Info Dell Precision 7510 with GTX965M working (Successful MXM GPU Upgraded Laptops)

Feb 12, 2022
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For those interested I've managed to successfully install an Nvidia GTX965M 4GB MXM-A (half-size) card on my Dell Precision 7510, along with the excellent Dell 43N80 3840 x 2160 screen

I've been waiting for an M2200 card but they're expensive - when a half size card GTX 965M card came up on eBay at £90 I snapped it up.
They are rare as hen's teeth - not sure the source but I suspect pulled from a Clevo gaming machine or similar?

DRIVERS:
It showed as an unknown card and Windows 10 could not find NVidia drivers. Dell OEM Drivers for Precision don't include this card of course. But interestingly Driver Booster found one, and Driver Max could upgrade it to 369.36 WHQL!
With a bit of digging I found an official driver package - "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M Graphics Driver 21.21.13.6936 for Windows 10". This can be downloaded and installed properly WITHOUT DRIVER MODDING on INF files the driver is certified, if a bit old
https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/GRAPHICS-BOARD/NVIDIA/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-965M-Graphics-Driver-2121136936-for-Windows-10.shtml. You'll need to install PhysX seperately.

RESULTS:
Well, it runs like butter, way faster than my old Quadro M1000M. I won't post benchmarks yet as I think it's throttling on Voltage, at 1.0375V - I only have a 130W power adaptor and have ordered a 180W.

It seems to have a LOT of upside to it: originally clocked at 925Mhz (GPU) and 2500 (Memory) I have installed a custom modded Bios at 1304 / 2910 Mhz
With MSI Afterburner I am running stable at 1439 / 3324 MHz and amazingly it runs cool and stable (!!!) at 67-68 C on the Unigine Valley Benchmark.
It MAY be running cool due to not being able to pull higher voltage given the PSU but I need to wait for the 180W adaptor to test

It's working fine with Optimus, and the GPU itself throttles nicely if you run it with Optimus turned off
(I plan to try the 180W PSU and try latest drivers and then run benchmarks ... but the newer drivers all seem to need modding)

Screen - GPU-Z information
View: https://imgur.com/a/1I7R6su

Here is a screen dump when running Valley benchmark for 10 minutes. You can see the GPU (1438MHz) and Memory clock (3326MHz), and when Optimus turned on the GPU for Valley

To make sure it was all running fine I uninstalled ALL graphics and sound drivers in Safe Mode using DDU uninstaller, and re-installed them in this order:
(1) OEM Intel Graphics driver from Dell support first -- this is critical
(2) Upgraded Intel Graphics to latest version
(3) NVIDIA Graphics driver 21.21.13.6936 (certified!)
(4) Sound drivers, Realtek etc

As you can see the GPU is cool and stable 66-68 C even running 99-100% at 66-68 C. A part of that may be because the CPU is a Xeon E3-1535 which seems to run really cool even under load so the system runs cool, not much fan whine at all

Currently with my 130W PSU the GPU voltage peaks at 1.037V - no matter what I do with Bios modding, I get a "PerfCap Reason" and limit beyond this
I'm guessing this is a PSU bottleneck, as the Maxwell cards in theory can go up to 1.25V
(Per GPUShark, the TDP of the GTX 965M is 70W btw)

View: https://imgur.com/a/Sg8g5dI


The durability and upgrade-ability of the Dell Precision series is AMAZING ... they're really built to last and last. And a bargain second-hand

I still keep my old Precision M4700 from 2012ish as a backup machine - running fine with a dual boot of Windows 10 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate
I upgraded it to a better LCD panel, MXM GPU to a Radeon 5100, and it can take 3 SSD drives
But it can't support latest 3840x2160 screens, M2 SSDs or Windows 11 alas

Will update a bit more on the 7510 / GTX 965M after I have a decent 180W PSU, plus I'll try to mod the latest Nvidia drivers too as the current driver is from 2016
 
Last edited:
Feb 12, 2022
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Well, that was a journey! I tried everything on the 130W PSU with really no significant difference, and no indications at a software level of any throttling at all
(I tried different Nvidia drivers - Dell OEM and Nvidia stock versions, reducing throttling in Windows 10, checking out the DirectX and Cuda installations all didn't help)

BUT the new 180W PSU immediately boosted performance by a huge 200-250% on the GTX 965M (!!)

