Jump to content

Alienware m17x


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1
EtherealRemnant

EtherealRemnant

    InsanelyMac Sage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 483 posts
Okay so I ordered an Alienware m17x from Microcenter (sweet deal - 2399 for a 2800 config direct through Dell).

Here are the components:

Q9000 2.0GHz processor
4GB DDR3 1066
500GB 7200 RPM SATA
Blu-ray/8xDVD-RW combo
2 nVidia 260M in SLi
Onboard 9400M graphics
The wireless is apparently Dell's a/g/n solution

Chipset is nVidia MCP79

Anyone have this machine and run OS X? I have a Macbook Pro 17" but honestly, I can't stand it. It gets ridiculously hot, the 5400 RPM hard drive is a dog, and the drivers for Windows are buggy at best.

#2
davey64

davey64

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Just Joined
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
You think the MBP gets ridiculously hot, ha, wait until you see what you have in store with the AlienWare. I had previously owned one. Yes, insanely fast, but over 11 lbs and the fans (blaring loud) shot out heat towards my the hand holding my mouse which would get so hot I would have to take breaks, not a convenient thing when gaming (the sole reason I went with the AW).

I learnt my lesson, use a real desktop for gaming and forget about the whole idea of a "gaming laptop". You really get the worst of both worlds. And please don't tell me you're doing multi-media and require 2 nVidia 260M in SLi.

My 15 MBP does everything just fine. I keep my gaming elsewhere.

But good luck with OS X on the system.

Okay so I ordered an Alienware m17x from Microcenter (sweet deal - 2399 for a 2800 config direct through Dell).

Here are the components:

Q9000 2.0GHz processor
4GB DDR3 1066
500GB 7200 RPM SATA
Blu-ray/8xDVD-RW combo
2 nVidia 260M in SLi
Onboard 9400M graphics
The wireless is apparently Dell's a/g/n solution

Chipset is nVidia MCP79

Anyone have this machine and run OS X? I have a Macbook Pro 17" but honestly, I can't stand it. It gets ridiculously hot, the 5400 RPM hard drive is a dog, and the drivers for Windows are buggy at best.



#3
EtherealRemnant

EtherealRemnant

    InsanelyMac Sage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 483 posts

You think the MBP gets ridiculously hot, ha, wait until you see what you have in store with the AlienWare. I had previously owned one. Yes, insanely fast, but over 11 lbs and the fans (blaring loud) shot out heat towards my the hand holding my mouse which would get so hot I would have to take breaks, not a convenient thing when gaming (the sole reason I went with the AW).

I learnt my lesson, use a real desktop for gaming and forget about the whole idea of a "gaming laptop". You really get the worst of both worlds. And please don't tell me you're doing multi-media and require 2 nVidia 260M in SLi.

My 15 MBP does everything just fine. I keep my gaming elsewhere.

But good luck with OS X on the system.


Honestly, I don't plan to do much gaming on it. I just wanted a laptop that was fast, upgradeable, had a 1920x1200 screen, is reliable, and was a suitable desktop replacement to replace my Toshiba.

The Toshiba cost me 2k and wasn't anywhere near being worth the money. The Alienware was 2300, faster than the MBP, had the resolution I wanted, has an accidental damage optional warranty that does NOT involve me having to ship it - they come to me, and Alienware has a reputation of being extremely reliable.

On the heat issue, the m17x has some of the best cooling in the industry so if you didn't have that model, you wouldn't know.

#4
DanteDrac

DanteDrac

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
Any luck getting OSX installed on the M17x. I have the exact same laptop and was wonder if you had any luck?

#5
Seoscrero

Seoscrero

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
bump!

i just got this computer yesterday and im hoping to install OS X, tried a retail Leopard DVD with boot-132 but as soon as the apple logo comes up the lappy crashes.

#6
copyman

copyman

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Just Joined
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Okay so I ordered an Alienware m17x from Microcenter (sweet deal - 2399 for a 2800 config direct through Dell).

Here are the components:

Q9000 2.0GHz processor
4GB DDR3 1066
500GB 7200 RPM SATA
Blu-ray/8xDVD-RW combo
2 nVidia 260M in SLi
Onboard 9400M graphics
The wireless is apparently Dell's a/g/n solution

Chipset is nVidia MCP79

Anyone have this machine and run OS X? I have a Macbook Pro 17" but honestly, I can't stand it. It gets ridiculously hot, the 5400 RPM hard drive is a dog, and the drivers for Windows are buggy at best.



