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Alienware m18x - Can I change my graphics cards?

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April 6, 2012 10:08:33 PM

Hello, is it possible for me to change my alienware graphics cards to new ones?

Alienware m18x
2x nvidia GeForce GTX 460M
6GB RAM
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM
Windows 7 Home premium 64-bit

Thanks in advance
April 6, 2012 11:51:47 PM

Can someone please help me?
a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:01:04 AM

After looking at dells web site since you can build your Laptop then you can up grade your graphic card in it. But to be sure go to the dell web site and asked them. Here is a link to them. Good luck to you.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=d...
Related resources
a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:23:02 AM

nbelote said:
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but m18x's have MXM 3.0b video cards. You can get one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-2GB-Nvidia-GeForce-GTX-580M...

Totally a stab in the dark, but I'm fairly sure I'm right.


I don't mean any disrespect but what are you talking about? Is that the only card he can get?
April 7, 2012 12:23:57 AM

Will I be able to use the Nvidia GeForce GTX 675?
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:25:21 AM

No, it would not be the only card he could get. It was an example. There's all kinds of ATI and nVidia MXM 3.0b cards.

And no, the GTX 680 is a desktop-only card. The best 600m series mobile card is a rebrand of the 580m anyway, so you wouldn't benefit from having that over the 580m.
April 7, 2012 12:27:37 AM

And could I get 2x 580M like my currently 2x 460M?
a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:36:28 AM

You sure could. You would only want two of the same, not a 580m and a 460m. Two of something = SLI win.

Just make sure you thoroughly clean the heatsinks with 70% or better rubbing alcohol (I prefer using the pointy nail-styling q-tips my wife uses to clean fingernail polish off, that pointy end comes in handy).

Also, apply a dot of thermal compound directly to the center of the GPU and any other contact points it appears that had the compound on the old boards. The dots should be very large and should not take up more than 65%-ish of the chip it is on. Applying and locking the HSF should spread the thermal compound evenly across the surface of the chip.

Make sure you reconnect any other connectors than just the card into the MXM slot. If it's not set up exactly like it was with your 2x 460m's it will not work. Reinstall your video drivers to get a fresh start there.
April 7, 2012 12:41:06 AM

Thanks a lot, everyone. I'll check them out.
April 7, 2012 12:44:17 AM

nbelote said:
Here's a video of someone doing something similar (adding a second video card to their m17x): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGX7kMa70tw



I saw that video earlier today :) 

The only problem, really, is the price. 2 of those are like 1300 dollars(1000 euros here). I'll try to find some good deals and research this further.
April 7, 2012 12:45:01 AM

Keep in mind that buying the latest and greatest in mobile video vards is not going to be cheap. A couple of months ago I was looking to upgrade the 6970m in my m17x to a 580m. Turns out that it was going to cost over $600.00 to increase my FPS in games MAYBE 10-15%. For instance:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-NVidia-GTX-580m-video-card-...

I ended up deciding against it in the long run. Going to wait until the 580/6xx's are much lower in price to justify the price/performance ratio.

Dual 460m's is a pretty beast setup already. What level of performance improvement are you expecting?
April 7, 2012 12:51:09 AM

I wanted to get an higher performance and play games on better settings, to improve my gaming experience.

I am not sure yet of how much of a change two 580M's would bring me so I'll just research this, see if it's worth it or if it's better to wait for the prices to lower, like you said.
a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 12:52:38 AM

^+1
Yeah the up grades for laptops are very high in price. I still don't under stand why some people want to game on laptops? I get the mobility thing but to do the top games of today.

I have a laptop but I don't game on it. I use it for business. But I guess if that is what people like to do then each to ther own. Just curous that is all.
April 7, 2012 12:55:13 AM

Yeah I regret having a gaming laptop as I could just make a desktop myself. But this is currently what I can have because I usually carry it around and need it's mobility.

PS: This is quite a discovery. I did not know until today and was told it was not possible to change my video cards, so I am new to the subject
a c 181 U Graphics card
April 7, 2012 1:00:07 AM

Neowyld said:
Yeah I regret having a gaming laptop as I could just make a desktop myself. But this is currently what I can have because I usually carry it around and need it's mobility.

