Alienware m17x r3

Zazu272

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Joined
Dec 4, 2019
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2
I have a alienware m17x r3 with a
i7 Intel 2.2ghz running at 3ghz
nividi gtx 560m 1.5gb
750gb sata
6gb ram
I want to upgrade I know go ssd and ram first so I'm gunna get 16gb ram in 2 sticks or 4 and go straight for 32gb and possibly 250gb ssd unless bigger is better so maybe 500gb? Also I wanna know what can I go with the graphics card and when will I bottle neck with my prossessor so when would I want to upgrade that? And what to I basically want to get the most out of my laptop on a reasonable budget I don't play nothing too demanding but it would be nice to have a system powerful enough to run gta 5 flat out or similar games
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Hello. There are some restrictions and there is a lot to learn before you go ahead but you can do some good upgrades which will make a big difference.
What i7 is it? I'm assuming the 2670QM or 2760QM. You can upgrade to the 2920/2940XM which will give you a good performance upgrade when pairing it with a new GPU.
The best GPU you can use is the 780M. It's a great card and can still be used with decent results. It isn't plug and play though. You will need to use a modded Nvidia driver and possibly the unlocked BIOS to make it work (not hard to work out with some help). You will also need the 3-pipe heatsink as the 560M probably only came with a 2-pipe.
An SSD is a must and you'll wonder how you ever did without it. Are you running Windows 7 or 10? You will need to reinstall your OS
You'll definitely need to upgrade the RAM. Make sure you get DDR3 1600MHz Sodimm sticks (make sure it isn't DDR3L or DDR4 as it won't be compatible. I'd suggest 2x8GB sticks.
At this stage you'll have to wonder if it's worth the money to upgrade or sell the machine for about $400-500USD and use the money you were going to invest on upgrading on a new machine.
You can go to the Dell Outlet (if there's one in your country) and grab a refurb machine for probably $1200USD or so. These will have a current generation CPU and probably an RTX GPU.
 

MattyB

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I'm in Australia so I'll talk AUD. You're looking at about $720AUD or almost $500USD for a full upgrade. You may be able to sell your old parts for possibly $150-200.
GTX 780M - $300
Heatsink - $30
RAM (2x8gb) - $100
2920XM - $190
SSD - $100

An AMD 7970M is also a great card and will be cheaper and easier to install than the NVidia as I don't think it needs modded drivers. I don't have much experience with AMD but I do have a 7970M that came off an M17x R4 I bought recently. The heatsink is different with the AMD cards so you'll have to get one of these with it. You don't have to upgrade your CPU but it will give you better performance over the lower end i7's.
 

Zazu272

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Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
2
Hi matty thank you for your reply I'm in the UK my cpu is the i7-2670qm so I will look in to maybe getting a 2920xm as they aren't stupid money and a gtx780m again isn't stupid money either just need to learn about modded drivers now my heatsinks are 3 pipe on the nividia and 2 pipe my prossessor

I'm currently running windows 10 on bios A08 how do you go about unlocking the bios and would you say 10 or 7 is better?
the ram I was looking at is 2x4gb ddr3 1600 so I got that one right lol does it matter on the makes as ebay have a lot of nividia and other parts from China on there?
I think il order a ssd soon as then does it matter on memory as I have 750sata anyway so will the 250gb be plenty? Money wise it's looking at around £300 to make her top notch and my 560m will hopefully go in to a m15x I have here for my son so that wouldn't go wasted lol thanks again. Alex
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
Messages
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It sounds like you have the heatsinks you need. I don't think there was an OEM 3-pipe CPU heatsink but there could be specially made ones around for overclockers.
Tech|Inferno was always the place to get the modded BIOS' but to download from there you need to have to post a certain number of times and then be approved by an admin. It's pretty dead over there these days though. Someone on Notebookreview may have it though. I may even have it in an old USB drive somewhere.
I usually get the Crucial memory from China. Seems to do the job well. Just make sure it's 1.5V (DDR3) and not 1.35V (DDR3L) memory. It should state it on the ebay listing.
Stay with Windows 10. It should be compatible with your machine and the 780M. Windows 7 will no longer have security upgrade support from Microsoft. You'll need to create a Bootable Windows 10 USB if you don't have an installation CD for the new SSD. It's a piece of cake.
I've heard people say they loose sound when installing the 780M. You have to disable the HD Audio in the unlocked BIOS before installing your new card. When you get the card installed you then go back in and re-enable the audio but I think sometimes it may not work. It doesn't always go to plan so be ready for a few complications.
A 250gb SSD will be fine. That's what I usually use just for Windows and a few games.
You will need a modded driver for the M15x as well. I can help out with that when you get to that stage. There are a few places where you should be able to just download a modded driver but learning how to do it yourself isn't too hard and it will help you get the most up-to-date one available for the card.
 
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