I instal Snow leopard - 64 bit on this notebook witch success !

Wifi - OK
Ethernet - OK
Bluetooth - OK
Button - OK
Sound - OK - very bad crooked sound !
Video - 1440x900 but no identify video card !

My files:

Attached File  VoodooHDA_1.kext.zip   139.29KB   79 downloads
Attached File  com.apple.Boot.plist.zip   849bytes   63 downloads
Attached File  Bluetooth_365.zip   102.6KB   63 downloads
Attached File  Chameleon_2_RC3.pkg.zip   723.58KB   58 downloads
Attached File  Extra.zip   339.1KB   77 downloads

#7
hate

hate

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Just Joined
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

You think the MBP gets ridiculously hot, ha, wait until you see what you have in store with the AlienWare. I had previously owned one. Yes, insanely fast, but over 11 lbs and the fans (blaring loud) shot out heat towards my the hand holding my mouse which would get so hot I would have to take breaks, not a convenient thing when gaming (the sole reason I went with the AW).

I learnt my lesson, use a real desktop for gaming and forget about the whole idea of a "gaming laptop". You really get the worst of both worlds. And please don't tell me you're doing multi-media and require 2 nVidia 260M in SLi.

My 15 MBP does everything just fine. I keep my gaming elsewhere.

But good luck with OS X on the system.


This is pretty bad advice, even in August. Just you saying you had an 11lb Alienware makes me think it was at least a year or two ago. There are definitely laptops that can handle gaming. I have a Clevo 860CU, which has similar hardware, which lead me to this thread. It has a mobile 280m, which is pretty much a 980gtx mobile version. Not only will it run games like GTA4, Modern Warfare 2, etc. at full settings, it does so better than most desktops do. It's under 8lbs and fully upgradeable short of the motherboard. It is also almost completely silent (the laptop cooler I run has louder fans and you can't hear them unless I turn it on high) There are only a few desktop GPUs that outperform it and they are all newer models. The 260M isn't much further behind honestly, which is what is in this particular Alienware model. Heat in laptops had a lot to do with the CPU as well. The new i7 CPUs (also in this model) aren't of the same mold as the cooling and power hungry predecessors were. The only reason I use the cooling pad is because it came with my old computer and I'm used to it. I probably don't need it though. Just because you had a bad experience, what has to have been at least a year ago+ does not mean it is necessarily valid advice now. The computer industry changes. You cannot discredit something now based off of past experience without knowing anything about the hardware you are commenting on, and it's obvious that your knowledge is lacking about this particular model. Hopefully, your "advice" doesn't deter someone from purchasing a laptop for gaming. I'll gladly and confidently put mine up against your desktop from your post alone.

#8
EtherealRemnant

EtherealRemnant

    InsanelyMac Sage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 483 posts

I instal Snow leopard - 64 bit on this notebook witch success !

Wifi - OK
Ethernet - OK
Bluetooth - OK
Button - OK
Sound - OK - very bad crooked sound !
Video - 1440x900 but no identify video card !

My files:

Attached File  VoodooHDA_1.kext.zip   139.29KB   79 downloads
Attached File  com.apple.Boot.plist.zip   849bytes   63 downloads
Attached File  Bluetooth_365.zip   102.6KB   63 downloads
Attached File  Chameleon_2_RC3.pkg.zip   723.58KB   58 downloads
Attached File  Extra.zip   339.1KB   77 downloads


What did you use to get it to work? I'm trying Hazard's build and it appears that it doesn't recognize the boot media, probably because of missing kexts for the nForce chipset...

I'm getting kind of annoyed. I don't want to download 15 million images to find one that works. I just PPF patched his release and I'm going to try it again...

#9
The Drk Stoner

The Drk Stoner

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

What did you use to get it to work? I'm trying Hazard's build and it appears that it doesn't recognize the boot media, probably because of missing kexts for the nForce chipset...

I'm getting kind of annoyed. I don't want to download 15 million images to find one that works. I just PPF patched his release and I'm going to try it again...


I have to ask which m17x you have? an r1 or r2 the r1 works best with ideneb 1.4 and to be warned the r1s have the intel 4965 wifi chipset which is still unsupported

if its the R1 here is a link to the wiki update I posted Alienware m17x so far updates are still working with no errors and I have full driver functionality with the 8800m gtx cards

#10
Hangampalli

Hangampalli

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts
I have the Alienware M17X with a Core 2 Duo chip and the single Nvidia GTX260m graphics chip.

