Alienware M17XR3 580M not working in Skyrim

My friend just got a new Alienware M17XR3 laptop which seemed to work fine until we tried to launch Skyrim. The game is extremely laggy at medium to high and MSI Afterburner reports 'power save' levels of core clock from the GTX 580M.
Whenever I try to change the GPU manually I get the 'error' message 'Your graphics solution is automatically configured for optimal performance'.

The GPU successfully reaches 620 MHz in Minecraft, the only other game we have tried. So it seems to be Skyrim causing the problem.

Any possible solutions?
19 answers Last reply
More about alienware m17xr3 580m working skyrim
  1. Are the drivers fully up to date?
  2. Ive updated to the newest Nvidia drivers, not too sure which chipset drivers I should get as there are multiple.
  3. I assume you got your video drivers from Nvidia. Did you get your other drivers from Alienware?
  4. I haven't gotten any as of yet, as you can see there are 3 chipset drivers so I am confused.

    Also the GPU is fine with Sims 3 so it is definitely Skyrim.

    EDIT: I do have nvidia drivers, just havent gotten any others from dell yet.
  5. Get all 3. They apply to different devices on your system.
  6. Okay will do now.
  7. is it only a Nvidia GPU or does it have both the Intel and Nvidia GPU's and its running on the intel one for powersaving mode?
  8. There is also intergrated Intel, for powersaving i guess. Testing now
  9. Still doesn't work
  10. Isnt Skyrim a CPU intensive game? Not sure what CPU is in there, but being a Laptop im thinkin mostly dual core? Anyhow, happens to desktops too.
  11. Skyrim is even lagging at the menus. I think this is a Quad core though it does run rather slow in comparison to my desktop processor. Image below.

    The main issue appears to be whatever software controlling whether the integrated or discrete graphics are in use is not activating when Skyrim is ran.
  12. I would recommend configuring the system to force the use of 580M and disable the Intel GPU when gaming. Has then been tried?

    Skyrim will certainly play on this platform. If this a newer Alienware, it will have an i7 CPU (plenty of horsepower). My daughter plays Skyrim on a Macbook Pro 13" with a dual core C2D CPU, 4GB memory, and a much less capable GPU than the 580M and it is quite smooth at medium settings.
  13. Forcing it is what I would like to do, she has it constantly plugged in anyway so there isn't really a need for the power saving Intel graphics. I have checked the BIOS but it is extremely limited and there appears to be no options for forcing the GPU.

    I am clueless on how to do it any other way. D:
  14. Does this force it to change:

  15. For my M11xR1 it's FN+F6 to change GPU modes
  16. Pressing FN+F7 displays the following message: 'Your graphics solution is automatically configured for optimal performance' and there appears to be no change.
  17. I had a problem with my r3 the clock was stuck at the lowest setting. I think i needed to use the dell/alienware drivers to fix it.

    try using gpu-z to see what your gpu is doing while playing skyrim
  18. I've used MSI Afterburner and the core clock doesn't step up to 620 like it does in other games, it's constantly running in desktop mode. Which drivers are these?
  19. drivers are from the dell website. but I have a 6970m, and I don't have skyrim. I just remember having the same problem with one of my other games after installing the latest drivers from amd.
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