ALIENWARE 17 GRAPHICS CARD PROBLEMS / REPLACEMENT PLEASE HELP asap!!

locked96

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Hi guys my name is Aaron and I have a 2014 Alienware 17. When I bought it off ebay everything was running fine then after about 2 weeks it started randomly cutting off completely whilst being used. This issue went from happening maybe every few hours at most to literally every 30 seconds to the point where my laptop would go off after 10 seconds of being powered up.

This led me to put it into a computer repair shop and I was just called today and was informed that the issue is apparently that the NVIDIA GTX 880M GFX CARD in it is faulty so when my laptop tries to use it to run anything it isn't being powered correctly which is resulting in the laptop completely cutting out. I was then told the only option is to replace the GFX CARD which finally leads me to my question -

What are all the compatible graphics cards with an Alienware 17 which are CHEAPER than an 880m? (ALSO THE REPLACEMENT GFX CARD MUST BE able to run the game LEAGUE OF LEGENDS on very high graphics, if you don't know this game it is basically the same as World of Warcraft).

Please anyone who can help get back to me asap as I've not been able to use this laptop for over a year and a half and don't want to pay like £500 for another 880m gfx card. ALSO if anyone has an idea of another issue that could be causing the problem with my laptop PLEASE feel free to comment!!
 

Khushwant_1

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Most laptops dont have the luxury to change gpus, so if ur gpu can be replaced then u dont have much of a choice here as these gpus are oem. Hencein most cases they can only be replaced by same gpu model that was provided by the manufacturer.
If u want u can connect a desktop size gpu to ur laptop using external gpu adapter. U can find many videos on youtube showing how to do that. But the cons are you would mobility of ur laptop. This depends on ur choice. Also u will need an external display as using laptop display would slow down the GPU performance by as much as 30℅.
FINAL OPINION - IF I WERE U , I WOULD GO TO NEAREST DELL SERVICE CENTER N LET THEM DO THEIR JOB TO FIX IT.
 

Eximo

Distinguished
Herald
Did you do anything with the drivers recently?

Could simply be a cooling issue with the GPU. But if it is power delivery related, than replacing the GPU will land you in the same boat and require a motherboard replacement. Or the GPU is damaged as they claim.

Did they install the card in another laptop to test, or are they just assuming that it was the problem because they took it out and it started working?

MXM cards are fairly standardized and aren't exactly OEM components. They can be though.

I will do a little checking and see what I can come up with. I assume you don't mind a reduction in performance if the price is right?
 

Eximo

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Baring some unforeseen physical incompatibility it looks like you should be able to plug in a GTX1050Ti/GTX1060/GTX1070 (notebook) with no issues.

Actually finding one for sale on the other hand...
 

locked96

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Hi guys first of all thanks so much for your help as I do not have any expertise when it comes to the inner workings of this laptop. The technician said it isn't a cooling issue etc and re-ran the program I had called Speckie which tells you the temps of all components. He also didn't provide much more specific info. other than just saying they've tried new power supply and replacing battery etc and he said the issue is definitely with the GFX CARD and said it needs replace and that would fix the issue. Which is why I now mainly am wondering what GFX cards (ASIDE FROM THE 880M) I could put in it as I cant afford £400 for an 880m replacement. Also as stated before yes I don't mind reduced performance as long as it can run League of Legends at atleast 60fps on Very High gfx setting as that is the only game I play.

 

locked96

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Hi thanks for commenting on my post I am looking for an alternative to sending it to Dell as they quoted a £90 fee to diagnose the issue and I'd then pay the full price of an 880m on-top of that for them to fit as I don't have warranty so I'm looking at replacing the GFX Card with a cheaper alternative that is compatible as long as it runs League of Legends. Sorry for the repetitiveness thanks for your help

 

Eximo

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I think at this point we just need to figure out which exact Alienware you have and go from there.

Or, if you want to go it alone, all you need likely need is a sub 100W TDP MXM 3.0/3.1 Type B card.
 

locked96

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so by a GTX 1050 do you mean one like this? - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gigabyte-nVidia-GTX1050-2GB-OC-Windforce-Graphics-Card-Brand-New-/122323757729?hash=item1c7b106aa1:g:l7oAAOSwo4pYgMt~

ALSO would something like this not work? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alienware-M17x-R3-R4-R5-R6-M18x-R2-17-18-Nvidia-GTX-765M-2GB-GDDR5-Video-Card-9R-/272484446212?hash=item3f7156b004:g:wSIAAOSw241YUapa

 

locked96

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Hi this is all the info. I was given on my laptop

Alienware 17

NIVIDA GTX 880M

DELL PART NUMBER: CXC7W NVIDIA GTX 880M

SERVICE TAG BR7SG2

EXPRESS SERVICE CODE: 25590276902

and i think it has 8GB RAM
 

locked96

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On this link under the components section then under Base Cofiguration where it says Upgrade (Primary) then lists all the GFX cards does that not mean it can be fitted with any of them?

