M17x r3 GPU card

Grandad1971

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Aug 30, 2019
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Hi all.i have have come across said laptop with a cooked amd/ATI GPU card.

The Intel hd3000 integrated all work fine but the discreet card although recognised in BIOS and in win 7 when I install the correct drivers all I get is a black screen.

So my question do I have to stay with the amd card or can I go down the Nvidia route.

Also I dont want to go all extravagant with changing bios settings and such.

Many thanks in advance
 

MattyB

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I've never had an AMD card in my AW machines but the heatsinks are slightly different between the brands. If you want to go with an Nvidia card then it's best to get the 3-pipe Nvidia heatsink as well. The 580M was the top card released with the R3 so I believe you will needed a modded driver to use anything higher. You shouldn't need an unlocked BIOS for the 680M but you may need it for the 780M.
I'll see if I can confirm this.
 

Grandad1971

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Ok many thanks.just find it weird windows finds and asks for driver when I install it I get black screen. I should add I have done all bios updates too and gpu-z does detect card as well but when doing so says no memory so maybe mem chip has cooked.
 

MattyB

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Yeah that's a weird one but it sounds like you could be right.
As per my previous message, you will need the modded driver for the 680M and you will also have to disable driver signature but all that is pretty easy. You will need the modded BIOS for the 780M to change a few settings. It isn't hard but it just adds extra steps and flashing a BIOS can be risky (although I've done it countless times without issue)
You could just go for the 580M and save some trouble, and money.
What AMD card did you have? The 7970 was always considered pretty decent and you can pick them up for peanuts.
 

Grandad1971

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Hi Matty,my card is the expensive hd6970 as used in the Mac's of same era so prices for same card are over the £100 mark.i do personally prefer Nvidia over ATI just my preference.so I understand correctly if I pick up a 580m no modding to bios needed just p+p ??? Many thanks again for advice given.
 

MattyB

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No modding at all, just grab the driver from NVidia. The heatsinks could be different due to the actual GPU on your card being at a different angle to the Nvidia cards. I believe some people get away with using the same heatsink but I've never had an AMD card.
 

Grandad1971

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hi matty,just to let you know sourced nvidia gtx675m and after many many frustrating hours of finding the right driver to work with card and laptop,all is good and discreet graphics now working.

many thanks for advice but just one more thing, i have 2 un k nown devices any ideas???

thanks
 

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MattyB

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Awesome!
To find the missing devices you can go on the Dell Support page and there should be a Dell Assistant program you can run that is supposed to help find missing or out of date drivers. The other thing you can do is go to the missing devices in Device Manager, select properties. From memory, it should give you a code which you can google to find what the device should be. I can't remember exactly what it shows.
I am going to assume that one of them is the freefall sensor. This one is usually missing
 

Grandad1971

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On the money there mate,found out what drivers was and one is the freefall sensor the other something called mother board accelerator.

Thanks again.
 

MattyB

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The old freefall sensor strikes again!

Did you have to use a modded driver for the 675M? That card is a rebadged 580M so it should be plug and play but since the 600 cards weren't released with the R3, they may have changed something in the vBios.
 

Grandad1971

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Hi Matty.

No the card wasn't plug and play because dell didn't make the r3 compatible with cards above 5xx series.i looked into this and yes they are 95% similar apart from couple details in the vbios.took me a whole weekend modding various drivers from Nvidia to various forums and finally came across a piece that said just to install drivers in safe mode with the have disk tab and select the inf file then correct card from list.

I would like to now upgrade to win 10 but if I do that all may go t*ts up again and that would just frustrate the life out of me.
 

MattyB

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In theory, when you upgrade to Windows 10 from 7, it should update all the drivers you need. Not 100% sure with the modded driver though.
If you format your HDD/SSD and do a fresh installation of Win10 this obviously won't happen and you'll have to start again. Although.....if you added your hardware ID in each OS section of the modded inf then you could possibly save the whole Nvidia file on a USB and use it later.
Feel free to ask for help and I'll do my best. I hadn't modded my own driver for a number of years but I re-learned how to do it recently and it's not too hard. I used this guide which really helped

https://null-src.com/posts/nvidia-notebook-driver-inf-mod/post.php
 

Grandad1971

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Hi Matt

Upgraded to win 10 and guess what driver did not update just got standard vga..

So I got newest driver from Nvida and installed same as before and now recognised in dev manager but,now it's installed system seems really slow.i have read that putting new tech into old could cause it to 'bottleneck' the CPU causing system slow down could this be my case here??

Regards Tim
 

MattyB

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Hey Tim. Sorry, big weekend.

You wouldn't have a bottleneck with that GPU. It's basically the same card as the 580M. What driver version are you using?
 
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