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Alienware Returns Abducted GPU Cores to m15 R5 Laptop With vBIOS Fix (Updated)

Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Update: June 11, 2:25 p.m ET: Alienware has updated the vBIOS for the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, which should fix the CUDA core reporting issue.

"Last week, we discovered our new Alienware m15 gaming system was limiting CUDA Cores on 3070 configurations," A Dell spokesperson told
Tom's Hardware. "We have released a firmware update to help resolve the incorrect setting. Please check out the support page here for the updated vBios.”

The original story is below:


Alienware is addressing an error affecting the Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 that limits CUDA cores on models with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card.

"We have been made aware that an incorrect setting in Alienware’s vBIOS is limiting CUDA Cores on RTX 3070 configurations," the company told Tom's Hardware. "This is an error that we are working diligently to correct as soon as possible. We’re expediting a resolution through validation and expect to have this resolved as early as mid-June. In the interim, we do not recommend using a vBios from another Alienware platform to correct this issue. We apologize for any frustration this has caused."

Forum threads on Reddit and Notebook Review showed people noticing that software like CPU-Z and HWInfo are reporting the wrong number of CUDA cores for an RTX 3070. Rather than 5,120 cores, it showed 4,608. HWInfo also reportedly showed fewer ray tracing and tensor cores. Some also had issues with the number of render output units (ROPs).

Some people in those threads reported that switching to the vBIOS for the Alienware m15 R4 with an RTX 3070 fixed these issues, but that could cause other problems.

If the cores were indeed being limited, not just misreported, it's possible that performance will be increased once the fix is released. 

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.

  • MogRules
    Just an FYI you mention the BIOS, but it's specifically the vBIOS.....Just so no one goes and tries to the flash the system BIOS from the R4 to their R5.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    Wanna bet they will thermal throttle now more often?
    10:1 this is intentional to prevent overheating and reduce warranty claims due to failed solder joints or poor performance.

    It would be a good piece of journalism to compare the before and after including stress test.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    The title gave me a good chuckle, well said
    Reply
  • MogRules
    digitalgriffin said:
    Wanna bet they will thermal throttle now more often?
    10:1 this is intentional to prevent overheating and reduce warranty claims due to failed solder joints or poor performance.

    It would be a good piece of journalism to compare the before and after including stress test.

    Someone already did, there was a general uptick in performance, although not a stagering amount. Temps actually went down in most cases, which was odd, but Jarod's tech tested it and those were his results. Either way it didn't push the 3070 in the R5 up to top performer space or anything like that.
    Reply