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Where can I change my graphics card on an M17x

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Where can I change my graphics card on an M17x

  • I'm sure this is a pretty basic question, but I'm new to the PC gaming community.  I recently bought an Alienware M17x laptop off of ebay.  The good news is that it came with pretty much every upgrade imaginable EXCEPT a decent graphics card.  Apparently the person I bought it from used it for graphic design purposes and not gaming.  I did a bit of research, and from what I understood video card upgrades ARE possible on an M17x (my old laptop had it's card built into the computer), and that I really DON'T want to try and do it myself.  My question is based off of those two assumptions, but let me know if either is incorrect.

    I want to switch my current card (a NVIDIA GeForce 9400) with a 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M, but I have no idea how to go about doing it.  The complicating factor: because the case is pretty beat up, I don't know my serial number or even the type (R3, R2, R1) of M17x that it is.  I also have absolutely no idea where to go to get the cards switched.  Will alienware still do the upgrade it if I don't have the serial number OR any paperwork?

    I live on Manhattan, so I have access to pretty much every store and resource available.  I would really appreciate an expert's insight into how to go about switching my card.  Let me know if there's anything I can do in return!  Thank you so much!

  • well the 9400 is an onboard card and if so its a M17X R1  i not sure if it supports the 580 i dont think it can handle the 580M second the only place you can get a MXM III card would be from dell spare parts or ebay as these are OEM parts and not purchased from any computer store like tiger direct or newegg

    i know for fact the 5870 will work and the original card were 260 or 280M single or in SLI ( dual cards)  also did you verify  its  not in stealth mode? and primary card is just turned off?  if you have the service tag under it will be a small sticker black with  a bar code like sticker if not it might even be a pre dell M17X  if service tag and listed check bios it might be listed since this would help you determine what it was originally shipped with  and if it is a pre dell (sept 2009 i beleive)  or a dell M17X R1



    also make sure  if you do get another card you ned the heatsink and fan aswell  as a proper adapter to support the power consumption

  • I'm not entirely sure how to check if it's in stealth mode, but the NVIDIA 9400 is the only visual device I can find any hint of.  Sorry to be that guy, but how would I double check the mode?  Second, I do have the sticker, but it's so worn there's no bar code or any numbers left.  Sorry for the miscommunication.  

    I would be thrilled if there's a card on here that I'm not aware of, but I think I'll also contact the old owner and ask if they have the serial number, or see if there's any way I can find it online.  Also, how do I turn off stealth mode?  I can't seem to find it anywhere, but that just might mean I have the old system.

  • check bios first see if you can see service tag there .... i beleive its F2 during boot up to access  cant remeber off hand  

    and to check if stealth mod is on make sure power otion are set to performance and not battery save( if on battery you cant disable stealth so make sure adaptor is connected)  and press FN + F7  .. if nothing happens your either on batttery or video was removed

  • My service tag was in bios!  Thanks so much!  I can send them support questions now, so hopefully they can help me figure out the type of M17x I have and how to get a new card into it.  Again, thanks so much for your help.

    P.S.  FN + F7 didn't do anything and I wasn't on battery, so the video must have been removed, although what that implies I don't know.  I've SCOURED my laptop for other cards though, so I think it's just the 9400.

  • hi,

    i was wondering if you ever got that gpu switched out?

    im looking to purchase a m17x with the same 9400 gpu in it and am wondering if i can just buy a 560 or something and put it in it?

    and help on this would be great thanks,

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