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  1. #1
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    Alienware M14X, ordered, upgrade thoughts.

    Hey Guys,

    Well my Macbook Pro just died, hard drive failed after 14 months of little use. I never trusted the little bugger it would always be beach balling and freezing so this is a great excuse to send it on the ebay!

    I have just order an M14X and before I even start I am thinking about upgrades, through dell 4GB > 8GB memory upgrade was 90 so I am planning on ordering some Vengeance for 38 . The only hard drive options were the standard 750GB or a 256GB SSD for 190 so a 750GB Hybrid Drive I felt would be a better upgrade as the space will be useful. Then I can put the original drive into the MacBook and sell it for good money.

    The Specs with these upgrades will be as follows:

    M14X 1.5 Base BLACK Soft Touch
    I7 2670QM @2.2ghz, 6mb cache, quad core
    GT555M 1.5GB (DDR3 version)
    8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz
    Seagate Momentus XT 750GB hybrid drive (8GB SSD)
    True life HD+ 1600x900 screen
    Win7 64 Home
    3.0MP HD webcam
    5.1 Integrated Audio
    Killer wireless N-1103

    I would like to hear any opinions or if I should consider any other components? The laptop has been ordered and I am about to order the ram and hdd. Thanks and here's a sexy pic for you!


  2. #2
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    NZ
    MY RIG:
    HP 8200 Elite USDT
    i5 2400S
    4GB DDR3 SODIMM
    Intel HD2000 graphics
    135W external PSU
    160GB 2.5" HDD
    Debian 7 KDE

  3. Thanks!

    JR23 (02-01-12)

  4. #3
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    Thanks, I had seen that before, just read the whole thing its really useful especially the teardown pics.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR23 View Post
    Thanks, I had seen that before, just read the whole thing its really useful especially the teardown pics.
    Basically on that thing, don't do anything more to it. A CPU upgrade isn't worth it and you're better off saving that money for something else.
    MY RIG:
    HP 8200 Elite USDT
    i5 2400S
    4GB DDR3 SODIMM
    Intel HD2000 graphics
    135W external PSU
    160GB 2.5" HDD
    Debian 7 KDE

  6. #5
    Bluefalcon13's Avatar
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    I use an M14x daily, but it's works not mine. I would encourage you to look into some a data ram, if you want to squeeze better battery life out of it. A data has a DDR3-1600 8gig kit that runs at 1.35 volts, and it works well. Other than that, if your temps are high while gaming, get some IC Diamond 7 and repaste it. My CPU was thermal throtting before I repasted (and hitting 99c.......), now its sitting at 94c Max while gaming. The limitation on this laptop is heat. Its a small gaming laptop, and only has one heatsink/fan. OCing the gpu gives significant improvements, I use MSI Afterburner, and clock up to 700(w/ shaders linked to gpu core) gpu core, and 1050 vram, for games that need the additional horsepower.

    Also, if you have never had a laptop with optimus, I would encourage you to learn as much as you can, as sometimes optimus requires a bit of encouragement to work. If you play mmos, make sure you white list the .exe file itself, and not the launcher.
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE @ 3.8ghz, Corsair H80 cooler
    Asus M5A97 Vanilla
    2x4gig G.Skill Sniper Series DDR3-1866 @ DDR3-1600
    eVGA GTX670 2gb
    Samsung 830 256gb SataIII (Windows 8.1 Pro)
    Antec Three Hundred Case
    Antec TruePower New 750W Power Supply

    Dell Precision M4500- i5-540m, 8GB DDR3, 128GB Samsung 470 SSD, 240GB Crucial M500 mSATA SSD, BD-ROM/DVD-RW, Quadro FX 880m 1GB

    Heatware

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefalcon13 View Post
    OCing the gpu gives significant improvements, I use MSI Afterburner, and clock up to 700(w/ shaders linked to gpu core) gpu core, and 1050 vram,
    On stock volts, right? What are the temps?
    MY RIG:
    HP 8200 Elite USDT
    i5 2400S
    4GB DDR3 SODIMM
    Intel HD2000 graphics
    135W external PSU
    160GB 2.5" HDD
    Debian 7 KDE

  8. #7
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    I can't find anyone stocking the A Data memory in the UK especially not the gaming series. Even their official retailers have a very small selection of lowish end laptop memory. So if I ever find it i'm sure it will be very pricey and also pricey to post it over from the states and then I will have to pay tax :/

    I expected temps to be the limit, before I had a Studio XPS i7 720QM with a M.R. 4670HD and that actually had throttling issues because of power draw lol. Updated BIOS and new AC Adapter sorted it out but then it got hot. I don't particularly want to pull the heat sync and completely tear it down when its new as i'm not sure Dell would appreciate that. I spoke to the Tech guys and they said the warranty would be unaffected by changing memory and hdd which was very considerate I thought. I will just have to see how it performs and what temps it gets. It won't be used constantly for serious gaming as I have my rig at Uni but it will see some work when I visit home or anywhere.

