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Super M17X R4 Build Log ~ One Beautiful laptop.

Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
22
Alright so I got my M17X R4 today and I'll be starting my build here soon.
I dubbed it a "Super M17X R4" because it has advanced upgrades that you can't get stock from Alienware.com
Its basically a stock HD7970M 1080P M17X R4 Nebula Red with an SSD from XoticPC installed, and my personal graphics artwork applied to the lid(Art by me, Vinyl application done by XoticPC)
Nothing super fancy like some of the guys's nice rigs around here hey its a stretch for a laptop.

Heres my concept art to real world imgur thread with photos from XoticPC: http://imgur.com/a/VcQiR

The "super" upgrade that I'm doing
Base build
i7 3630QM
HD7970M
750GB HDD
1080P 60HZ Screen

XoticPC upgrade
64GB Crucial M4 mSATA SSD for OS
Custom artwork Vinyl(120$ had to do a 2nd print)
Total machine price from at unboxing: $2103

My Parts list
12 GB DDR3 Dual Channel Kingston HyperX RAM
(Kingston HyperX 2x4gb 1866mhz Memory Modules
Kingston HyperX 2x2gb 1866mhz Memory Modules, 6GB per channel.)
Kingston SSDnow! V+200 60GB SSD
Intel Centrino 6250 Multiband WifiCard+WiDi compatable+WiMAX technology
Artic MX-2 Thermal Compound
EDIT: Hardware upgrade done.

"Soft Mods"
Xotic PC did a clean install of Windows 7 HP for me but They were missing some drivers so I'm catching theme as I go along.
Debating whether I should just drop in a clean install myself before doing all the software level mods.
(^Lol did this last night, done)
Login Tweaks wallpaper
Windows Manabí OS-Tan Windows 7 theme modified with my own changes(Done)
Intel SRT Technology(to be used with the 60GB SSD)(Done)
Windows OS Symbolic Links creation for SSD theory operation(see below)(done)
Downsampling custom monitor resolution: 2160 x 1215(+15)(2.62 megapixels)<--starting with this will probably move up to 2208 x 1242(+18)(2.74megapixels) to emulate eyefinity workload.

Hardware Mods
ArticMX-2 applied.(done)
Minor TDP increased "overclock" on the CPU(locked CPU but Turbo boost TDP can be changed.(debating if I need to do this, probably not)
HD 7970M "superclock" (just a small but effective overclock)

Here's what went into the system.






So before anyone asks about my storage solution set up here "Why 2 SSDs?"

One is for OS, the mSATA, its specifically for OS, Drivers, Communicators, and browsers. If something of that sort doesn't fall under that category I simply do not want it to be on that mSATA SSD, I want to keep it clean and as quick booting as possible
This SSD will be separate to operation of user applications and games.
However the 750GB SSD will be paired in raid operation with the 60GB SSD which will cash and pin programs from the 750GB HDD to give me maximum storage and performance ratio.
It's going to be a pain to set up all the symbolic links and moving around system files to keep files off the SSD but keeping everything operating to perfection is an absolute must for me.


I'm stoked to see this M17X R4 finally arrive, because It will handle every game I play without issues and will later on be able to support a 720P eyefinity set up which I plan on saving up money for.

I'll be doing an unboxing and overview video, along with an upgrading video as well.

But I have some questions about overclocking the GPU, I know the CPU is limited and i have to rely on the turbo boost increase to allow any form of "overclocking" but im not too worried about the CPU but more or less worried about the HD 7970M.
I've never used AMD graphics before, but since GCN 7000 series is better for high resolutions and multi screen performance, as well as my workstation projects and programs I desided to hang up my green and black for a red tshirt and wanted to get something that would fit my value and resources..

I'm curious on the difficulty of overclocking and tweaking the GPU to achieve and acceptable overclock to support the higher resolutions for downsampling, eyefinity and games in general.
Its an R4 so is there any advice for overclocking the HD7970M?
I don't want to push it hard, I just want to see a good 3dMark11 score pop up, and have acceptable frame rates at high to max@1080P.


And great frame rates on downsampled games from earlier years.
Here's my 3dMark stock with the 13.6beta drivers

Can anyone show me how to directly download driver builds from AMD, i dont want to use their automatic crap.
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6683977
After all the hardware is installed and running, and full windows updates.
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6688658


This will be my 4th Alienware, and my 3rd Alienware laptop, and I'm stoked to see it come to life.
I hope you guys enjoy my presentation, because I'm absolutely stoked. :thumb:

Checklist:
Hardware upgrades: Done!
File system managed: complete!
Overclocking: This is next
Downsample Resolutions: coming soon.


 
Last edited:

MattyB

Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,909
Welcome to the family! Looks like you've put a lot of thought into your new AW!!

Can't help you with your overclocking questions, sorry.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
22
Thanks ^.^
I'm probably just going to slam out some google searches and find what I need for OCing. its already P6700+base clock so I'm already just in love with it.
 

stupreme

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
61
Wow Fran - That 3dMark Score is just insane (was it on 1080p) , And the Laptop itself looks Amazing :)
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
22
Wow Fran - That 3dMark Score is just insane (was it on 1080p) , And the Laptop itself looks Amazing :)

I've not even OC'd it yet.
It was on 1280x720p.

