Best tweaks, upgrades, idea, suggestions - keeping it relevant.


New Member
Feb 6, 2014
Ok, new to the forums so forgive any protocol failings.

I have an M17x R4 system (purchased in Dec. 2012). Current specs:

16 Gigs G-Skill 1600 RAM (upgraded from 6 Gig Dell default)
i7-3630QM, 2.4 Ghz processor
GeForce GTX 660M video with 2 Gigs VRam
500 Gig HDD X 2 in a Raid 1 configuration
Bios ver. A012
Intel Centrino N6250 AGN Wireless network.

Anything else, just ask.

I just want to keep this relevant and up-to-date as long as possible. I'm pretty comfortable with flashing Bios and Firmware and have no issue replacing hardware (did the RAM and getting that 6 out from under the keyboard to put the 16 in was not a real problem). So, I'm seeking suggestions for upgrading parts, including cpu and video, firmware upgrades, etc. I do it with my Desktops all the time (should have seen how I handled by DX2/66 back in the day), figure that laptops only differ in form factor).

So, any ideas, suggestions, links, etc. What should I be looking at, what have people done, what is worthwhile, what would you do in my shoes? I love this computer, what might make it better?

While I don't want a $6 million computer, I know that "We can rebuild [it], we have the technology, better, stronger, faster."


Feb 21, 2012
Well hardware-wise, as far as it goes for me, I've installed an SSD, replaced RAM and replaced the Video Card. You could probably put a more powerfull Video Card inside. Not sure about the processor, I haven't informed myself, nor I plan to do so anytime soon to be honest.


Dec 26, 2012
I have the same model Alienware and I upgraded my harddrive to a ssd excellent purchase and upgraded the graphics card from a gtx675 to a HD 7970. Those 2 upgrades changed my Alienware from an average gaming laptop to a beast it was money well spent and the graphic's card and the ssd's are a lot cheaper know especially the GPU because of the new 780 card coming out and the 7970 is only about 15% weaker than the new 780 if that and about the same as the 680m although Nvidia do overclock better if your into that. I got dell to upgrade my gpu at half the price of the 680 and my warranty covers my card as I got dell to do it but if you did go for the 7970 off say eBay it is just plug and play very easy plenty of how to videos on utube. Hope all goes well and happy gaming