M17x R1(?) Video Card Upgrade


New Member
Jul 4, 2012
north east
I've aquired an M17x from my bro that purchased this laptop a year ago (no hardware upgrades) and I'm looking to upgrade the video card(s). The entry in device mangler says nvidia geforce 9400m g -- does anyone have any suggestions for video card(s) upgrades? Not concerned with price right now but i would appreciate any/all suggestions concerning single/dual video card upgrades -- for shits and giggles -- lets say i have a price ceiling of 500.
So I did some poking around and found out that the laptop that I have has an nvidia Geforce 260m -- after calling alienware for an upgrade they said the best that they can do is a Geforce 280m or an ati 4870. Any opinions out there on an upgrade to either of these two cards or should I just suck it up, re-image this as a spare laptop and save up for a new laptop?
Dell wants you to buy a new laptop, of course...

An ebay search should help you...

as far as i know, you should be able to install an HD-7970m or GTX-680m without trouble. What CPU and mainboard does your R1 have?

The 680m might even generate less heat than the 280m for all I know.

Does your GeForce 260m use Optimus GPU switching? There is a possibility Optimus might or might not work correctly, depending on how things are interfaced, and where on the boards firmware is located. Though you could assume that a new Optimus board should be backwards compatible with older Optimus boards, simply to remove barriers to manufacturers buying the newest Nvidia cards, even if they don't want to switch to a new mainboard.

I'd say in all likelyhood, it should work, even if you have to sacrifice Optimus.

But you have to verify it, and ebay sellers are a good place to start finding out. Ask around - there are multiple shops selling laptop GPU cards on ebay, ask every one of them and see if their answers match, and what their rating is and their return policy/warranty...

Best if you are able to tell them your CPU model as well, I don't know if all R1's have the same or not...
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n13L5 -- thanks for the info -- this is the only info that i've got for my mobo:
board: alienware A05

if you know anything about it -- please let me know -- other than that i'm going to try and find the original bill of sale this weekend. i'll let ya know what i find.
I don't know what mainboard they had in that, but if you can find out for sure if your M17x is an R1 or R2 etc, you can google "M17x R1 review" and one of the more detailed reviews should mention the chipset used.

Oh wait, you should be able to find out a lot on Dell's website with your notebook's TAG number... if you go on Dell's web site and act like you want support or download the correct main board driver updates, it should lead you to that info too...

Also, if your brother purchased that laptop a year ago new, it should be an M17x R3, but with a GT 260M, I'd think R1 or R2... not sure if the R3's all had 5xxM GPUs or also spanned 4xxM GPUs...