M17x Model Differences

Blazer_Kydd

New Member
Nov 18, 2021
3
0
USA
Hello All,

I have a M17x R2 that I've had since 2010. She's not quite the gaming machine she used to be since the rebuild in 2014 where I needed the system board replaced and just needed it to work. I'm looking to do some upgrades to her now and I'm looking through the forums and I'm noticing R1-4 info but I'm not quite sure what differences between the different models are. I did a quick search to see if there were any past threads but came up short. Anyone know what the differences are and what the limitations of my R2 are? Thanks.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,111
127
Adelaide, Australia
Hello,
R1 - Core 2 Duo/Quad, Nvidia SLI 200M series and AMD Crossfire Mobility 4000 series
R2 - 1st Gen Core i5/i7, Nvidia SLI 200M series and AMD Crossfire Mobility 5000 series
R3 - 2nd Gen Core i5/i7, Nvidia 400M and 500M series and AMD 6000M series
R4 - 3rd Gen Core i5/i7, Nvidia 600M series and AMD 7970M

The R1 and R2 are basically brothers from another mother (pretty much the same but with different motherboards) and then the R3 and R4 have a similar relationship.

CPU options are limited to processors of the same generation so you can't put a 1st gen CPU in the R1 and vice-versa. The only exception from this rule is the R4 which can take 2nd gen mobile processors from the R3.
If you have an R2 then you can only put in 1st gen mobile processors. The 920XM and 940XM are the best options.

The R1 and R2 have the option for SLI or Crossfire. The best GPU that I have seen working in the R2 is the AMD 8970M. I do know of someone who had dual 8970Ms working in Crossfire in his R2. I believe that some people got the 780M to work but the Nvidia cards have a harder time in these older laptops than the AMD cards.
The R4 is the only one that doesn't really have a limitation on the GPU upgrade, it can even take some newer RTX GPU's.
 
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Blazer_Kydd

New Member
Nov 18, 2021
3
0
USA
Hello,
R1 - Core 2 Duo/Quad, Nvidia SLI 200M series and AMD Crossfire 4000/5000M series
R2 - 1st Gen Core i5/i7, Nvidia SLI 200M series and AMD Crossfire 4000/5000M series
R3 - 2nd Gen Core i5/i7, Nvidia 400M and 500M series and AMD 6000M series
R4 - 3rd Gen Core i5/i7, Nvidia 600M series and AMD 7970M

The R1 and R2 are basically brothers from another mother (pretty much the same but with different motherboards) and then the R3 and R4 have a similar relationship.

CPU options are limited to processors of the same generation so you can't put a 1st gen CPU in the R1 and vice-versa. The only exception from this rule is the R4 which can take 2nd gen mobile processors from the R3.
If you have an R2 then you can only put in 1st gen mobile processors. The 920XM and 940XM are the best options.

The R1 and R2 have the option for SLI or Crossfire. The best GPU that I have seen working in the R2 is the AMD 8970M. I do know of someone who had dual 8970Ms working in Crossfire in his R2. I believe that some people got the 780M to work but the Nvidia cards have a harder time in these older laptops than the AMD cards.
The R4 is the only one that doesn't really have a limitation on the GPU upgrade, it can even take some newer RTX GPU's.
Dang Matty, someone should sticky this. That’s a lot of really good info. What about RAM limits?
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,111
127
Adelaide, Australia
I believe that 8gb is the max for the R1 and R2 but I'll see if I can find out for sure. The early mobile CPU's only had a max supported memory capacity of 8gb but it's possible that BIOS updates allowed for more. I'm pretty sure it's only 8gb though.

EDIT: Yes the R2 can take 16gb DDR3 but it looks like it will need one of the later BIOS versions like A10. Max speed is still limited to 1333 so if you put 1600 in it will downclock to 1333.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/m17x-r2-memory-upgrade-help.700233/
 
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