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Alienware 17x GeForce 260m missing in action

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 30, 2009 4:40:19 AM

:pt1cable:  Pls help! Am software knowledgeable, not hardware as much. I just recd my new 17x: invoiced for: "Intel core Duo T9800 at 2.93 GHz, 6 mb cache, 1066 MHz FSB, and SUPPOSEDLY also a GeForce GTX 260M, 1 GB graphics card. What I recd doesn't appear to be the 260m but instead the cheap GeForce 9400. I spent over 4 hrs on the phone with Dell and just kept being trans from dept to dept with no answers. The Windows 7 Device Mgr says I have the Nividia GeForce 9400, with driver ver 8.15.111.8664, no mention anywhere (except on my invoice) of the 260 GTX. I also ran CPUID's CPU-Z and it also finds a GeForce 9400, 80 nm, core 200 MHz, shaders 400 MHz, memory 1337 MHz, 256 bytes, type DDR, bus width 64 bits. Motherboard shows Nividia nForce 730i, rev B1, again no mention of the GeForce GTX 260m. Short of tearing my laptop apart (which I honestly am leary of doing) does anyone know how I can verify that I do have the 260 GTX card installed (which I was invoiced over $250 for) ?? I ran also Piriform's Speccy and it shows under graphics "generic PnP Nividia GeForce 9400". All the scans I ran do show the memory upgrade I paid for, i.e. 4 GB (3.75 useable) ram dual channel DDR3 1333 MHz.
Thanks !!
a b D Laptop
December 30, 2009 1:10:15 PM

Last I heard, Alienware was using Hybrid SLI in the M17x. This means that the unit should come with both the integrated 9400M, which you are seeing, and your gaming card, which you aren't. Go into the NVidia control panel and see if there is a way to switch between the two, There my also be an Fn button you can hit to switch between the two, check the manual for that.
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December 30, 2009 1:40:36 PM

Check your BIOS? I don't think Nvidia has a feature that lets you switch graphics on the fly yet? If you go to your BIOS and the graphics section, you probably can select which GPU chipset to use. If Windows is able to 'move' between them, there might be some utility that is missing (Nvidia utility?) but I wouldn't be surprised if you have to choose via the BIOS right now. If you can't figure out how to do it in Windows, check the BIOS.

If there is a SLI function, maybe that is a BIOS setting too?
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December 30, 2009 4:06:33 PM

lostandwandering said:
Last I heard, Alienware was using Hybrid SLI in the M17x. This means that the unit should come with both the integrated 9400M, which you are seeing, and your gaming card, which you aren't. Go into the NVidia control panel and see if there is a way to switch between the two, There my also be an Fn button you can hit to switch between the two, check the manual for that.


Thanks lostandwandering for answering:

I can switch using the Fn and F11(Alien FX), what it does is switch between integrated FX and internl FX. Is this in effect telling me (if I was smart enuf to know what the message was) that the integrated is in fact the 260 GTX card ontop of the 9400 GPU?
And oh bye the bye, no manual...
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December 30, 2009 4:10:11 PM

Canuck1 said:
Check your BIOS? I don't think Nvidia has a feature that lets you switch graphics on the fly yet? If you go to your BIOS and the graphics section, you probably can select which GPU chipset to use. If Windows is able to 'move' between them, there might be some utility that is missing (Nvidia utility?) but I wouldn't be surprised if you have to choose via the BIOS right now. If you can't figure out how to do it in Windows, check the BIOS.

If there is a SLI function, maybe that is a BIOS setting too?


Thanks Canuck1:
Am looking into the BIOS routine now.. update to follow...
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
December 30, 2009 4:33:30 PM

Check to see if this works: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/supp...

edit: it looks like you need to hit Fn + F7 to toggle between the 9400M and the GTX 260.
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December 30, 2009 6:12:47 PM

Good grab. It can't hurt though to check the BIOS and make sure it's enabled for switching.

It also looks like the AC adapter needs to be plugged in when using the GTX 260.

OP, the dedicated card will be the 9400M and it becomes enabled when using the laptop via battery power.
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December 31, 2009 12:24:07 AM

lostandwandering said:
Check to see if this works: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/supp...

edit: it looks like you need to hit Fn + F7 to toggle between the 9400M and the GTX 260.



The web site you selected is great, it does turn on / off graphics card. Still no evidence of a 260m in any system check (Windows 7 or CPUID)
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