I'll OC it a bit later, I finally figured out one of the problems that was stopping it from OCing, I have to get a USB drive so I can drop in an overvolting vBIOS so I can give it a bit better overclocking... Im hoping I can push it to P7400 or even up to P7500, if I could see a good P7600 i'd be swimming. :3

I can't wait to see this thing handle my downsampling and my hopefully soon to be acquired 3x720P screen eyefinity.
I'm hoping to eventually pick up 3x 18.5inch 1366x768 screens, drop them to 1280x720p and then debezzle them, and setting up a 2.76 megapixel screen array for eyefinity gaming. (3840x720P)

- - - - - Updated; Double Post Auto Merged - - - - -

Alright I got the videos uploaded and everything.
Unboxing from Xotic PC
[video=youtube_share;i8SmxKo7M58]http://youtu.be/i8SmxKo7M58[/video]

Here's the video of me tearing it down and putting in the new parts
[video=youtube_share;zvxtMZ3QGQE]http://youtu.be/zvxtMZ3QGQE[/video]


Now I can go on to overclocking and stuff. :D
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6693475



http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6693520


Highest I can take it without overvolting :D
 

MattyB

Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,909
You need someone to post something so your videos aren't cut off by advertising. Hence this post.
 

stupreme

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
61
Sick Scores, Nice Upgrades , Awesome Graphics and Beautiful Laptop - I cant wait for you to get your screens .
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
22


BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

Holy shit dude...


holy shit....

anyone wanna bet if I can hit 1ghz stable?
I'm going to stress test this.
Sick Scores, Nice Upgrades , Awesome Graphics and Beautiful Laptop - I cant wait for you to get your screens .

That problably wont happen within the next 5~6 months or more. Unless someone wants to donate!
3x18.5inch 1366x768 screens with an mini displayport to DVI active adaptor and all the little adaptors and cables I need, should be about 400$

But I want to get the extended 5 year warranty on this m17X first.

1ghz HD7970M
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6695051


wow...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
22
http://www.overclock.net/t/1397732/my-alienware-super-m17x-r4-custom-build-log/0_100
I'm pretty much done with this build for right now. I have it tweaked and overclocked and finished moddeing and now its ready for harcore/competitive gaming.
I had a lot of driver issue hickups and I think I've finally got them all. Intel RTS(for SRT), was having issues and IE10 wont install properly, but I have chrome so who cares.

Some Stats and Specs
Super M17X R4 Specs
CPU: Intel Core i7 3630QM IvyBridge @2.4GHz turbing up to 3.3ghz according to CPUZ
GPU: AMD Radeon HD7970M 2GB GDDR5(Thames/Wimbledon XT)[MXM Slot]
Motherboard: Alienware M17xR4 HM77 Socket fcPGA988(Sandybridge/Ivybridge)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 12GB 1866mhz DDR3 Dual channel, 4 SODIMM units: 2 x 4GB+2x 2GB
Storage Solution: 64GB Crucial M4 mSATA SSD[boot drive]
750GB Western Digital Scorpio Black[Storage]
60GB Kingston SSDnow! V+ SSD(Caching)
Case/Chassis: Alienware M17X R3/R4 with XoticPC service applied custom artwork created by Me(Franbunny Alice Viera)
Display: 1920x 1080 60HZ Super Clear Super Bright Alienware 17.3inch FHD WLED screen @ 72%NTSC Gamut.
Optical Drive: 8x DVD Buner RW drive slim slot load
Audio: Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di High-Definition 5.1 Audio with THX TruStudio Pro Software, Audio Powered by Klipsch 2.0 4speaker array.

Overall Cost: $2300 even.
Base system: 1909$
XoticPC upgrades: 198$
Aftermarket upgrades: 193$
Includes all taxes shipping cost
Doesn't include the 30$ extra charge for the artwork update I got, but a friend paid for that for me.

Quick links:
Unboxing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8SmxKo7M58
Teardown and upgrade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvxtMZ3QGQE
Benchmarks: http://www.overclock.net/t/1397732/my-alienware-super-m17x-r4-custom-build-log/0_100#post_20133599
Stock 3dmark11: http://i.imgur.com/cVBuJe4.png
highest overclock: 3dmark11: http://i.imgur.com/rv6V4SO.jpg
Stress test temps: http://i.imgur.com/XrtsuYd.jpg
Game Screenshots and performance: http://www.overclock.net/t/1397732/my-alienware-super-m17x-r4-custom-build-log/0_100#post_20149091


Thanks for following this guys and gals. I'll be leaving this thread open to for discussion and games suggestions, and will be updating the screenshots post as well as I might have a photograph take some high quality photos of the system
I'm pretty much done until I can gather 3x18.5inch screens for my Eyefinity array. I will be debezzling them so I'll revive this when I start that.
Cya round Alienware fans!
Thanks for showing interest in my build, it was a nice refresh of an experience. nice to see i still got my old tricks.
Check out my original Overclock.net thread for more stuff like games performance.
~Franbunny Alice Viera signing off.
 

calric

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
59
amazing! excellent work :D

i bet it looks even better in person, can never completely get the same results in pictures all the time than you can in person.

i think you're about 5 - 6 hours away from me - do you ever go to any kind of events in the area to show off your newly created masterpiece?
 

jorlanm

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Messages
58
Wow thats awesome...I dont think the 680m can even handle that much overclock!
 

Falcon

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
37
Man-o-man that config is an eye-candy to many. I bet you wont be using this for long as you changed 3 AWares till now!! Benchmarks show pretty awesome scores, I would wait for enhanced versions of tech's as most of the techs now in market are there for some time now.

With regard to overclocking there are many softwares but i request you not to overclock as that may take a toll of lifetime of hardware.
You can as well overclock in the bios but be careful while changing settings.

Its good to see girls dealing such freaky hardware stunts. Mind blowing. Cool.
 
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