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Upgrading my AlienwareM17x, please advise.

Hi all,

I have had my Alienware laptop (m17x) for a few years now, it was a reasonably good gaming machine but its starting to age a bit. It can still run a lot of games but it can no longer perform at a high level. Subsequently I have decided to upgrade a few components.

Instead of going out and blowing a lot of money on components i'm completely uneducated about, I thought I would post here after hearing great things about the community.

My question is which components should I upgrade, and what components would you recommend to help it become a tame beast?

I assume the graphics card could do with an upgrade & I know I will never be able to have a benchmark machine as it's a laptop but I like having a portable gaming PC.

I haven't specified a budget as I don't want suggestions to be too restricted... as long as the components are good value for money!


Specs:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM CPU @ 2.30GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M
16GB Ram
1TB SSD
Windows 7

Any suggestions or info on what to look out for would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
Mike.
18 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading alienwarem17x advise
  1. There's a slight problem with laptops, you can't upgrade the graphics card/Central processing unit.
    If you want to upgrade a laptop to get a performance boost then there's one way of doing it, buying a new one.

    sorry about the inconvenience, but that's just how it is with ultra-slim form factors and laptops.
  2. You can upgrade your laptop, however you will need to get the UNLOCKED bios for it.
  3. And you can upgrade many/most laptops. Only ones that have soldered CPU/GPUs cannot be upgraded for obvious reasons. MacBooks and many ultra things have soldered chips. Your Alienware does not. You could upgrade your GPU, CPU, and ram.
  4. video of someone adding a GTX 780M

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVdxBnGMXGQ
  5. Best answer
    There is one little problem. Very few shops actually SELL mobile editions CPU and GPU. Also, they are not cheap. Since you're not buying them in bulk. Now, while the i7 is fine, the GTX 660m is not. To upgrade it, I recommend finding a shop for you. If you can't, well the thing is doable all right but there would be hassle. And mobile components are more fragile than their PC counterparts. Well, you can probably get an 870m if it supports 17x (I think it does)
  6. delellod123 said:
    And you can upgrade many/most laptops. Only ones that have soldered CPU/GPUs cannot be upgraded for obvious reasons. MacBooks and many ultra things have soldered chips. Your Alienware does not. You could upgrade your GPU, CPU, and ram.


    Thanks for your speedy reply! Great news, glad to hear i'm not limited on that front!
  7. No prob! good luck! post any questions
  8. Imon750 said:
    There is one little problem. Very few shops actually SELL mobile editions CPU and GPU. Also, they are not cheap. Since you're not buying them in bulk. Now, while the i7 is fine, the GTX 660m is not. To upgrade it, I recommend finding a shop for you. If you can't, well the thing is doable all right but there would be hassle. And mobile components are more fragile than their PC counterparts. Well, you can probably get an 870m if it supports 17x (I think it does)


    That certainly is a problem, I guess I never assumed that just finding the components would be a hassle but it's good to hear my CPU still has legs at least. Would you recommend the 870m then?
  9. yup, not as costly as 880m. But good performance boost over 770m. Almost as good as R9 M290X. What more can you ask. But do make clear the compatibility issue from a dell service executive though. :D
  10. Imon750 said:
    yup, not as costly as 880m. But good performance boost over 770m. Almost as good as R9 M290X. What more can you ask. But do make clear the compatibility issue from a dell service executive though. :D


    Unfortunately my knowledge in this field goes as far as "they make the graphics and frame rate look swell" ...so drawing comparisons to other cards is completely over my head, saying that it's something I would quite like to learn about. It'd certainly make the shopping around process a lot easier. I assume it's a good card though as I believe the 880m was only released a month or two ago? I will certainly check the compatibility :D
  11. hmm...........in plain words every game 30+ fps at high or ultra that has been released up until this day. Pretty good for mobile you know.
  12. Imon750 said:
    hmm...........in plain words every game 30+ fps at high or ultra that has been released up until this day. Pretty good for mobile you know.



    Great, now to find a seller! Out of curiosity, how big is the step up from 870-880m? I assume it's not quite worth its price tag?
  13. It's not. But there's a steep 10-15 fps gain in the above 30 mark. It doesn't matter (at least to me it doesn't) 30+ is plenty playable.
  14. There is a great seller on ebay that I have purchased from and know others who have as well. This is one of the GO-to shops for mobile GPU upgrades:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nvidia-GeForce-GTX-870M-6GB-DDR5-for-Clevo-MSI-Alienware-upgrademonkey-/261374016748?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3cdb1afcec
  15. Imon750 said:
    It's not. But there's a steep 10-15 fps gain in the above 30 mark. It doesn't matter (at least to me it doesn't) 30+ is plenty playable.


    Nope that certainly doesn't matter to me either, 30 is grand!

    As for purchasing the card itself, it seems I may have to purchase an upgrade on ebay or something. Ideally I would like to purchase from a trusted seller. Perhaps I should ask another question on the forum?
  16. cool, don't forget to check the compatibility issue, and buy us a beer after you've bought your new GPU. Happy Gaming :D
  17. delellod123 said:
    There is a great seller on ebay that I have purchased from and know others who have as well. This is one of the GO-to shops for mobile GPU upgrades:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nvidia-GeForce-GTX-870M-6GB-DDR5-for-Clevo-MSI-Alienware-upgrademonkey-/261374016748?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3cdb1afcec


    Awesome, thanks for that, will be sure to check it out.
  18. Imon750 said:
    cool, don't forget to check the compatibility issue, and buy us a beer after you've bought your new GPU. Happy Gaming :D


    Will do! Thanks for all your help, and I definitely would get you all a beer, you're a life saver along with the others on this forum. Very helpful! :D
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