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New M17X R3 Owner

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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124
Well guys, I said I was going to and I did! Last alienware for a while now. The M17X Is here with only One major issue!
The. Charger. Is. Broken. FML.

Not really having a lot of luck with broken things on Alienware laptops lately huh?

Forgot to inspect, late at night and had been driving for 2 hours, looked like he pieced together a charger from a printer power brick, wtf!

Anyway, Cleaned the Drives, Installed AlienAddicts W7HP as I do with all my AW Systems with exception for P1, P2 and M17.

Anyway, LCD Brim is sticky, any suggestions?

LCD Cover is immaculate almost with small blemishes, Very scratched but scratches were removed with Isopropyl.

Keyboard is very nice and tactile, Same with mouse and buttons, although the coating has been removed.

The entire rubber coating looks like it was sanded off only on the palmrest. New PR assy. will be $16 shipped so not too concerned.

System ran good for the time it took windows to install and the 2 minutes I got to stare at the desktop cos the battery died.

Disassembled and cleaned heatsinks and repasted CPU and GPU, Fairly easy, a lot easier than the ROG I traded for.

As far a specs:
CPU: i7 2630QM
RAM: 16 GB RAM
GPU: GTX 550M (I think?) Will upgrade later.
of course, 17 inch screen.
OS: Windows 7 HP
Storage: Mechanical HDD, Unsure of Memory but will update when I get it powered up. Intel SSD, again unsure of memory; VERY QUICK. Like the fastest boot time ever it was insane.

This system revision leaves me scratching my head though, Why would Dell ditch the more attractive (in my opinion) metal LCD Cover, which also makes the screen/chassis less ridged, and remove the ability to change color of the Alien Head? Seems redundant to get an Alienware with AlienFX if all the lights cant be customized.

Pretty sure from disassembly vids that the LCD covers may be interchangable, if so, I want to replace it with the R1/R2 Nebula Red Version.

More to come. Thanks, -Andrew
 

MattyB

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Yeah it always annoyed me that the Alien head wasn't able to be changed. I'm not sure if the lids are interchangeable between the R1/R2 and R3/R4. They have a different look so I always assumed they had different fittings. The R1/R2 lid has the same look as the M18x R1/R2
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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124
Yeah when you unscrew the LCD cover from the Screen it releases the black “LCD door” which the back plate mounts to.

A back plate is less than $20 and LCD door is around $10 so might be worth a try.

Additionally, If the plates are interchangable, so may be the alien head, if so possibly a revision of AWCC for the R1 or R2 Can be used to change the color, but just a thought.

Charger is in the mail now, Palm rest will be for Christmas.

Thanks, -Andrew
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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Late reply, Charger Arrived! OEM Dell Slim 240 Watt Charger, This thing is massive!!! System is up and running great with my favorite AlienFX Theme. New LCD cover and Palm rest tomorrow!
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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Got the Palmrest installed! It was a NIGHTMARE. I never want to open this laptop again until I get the LCD Door. Pics soon to come. Lets just say... I have to reinstall windows. I have no idea what happened during my time inside the computer. Will go into details later.
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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Encountered Issues. AlienFX is not changing lights. Intel Integrated Graphics Driver says “this system does not meet minimum requirements” or whatever. Any help is appreciated. W7HP x64

Edit: A windows Update seems to have fixed the keyboard, speakers and power button.

Alienware Panel, Media keys and trackpad arent lighting at all right now. Windows is configuring updates at the moment and will update if the non- working FX zones begin to work.
 
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MattyB

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Ahh the palmrest isn't too hard....once you've done it about 50 times ;) Just look for all the holes marked with a P.

It's a real pain on the M18x because you have to remove the LCD and Palmrest to get to the GPU's, CPU and additional memory slots. I could probably do it blindfolded these days.

It's strange that some zones are lighting up but not others. Hopefully it's software and not hardware. The old command center needed the Microsoft .net framework to be updated so this was probably the reason for your first issue. Keep us posted
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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124
That does seem terrible to remove the LCD and PR to get to the GPUs. Makes me kinda glad the person I DMd before grabbing this one didnt even have an M18X! They used the P18G model number instead of the model name and i guess it confused me.

Anyway, When I left off last night all Lighting Zones have resumed functionallity. The AlienFX controller seems to have stopped launching on start up to control those affected zones though. A simple fix to add a shortcut to the start up programs should take care of it.

As far as the Intel Integrated Graphics. I achieved a fix that was actually pretty simple. For those who may have the same issue, I will document the process below.

First, Right Click Computer >Manage >Device Manager >Right Click the name of your PC (At the top) >Add Legacy Hardware >Choose the advanced option when the wizard launches >Display Adapters >Choose Have Disk >Browse >Navigate to your driver installation folder. For me this was C:/Dell/Drivers/D6 Intel Integrated Graphics(Custom Name). >When in the installation folder choose >Graphics >Select the system info file, for me this was “igdlh64”. Hit Open >Hit OK >Choose Intel HD Graphics. Complete the rest of the process. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO UPDATE DRIVER THROUGH DEVICE MANAGER. Navigate back to your driver installation folder and run and complete the setup. Done

As of now, Until I get the LCD Door I will upload these photos
44390AAC-3112-41E6-8C09-8D8CBD6B483A.jpeg2C0D1D68-C08C-458C-98C3-7E43DC287DDF.jpeg27D43864-4368-4E7E-9001-F9C3962C041B.jpegA561AE16-85DA-4842-99CF-D5F99CB94A1E.jpeg
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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124
Matty, Would you happen to know the highest CPU & GPU I can use in this system?Looking for thereabouts of a 960M. There's also a 3930MX i7 near me for pretty low also :)
Thanks, -Andrew
 

MattyB

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I do not believe that the 900 series cards work in the R3. The 780M/880M is the limit. The 780M is a better card than the 960M anyway. It's better than the 880M as well.

Only 2nd gen processors will work so a 2920XM / 2960XM is the limit. I believe the R4 and M18x R2 are backwards compatible from 3rd gen to 2nd gen but you can't go forwards on your R3 or M18x R1. I don't think there is a 3930MX. It should either be a 3920XM or 3940XM.
 

Andrew_J994

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Aug 10, 2016
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Alright ill do more digging to see what I can find.

What about AMD Cards? I heard the HD 7970M is a good choice but it also may not be compatible or may not be better than the 780M.

Never really dug into laptop specs that much as you can probably tell lol.

Thanks, -Andrew
 

MattyB

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I don't have a lot of experience with AMD cards but I recently put a 7970M into an M17x R4 that had a faulty 675M. I haven't done any tests with it yet though.
I don't think you'll need the unlocked BIOS for an AMD card on your machine but I believe you'll definitely need it for a 780M, along with a modded driver. I believe AMD are more plug and play than Nvidia. My wife uses our R3 so I don't really want to mess around with it and test some cards just in case I screw something up.
 
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