jfmonod
1 Copper

Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Hi,

I don't have a Quadro FX 3800m to compare to so my question is how does it physically differ from the 3700m and what's to prevent me from upgrading to one in my 6400 precision laptop ? Are there major differences in form that would preclude this ? Will my whole machine burst into flames ? Are the fans and exhaust substantially different between the 2 ? Is the chipset totally incompatible ? 

The only thing I have to go on right now are the service manuals for the 6400 & the 6500 and they aren't telling me much.

Thanks for your insights. If there is anyway to do this, including the use of crowbars and blowtorches, I'd like to know.

JF

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34 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

The 3800m was never offered in the 6400 -- though it was for the 6500.  So - the card should fit -- but you'll have to try one to find out whether the 6400 will actually boot with one installed.

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jfmonod
1 Copper

Re: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Thanks for the response. It has since been pointed out to me that the form factor is indeed similar, but the 3800 pulls 100 W while the 3700 pulls 75. Also from looking at the graphics in the m6500 service manual it seems that an extra heatpipe has been added to the heatsink assembly. So besides the boot question, I am wondering if it is possible to shoehorn the upgraded heatsink assy into the 6400 without which the card upgrade would cause all kinds of heat issues. I don't really want to end up with a flaming 10lbs brick.

In the meantime I've stumbled on the possibility of going with the external GPU route via the Expresscard slot (did not know about this before) but then I ran into this : www.jdhodges.com/.../dell-m6500-and-m6400-egpu-setup-and-limitations

Any idea if the pci-e issue described here has been solved in BIOS A11 or A12 ?

JF

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Johnny Doe
1 Nickel

Re: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Both the 3700M and the 3800M are G92-based GPU's. So they're basically more or less the time thing. There's little point in spending money on those old cards.

If you want to upgrade, pick up and QX9200 and get rid of it's skinny dual core and overclock it if you're willing to do go for it since it's an old machine.

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jfmonod
1 Copper

Re: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Thanks. I actually have the QX9300 in here and am using Throttlestop. I have the multiplier at 13 and VID at 1.35 and am holding steady at 3458 MHz. No real performance boost there frankly. My other option is external GPU based on the Expresscard slot ( eg. ViDock) but I've been hearing mixed results with this machine, like this :  http://www.jdhodges.com/2011/09/dell-m6500-and-m6400-egpu-setup-and-limitations/

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amorshc
1 Copper

Re: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Hello!

I'd like to report that I was sent a 3800m via ebay instead of the 3700m that it was listed as.  I've installed it into the m6400 with a slight modification to the internal casing due to the extra heatpipe.  I'll explain below.

However, for those who want technical details -

Bios will report unknown video card (m6400 doesn't support it via bios as of a12 revision), however computer will post fine, and boot into windows perfectly.

Device manager will show a Nividia FX3800m is installed, as well as any other programs will now recognize that a 3800m is installed.

Windows Experience Index now shows major improvements with the video card 6.9 rating.

Mostly the major improvements you will see is when running graphics intensive programs (Photoshop, CAD, 3d rendering, and games) because of the increase in memory, cores, and power.

At idle the graphics card is quiet, and pulls about .85v (The 2700m runs at .75v)  When plugged in and running a heavy intensive graphics the power jumps to 1.17v, and the fans do turn on and begin cooling, and they are quite a bit louder due to them attempting to cool the card.

I've not really experienced too many issues (10+ hours of heavy usage) and these may be specific to the laptop i'm using, or any other issue with the laptop I'm using, but I've had the computer freeze on me and lock up while in the middle of running Battlefield 3 on the laptop, this was after many hours of use.

Otherwise, the computer on the back side will get quite hot, especially where the modification was done to the laptop casing to fit the card, however at idle, the temperature is normal (12+ hours at idle, and no temperature change)  At idle the graphics card sits between 102F and 112F.  When running heavy usage i've topped it at 165F.  Normal usages runs it between 123F and 145F.