I wondering if anyone has had any luck installing OSX on this machine. So far, I used Empire EFI (from Prasys) to get Snow Leopard installed. I also was able to get Leopard installed using iAtkos 7.

But either way, I can't seem to get the damn graphics chip working. I wondering if maybe on the onboard 9400m is interfering somehow..

#11
Hangampalli

Hangampalli

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts
NOTE: I've moved this guide (as well as many important updates) to its own post at: http://www.insanelym...howtopic=212102
Please go there to comment on it.



okay, I think I figured it out for almost everything (including graphics), except sound. I'm still suffering with VoodooHDA until something happens.

So here is what I did (or at least what I remember). First the computer I have is an Alienware M17X (second revision) with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 processor and a single GTX260m Graphics chip.

- If you want to install OSX, you have two options:

Option One: Download and Install iAtkos7 (Leopard 10.5.7) and burn it to a DVD at the slowest speed. Place the disk in your computer and when it starts, press F12 to go to boot options and boot the CD. When the setup eventually loads, go to disk utility and partition your drive. I'm doing to dual boot with Vista, so with my 250gig HD, I set aside approx. 50 gigs for OSX and approx. 200 for Vista. Make sure under options you select MBR. Make the OSX partition "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and the Windows partition "FAT32"

(I understand a lot of other guides ask you to install Windows first, but if your Vista install disc is like mine, we can't do the repaired install that would be required later in that sequence, so we are going to install OSX first)

After that's finished, close out of disk utility and continue with the installation. However, before you click "Install" click customize. (I'm doing this from memory, so I might not be completely right, you may have to do this again until you get it right for your system. It took me five installs)

In the customize menu (i think that's what it was called...maybe called Options), you want to select the "9.7.0 Kernel Voodoo" under /X86/Kernel/9.7.0 Kernel. You also want to go to Drivers/system/ps2 mouse keyboard/ and check "voodoo with trackpad" Don't touch anything for VGA or Network. We'll take care of the graphics thing later and wifi will work anyways. BTW, in case you don't know, DON'T SELECT MORE THAN WHAT YOU HAVE TO, otherwise, it won't work.

After that's finished, go ahead and start installing. You can skip the check dvd thing, it doesn't really do anything. Make sure you stay nearby and move the mouse every couple of sec so it doesn't freeze up.

After the install is finished, the computer will restart. To load OSX, you need to hit F12 to go to Boot Options and select Harddrive. That should take you to the chameleon boot screen where you just select the Mac Partition and OSX will load. I'll talk about the other fixes below, but in this section, I'm going to skip ahead to installing Vista. (I think 7 is the same way)

To install Vista, pop in your Vista CD and boot it by select it from the F12 Boot options. Delete and Format the Windows FAT32 partition we made earlier in disk utility. Windows should install. If it doesn't, you probably forgot to check MBR (Master Boot R....) and you probably have GPT partition that windows can't install in. Sometimes, if you forgot to make the Windows partition FAT32 and instead kept it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), it might not be able to format it. (That's been either hit or miss for me)

Once windows is installed, you need to install Easy BCD. This is what allows you to dual boot OSX and Windows.

This video kind of shows you how to do it:



It's not exact, but that part where it shows the installation and use of EasyBCD is all you need to know.

Option Two
The other way to install OSX is by using Empire EFI alongside a legit Snow Leopard disc (only like 30 dollars). Here is the link:

http://prasys.co.cc/...-085-r2-is-out/

He has instructions on how to do so on his site. It's pretty straight forward. You boot your computer using the ISO image he provides and then swap that disc with the actual snow leopard disc when it tells you to and just install. After it installs, you have to boot Snow Leopard using the empire efi disc (it can be a pain to swap discs b/c of our of the way our DVD drive is set up, but just keep on trying (restart a couple times or whatever, it eventually comes out) On that disc is a folder that contains a program called Myhack. You need to use that to install the bootloader and other settings. In its customize menu, make sure you check graphicsenabler and ps2 controller. UNCHECK FRAMEBUFFERDISABLER (Very important). Leave everything else as is. If you know more about those options, please go ahead and do as you as you please.

The only problem and the reason I couldn't do this is b/c Snow Leopard requires a GPT partition. Unfortunetly, Windows can't install on a GPT (at least not any way I know). I haven't tried this yet, but since our Alienware can hold two harddrives, I would think it would be possible to install Snow Leopard on one Harddrive and Windows on the other. However, I have yet to try this yet and therefore can't be sure if it would work.