  9. #8
    Bluefalcon13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMOKEU View Post
    On stock volts, right? What are the temps?
    Stock volts, temps climb to 70Cish, but thats on one heatsink, with the CPU hitting 90+C on the same heatsink... Never had any issues with it either.
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE @ 3.8ghz, Corsair H80 cooler
    Asus M5A97 Vanilla
    2x4gig G.Skill Sniper Series DDR3-1866 @ DDR3-1600
    eVGA GTX670 2gb
    Samsung 830 256gb SataIII (Windows 8.1 Pro)
    Antec Three Hundred Case
    Antec TruePower New 750W Power Supply

    Dell Precision M4500- i5-540m, 8GB DDR3, 128GB Samsung 470 SSD, 240GB Crucial M500 mSATA SSD, BD-ROM/DVD-RW, Quadro FX 880m 1GB

    Heatware

  10. #9
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    Are they stress testing temps on cpu and gpu? My old i7 never got that hot games only seemed to load it to about 40%.

  11. #10
    Bluefalcon13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR23 View Post
    Are they stress testing temps on cpu and gpu? My old i7 never got that hot games only seemed to load it to about 40%.
    Stress testing and gaming both. I have an i7-2720QM, so mine should get a bit hotter than yours will. The processor is rated to 110 or 120C (I cant remember) but the laptop will thermal throttle @99C, so damage is extremely unlikely. It's a hot running laptop, cause there is a quad core, and a GPU sitting on the same small heatsink. I wouldnt worry about the temps too much, these things are beasts.

    Turbo Boost is extremely aggressive on the SB i7s, my Asus G73 never peaked 70C, but it was running its own heatsink/fan for the CPU, and turbo boost is more conservative on the original i7 procs..
    Last edited by Bluefalcon13; 02-01-12 at 12:38 PM. Reason: added more.
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE @ 3.8ghz, Corsair H80 cooler
    Asus M5A97 Vanilla
    2x4gig G.Skill Sniper Series DDR3-1866 @ DDR3-1600
    eVGA GTX670 2gb
    Samsung 830 256gb SataIII (Windows 8.1 Pro)
    Antec Three Hundred Case
    Antec TruePower New 750W Power Supply

    Dell Precision M4500- i5-540m, 8GB DDR3, 128GB Samsung 470 SSD, 240GB Crucial M500 mSATA SSD, BD-ROM/DVD-RW, Quadro FX 880m 1GB

    Heatware

  12. #11
    Member attack's Avatar
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    Just kind of curious why you got the 750GB XT but plan on upgrading the HDD? The XT is ok if you need all the space, but the best option would be to get an SSD 120-256GB and getting an optical SATA bay and putting in a mechanical HDD for storage.

    Other than that though not much to upgrade, should be a nice machine!
    i5-3570k @ 4.5ghz WC'd
    MSI Z77A-G41
    R9 280X
    2x4gb PC16000
    256GB Samsung 840
    Sennheiser HDR-120's
    Dell U2713HM
    "Computer games dont affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, wed all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitve electonic dance music..." - Kristian Wilson, Nintendo Inc, 1989

  13. #12
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    I didn't order it with the Momentus XT it had just a plain old 750GB HDD which is going in my dead MacBook, I was planning on buying the XT hence included it in the whole spec. Well I have it now the ram and hdd came earlier in the week and the laptop is due to arrive on Monday hopefully it still makes it despite the weather (there was 3 inches of snow today, that will destroy all infrastructure).

    The vengeance ram is some of the sexiest looking hardware i've ever seen, I will take some quality pictures when I put them in.

    I chose the XT not only for its performance/volume combination but also it doesn't use much power as it spins down and uses the buffer for editing small documents and pictures then transfers it when the buffer is full. Hopefully that will out way the disadvantage of it lagging when it has to spin up.

    My last dell had a PCI-E for a potential SSD but I didn't feel like losing my optical bay although maybe they are redundant now. I can't really be bothered with a twin drive setup in a laptop either it always seems like my SSD is too full on my desktop so all of the games end up on my hdd hopefully the hybrid drive will give all applications a share of the performance increase.

