Successful M17x R1 Graphics Upgrade

Roamingmark

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
Messages
12
Hey all,

I finally managed to get hold of two cheap HD 5870 1GB Dell graphics cards for my R1 and its been a good upgrade as they both work perfectly in crossfire.
After finally working out that you MUST install the drivers from the Dell website under the R2 model for crossfire to be enabled and then install the latest drivers over the top of these.
Also, we should upgrade the vbios from the Dell website for these cards.
Managing to play everything that is recent at a good level.
Got a GTX 580m that I got with a barebones M17X R2 on the cheap so going to have a play around and see if that will boot in the R1 :cool:
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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3,022
That's great news. I found out that Dell driver issue too when I briefly had an M15x that I put a 5870 in. I had no luck installing the new driver until I first installed the original Dell one. freaked me out for a little while until I figured it out!

You may have some trouble with the 580m unless you use a modded driver. If you do, head to www.laptopvideo2go.com

I put a 570M in that M15x and I had to get the driver from these guys.

- - - - - Updated; Consecutive Post Auto Merged - - - - -

You can also get drivers pretty easily from an ebay store call upgradeyourlaptop.

They just brought out modded versions on the new NVidia drivers.
 

Roamingmark

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Joined
Jun 23, 2013
Messages
12
That's great news. I found out that Dell driver issue too when I briefly had an M15x that I put a 5870 in. I had no luck installing the new driver until I first installed the original Dell one. freaked me out for a little while until I figured it out!

You may have some trouble with the 580m unless you use a modded driver. If you do, head to www.laptopvideo2go.com

I put a 570M in that M15x and I had to get the driver from these guys.

- - - - - Updated; Consecutive Post Auto Merged - - - - -

You can also get drivers pretty easily from an ebay store call upgradeyourlaptop.

They just brought out modded versions on the new NVidia drivers.

Thanks for the information Matty, I have read that there are possible issues with the R1 bios not recognizing the 560m/580m but hey ho, lets give it a try.

Plus I am rebuilding an R2 at the moment so the 580m can 100% be used in that.
But I've looked at the 580m and it has memory on the underside of the card as well which could be an issue with heat but that is directly above the fan....
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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There will be ways around that. Pretty sure I've seen forums with people putting those newer cards in the R2. Can be good to get some thermal pad off eBay for the extra memory
 

AeonSoul

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Feb 21, 2012
Messages
1,367
Yeah just drop a thermal pad in there and you should be good to go.
As for the BIOS not recognizing the card, you most likely will have to go with a modded bios.
 

Herby Sagues

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Joined
Apr 26, 2015
Messages
1
Hi. I have an Alienware M17x R2 with dual HD4870, which has pretty decent performance but, as you can imagine, with the 4870s it can't play many modern games requiring recent DX versions.
I happen to have a couple of working ATI HD5870 cards which are supposedly compatible with this machine, and when I install them and connect them with the crossfire cable, everything fits perfectly, as if everything was designed to work together.
But then I power up the laptop and nothing happens. Keyboard and buttons light up, but screen never comes up, and the computer powers down after about ten seconds.
According to this thread this upgrade seems to be possible.
If I revert back to the original cards everything works. I put the new cards, and black screen again.
I tested the two cards on another laptop and they work, so it's not that.
What am I missing?
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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I'm assuming that your driver is up to date so if it is then it could be the BIOS. Just check that you have the latest one for your machine.
 

ZWM_Alien

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Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
22
Say, folks...

I frankensteined an M17xR2 and I have an nVidia 260m for video. The card isn't recognized by Win 7, tried most of the solutions - uninstall drivers, reinstall drivers, etc...was thinking I may have to flash the VBIOS, feel like it's a definite after reading Roamingmark's post. Problem is, I need to locate the 260m drivers. Tried going to the nVidia support page and letting it search my system but it claimed it didn't find any appropirate hardware and I couldn't install them manually. I'm assuming the card is okay since CPU-ID recognizes it as nVidia, but in a generic way.

Part of my problem may be because I'm throwing attempts at repair at it in random order. Again, after reading what Roamingmark has posted, I'm assuming the correct sequence would be:

1) Uninstall generic drivers
2) Install specific drivers - in this case, for the 260m
3) flash VBIOS

Am I at least close to the right track here? Maybe 2 and 3 should be reversed?
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
Messages
3,022
If you can't find the 260M driver from NVidia then try here

I have never flashed a vBios so I can't help you there sorry. It don't know if it's really needed though. The 260M was released on the M17x so you are putting an older card into a newer machine. That doesn't happen too often I'm guessing. I think all you would need is a modded driver and to make sure your BIOS is up to date.
 

ZWM_Alien

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
22
If you can't find the 260M driver from NVidia then try here

I have never flashed a vBios so I can't help you there sorry. It don't know if it's really needed though. The 260M was released on the M17x so you are putting an older card into a newer machine. That doesn't happen too often I'm guessing. I think all you would need is a modded driver and to make sure your BIOS is up to date.

First of all, thanks for the link! Muchly appreciated.

I know some things about the laptop I assembled, but because my searches have been a lot of hit-and-miss I get the sinking feeling that a lot of what I've learned is in the vein of knowing enough to be dangerous. I did find out that the card is actually a 280m [code on the chip reads G92-761-B1]. The laptop, according to the service code, is the older M17x from 2009. The original configuration for it, according to the Dell site, included a 285m. So I'm still using an older card, just not quite so old as I thought. I still have yet to find somewhere that tells me the maximum video the motherboard will support [14M8C] so I'll know a golden opportunity on evilbay when I see it. In the meantime, everything is an experiment. I was just wondering about the VBIOS flash because I think I've pretty much tried everything else.

By the way, the Dell Alienware Out-of-Warranty Tech Support is comprised of a rabid gang of flea-bitten howler monkeys. Just sayin'.

But enough of that. I have a USB drive set up and ready to give it a try once I get hold of the right drivers. And if I cock the whole thing up I'll post a warning to try and spare anyone else the agony of bricking their gear.
 
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