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Help upgrading Alienware laptop graphics card

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  • Graphics
  • Graphics Cards
  • Alienware
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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
August 19, 2014 7:10:37 PM

Hey guys im kind of new to the site so i am not sure if this is in the correct thread but here is the issue. I have an alienware m17x r3 laptop and would like to upgrade the graphics card in it. i I know its possible i just don't know if i have the right card and if it would be compatible. The one i am looking at right now is an Nvidia Geforce Gtx 580m http:// Basically my only concern is that i only have $300 dollars for all of the components required for the upgrade, btw i am upgrading from a 460m, and i dont know if i need a special bracket, thermal paste, etc. basically i have never done this before.

So if anyone could tell me if this would work and maybe give me a few tips i would really appreciate it.

More about : upgrading alienware laptop graphics card

August 20, 2014 7:27:44 PM

If you actually payed 1,499 for a gaming laptop, sir, you could have gotten a PC with a GTX 780 and a Intel i5 processor. You wasted a lot of money, if you still have a warrantee on it I STRONGLY advise returning it and building your own computer, I can link a tutorial to build one or I can link you a good website for prebuilt computers.
http://www.ibuypower.com - Prebuilt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U&list=PL02HD... - Tutorial on a build [Only difference would be if you decided to go intel instead of a AMD]
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($117.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($138.70 @ Amazon)
Storage: Axiom 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.27 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB ROG MATRIX Video Card ($636.30 @ Newegg)
Case: Apevia X-SNIPER2-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Archgon CB-5021-GD DVD/CD Writer ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($187.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1577.19
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 22:27 EDT-0400
Have fun,
Cameron
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a c 93 U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
August 20, 2014 10:47:38 PM

On a laptop it can't be done. The laptop hardware for your laptop is made to specifically work with that laptop case. It doesn't matter how much money you spend on it or what kind of mounting bracket is in there. That graphics card is married to that laptop period.
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September 28, 2014 5:21:53 AM

Can be done for Alienware laptops. Researching same myself currently. Poke around over at Notebook Review (sorry to send you to another site), they have a fairly extensive Alienware section. Have seen detailed post of a fellow who upgraded from 460M to 780M.

And to Cameron G, sometimes priamary requirement is for portability, some of us don't go home to the one place every night, but still love to game.
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December 16, 2014 9:21:41 AM

Cameron G said:
If you actually payed 1,499 for a gaming laptop, sir, you could have gotten a PC with a GTX 780 and a Intel i5 processor. You wasted a lot of money, if you still have a warrantee on it I STRONGLY advise returning it and building your own computer, I can link a tutorial to build one or I can link you a good website for prebuilt computers.
http://www.ibuypower.com - Prebuilt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U&list=PL02HD... - Tutorial on a build [Only difference would be if you decided to go intel instead of a AMD]
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($117.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($138.70 @ Amazon)
Storage: Axiom 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.27 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB ROG MATRIX Video Card ($636.30 @ Newegg)
Case: Apevia X-SNIPER2-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Archgon CB-5021-GD DVD/CD Writer ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($187.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1577.19
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 22:27 EDT-0400
Have fun,
Cameron
.

Why on Earth would you spend over 200 bucks on a 3.5Ghz quad core??!!!! You could get three AMD Athlon X4 760K which are 3.8Ghz and 4 cores!! or you could get an AMD FX-9370 for 4.4Ghz and 8 cores. Also you could switch the GPU with the Sapphire Vapor X for $200 less and double video memory (8GB), oh yeah, and then you'd have to switch the motherboard for something that has the AM3+ socket BTW the motherboard is pretty bad considering that you can only have up to DDR3-1600.
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January 17, 2015 10:56:38 PM

NqGeo said:
Can be done for Alienware laptops. Researching same myself currently. Poke around over at Notebook Review (sorry to send you to another site), they have a fairly extensive Alienware section. Have seen detailed post of a fellow who upgraded from 460M to 780M.