Conclusions -
  • There's throttling built in at a Dell Bios or hardware level ... somewhere
  • Perhaps because the GTX965M has a TDP of 70W versus 40W (Quadro M1000M) or 55W (Quadro M2000M, M2200)?
For testing:
  1. I re-flashed back to the stock GTX965M bios (935 MHz GPU core clock, 1253/2506 MHz memory clock)
  2. I used a modified OEM Dell/Alienware driver which is Nvidia 431.53: https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=2y31f
  3. Plus MSI Afterburner (+130 GPU, +323 memory)
  4. So I'm basically running stock everything + the Afterburner boost
View: https://imgur.com/a/ukbjns1


Initial test on Valley benchmark -
  1. FPS was at least double with the 180W PSU
  2. The GPU runs hotter - stable at 79-80C on Valley benchmark
I then ran 3DMark benchmarks, again no optimisation, standard drivers and the stock Nvidia GTX965M bios, plus a boost from MSI Afterburner (+130 GPU, +323 memory)
Timespy = 5700 points
Firestrike = 2128 points

View: https://imgur.com/a/pnuJ8x1


This is in line with other 3DMark results for a GTX96M (or Quadro M2200), other results suggest a possibility to squeeze another 20% out of the card with a modified Bios and "running hot"

Other lessons learned:
  • I ended up using the OEM driver as it ran on the 130W PSU with a smoother fps, the Alienware models run Optimus, and it was simpler to modify
  • Run a pre-boot hardware check when you change graphics card. It makes Optimus run properly by creating 2 Hardware IDs for the Nvidia GPU depending on whether your Bios is set to run dual GPU (GTX965M + Intel P530 for me) or single GPU (GTX965M). Make sure both Hardware IDs are in your modified driver.
 

mr_random

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Feb 28, 2022
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great post i have a question about the lcd. i have the same laptop and i want to upgrade the screen to the 4k model. i read somewhere that the upgrade was not possible unless the motherboard had a 40 pin connector. based on my quick research it seems like the 4k lcd should just be a optional upgrade plug and play right?
 
Feb 12, 2022
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great post i have a question about the lcd. i have the same laptop and i want to upgrade the screen to the 4k model. i read somewhere that the upgrade was not possible unless the motherboard had a 40 pin connector. based on my quick research it seems like the 4k lcd should just be a optional upgrade plug and play right?
I also upgraded to the Dell OEM 4K screen that's used on the Precision 7510, 7520 (and the XPS15s at the time) before I changed the graphics card

From memory the issue is the 4K screen takes a 40 pin cable, no issue with the motherboard (mine at least) ... the other OEM screens for the 7510 take a 30 pin cable.
I had to buy and fit the new connection cable as well as the screen, which is a much bigger job in terms of the amount of disassembly/strip-down and re-assembly (I'd done similar on a prior Precision M4700 so I was okay but ... I'm just warning you!)

The panel I have is a Dell part number 43N80 (a Sharp LQ156D1 version JW02 or JW03)
I had a quick look on e-Bay and the Dell OEM connection cable part number you'll need is RJ99T for the Dell NON-touch 4K screen

One other thing I learned on the journey ... the brackets that hold the screen for the 4K screen are different from the other screens. Dell have 3 or 4 types of them depending on 4K or not, touch or non-touch!!
Ideally you need these brackets: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=24021 but it's not a big problem as long as you don't mind other ways to hold the screen in place, like strong two sided tape

So that's a heads up but the screen itself is outstanding ... the only drawback is it does seem to eat into battery life a bit, but I use mine plugged in 90% of the time anyway

