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Rico2000
1 Copper

18 R1, nightmare for 4 years

4 Years ago I bought an Alienware 18 with Dual Radeon R9 M290X video cards. Purchased with 1 year warranty which ended on 6/20/15.

From the outset I have had issues with this machine. I have had nothing but continual issues with performance, graphics cards, power and numerous Alienware Dell driver issues. The following are some of the problems I have had:

- Dual graphics Cards are detected incorrectly when drivers are installed and appear as Intel HD Graphics 4600 unless I use the original outdated Alienware drivers. Basically I cannot update the drivers for these graphics cards.
- Bluetooth does not work. Endlessly searching for devices. - Random crashes. Continual random crashes since this machine was purchased. Both during use and when restarting the laptop. If I try to restart it just crashed. And yes I have explored overheating issues / fast boot options etc. None of these have fixed the random crashing.
-Cannot upgrade to windows 10. I tried it and I was in a world of hurt. So I went back to windows 7 because I could not deal with the drama. This is not really Dells fault, this is a Microsoft problem. But frustrating nonetheless.
-Machine will freeze up for about 15-20 seconds and there will be a loud fan sounds coming from within the machine. This will result in one of two outcomes. The machine will unfreeze and I can continue using it or it will receive an error message regarding my graphics card. I cannot remember the error message off the top of my head.

Basically I have had continual issues since buying this machine. I have had it for 4 years and have never actually used it. Every time I boot it, I spend an hour diagnosing problems and then shut down in disgust. This is a $4,500 laptop purchased from JB HIFI GROUP PTY bear in mind. The last time I contacted Dell, I was told that they would provide a free after warranty service on this machine as it had run out of warranty. I was very happy and sent my machine in for repairs. Only to have the machine sent back to me and to be told there is nothing wrong with it. I contacted my case manager and he told me that he would diagnose my issues over the phone. Having been there before with no resolution I gave up in disgust. I just want to warn anyone, if you have any issues, send it back and get a refund if you have any issues. Its not worth the stress. I realize this may not be the right forum for warning and complaints but I could not find anywhere else to post this on any of Dells Forums.

1 Reply
HellsDisciples
3 Argentium

Re: 18 R1, nightmare for 4 years


@Rico2000 wrote:

4 Years ago I bought an Alienware 18 with Dual Radeon R9 M290X video cards. Purchased with 1 year warranty which ended on 6/20/15.

From the outset I have had issues with this machine. I have had nothing but continual issues with performance, graphics cards, power and numerous Alienware Dell driver issues. The following are some of the problems I have had:

- Dual graphics Cards are detected incorrectly when drivers are installed and appear as Intel HD Graphics 4600 unless I use the original outdated Alienware drivers. Basically I cannot update the drivers for these graphics cards.
- Bluetooth does not work. Endlessly searching for devices. - Random crashes. Continual random crashes since this machine was purchased. Both during use and when restarting the laptop. If I try to restart it just crashed. And yes I have explored overheating issues / fast boot options etc. None of these have fixed the random crashing.
-Cannot upgrade to windows 10. I tried it and I was in a world of hurt. So I went back to windows 7 because I could not deal with the drama. This is not really Dells fault, this is a Microsoft problem. But frustrating nonetheless.
-Machine will freeze up for about 15-20 seconds and there will be a loud fan sounds coming from within the machine. This will result in one of two outcomes. The machine will unfreeze and I can continue using it or it will receive an error message regarding my graphics card. I cannot remember the error message off the top of my head.

Basically I have had continual issues since buying this machine. I have had it for 4 years and have never actually used it. Every time I boot it, I spend an hour diagnosing problems and then shut down in disgust. This is a $4,500 laptop purchased from JB HIFI GROUP PTY bear in mind. The last time I contacted Dell, I was told that they would provide a free after warranty service on this machine as it had run out of warranty. I was very happy and sent my machine in for repairs. Only to have the machine sent back to me and to be told there is nothing wrong with it. I contacted my case manager and he told me that he would diagnose my issues over the phone. Having been there before with no resolution I gave up in disgust. I just want to warn anyone, if you have any issues, send it back and get a refund if you have any issues. Its not worth the stress. I realize this may not be the right forum for warning and complaints but I could not find anywhere else to post this on any of Dells Forums.


Display Drivers sit with AMD and their Radeon Mobility which are absolute <profane>. Buying a Laptop with Dual Radeon cards is like shooting yourself in the head with Russian roulette.

Main issue, is the fact you bought a system with 2 Radeon cards which was the worst idea EVER. AMD does NOT put out regular mobility update drivers if at all. As a part of Alienware, they aren't required to keep display drivers current. AMD is, which don't really care about Laptop GPU updates.

I advise and have been advising anyone who buys a laptop, to stay far away from anything with Radeon Discrete graphics.

As far as power related issues, most likely the AC brick has an issue with power supplying. AMD is known to eat power like candy.

As a Desktop user that uses 2 EVGA nVidia 1080 GTX Ti SC Black Edition cards, SLI is not the issue (Dual cards) but it come down to Radeon doesn't put that much effort into their Mobility Drivers to care about.

Most likely the issues is the games you're playing are not coded for CrossFireX, and thus giving issues mixed with a potentially bad AC power brick and lack of any form of driver support. Using 2 graphics cards is a lot of work, understanding and Know-how to get them to work properly. Some games don't work at all, others require the End user to play around to get them to work... which is actually why both AMD and nVidia are stepping AWAY from Multi-GPU and to Single GPU applications, that and game devs aren't putting up the effort to continue Multi-GPU support.

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