My 3rd ATI replacement in my Alienware M17x-R2! WHY?!


I have an Alienware M17x-R2 with dual ATI Radeon Mobility 4870 cards with Crossfire X.

I got my M17x last July brand new from Alienware. Tomorrow, a Dell/Alienware tech is coming over to my house to put in my 3rd set of video cards! The first set dropped it's performance 3 months after I bought it. A tech came over and replaced both cards...The same exact cards, but this time they were refurbished. Okay...fine...whatever. There worked just fine up until about 3 weeks ago.

Now, as I just mentioned, the tech is coming over to put in ANOTHER set of the same cards (probably refurbished) again.

This new set will be my laptops 3rd set of ATI cards in it since last July!

why Why WHY is this happening?? :fou: I do not change the settings, I hardly play games ( I bought the laptop for CAD work, not for games ). The GPUs are never "put to the test" so to speak.

Just to add, it's has an i7-820m processor, 6Gb of RAM. a 320Gb and a 500Gb HDD.....the rest doesn't really matter.

Does anyone have any answers on why I am now going on my third set?

Thanks a bunch!!!

Best Regards,

If you are planning on buying a M17x-R2 or R3, GET the extended warranty!!! You may regret it if you do not. THis laptop by the way is a REPLACEMENT that Alienware sent me.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Heat, bad design, both!
  2. marcellis22 said:
    Heat, bad design, both!

    No, it does not over heat. I check that too.

    Bad design....well, it looks cool...functionality wise...maybe it is a bad design.

    I've never ran into anyone else with these same problems.

  3. Ask the tech to use one card instead of two.
    Two cards in a notebook is bad choice.
  4. i would ask for a faster single card.
  5. In general, all mobile graphics are not the best. DON'T tell the tech to put in one card, as you are able to turn off crossfire in Catalyst Control Center. I own the R2 as well, except I have dual ATi 5870M. The only thing I can recommend is to try to upgrade to GTX 285M in SLI (DELL should let you do it for a price, and NVidia has better drivers generally).

    The R3 will be purged of these problems that any previous M17x had because it is single card and not dual.

    You will continue to receive refurbished ATi 4870Ms until they are completely discontinued. If you are still under warranty when they get discontinued completely, DELL may upgrade you to dual 5870M/GTX 285M OR give you a new M18x(this will be the new Alienware dual-card laptop)
  6. Well, the ATI cards now work, I didn't get them replaced yet.

    A new BIOS came out from Alienware the other day. I loaded it in and guess what? THe cards now work as expected!

    From what I read, the update of the BIOS had nothing to do with the ATI card. I guess the VIOS just had to be re-flashed!

    Shouldn't the Dell/Alienware tech know that e-flashing the BIOS might make a difference?? I forgot about doing the re-flashing, as I had to do this with my R1 which had an nVidia GTX 260m in it.

    Anyhow, all is better now!

    Thanks all for replying!! It's much appreciated!!

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