Hope all this helps!
 

mr_random

Great
Feb 28, 2022
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I also upgraded to the Dell OEM 4K screen that's used on the Precision 7510, 7520 (and the XPS15s at the time) before I changed the graphics card

From memory the issue is the 4K screen takes a 40 pin cable, no issue with the motherboard (mine at least) ... the other OEM screens for the 7510 take a 30 pin cable.
I had to buy and fit the new connection cable as well as the screen, which is a much bigger job in terms of the amount of disassembly/strip-down and re-assembly (I'd done similar on a prior Precision M4700 so I was okay but ... I'm just warning you!)

The panel I have is a Dell part number 43N80 (a Sharp LQ156D1 version JW02 or JW03)
I had a quick look on e-Bay and the Dell OEM connection cable part number you'll need is RJ99T for the Dell NON-touch 4K screen

One other thing I learned on the journey ... the brackets that hold the screen for the 4K screen are different from the other screens. Dell have 3 or 4 types of them depending on 4K or not, touch or non-touch!!
Ideally you need these brackets: https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=24021 but it's not a big problem as long as you don't mind other ways to hold the screen in place, like strong two sided tape

So that's a heads up but the screen itself is outstanding ... the only drawback is it does seem to eat into battery life a bit, but I use mine plugged in 90% of the time anyway

Hope all this helps!
i wanted to upgrade the screen but i mostly work on photography and 1080 videos not much into 4k right now and if i do 4k editing i mostly do that on my desktop.

idk if that lemon would be worth the squeeze...

i am planing on upgrading the gpu but all the gpus I've found on ebay don't have the heatsink is there a third party that sells that or how did you solve that?
 
Feb 12, 2022
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i wanted to upgrade the screen but i mostly work on photography and 1080 videos not much into 4k right now and if i do 4k editing i mostly do that on my desktop.

idk if that lemon would be worth the squeeze...

i am planing on upgrading the gpu but all the gpus I've found on ebay don't have the heatsink is there a third party that sells that or how did you solve that?
It depends - you only need to change heatsink if you are moving from NVidia to AMD/ATI (like from a Quadro to a WX4150)?

In my 7510 I was moving from a M1000M to the GTX965M, both Nvidia, so no need to change the heatsink in my case

I did upgrade my old Precision M4700 from a Quadro to an ATI card, and I sourced the heatsink on eBay for that so I'm sure you can find one if needed

I did invest in some wizzy thermal paste "just in case". It turns out the GTX965M runs a bit hotter than the Quadros but it peaks out at 80 C even overclocked, so it really wasn't much of an issue
 
Reactions: mr_random
Feb 12, 2022
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UPDATE: with the GTX965m on a Dell Precision 7510 I have been able to get stable scores of 6350-6400+ on 3D Mark Firestrike, and run Valley Benchmark ExtremeHD "ongoing"
  • an over-clocked NVidia Bios: 1304MHz GPU clock speed and 2910 MHz memory speed
  • MSI Afterburner: to fine-tune it up to 1325MHz GPU clock speed and 3540 MHz memory speed
  • Optimus is working fine and switches betwen the Intel GPU and the NVidia GPU in normal day-to-day conditions
  • Strangely I actually get marginally faster benchmarks with Optimus turned ON than off ... perhaps because of how Optimus shares memory between GPUs?
MAIN CONCLUSIONS:
  • Power to the (MXM) GPU is definitely BIOS locked by Dell, it won't go above 1.0370V even with the 180v power adaptor.
  • The Xeon E1535 CPUs run all day at 25-30% on Valley, so CPUs are not a bottleneck
  • The GPU even over-clocked like this is stable at 85C, which is WAY hotter than stock Quadros , but well below 100C limits on the laptop
AND
- To fully use the GTX965m ina Dell Precision, I'd need a system-Bios mod to unlock the power feed to the GPU ... probably not going there! :D

View: https://imgur.com/a/CYtr07Q
 
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