Abnormal_Brain
1 Copper

M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

Hey Alienware / Dell engineers,

***PLEASE Update the BIOS!***

I am a proud owner of the M11x and was one of the first people to receive the system. The system has been a joy to use but it has been out for a few months and there are a few issues that need to be resolved. I will overview the issues as well as give proper steps to reproduce and test the issues. I am hoping to make these issue visible to Dell \ Alienware so that they may better serve their customers.

If any of the fixes listed below are already in the works, I'm sure there are many people that would greatly appreciate an update!

 

**ISSUES**

1. When switching back to the IGP (integrated graphics) from 'discrete graphics' the 'discrete graphics' card remains powered on. This is causing the laptop to lose a good deal of battery life and is also causing the fan to spin up to cool it down.

2. The "Enable \ Disable Charging" hotkey (FN+F2) function is not working.

3. Multiple issues regarding "Advertised" overclock feature

4. Also not a BIOS issue, but the Alienware Command Center has several issues but I won't cover them in this post.

 

 

**Detailed Description / Steps to Reproduce / Steps to test**

1. When switching back to the IGP from 'discrete graphics' the 'discrete graphics' card remains powered on. This is causing the laptop to lose a good deal of battery life and is also causing the fan to spin up to cool it down.

Steps to reproduce:

   1) Switch to the 'discrete graphics'

   2) Without rebooting, switch back to the IGP.

   NOTE: The fan will continue to power up and down even at idle. Also note that BATTERY LIFE has been greatly reduced until the next reboot. When booted with    IGP, the fans will remain off when the system idles for long periods.

Steps to test:

1) Switch to the IGP and Reboot.

2) Using GPU-Z, note that the 'discrete graphics' hardware readings are NOT displayed.

3) Switch to the 'discrete graphics'.

4) Using GPU-Z, note that the 'discrete graphics' readings are now being read.

5) Switch back to the IGP and DO NOT REBOOT.

6) Using GPU-Z, note that the 'discrete graphics' values are still being read (core clock, temperature, shader clock, etc.). The system fan will turn on when the discrete GPU (which is 'supposed to be off) reaches 44C and switch off again when it reaches 40C.

Workaround:

1) When switching back to the IGP, reboot. This is not ideal, rebooting the machine will lose productivity time and will also eat considerable amounts of battery life.

Conclusion:

It would appear that when you switch from the 'discrete graphics' to the IGP that the 'discrete graphics' is still active causing extra heat, and reducing battery life.

 

2. The "Enable \ Disable Charging" hotkey (FN+F2) function is not working.

Steps to reproduce:

1) Press the "Enable \ Disable Charging" Hotkey (FN+F2)

NOTE: Current "Charging State" does not change.

Steps to test:

1) Press the "Enable \ Disable Charging" Hotkey (FN+F2)

NOTE: Current "Charging State" does not change.

Workaround:

1) Power on the machine and enter "BIOS Setup" by pressing "F2" during the POST (Power On Self Test) process

2) Disable "Charging", then "Exit and save changes"

This workaround is not ideal. Rebooting the PC reduces productivity.

Conclusion:

It would appear that the "Enable \ Disable Charging" hotkey is not working.

 

3. Multiple issues regarding "Advertised" overclock feature:

   1. CPU voltage is "Lower" while overclocked causing stability issues on some machines.

   2. CPU Multiplier set to fixed value (x6) when overclocked limiting the CPU to 1.6GHz.

   3. If the CPU can handle being overclocked on LESS voltage then when not overclocked, would it be possible to UNDERVOLT the processor in the non-overclocked state to further conserve battery life?

   4. If the Memory was clocked at 800MHz at stock CPU speed to support overclocking, could the memory speed be increased to the proper 1066MHz when *not* overclocked to increase performance?

Steps to reproduce:

1) Power on the machine and enter "BIOS Setup" by pressing "F2" during the POST (Power On Self Test) process

2) Enable "Overclock", then "Exit and save changes"

NOTE: On some systems, the computer will fail to boot, others systems may notice greatly reduced stability.

Steps to test:

1) Power on the machine and enter "BIOS Setup" by pressing "F2" during the POST (Power On Self Test) process

2) Disable "Overclock", then "Exit and save changes".

3) Using CPU-Z, note the Core Speed and Core VID under load.

4) Power on the machine and enter "BIOS Setup" by pressing "F2" during the POST (Power On Self Test) process

5) Enable "Overclock", then "Exit and save changes"

6) Using CPU-Z, note the Core Speed and Core VID under load.

Conclusions:

It would appear that the CPU voltage is "Lower" while overclocked. This could be causing stability issues on some machines. Also, the CPU Multiplier is set to "6" when overclocked limiting the CPU to 1.6GHz.

Other observations:

If the most CPU's can handle being overclocked on LESS voltage then stock voltage, it should be possible to UNDERVOLT the processor when not overclocked to further conserve battery life without affecting stability.

If the Memory was clocked at 800MHz at stock CPU speed to support overclocking, the memory speed could be increased to the proper 1066MHz for users that do not wish to overclocked to increase performance.

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6 Replies
Abnormal_Brain
1 Copper

Re: M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

This system really needs a BIOS update! These issues have been around for several months!

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barrybarve
1 Copper

Re: M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

Gday all,

Just wondering if there has been any progress on rectifying these issues as yet?

Thanks,

M11X  - Windows 7 Professional 64 - GT335 - Onboard Sound - Logitech G5, Logitech Backlit KB, UDAC

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luchow05
1 Copper

Re: M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

well this year is almost over and the problem is still there.

CPUZ is still marking my alienware R1 overclocked processor at 1.596 ghz instead of being 1.73ghz.

There are two problems with the m11x:

1. The hinge design problem 

2. The real speed of the overclock processor which remains in 1.6ghz

Wonder if you guys will ever fix them

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Highlighted

Re: M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

2. CPU Multiplier set to fixed value (x6) when overclocked limiting the CPU to 1.6GHz.

I have the same problem here, I want the machine to run @1.73Ghz, I think It can handle it very well.

 

Also I upload a picture of proof, on cpuz the core is stuck at 1.6Ghz, and multiplier x6 not x6.5

 

 Still waiting for a new BIOS please

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Re: M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

dell engineers please read this!

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Chookie75
1 Copper

Re: M11X - Issues Documented. PLEASE Update the BIOS!

UP - Please read this DELL!

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