gonzalot
1 Nickel

Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

So after searching and reading for some days I have found several posts here and in notebookreview.com where lot of people have serious troubles with this AW model.

In my case, my laptop was pretty okay with temps for a year (bought in Dec. 2016). Last month I updated the bios because of the intel processor issues, and my freezing issues started after that (and now I am out of warranty). My first idea was rollback the BIOS but apparently after this last upgrade now is locked and you can't go back (hopefully because I have read that there are several chances to got an expensive paperweight after upgrade the processor).

So I did some research and found that my graphic card when freezing drops to 0% use and then go back to 90-99%. The temps are high but seems not relevant because it happened at 80ºs and 90º (isn't it high? AW said is ok up to 93 but if feels too much for me, I would like be keep alive my system as max. as possible).

I am using the old model with the i7-6820HK and GTX 1080. (Seems like there is an upgraded to 7k series but it's not my case). Also I have found that there are several different models for the cooling system. Seems like I don't have any chance to get it fixed from AW (which is a shame because it's a factory fault).

So I am considering repasting as a must (and ASAP) but I have some doubts about it, because apparently there are some problems also with the thermal pads (not doing contact at all in some places) and this means a lot of work to do, and I am not an expert. Never have done something similar in a laptop (I have some experience with desktop repasting although).

 

So here are a few questions about materials and considerations I would like some opinions about it to don't miss anything and get some help from the community am I missing something? (Thank you! Smiley Happy )

- As soon as I have time (I use the laptop to work too) I will check which cooling system I have, but expect the old one. Should I buy the new one?

- Should I change thermal pads too or can be enough repasting (I don't expect do OC here)?

- Which thermal paste should I choose? normal one or liquid metal? I have read about Grizzly liquid metal with really good performance but never used liquid metal before, any pro/cons to consider here?

 

Thank you for your time! It's a very frustrating this situation Smiley Sad

P.S
- I am stuck in the 1.2.3 BIOS, but the update to 1.2.3/4 still appearing from time to time but never "worked". It just says you want to replace 1.2.3 with 1.2.3 (Alienware_15R3_17R4_SKL1.2.3_KBL1.2.4.exe file)

Any suggestion @Alienware-Eimy ?

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7 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

Hi @gonzalot,

PM answered Smiley Happy

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Alienware-Eimy
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

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Netlawyer
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Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

Dear @Alienware-Eimy, I have quite similar issues (you can see my post here ), could you help me as well? Thanks a lot in advance. 

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gonzalot
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

Hey @Netlawyer,

I have good and bad news relating our problem.

I got a temporal solution that it's working fine for me (meanwhile I wait for my new thermal stuff). I basically have setup a limit (underclock) in the CPU & GPU usage so the temps. doesn't go over 80s and the GPU doesn't get over 90% of use.

I know it's not the best but at least I can play without freezing until my new thermal paste (liquid metal) and better thermal pads arrives (end of next week).

 

As this is NOT overclock there is no risk at all doing it. Basically I have setup the limit usage of my CPU at 80% inside the power plan, check here. For my GPU I use MSI Afterburner (is a very popular program to over/underclock most of the graphics in the market). I use -135MHz for the core and -100MHz for the Memory.

This combined with medium-high graphic options in games are enough for now (will depend of each game ofc.)


And finally, I think you should consider upgrade your thermal paste and pads too. I have been reading several hours and topics about this model and seems like this is the only real solution that we can achieve. What AW is using in manufacturing is not good enough for this high end laptops.

That's why I bought:
- Metal liquid 73 W/M
- Thermal pads 11W/mk (0.5 & 1mm height).
- Cleaner kit ( thermal remover & surface purifier)
- Some basic stuff to achieve the upgrade without risks  (vinyl electrical tape, anti-static ESD gloves, free chemical sheets etc.)
total: almost 100£ in UK

Not sure if I can use brand names here, that's why I didn't a detailed list. But if you are interested in my shopping list I can send to you by PM

 

 

 

Moderator
Moderator

Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

Hi @Netlawyer,

Send me a private message with the Service Tag so I can check your case. 

Alienware Arena

Alienware-Eimy
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

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DanielHD
1 Copper

Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

Hi, I have a similar problem, and also replied on another post. I hope you solved this and please let me know what you did, I wanted to downgrade the BIOS too, but I don't know how or which version, cause I don't remember the last version where it worked perfectly.

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gonzalot
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Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

Hi guys,

Apparently my problem is solved now. I have changed the thermal paste for liquid metal and bought better thermal pads. On idle my GPU is 20º less (33º) and my CPU 14º less (30º). I tested playing for more than one hour and my temps remains under 70º (the highest was 68º for the GPU but usually was around 63º). That was a really good improvement, no freezes, no FPS downs.

I have to check in depth but apparently is more related with high temps. Seems like the new BIOS send more power to the GPU which creates the throttling.
Hopefully I will have more time this weekend to do more tests

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Lnkoloma
1 Copper

Re: Alienware 17 R4 freezing (another one...)

How do I PM you? New to the Community and using a phone.
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