay that already have a 750gb sata hd.

The sata Hd works only in sata 3gb/s, but the sata SSD goes up to Sata 6 gb/s, but its only working in Sata 3...

The msata is running at 6gb/s.

The Sata ports on Alienware 18 R3 only work in Sata 3gb/s? Is that right?

Thx in advance

 

1858

They are all SATA 3.0 which means they should be at 6Gbps but if you use a cheap SSD without a DRAM cache then the speeds will slow down.

 
If my reply solved the issue, click the, "Accept as Solution" button! 
1808

Thx for the reply.

I've disconnected all the drives, and conected again,  and now they are working properly. Both ssd's (m-sata and sata) are in sata 6gb and the hard drive at 3gb.

Go figure...

 

1754

Hello Guys.

I'm about to buy the Gtx 980m for my laptop.

I've already flashed the last bios for the laptop. Bios A15.

My Alienware 18 is from 2013. I dont know if it is R1 or R3. But since the A12 Bios, it says it works with gtx 9xx series in windows 8/10.im Uefi mode (I'm in w10 in Uefi, no problem here).

But I've read it in the web, that the 980m must work in Optimus mode, using the Intel for regular and the Nvidia for demanded 3d graphics.

Problem is that since my laptop works in Sli, the Intel gpu is not enabled, and on Bios dosen't have any option to enabled it.

I'll change only the primary card. Can I leave the second gpu (765m) installed (no sli cable connected, only installed in slot) or does I have to remove all the 765m's and install the 980m. Also, do I lose the Hdmi In feature, if I change the Gpu? 

I've already have the 100w heatsink for the gtx 980m.

I'm a bit worried beacuse I've read it lot of information on the web, and don't want to make a mistake.

I've found various Gtx 980m cards, some with Clevo vbios, other with Hp, or Msi, and one with Dell vbios.

Is there a problem to use any other vbios or can I use only Dell one? 

Sorry for all the doubts, but don't want to make a mistake.

1747

You are best using a Dell vBIOS. There is one available in the Driver and Downloads section for the AW 18 in the Support section of this site. From what another guy said, it is very easy to flash and you don't need to use NVFlash.

There is only one version of the 18 so yours is the R1 as there are no R2's or R3's. Some people do consider there to be other revisions because they were released with the 700, 800 and 900 series Nvidia cards. The 18 is also sometimes referred to as the M18x R3. 

You will have driver incompatibility issues if you have the 980M and 765M in your machine. Driver support for the 700 cards ended some time ago. There is no benefit to having two different cards in the laptop either. You shouldn't lose HDMI in with the 900 series as it is a supported GPU with the latest BIOS. I believe the feature is lost with a 10 series card. 

The 980M does not have to run in Optimus. It can run fine on a 17 R1 that has the 120hz display that has no Optimus. You need an unlocked BIOS to be able to switch your video mode between iGFX, SG and PEG modes. iGFX is the Intel Graphics, SG is Switchable Graphics (Optimus) and PEG is dedicated graphics only. 

The 18 is set to use iGFX or PEG and it can be changed between the two using a Function key to save battery power when required. The BIOS is not set up for SG as Optimus is not available when running two dedicated GPU's. 

If you don't want to leave the secondary MXM slot empty then there are options such as an MXM to NVMe adapter. I should be receiving one for my M18x R2 in a few weeks. 



Main Machines
Alienware M18x R2 i7-3920XM, GTX 970M, 16GB 1866MHz DDR3L, 970 Evo NVMe
Alienware Area-51 ALX i7-975, GTX 980, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, Dell U2913WM Ultrawide
Others
M18x R2, 17 R1, M17x R3, M17x R2, M15x, Aurora R4 ALX, X51 R1

Latest Solutions
Top Contributor