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Upgrading Video Card on Alienware M17x-R2 (Has HD5870 Mobility)

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 15, 2012 9:35:29 PM

I have an Alienware M17x-R2 with an HD5870 Mobility video card.

I was curious about upgrading the video card to breathe some new life into the machine for gaming.

I see some obvious paths:

1) Install and Crossfire a second HD5870
2) Replace the HD5870 with a great single card
3) Replace the HD5870 with two nicer cards, in Crossfire

What are your thoughts?

Ze other component specs:

RNRK1 1 ASSEMBLY..., BASE (ASSEMBLY OR GROUP)..., NOTEBOOK..., BLACK..., ANW, M17X10

8WK6F 1 Keyboard, Alienware, 101, ENG-US, Personal Computer

WRD6T 1 KIT..., DOCUMENTATION..., ANW, M17X10, ENGLAND/ENGLISH..., D/B

P560G 1 CARD (CIRCUIT)..., WIRELESS..., BLUETOOTH..., 370, FOXCONN..., 5DB, NO BIOS...

W075J 1 Battery, Primary, 85WHR, 9C Lithium, Dynapack InternationalTechnology Corp

F836R 1 Pad, Mouse, Alienware, M17X

J408P 1 Adapter, Alternating Current, 150W, Delta - Ac Adapt, 3P, World Wide, M09

H754T 1 ASSEMBLY..., BRACKET..., VIDEO GRAPHICS ADAPTER..., HEATSINK..., M17X

Y19R3 1 HARD DRIVE..., 250GB, P11, 7.2K, 2.5, WD-MX320

PTP65 1 Processor, I5-520M, 2.4, 3MB, Arrandale, 35W, K0

F073F 2 Dual In-Line Memory Module, 2GB1333MHZ, 256X64, 8K, 200

C8245 1 Card, Graphics, Hard Drive, 5870, Parker, Mid-Life Kicker

K2490 1 Cord, Power, 110V, 6F, AlternatingCurrent, 3W, PROPOSITION 65..., United States

U519K 1 Liquid Crystal Display, 17WXGA+2CCFL, Anti Glare, Samsung

9JPNY 1 ASSEMBLY..., BRACKET..., HDD, FOAMKIT, M17X

KVCX1 1 Card, Wireless, Half Mini-Card, DW1520

M5F6V 1 Dvd+/-Rw, 8X, Serial Ata, SLOT, Plds

DW6RN 1 Kit, Software, W7HP64, Multi-Language, Alienware
a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
August 15, 2012 10:40:28 PM

I would advise against this, primarily because laptops are very finely calibrated machines. The power bricks and thermal systems are tuned specifically for the hardware that came with the unit.

So even assuming you could find a better video card to put into the unit, it could easily require more power than your AC adapter is capable of providing causing problems; or it will generate more heat than the fans in the unit are capable of expelling also causing problems.
August 15, 2012 10:52:28 PM

Thank you for your response.

Hmm, a valid concern. However, dual HD5870s was an option for M17x machines. To the best of my knowledge m17x-R2 Alienware laptops all run off of the same type of brick.

So, while I can understand not exceeding the cards that were originally specified for M17x systems, I would think going with dual HD5870s would be safe. Or am I missing something?
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August 15, 2012 11:18:47 PM
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I would agree with cl-scott. Might be more trouble than it's worth. Have you looked at the cost of a new GPU?

There was a Youtube video about upgrading this particular model with a 580. Might be worth a look for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNGnOU_Ky-8
August 16, 2012 3:14:37 AM

Hmm, that video does give me pause. While I can probably pull it off, I would rather not risk it and just gift my current laptop to a family member or friend in need and upgrade. Thank you for the feedback.
August 23, 2012 1:12:37 AM

Best answer selected by irthinker.
February 1, 2013 4:52:33 AM

Sorry. I was roaming the internet for an upgrade for my m17x r2 where I have stumbled upon this thread. (I am also kinda high...) But the dude isn't asking for ways to make his computer the same. He's looking for ways to make his computer more awesome then a Aleinware computer already is.

I say, my friend, that you should hit that bitch up with a second HD5870 and listen to that powerhouse purr.

Good luck! :pt1cable: 
a c 169 U Graphics card
a c 244 D Laptop
March 8, 2013 6:12:17 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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