My 8 year old Alienware! Any old Alienware users here?

  • 10
I've had my Alienware M17X R3 for more than 8 years now and it's still going strong (except the battery which is dead). Here's a link to a current photo since I can't figure out how to post it in this thread: https://imgur.com/vrFwa1n Share your old Alienware systems if you still use them today :)
Replies • 15

I have my Area 51 R2 it is an awesome system, I actually have 2 of them but the second one is an Area 51 R5. (I did just upgrade to a Ryzen/NVIDIA 3090 System recently though).

I have been buying Alienware systems for myself and my family members for many years. I get them for people at my office as well and they really appreciate the extra expense taken for something that does not look institutional and they can have a little fun with on their downtime!


Congrats to you fellow Alienware owner. I still have the M17X R3 that I ordered from Dell back in 2011. When the RAID system went out, I upgraded the 500GB hard drives to 750GB drives and disabled the RAID system. Since then I upgraded the internal network card to an Intel 7260 to get AC network speeds and Bluetooth 4.0. Also, I've upgraded the video card from a Nvidia GTX580M (which died twice during its lifetime due to heat) to a Nvidia GTX780M so that I could maintain the 3D features that I ordered with the laptop. Unfortunately, I lost the drivers for the 3D emitter when I upgraded the operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10 so now I can't utilize the 3D features anyway. I also lost the use of the SD card reader with the OS upgrade. I recently replaced the battery because it was too old to hold a decent charge. The laptop still works well and plays games that I couldn't play before upgrading the video card.


Yours is just a bit older then mine but I'm close to running on 8 years   My Is a ALIENWARE M17XR4

 w/nidva 66M 3D video card....  


johnhil719 said:

Congrats to you fellow Alienware owner. I still have the M17X R3 that I ordered from Dell back in 2011. When the RAID system went out, I upgraded the 500GB hard drives to 750GB drives and disabled the RAID system. Since then I upgraded the internal network card to an Intel 7260 to get AC network speeds and Bluetooth 4.0. Also, I've upgraded the video card from a Nvidia GTX580M (which died twice during its lifetime due to heat) to a Nvidia GTX780M so that I could maintain the 3D features that I ordered with the laptop. Unfortunately, I lost the drivers for the 3D emitter when I upgraded the operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10 so now I can't utilize the 3D features anyway. I also lost the use of the SD card reader with the OS upgrade. I recently replaced the battery because it was too old to hold a decent charge. The laptop still works well and plays games that I couldn't play before upgrading the video card.

That's awesome man! I thought about upgrading the GPU too but nowadays I mainly use it for 2D work so I never got around to doing it. 
It's a shame Dell cut the support for these models once Windows 10 rolled out.


Yeah, I was disappointed when when I could no longer have the 3D. If I had known that I was going to lose the 3D, I would have installed a even more powerful video card. Anyway, I had to make sure that the new card was protected from overheating by using thermal paste and thermal pads. It was a fun experiment to try to keep the machine current. I really miss the ability to watch 3D movies with those expensive glasses that came with the machine.


johnhil719 said:

Yeah, I was disappointed when when I could no longer have the 3D. If I had known that I was going to lose the 3D, I would have installed a even more powerful video card. Anyway, I had to make sure that the new card was protected from overheating by using thermal paste and thermal pads. It was a fun experiment to try to keep the machine current. I really miss the ability to watch 3D movies with those expensive glasses that came with the machine.


Yeah, that was cool. I remember playing Skyrim in 3D. But for some reason I stopped using it after a while, never really got into it. Wasn't even aware that it doesn't work anymore. Now you're making me miss it lol :D

edited

Hey there!  I am new on this board.  I am running an area 51-x58 Wartime Edition, with 24gb ram and GTX760.  I run MMO's pretty smoothly, but it is getting up there in years, its almost 10 years old now?  Anyway, I love the case, and I want to build out the machine with new parts.  Anybody know if I can swap out the motherboard/cpu and parts effectively while keeping the case??  I am thinking of a Ryzen 5, but maybe an intel if the price is right.  Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

 


These pics are from when I got my M15x new, 10 years ago, in January of 2011.  I still use it occasionally for things.  The laptop is built like a tank and pratically indestructable.  Unfortunately, it has always had problems with overheating (and had to get sent back to Dell for repairs and replacement parts twice in it's early years due to overheating issues), so I really have to baby it and make sure it has plenty of air flow.  Other than that, it's great.

edited

I don't know much about the area 51 desktop machines since I've built desktop machines to play games and for my kids to do their homework for years. If you're running a Nvidia GTX760 you might be able to upgrade the video card to a more powerful card within the same motherboard. You may have to use thermal pads on the memory and reapply a really good thermal paste on the video chip itself underneath the heatsink. If you are uncomfortable opening a computer case, I don't recommend it because there's just to many things that can go wrong.

Speaking of overheating, the poster with the M15x knows what I mean about issues with some of the Alienware laptops. I finally solved those problems when I upgraded to a GTX780 in my M17x R3 by adding more thermal pads on the memory chips and thermal paste on the video chip before reattaching the heatsink. I still have to make sure that the vents aren't blocked, though. Finally, I retired the M17R3 and bought a AW17 R3 (2016) on Ebay because it was so much faster and more powerful (now I can play just about any game available except those made for the GTX1030 and above). Besides now I can install SSDs instead of hard drives which reduces some of the heat. Good luck to you all.