Onto the slight modification-

The modification done to the m6400 case was done at the exhaust outlet for the end piping.  You'll notice that if you take the graphics card out it will have a "slot" that the end of the piping slides into.  This slot edge will need to be filed/chipped out (I used a pair of pliers and rocked back and forth to chip it flat with the back of the laptop)  At that point, the graphics card should slide in without any problem.  The plastic piece on the exhaust fan for the CPU card will need to be removed as both of the pipings will almost touch eachother.

Otherwise, i'm happy to report that it will work in the laptop.  So far i've had it in for about 2 months now without any problems.  As soon as it starts getting super hot, I'll just take a break and let it cool off (after 10 hours I need a break anyway!)

I've noticed elevating the laptop a little more to allow airflow helps, as well as colder air helps to keep the laptop cooler.  Also, I'm using the 240W power brick.  It's a beast, and it will get hot as well (with or without the 3800m card).

Would I reccomend upgrading the m6400 to a 3800m?  If you want to spend the extra 200 dollars for the card (going price at the moment) go for it.  It's worth it.  If you find one for less than 150 thats a steal if you're willing to slightly mod your internal case.  Otherwise, I'd save the money and buy a m6700.

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robotreto
1 Nickel

RE: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

I upgraded my M6400 from a FX3700 to a FX3800. All I had to do is a little mechanical modification of the M6400 case with a Dremel machine.

However, he gain in performance is not so much. Furmark increased from 59 fps to 72.

Then I installed a quadro 5000M in the M6400. This was more of a boost, it runs Furmark with 95 fps. And it can provide DX 11.0

Sadly the 5000M is very hard to find and expensive.

RT

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jfmonod
1 Copper

RE: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Nice. Thanks for the response. I'm looking at the 5000m now. It looks like its about 750$ and hard to find indeed. Did you need to do much modification to get it in or did dremeling your case for the 3800m already take care of that ? Also are there any issues with driving the Displayport with the 5000m ? I assume that heat dissipation isn't much different from the 3800 as they are both 75 W. Anyway thanks for the info. This looks like a worthy prospect to extend the life of my old workhorse.

Cheers !

JF

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robotreto
1 Nickel

RE: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Hi, the mechanical modifications are the same as for the 3800M, you have to remove a 5*3 mm piece of aluminium to accomdate for the larger heat-pipe.

I dont remember to have tested the Displayport, but I see no reason why it should not work. The heat is indeed not more than of the older cards, because the 5000M has a chip with smaller strucure size, which makes it more efficient.

TombRaider 2013 was running with 45 fps, Far Cry 3 @ 35..55 fps. Now I am playing Assassins Creed Black Flag with 25 to 35 fps.

I looked on ebay for a 5000M, i found only this expensive one : (misspelled quardo...)

http://www.ebay.de/itm/DELL-PRECISION-M6500-NVIDIA-QUARDO-5000M-2GB-VIDEO-CARD-0D73P8-D73P8-/2812229...

In order to run Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3, I had not enough CPU Power on the M6400, so I upgraded it to a QX9300, that did the trick.

Cheers from Germany,

Reto

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chrlsrchrdsn
1 Copper

RE: Could I upgrade the Quadro FX 3700m in my m6400 Precision to a 3800m ?

Just to let you know, I recently upgraded my video card from an Quadro FX-2700 to a Firepro m7820.  IT IS GREAT.  The 7820 is listed for the m6500, but it has a low TDP and has one heat pipe so it is physically compatible with the m6400 no issues!  I downloaded the M6500 Win7 drivers.  Okay, I know the Windows Experience isn't great, and I did check the games boards for benchmarks and this board screamed past the FX 3700m, but the Win Exp Index is 7.2 vs the FX 3700 6.8.  Further the game forum tests gave it the nod. Plus I found it on eBay for $75.  No made necessary, just drop it in, well, after you take the m6400 apart.  BTW, if you do have a good thermal paste ready!

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