PS: This is quite a discovery. I did not know until today and was told it was not possible to change my video cards, so I am new to the subject


Some laptops you can't change them and some laptops come with two different types of GPU's that you can switch between them. The money you put into that laptop would have bought a normal laptop to use as mobility and a very nice gaming rig. Good luck to you I am glad we all were able to help.
April 7, 2012 1:02:46 AM

Yeah, thank you all
June 16, 2012 5:48:13 PM

Some people like myself, have a lifestyle that involves working around the country or indeed the world, and when we're not spending our evenings in bars or restaurants, trying to most pleasantly kill the time, we are faced with the boredom of the hotel room, which although usually very comfortable, can sometimes start to feel like a prison, and then its a case of watching pay-to-view in the hotel....or.....the escape by gaming on our laptops. Not to mention when waiting for planes, trains and auto mobiles. Also, sometimes its just about space and convenience. I would have thought as a "businessman" you might face these same issue regularly.



DM186 said:
^+1
Yeah the up grades for laptops are very high in price. I still don't under stand why some people want to game on laptops? I get the mobility thing but to do the top games of today.

I have a laptop but I don't game on it. I use it for business. But I guess if that is what people like to do then each to ther own. Just curous that is all.

a c 181 U Graphics card
June 16, 2012 9:44:07 PM

Shredhead459 said:
Some people like myself, have a lifestyle that involves working around the country or indeed the world, and when we're not spending our evenings in bars or restaurants, trying to most pleasantly kill the time, we are faced with the boredom of the hotel room, which although usually very comfortable, can sometimes start to feel like a prison, and then its a case of watching pay-to-view in the hotel....or.....the escape by gaming on our laptops. Not to mention when waiting for planes, trains and auto mobiles. Also, sometimes its just about space and convenience. I would have thought as a "businessman" you might face these same issue regularly.


You know that fine if that is what you do to kill the board time. I totally get that. The question is for the stay at home person. They spend a large amound of money and then they think it will be a mobilty PC.

I don't under stand why people buy a very exspencive laptop that is not a gaming laptop. They think that that laptop will handle all the games. But what they don't realize that playing the games will cause heat.

Heat is the laptops weakness and then they think when there laptop won't play a game because of lagging then they think about an upgrade because they didn't do there reserch on the laptop.

If they had done the reserch then they would have known not to buy it. So if you want to or you do travel for a living then if you are going to play the top new releases of games then do the reserch and get a gaming laptop.

You still can do business with it. So maybe my question was a little out context or I should have restated it but as you can see how I feel about and that is also why I am on here is to help the people who didn't do there reserch. Anyway you take care and good luck to you. Cheers
August 10, 2012 5:14:56 AM

Just thought I'd toss this in since it comes up a lot.

I work at a dispatch center and have lots of dead times (certain hours that absolutely nothing happens on a normal evening). We are allowed to have laptops so during these hours I play games. Since I work 80 hours a week typically (12 hours every night / 1 night of 8 hours) the laptop (alienware m18x 580m sli) was to this day one of the best investments i have ever made (usage / enjoyment to price). I have been building gaming machines since my first ever graphics card the Radeon 7500 (ca. 2001), and have also seen and laughed at people (morons) complain about their laptops not handling games.

Most people understand (like myself) that we could easily build a ridiculously awesome system with the same money (in my case top of the line for MUCH less). This, however, is not feasible to my working situation. When I do get a chance to game at home Ive got a nice system to plug in and use external monitors / keyboards / etc. from the laptop. I also have broken this computer down to the bare mainboard and put it back together many many times - just like the hundreds of desktops Ive had and worked on. To be honest its actually more "fun" to work in an environment so much restricted (lots of self fixes like the old days of PCs). My tool kit went from one multi-screwdriver to about 5 different ones, tweezers (MUST have), magnets, knives / exacto-tools, soldering iron, and a dremel tool. The heat variables are so much more important, one missed capacitor or exposed surface among the hundreds of tiny places that have to be heatsinked on a 580m, or just a cable touching a heatpipe - that is impossible to see when the system is put together - make the planning extensive and vital to the longevity (ive had a card go out in just 2 weeks of gaming because of a misplaced piece of thermal putty).

Its expensive and time consuming as hell, but working on it and being able to carry around this kind of power is intoxicating, and I love it. Just thought I'd toss this out there so that next time someone wonders why, they know. (I like to think of it similar to being a radio operator - most would say "durr we have satellites and cell phones" - just like we have much more cost efficient desktops - but its a fun hobby that is rewarding to certain people).
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