MSI FX603 won't boot with i7-920XM

catilley1092

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My MSI FX603 (early 2011 release) that had been upgraded from a i5-480M to i7-640M was running fine, but want more performance. It has a discrete GPU in the GeForce GT 425M.

Before installing, checked on several sites to ensure compatibility, even upgraded a notebook which belonged to someone else from an i3-370M to i7-940M (more pricey, although not much more powerful than i7-920XM. The chipset is HM55 (Clarkdale/Havendale) & was on the HP I upgraded, the only thing that was needed on the HP were updated chipset drivers, which Windows Update found & installed prior to the mandatory reboot following the install of new hardware.

http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Intel_(chipsets)/HM55_Express.html

Yet for whatever reason, my FX603 won't boot from the i7-920XM. It'll try to boot, the fan is running, so is the notebook cooler plugged in via USB port, so something has to be right, otherwise nothing would run, or would have a 'dead' notebook.

PSU has been upgraded from the stock 90W unit to a 120W one years ago, because the one that came with it ran hot under hard usage, the upgraded one is barely warm to the touch. While not a MSI brand, still not a hollow feeling 'knockoff' brand (PWR+), a bit heavier than most of my other 120W notebook PSU's.

Looks like the issue is first getting the BIOS to post, then the GT425M to kick in rather than Intel HD graphics, which isn't included with the i7-920XM (one reason why I wanted it). The other is having a quad core CPU. Note that there's no Aptio BIOS updates for this notebook, have searched everywhere. Have done everything humanly possible other than going in with a tool such as RWEverything & changing settings. Of course, I have no idea of what to change once in there. Tried looking for a custom BIOS creation site that was once up, cannot find now.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.:)

Cat
 

Martell1977

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First off, what is the speed of your RAM? Also, did you find an article or anything of someone actually doing this upgrade in that model laptop? If so, please link it.

If you compare these CPU's on Intel's website:
https://ark.intel.com/compare/49666,43126

You might run into heat issues as the 920 is a 55w CPU compared to the 35w you are currently using.

The reason i ask about your RAM speed, is that the IMC's are different and you RAM might not be compatible. Also, even though the chipset is compatible with the CPU, your BIOS may not support it. Unless you have found someone that successfully performed this upgrade, its a good possibly this is the case. Vendors love making custom BIOS for their laptops to limit upgrades and enforce a "planned obsolesce"
 

Rdslw

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Interestingly I've found some info around (by name I think its you)
http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/msi-fx603-bios-update-for-i7-920xm.817876/
might be usefull for guys to read to get more into topic.

Are you sure internal monitor is not hard-connected to iGPU ? Try connecting external monitor and disconnecting internal display.
I think it will be quite hard to get through unless this CPU was inside any laptop with similar bios.
 

Martell1977

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First off, what is the speed of your RAM? Also, did you find an article or anything of someone actually doing this upgrade in that model laptop? If so, please link it.

If you compare these CPU's on Intel's website:
https://ark.intel.com/compare/49666,43126

You might run into heat issues as the 920 is a 55w CPU compared to the 35w you are currently using.

The reason i ask about your RAM speed, is that the IMC's are different and you RAM might not be compatible. Also, even though the chipset is compatible with the CPU, your BIOS may not support it. Unless you have found someone that successfully performed this upgrade, its a good possibly this is the case. Vendors love making custom BIOS for their laptops to limit upgrades and enforce a "planned obsolesce"
 

catilley1092

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I believe the internal monitor is hard connected to the onboard Intel CPU, didn't try with monitor, yet will. Yes that was me who created the Topic you linked. It's kind of odd to me that the fans are running, USB devices works (notebook cooler plugged in), just can't boot into Windows.



Martell1977, you may be onto something, the current RAM installed (since 2011) is a G.SKILL 8GB set purchased on a Black Friday 2011 promo for $29.99. Runs at 532.1MHz (according to CPU-Z) & at 7-7-7-20, rather than the default 9-9-9-24 timings posted in the specs.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231295

Today (7 years later), Newegg has half the same spec RAM for the same price! Who'd want to run 4GB in 2018, other than Linux or diehard XP users?

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231215

BTW, I have this same 8GB RAM kit in two other notebooks, all of the same HM55 chipset, so may be a limitation not to be able to deliver full speed. It was an upgrade from the installed 6GB set (4GB in the others), so that I could run VM's with more headroom for Windows 7 to run normally. Now with so many more updates, it could use 16GB, although not possible with the chipset.

Thanks for your answers, I won't give up until I hit a dead end. Being that I have the CPU, will find a compatible model on eBay that'll run it if needed, it's rated as a fantastic chip for it's day.:)

If anyone can further assist, please let me know. Have looked for a BIOS mod with no luck so far, seems there would be one out there, am near 100% positive I'm not the only one who has searched to install the same CPU. Either in this or a related MSI notebook. Can't remember if the one I installed for a friend has a NVIDIA or AMD discrete GPU, it's been awhile & he's since moved, have had no contact with him since.

Cat
 

catilley1092

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Are there any outfits that can take my BIOS & modify it to meet the need? From my reading on the subject, it's a matter of changing a few values, and the i7's w/out onboard graphics works well as long as there's a discrete GPU to run.

I agree about the BIOS being locked, don't believe on any notebook I've seen, no way to disable onboard graphics, maybe the option to increase RAM for a better view, won't help with gaming. This MSI doesn't have that, just a control to increase system performance (LV1 through 5) & another which sets some value to 32 through over 200, believe has to do with latency. Mine was set to 32 from the factory, set it to 64 for a bit more performance, any higher would be too much, from what I've read

Funny thing, I could get an updated BIOS from MSI for my Radeon HD 7770 GHz edition of theirs to run in Full UEFI Mode, yet can't get them to create the one for the notebook. There was once a site to get these upgrades for a small fee, forget the name of the outfit, would be worth the small price for the huge performance gains of a real quad core CPU.

As for heat, am sure there'll be extra & am prepared to deal with it, also have upgraded the PSU from it's hot running OEM 90W model to a 120W one that's just warm to the touch. I have a good notebook cooler, if necessary, can do something with the heatsink to make it run a bit cooler. Am also going to be using liquid metal rather than thermal paste, so that should also help. And if needed, will cut out a place on the cover to install a 50x50x10mm fan with ball bearings, blowing down on the CPU to further reduce heat (hard to find anything smaller, other than the sleeve bearing type).

If only I could get my hands of a BIOS to flash the MB, this FX603 could be a powerful beast, although battery life won't be crap & with the i7-640M, nothing to write home over anyway. The GT425M, while no longer supported as of the last update rounds, is still better than the original Intel HD graphics by a longshot, on these CPU's, the GPU die is a smaller separate, beginning with Sandy Bridge, became a single unit.

Just need to find a way to force the GT425M to load at boot & can take it from there.

Thanks for bearing with me, should I find the solution myself, will post for others to benefit from. The FX603 is a nice, although heavy, notebook. Mine still looks almost new, this isn't by accident, rather take care of my computers, regardless of which one. However when purchasing that one new in 2011, only had one other, so wasn't much to upkeep, today have a dozen.

Cat
 

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