 

Eximo

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No to the desktop GPU.

This is a bit confusing, so bear with me. Since mobile GPUs have been a thing, there has always been distinct model differences between Mobile and Desktop. Starting with the GTX980 they are capable of taking the desktop GPUs and running them directly in laptops. So the 1050Ti/1060/1070/1080 are all available as low power components for laptops. When searching you will want to specify MXM, Notebook, Mobile as search terms. Even appending m to the model name might work as sellers are likely still thinking that way (ie 1070m)

Were I you, I would stick with these models as this is something Eurocom appears to have tested with the Alienware 17. However, I would go after a newer card. The performance difference between the highest end mobile GPU like the 980m and one of the new Pascal models is staggering. Eurocom does have a request page, so you might ask if they'll make something available.

- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M; 2GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M; 2GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M; 4GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M; 3GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M; 8GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M; 6GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M; 8GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M; 6GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M; 4GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b
 

Eximo

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As far as I can tell you are limited to MXM 3.0 Type B cards with a maximum TDP of 100W. So a few cards are outside the cooling capability.

So that should include even newer model cards. They should work, but there is no guarantee.
 

locked96

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Thanks for the help however on Eurocom most of the GFX cards listed are £400+ which is out of my budget as I said im looking for the cheapest alternative that is able to run League of Legends on very high gfx regardless of the brand or anything as long as it works and does the job and newer cards are surely even costlier? As the cheapest of those listed is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M; 4GB DDR5; MXM 3.0b at £309

 

Eximo

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That is for their entire kit including new thermal compound, thermal pads, and what looks like a new retention bracket. Essentially the works. I'm not advocating buying from them necessarily, just note that there is a lot of good information in there. Note the necessity to flash the BIOS of the Laptop as well, and they've likely flashed the vBIOS of the cards ahead of time. These are tasks you may have to do yourself if you purchase a card elsewhere. (you might keep an eye out for broken Alienware 17s as well, you might get lucky and find one with a bad motherboard but working GPU, for less then you would pay for a loose card)

You'll need new thermal pads and compound at the least, since it does involve completely dismantling the laptops cooling system to get at the card, and the new card isn't likely to have the memory, VRMs, and inductors in exactly the same places.
 

locked96

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Hi this is the cheapest one I can find on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272533560225?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT would this do? or any of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alienware-Nvidia-GTX-780m-4GB/162374634542?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D888007%26algo%3DDISC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140328180637%26meid%3D0935e3f65d9045fc89e9a472e5fe7229%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D272533560225


If I ordered this and gave it to the computer shop technician is that all he needs? ALSO MOST IMPORTANTLY what kind of quote do you think is acceptable to carry out such a job? As I haven't had a quote from the technician yet and don't want ripped off if I decide to go ahead?
 

Eximo

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880m seems expensive, I would lean towards the 970m for that price. 780m price isn't bad, 100% feedback on the seller.

Eurocom also has a presence on Amazon, so you might be able to get different deals there.

You would have to ask the shop on labor prices. Minimum few hours of work, and if you bring your own parts, who knows if they'll honor it. This isn't something I would need to have done. Last time I was in a computer shop I was looking for motherboard standoffs, chassis only came with 6, and I had an FATX board at the time with 9 mounts. They had an entire bucket they let me go through for free.

I would try many things with that laptop before purchasing a new card, sadly they aren't really things I can instruct over a forum post.
 

locked96

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Feb 14, 2017
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Yes just those 2 I posted are the only ones I can find out've the compatible list from Eurocom. I see, well my brother upgraded his graphics card on his Alienware and did a computer science course so should it be an easy enough job for him to carry out? Being that he's done it before

 

Eximo

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Herald
Well, what did he do with the old card?

That aside, if he has experience dismantling a laptop I don't see why not.

You can use websites like iFixit to get good tear downs of popular models. Also Youtube.
 

locked96

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Feb 14, 2017
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The guy just phoned me earlier today and told me the problem and I said I'd get back to him so everything should still be there. So aside from the prices would either of those GFX cards I linked from ebay work fine?

 
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