Advice on upgrading Alienware M18x

Steven Mal

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Jun 8, 2013
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My old Alienware M18x needs a need power jack and I'm thinking I could use this opportunity to upgrade because I love the palm rest, keys, and screen. Honestly, I'm just not ready to say goodbye to it yet so I'd like to try to breath some new life into it if possible at all. I've seen videos on Youtube of CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD and HDD upgrades for the M18x and I'm curious about upgrading but I have no experience at all with upgrading components myself.

Right now my specs are as follows
i7-2630QM
4GB RAM
750 GB HDD
GTX 460M

I'd definitely like to try upgrading the GPU but I'm afraid my CPU will bottleneck a newer GPU. If I have to, how difficult would it be to upgrade the CPU and what are my options? I want to upgrade the RAM and GPU at least. I'll probably give it to a laptop repair service for upgrading if I don't feel confident enough to try it myself.
 

Deuce65

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Oct 16, 2013
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Well, the CPU have is near the top end performance-wise of what your MB can use, so there is no room for upgrade there. The GPU can be upgraded by either adding a second one, or that machine should be able to take a 580M (or two). Kind of pricey for what you would get though.
Memory is an easy upgrade, but you would be replacing your memory, not adding to it.

The best overall upgrade you can make is probably an SSD, which has the added benefit of being easy to physically install and you can take it with you to your next machine.
 

Steven Mal

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Jun 8, 2013
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Are you sure about that? I didn't configure this M18x so it has the minimum CPU that came with the configuration. How do you figure out what CPUs are compatible with the motherboard? I couldn't find the socket type for the i7-2630QM and I couldn't figure out what motherboard is in the case. Is the 580m the best GPU I can fit into my M18x?
 

Deuce65

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Oct 16, 2013
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Well, if the CPU is a i7-2630QM (a midrange mobile i7 at the time) we know the MB is a G2, Sandy Bridge, and we know it has a 45 watt TDP. So you would be looking at going up to a 2860QM. What I meant was you can't put a modern processor in it, and while that CPU is faster, you won't see much difference in games.
As for GPU you can put whatever you want in it, I mentioned the 580 because they're cheap, and it was one of the original options. You could put
anything you wanted in it though.
The main issue with doing this though, is as you go on ebay or wherever and start looking at the prices of these parts, you will quickly see that it actually exceeds the cost of what much newer Alienware M18x's go for. But that is up to you.
 
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