I'm purchasing a used M14X R2 - have questions ...


New Member
Apr 15, 2013
Andromeda 7
I have a chance to get a working (I saw it hands on at a local store) M14X R2 for a VERY low price
(Note: I do not do any gaming)

The main downside is the unit has an older i5-3210M dual core processor (not shown on Dell site).
Other than this, this unit is essentially the core (basic default) configuration offered on the Dell site, except with a 2 GB video card.

1: Could this processor be replaced with the i7-3840QM, since that is an option on the Dell site for the M14X R2 ?
Or, is the processor not really replaceable with an upgraded unit?

2: This unit has a 51GB2 SATA HD. I would immediately want to replace with a 512GB (or close) SSD. Since SSD is an option on the M14X R2, would this be a 'plug n play' exchange (ie 'pop right in'), OR would something special need to be done - like different drivers, etc., possibly a special bracket. (Of course, I would do a full image backup of the existing drive first, etc.). I currently have no experience with SSDs.

3. Intel shows this processor (i5-3210M) as supporting up to 32GB ram. A max of only 16GB is shown on the Dell site for any configuration (for any processor currently offered). Does the M14X R2 in fact actually support 32GB (two 16GB chips), even though not offered ?
If not, then I would replace the 6GB with 16GB.

Finally, how big of a deal performance wise is the 2 core i5 vs the 4 core i7, noting the following:
This unit will not be used for gaming or any other intense graphics.
Just looking to build a max performance system - and one that looks COOL (lOl), and the Alienware MX series is by FAR the coolest laptop on any planet. In reality, the overall specs on this system are probably overkill for the normal stuff I do, but still ...

My other option is still to order a maxed out M14X R2 from the Dell site, with the i7-3840QM, SSD, etc. BUT ... at the price I can get this used unit for, I have to consider it - subject to the answers I get to questions above.

Note also I have a specific reason for a 14" unit, vs the M18X R2 - so no worries there.

And other comments, concerns, etc., would also be welcome.



Feb 25, 2012
You would be able to upgrade the processor and RAM, but depending on how low of a price your getting it for it may be cheaper to buy a new one from Dell with those options factory installed. Otherwise I don't see anything wrong with your upgrades. You would have to upgrade the OS to use more than 16GB of RAM though if it hasn't already been upgraded.


New Member
Apr 15, 2013
Andromeda 7
So, you are 1) say the i7 process will drop right in and 2) 32GB of ram is supported, even though 16GB is the max that can be configured on the Dell site?

Cost of unit w/b $400 or less.
All recent operating systems from Microsoft support much greater than 16GB of ram.


Feb 21, 2012
I have no idea about the processor swap, but regarding the other questions I can tell you this:

1. SSD install is pretty much easy and straightforward. YOu just plug it in and install windows on it. I'd still reccomend a clean install. And be sure to use the proper drivers from your BIOS (AHCI for SSD should be your best option).

2. The maximum supported RAM, as Matty said, depends also from your OS, but let me tell you this, anything above 16GB is a waste, you won't even come close to use half of it, heck, if you don't do any gaming or intensive video editing, anything above 8GB is a waste.
anything above 8GB is a waste.

I'm not disagreeing with anybody. But, if one were planning on using their computer for several years and was concerned with "future proofing" their new purchase. Then 16gb is a good investment. Remember RAM isn't about how big the programs are that are currently running. It is about how many of those apps you can run at one time. Thus the only reason the casual user ever runs in to running out of memory is when they have a bazillion tabs open in their browser.


New Member
Apr 15, 2013
Andromeda 7
Folks ... this should clear up the confusion on 'how much memory can be supported by what Windows OS':


16GB is correct IF the OS is Win7 x64 Home Premium.
Win7 x64 Pro (or Enterprise/Ultimate) support 192GB.
Win8 x64 Pro (or Enterprise) can support 512GB

My unit will have Win7 x64 Pro.

"concerned with "future proofing"
"It is about how many of those apps you can run at one time."
EXACTLY. Each release of a Windows OS seems to be come a bigger memory hog.
Fortunately, memory is quite cheap at the moment.

I agree that 16GB would be more that sufficient for my usage for sometime to come. My question #3 was more academic really.

As far as performance, cache memory on the processor is likely the make a noticeable difference ... say 8MB vs 3MB, as well as 2 cores (i5) vs 4 cores (i7).

Another question:
How does UEFI fit into the mix? How do you enable UEIF
When you go to purchase a processor, make sure that it is compatible. You can't buy an i7 3770K and throw it into a laptop. The difference is that the pins on a desktop processor are on the MOBO and the processor is smooth. A laptop processor has the pins on the processor and it fits into a socket.
Where you could find an i7 mobile processor I don't know exactly, ebay likely.

As for the RAM, 16GB is more than enough. I work with 8GB on my desktop and I've never seen it above 50% use, with many programs and tabs open. If you insist on more, then enjoy but it won't all be used.