And to Cameron G, sometimes priamary requirement is for portability, some of us don't go home to the one place every night, but still love to game.


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January 17, 2015 10:58:53 PM

really???? can you pinpoint where you found that information NqGeo? please!!! im trying to upgrade my m17xr3 the same way, and thanks
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February 2, 2015 9:36:42 PM

Cameron G said:
If you actually payed 1,499 for a gaming laptop, sir, you could have gotten a PC with a GTX 780 and a Intel i5 processor. You wasted a lot of money, if you still have a warrantee on it I STRONGLY advise returning it and building your own computer, I can link a tutorial to build one or I can link you a good website for prebuilt computers.
http://www.ibuypower.com - Prebuilt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U&list=PL02HD... - Tutorial on a build [Only difference would be if you decided to go intel instead of a AMD]
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($117.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($138.70 @ Amazon)
Storage: Axiom 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.27 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB ROG MATRIX Video Card ($636.30 @ Newegg)
Case: Apevia X-SNIPER2-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Archgon CB-5021-GD DVD/CD Writer ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($187.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1577.19
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 22:27 EDT-0400
Have fun,
Cameron







LOL good job wasting your time posting that comment, maybe you should realize that in some cases gaming laptops are way better because of the portablity and the game-on-the-go aspect. Fail

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February 3, 2015 7:12:38 AM

For those who don't know already, Alienware has created a way of connecting desktop cards to a laptop platform. It really new but after getting a new R5 to connect to at is not a bad deal at 299$.

Instead of fighting to find a way to buy a lesser preforming 780M GTX at around 500$ on Ebay in which I find absurdly priced for a card two gens behind and only half supported in DX12. I am saving up for the low-end Alienware 17 and then going to sport the Alienware Video AMP with a 970 GTX full desktop card. Then be able to upgrade my cards accordingly.
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February 16, 2015 6:51:56 PM

Alienware 17 inch machines use a removable MXM 3.0 video card. Some of them have the slots for 2 cards. My version 2 came with 2 5870m cards and I swapped them for 1 x 6970m. Not hard. The M17xR3 does not have dual card option so you need to swap not add. The 6970m is an option for the R3 which has a TDP of 100w. So does the GTX580m. You will not have any issues with cooling. You may need to change the heatsink bracket. Which you can find on ebay along with thermal pads.

Yes Alienware has just released 'Alienware AMP' but uses a propriety interface and only available for the current release 13 inch not the larger ones. The question was regarding the 17xR3.
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June 27, 2015 11:40:21 AM

Cameron G said:
If you actually payed 1,499 for a gaming laptop, sir, you could have gotten a PC with a GTX 780 and a Intel i5 processor. You wasted a lot of money, if you still have a warrantee on it I STRONGLY advise returning it and building your own computer, I can link a tutorial to build one or I can link you a good website for prebuilt computers.
http://www.ibuypower.com - Prebuilt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U&list=PL02HD... - Tutorial on a build [Only difference would be if you decided to go intel instead of a AMD]
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($117.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($138.70 @ Amazon)
Storage: Axiom 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.27 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB ROG MATRIX Video Card ($636.30 @ Newegg)
Case: Apevia X-SNIPER2-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Archgon CB-5021-GD DVD/CD Writer ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($187.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1577.19
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 22:27 EDT-0400
Have fun,
Cameron

Cameron, if he had asked you where the best place was to put together a desktop pc was and how to do it I'm sure your answer would have been very interesting to him. As it was, he was asking about Completely unrelated matter and yet you found it important to point out where he'd gone wrong by spending a lot of money on a laptop, and then answered (albeit very concisely) a question he'd not asked. How are you or any of us to know if the O.P hasn't already got a world beating desktop. ?. You might be surprised to know there are many reasons why ppl choose to own and spend a lot on a laptop. Such as working away from home a lot where packing a huge and heavy desktop is not only impractical but outright stupid. Nice answer, to quite probably the wrong person. It does annoy me when owners of pc's seen to think they're the only form of computer or means of playing games and treat the rest of the gaming community as if they're hicks that have just come in from the fields. I'm speaking as a console owner (several) laptop owner (again, several) and a very substantial desktop. So I think I'm qualified to be as judgemental.....
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September 18, 2015 7:36:19 AM