Getting the Graphics Card to work

This is actually really really simple. The thing about our laptops is that we have this onboard 9400m chip that's only there to conserve battery life when unplugged. Unfortunately, OSX sees both that and the discrete card and it gets confused. So, we have to disable the 9400m. To do that, go into the BIOS. Find the graphics section and disable BOTH hybrid graphics and integrated graphics.

Once you do that, go to com.apple.Boot.plist. Its in Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration. You can't edit the file in that folder. So drag it to the desktop, where it will make a copy. Open it using TextEdit and add this:

<key>GraphicsEnabler</key>
<string>Y</string>

You add those lines to that middle indented section. Once you do, save it and move it back to the systemconfiguration folder to replace the one that was already there with the once you just edited.

If you're using option two (prasys' empire efi) this would have already been done with the MyHack installation. You just have to change the bios settings.

If you're using option one (iatkos), you need to do two more things. Download and install the universal injector from netkas

http://netkas.org/?p=104

You also need to install PC EFI 10.5. You can get that also from Netkas at

http://netkas.org/?p=271

Basically, that's just a boot file. To install it, first go to utilities and click show/hide files. This will allow you to see hidden files. Then in your Macintosh HD, delete the boot file that's in there already and replace it with one you just downloaded.

Once that's finished. Go into disk utility and repair your disk permissions. Then Restart your computer, and the graphics card should work.



And that's basically all I have right now. I'm still trying to figure out the sound. So far, the only thing that works is the VoodooHDA kext, which I'm sure you all know doesn't really sound good at all. If any of you guys know another way, I'm all ears.

I am thinking about trying to install an audio card and I think that should make it work. But I have no idea. I'll let you know if it does.

But nevertheless, I hope this helps you guys.

EDIT: I bought a external USB sound card from Best Buy last night. It's a Creative Blaster X-FI (Model # SB1090). It's not too bad. You connect it to your computer through an open USB port, but you have to attach headphones to it to hear it. You can't control the volume at all, at it only gives out stereo, when the product is supposed to give 5.1 surround sound (prob cause this is meant for Windows) But it's something. It cost 50$

#12
mdonley

mdonley

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

okay, I think I figured it out for almost everything (including graphics), except sound. I'm still suffering with VoodooHDA until something happens.

So here is what I did (or at least what I remember). First the computer I have is an Alienware M17X (second revision) with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 processor and a single GTX260m Graphics chip.

- If you want to install OSX, you have two options:

Option One: Download and Install iAtkos7 (Leopard 10.5.7) and burn it to a DVD at the slowest speed. Place the disk in your computer and when it starts, press F12 to go to boot options and boot the CD. When the setup eventually loads, go to disk utility and partition your drive. I'm doing to dual boot with Vista, so with my 250gig HD, I set aside approx. 50 gigs for OSX and approx. 200 for Vista. Make sure under options you select MBR. Make the OSX partition "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and the Windows partition "FAT32"

(I understand a lot of other guides ask you to install Windows first, but if your Vista install disc is like mine, we can't do the repaired install that would be required later in that sequence, so we are going to install OSX first)

After that's finished, close out of disk utility and continue with the installation. However, before you click "Install" click customize. (I'm doing this from memory, so I might be completely right, you may have to do this again until you get it right for your system. It took me five installs)

In the customize menu (i think that's what it was called...maybe called Options), you want to select the "9.7.0 Kernel Voodoo" under /X86/Kernel/9.7.0 Kernel. You also want to go to Drivers/system/ps2 mouse keyboard/ and check "voodoo with trackpad" Don't touch anything for VGA or Network. We'll take care of the graphics thing later and wifi will work anyways. BTW, in case you don't know, DON'T SELECT MORE THAN WHAT YOU HAVE TO, otherwise, it won't work.

After that's finished, go ahead and start installing. You can skip the check dvd thing, it doesn't really do anything. Make sure you stay nearby and move the mouse every couple of sec so it doesn't freeze up.

