Alienware M18x R2 - GTX 1070

Slagr

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I previously tried installing a 980m and had a similar issue as Artem. I think the problem was that I had a Gsync version, and I'd like to try upgrading again with a 1070 which appears to be the highest upgrade I've seen for this model. Can you specify the exact card part number, driver, and vBIOS that you used?
 

Slagr

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Thanks for the detailed and concise write-up. I was able to install it today as well, but i have a few questions.

It looks like both Intel 4000 and GTX1070 are listed as active display drivers. Is this correct, and Windows handles the switching as needed?
What does Fn+F7 do in this configuration? Can the machine be set to always use the 1070 for video even under light loads? I'd experiment myself but I'm afraid to end up with 8 beeps again.
What was the behavior that you found made a vBIOS flash necessary?
Does Driver Signature Enforcement need to remain off for the custom driver to function or just for install?

Thanks again for the info.

Screenshot (1).png

EDIT:
Can the PCI-E width be extended as CPU-Z claims?
1619658107846.png
 
Last edited:

Slagr

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For some reason the mini-DP port is not using the 1070 for its graphics adapter. Can this be forced or can the igfx be totally disabled in device manager without causing a boot failure?

And Fn+F7 causes 8 beeps but luckily the A11 unlocked BIOS lets you just clear CMOS to reset to igfx rather than having to remove the card.
 

Slagr

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I understand the benefits of Optimus but the igfx are not capable of running my external display at 4k. I tried disabling the Intel HD Graphics driver in device manager but that just made external displays not work at all.

1619826199741.png
 

MattyB

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Thanks for the detailed and concise write-up. I was able to install it today as well, but i have a few questions.

It looks like both Intel 4000 and GTX1070 are listed as active display drivers. Is this correct, and Windows handles the switching as needed?
What does Fn+F7 do in this configuration? Can the machine be set to always use the 1070 for video even under light loads? I'd experiment myself but I'm afraid to end up with 8 beeps again.
What was the behavior that you found made a vBIOS flash necessary?
Does Driver Signature Enforcement need to remain off for the custom driver to function or just for install?

Thanks again for the info.

View attachment 3836

EDIT:
Can the PCI-E width be extended as CPU-Z claims?
View attachment 3837

Hi, sorry for the late reply.
1. Yes you will see both the Intel 4000 and the 1070 in the Device manager. This is due to SG mode (Optimus). The 1070 will not work in PEG mode in the M18x due to the 60hz display. Function-F7 is not required anymore and it's probably best not to try as you may put it in PEG and you'll have to reset the CMOS by shorting the CMOS battery connector pins or removing the GPU completely. Easier to short the pins.
2. I needed a vBIOS flash because a g-sync vBIOS was flashed on my non g-sync card for some reason. The system didn't like it so once I flashed the right vBIOS it worked great.
3. No, you only need to disable driver signature enforcement for the driver installation. Once you restart after the driver installation then the system will go back to default.
4. EDIT - No idea on this one sorry. I've never messed with it

For some reason the mini-DP port is not using the 1070 for its graphics adapter. Can this be forced or can the igfx be totally disabled in device manager without causing a boot failure?

And Fn+F7 causes 8 beeps but luckily the A11 unlocked BIOS lets you just clear CMOS to reset to igfx rather than having to remove the card.

You have to run the laptop with Optimus. I've never tried disabling the intel graphics in device manager though. I'd say you'd get yourself into trouble.

I understand the benefits of Optimus but the igfx are not capable of running my external display at 4k. I tried disabling the Intel HD Graphics driver in device manager but that just made external displays not work at all.

View attachment 3839

yeah I thought that would cause an issue. Unfortunately you're stuck with Optimus unless you get a 17 R1 with the 120hz display.

I just read through these as I replied so some of the answers are redundant as you answered them yourself.

Don't forget you'll probably have to do the iGFX - SG switch in the BIOS before trying to play a game as the system with power throttle and you'll get about 50% performance from the 1070.
 

Slagr

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Thanks for the responses. I went ahead and tried disabling the Intel video adapter and it did the opposite of what I expected. The built-in screen worked but no external screens did, and the identified adapter for the internal display was blank. But the desktop context menu which normally includes Intel config was not there so it clearly did something. And after a quick search I see that disabling Optimus is an ongoing struggle. It's acceptable to me for a standalone laptop and maybe desirable in some cases but I definitely have a need for a system that can output to more than 2 displays at once and in 4k resolution. Luckily I think the dual 680m I pulled from this 3940XM system will work fine in my 3820QM and do the job there. But I think I read that the 980m is the best card without requiring Optimus so I may keep trying on that too.
 

MattyB

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Ok. Good luck with it all. Let me know how it all goes. These are the trials and tribulations with keeping these old machines alive.

Clevo have just released a new laptop with an MXM3.0 RTX 3080. Obviously a huge bottleneck for these old machines and we wouldn't even be able to supply enough power to the card but it's pretty interesting.
 

Slagr

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Ok. Good luck with it all. Let me know how it all goes. These are the trials and tribulations with keeping these old machines alive.

Clevo have just released a new laptop with an MXM3.0 RTX 3080. Obviously a huge bottleneck for these old machines and we wouldn't even be able to supply enough power to the card but it's pretty interesting.
yeah power limits would definitely be the biggest issue moving forward. If an MXM 3060 or something can sneak under the limit then that might be an option, like how the 1070 works over 1080 in this case for the same reason. One other thing I want to try is Linux to see if it allows explicit dGPU with this setup. But it's probably unlikely that there's a working driver.
 

MattyB

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Anything is worth a try, it just takes some time to test.
 
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