Cameron G said:
If you actually payed 1,499 for a gaming laptop, sir, you could have gotten a PC with a GTX 780 and a Intel i5 processor. You wasted a lot of money, if you still have a warrantee on it I STRONGLY advise returning it and building your own computer, I can link a tutorial to build one or I can link you a good website for prebuilt computers.
http://www.ibuypower.com - Prebuilt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsyxM_j3Y4U&list=PL02HD... - Tutorial on a build [Only difference would be if you decided to go intel instead of a AMD]
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/vVVyHx/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($117.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($138.70 @ Amazon)
Storage: Axiom 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($120.27 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB ROG MATRIX Video Card ($636.30 @ Newegg)
Case: Apevia X-SNIPER2-BL ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Archgon CB-5021-GD DVD/CD Writer ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($187.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1577.19
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 22:27 EDT-0400
Have fun,
Cameron


Im sorry, but you have terrible responses from these people. Building a PC isn't for everyone. If you don't want the hassle of dealing with buying the wrong parts, something breaks while your installing, and dealing with multiple warranties (some don't cover negligence). It's usually easier to just buy a laptop the way you just did and have an extended full coverage warranty. As far as upgrading goes, yes you can upgrade there's plenty of how-to's online for what you want. heres a reply from a dell representative in the link section
Source: I did this myself and I am a+ certified with a pc build/repair job
Yes, you could purchase the video card from Dell Spare Parts 1-800-357-3355. Below are the video cards we validated with the M17x-R3 -

87XRJ N11E-GS GeForce 460m Kit (Video card VDV04 + Thermal Assemblies J9H7X)
N11E-GS GeForce 460m (Vbios http://dell.to/tmQq7T)

8H4G6 N12E-GS GeForce 560m Kit (Video card YT99J + Thermal Assemblies J9H7X)
N12E-GS GeForce 560m (Vbios http://dell.to/MkRdEg)

RFYN9 N12E-GTX2 GeForce GTX580m Kit (Video card 3MF8R + Thermal Heat Sink Assembly V1K2G)
N12E-GTX2 GeForce GTX580m (Vbios http://dell.to/O6DgZ1)

5MKH5 AMD Granville Pro 6870m Kit (Video card V5TGF + Thermal Assemblies VH0YK)

WFWCW AMD Blackcomb XT 6970m Kit (Video card V9XKH + Thermal Assemblies YHP1P)

CK7HW AMD Blackcomb XTX 6990m Kit (Video Card RDRGR + Thermal Assemblies YHP1P)

You should always update the Bios to the latest version before doing any hardware changes.

The Service Manual has the removal instructions. http://dell.to/NSODn2
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November 21, 2015 12:49:09 AM

g-unit1111 said:
On a laptop it can't be done. The laptop hardware for your laptop is made to specifically work with that laptop case. It doesn't matter how much money you spend on it or what kind of mounting bracket is in there. That graphics card is married to that laptop period.



That's not true at all with Alienware. They are made to be upgraded by the user.
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November 23, 2015 9:36:03 PM

g-unit1111 said:
On a laptop it can't be done. The laptop hardware for your laptop is made to specifically work with that laptop case. It doesn't matter how much money you spend on it or what kind of mounting bracket is in there. That graphics card is married to that laptop period.


Hey buddy, old thread I know, Here is the info about the tech in Alienware laptops. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_PCI_Express_Module also called MXM and MXM-II. These are upgradeable, It does cost an arm for one and if you have dual cards as I do, a leg. :) 

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a c 93 U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
November 23, 2015 9:49:20 PM

Please don't bump old posts.
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