  14. #13
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    PICTURES!

    It showed up on Monday which was pretty awesome as I had only placed the order the previous Monday so just one week to assemble and ship to me.



    The new parts came just before the weekend too



    I booted it all was well checked out everything worked and it was as I ordered, no problems, I backed it up and shut it straight down again. Then was about to go straight in when I thought my screwdrivers from building my desktop were a bit cumbersome for this precision equipment so I ran to the hardware store and picked up some nice #O screw drivers and tore it open.


  15. #14
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    The ram was tucked away neatly in its own little vented compartment. Pretty simple to get at and switch. The New and Old ram beside each other-



    New ram installed, sexy black and gold. I love the look of this stuff even better than my desktop vengeance.



    After that I booted checked it installed good on its own and yup easy peasy! So shut down and pulled it open again, I didn't take any pictures as it was a little difficult and all that happened in the end was the hard drive changed from a 750GB Momentus to a 750GB Momentus XT.




  16. #15
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    The design detailing, quality and finish are beautiful and exceeding that of my previous Studio XPS and very close to my MacBook Pro although as the space bar squeaks when you don't hit it square its not quite on a par but that is all I can fault it on.





    I bought a Cyborg RAT.3 to go with it. I was thinking about mice and I love my RAT.9 so much I figured it would make a pretty good sidekick to the M14X to have the baby one. The quality and design reflects that of the laptop and its nice to use too. I would have had the RAT.5 but I know the dual sensors have issues with dust from experience so I didn't think that would go down too well with using it all over the place.




  17. #16
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    Here it is against its predecessor my MBP13, I didn't think it would be quite so big in comparison but they are similar weight and it still fits in my bag so it is perfect! I took it on a half hour walk to another Uni campus today for a lecture and it didn't get heavy at all. It performed well and was silent in the lecture giving a projected battery life of over 4 hours. Very pleased with that. I half expected it to maybe be a bit of ***** to use in those kind of everyday situations but it was sweeeet.





    AND Here it is with the Daddy! My rig both RAT's out and my Alienware Keyboard all looking slick together. Thinking my 6ft desk is a little small now.



    And Finaly POW! The dark shot everything bathed in red light



    Well as you can tell im really pleased with it and can't wait to put it through some serious testing!

    I forgot to say also that it boots Insanely fast! Faster than my rig even but it is brand new.
    Last edited by JR23; 02-08-12 at 05:15 PM.

  18. #17
    UUUUUUUUUgh i'm so jealous. GIMME DAT MONEYS xD. My rat died and i switched to the mamba and the orochi. I don't know what I was thinking. The rat is so much better then the mamba no offense razer fans.

  19. #18
    Member JR23's Avatar
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    The rat is a different animal

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefalcon13 View Post
    I use an M14x daily, but it's works not mine. I would encourage you to look into some a data ram, if you want to squeeze better battery life out of it. A data has a DDR3-1600 8gig kit that runs at 1.35 volts, and it works well. Other than that, if your temps are high while gaming, get some IC Diamond 7 and repaste it. My CPU was thermal throtting before I repasted (and hitting 99c.......), now its sitting at 94c Max while gaming. The limitation on this laptop is heat. Its a small gaming laptop, and only has one heatsink/fan. OCing the gpu gives significant improvements, I use MSI Afterburner, and clock up to 700(w/ shaders linked to gpu core) gpu core, and 1050 vram, for games that need the additional horsepower.

    Also, if you have never had a laptop with optimus, I would encourage you to learn as much as you can, as sometimes optimus requires a bit of encouragement to work. If you play mmos, make sure you white list the .exe file itself, and not the launcher.
    how much battery life would that ram add to it?
    PC: quad q6600 (G0) @3ghz VID:1.325000v w/ Ocz vendetta 2
    video card: MSI R6950-2PM2D2GD5 Radeon HD 6950
    500gig 16 meg cache hdd, 4 gigs 800 mhz ram
    PS: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W
    Motherboard: Asus P5K/EPU
    Case: Antec Three Hundred

  21. #20
    nightelph's Avatar
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    Nice pics! I have an m11x. I'm really cautious about OC'ing it, I've never had good luck with OEM laptop cooling..
    Ivy Quad, Asus Z77
    GTX670, Vertex4 256GB
    Dell 2408WFP, Mackie MR5 Monitors
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