After the install is finished, the computer will restart. To load OSX, you need to hit F12 to go to Boot Options and select Harddrive. That should take you to the chameleon boot screen where you just select the Mac Partition and OSX will load. I'll talk about the other fixes below, but in this section, I'm going to skip ahead to installing Vista. (I think 7 is the same way)

To install Vista, pop in your Vista CD and boot it by select it from the F12 Boot options. Delete and Format the Windows FAT32 partition we made earlier in disk utility. Windows should install. If it doesn't, you probably forgot to check MBR (Master Boot R....) and you probably have GPT partition that windows can't install in. Sometimes, if you forgot to make the Windows partition FAT32 and instead kept it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), it might not be able to format it. (That's been either hit or miss for me)

Once windows is installed, you need to install Easy BCD. This is what allows you to dual boot OSX and Windows.

This video kind of shows you how to do it:



It's not exact, but that part where it shows the installation and use of EasyBCD is all you need to know.

Option Two
The other way to install OSX is by using Empire EFI alongside a legit Snow Leopard disc (only like 30 dollars). Here is the link:

http://prasys.co.cc/...-085-r2-is-out/

He has instructions on how to do so on his site. It's pretty straight forward. You boot your computer using the ISO image he provides and then swap that disc with the actual snow leopard disc when it tells you to and just install. After it installs, you have to boot Snow Leopard using the empire efi disc (it can be a pain to swap discs b/c of our of the way our DVD drive is set up, but just keep on trying (restart a couple times or whatever, it eventually comes out) On that disc is a folder that contains a program called Myhack. You need to use that to install the bootloader and other settings. In its customize menu, make sure you check graphicsenabler and ps2 controller. UNCHECK FRAMEBUFFERDISABLER (Very important). Leave everything else as is. If you know more about those options, please go ahead and do as you as you please.

The only problem and the reason I couldn't do this is b/c Snow Leopard requires a GPT partition. Unfortunetly, Windows can't install on a GPT (at least not any way I know). I haven't tried this yet, but since our Alienware can hold two harddrives, I would think it would be possible to install Snow Leopard on one Harddrive and Windows on the other. However, I have yet to try this yet and therefore can't be sure if it would work.

Getting the Graphics Card to work

This is actually really really simple. The thing about our laptops is that we have this onboard 9400m chip that's only there to conserve battery life when unplugged. Unfortunately, OSX sees both that and the discrete card and it gets confused. So, we have to disable the 9400m. To do that, go into the BIOS. Find the graphics section and disable BOTH hybrid graphics and integrated graphics.

Once you do that, go to com.apple.Boot.plist. Its in Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration. You can't edit the file in that folder. So drag it to the desktop, where it will make a copy. Open it using TextEdit and add this:

<key>GraphicsEnabler</key>
<string>Y</string>

You add those lines to that middle indented section. Once you do, save it and move it back to the systemconfiguration folder to replace the one that was already there with the once you just edited.

If you're using option two (prasys' empire efi) this would have already been done with the MyHack installation. You just have to change the bios settings.

If you're using option one (iatkos), you need to do two more things. Download and install the universal injector from netkas

http://netkas.org/?p=104

You also need to install PC EFI 10.5. You can get that also from Netkas at

http://netkas.org/?p=271

Basically, that's just a boot file. To install it, first go to utilities and click show/hide files. This will allow you to see hidden files. Then in your Macintosh HD, delete the boot file that's in there already and replace it with one you just downloaded.

Once that's finished. Go into disk utility and repair your disk permissions. Then Restart your computer, and the graphics card should work.



And that's basically all I have right now. I'm still trying to figure out the sound. So far, the only thing that works is the VoodooHDA kext, which I'm sure you all know doesn't really sound good at all. If any of you guys know another way, I'm all ears.

I am thinking about trying to install an audio card and I think that should make it work. But I have no idea. I'll let you know if it does.

But nevertheless, I hope this helps you guys.

EDIT: I bought a external USB sound card from Best Buy last night. It's a Creative Blaster X-FI (Model # SB1090). It's not too bad. You connect it to your computer through an open USB port, but you have to attach headphones to it to hear it. You can't control the volume at all, at it only gives out stereo, when the product is supposed to give 5.1 surround sound (prob cause this is meant for Windows) But it's something. It cost 50$

Does this work for the first revision

#13
Hangampalli

Hangampalli

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts

Does this work for the first revision


Installing OSX might work the same, but when it comes to getting your components to work, it might not.

In other words, I have no clue.

Sry

Edit: if you tell me your computer specs, then maybe I can point you in the right direction.

#14
mdonley

mdonley

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Installing OSX might work the same, but when it comes to getting your components to work, it might not.

In other words, I have no clue.

Sry

Edit: if you tell me your computer specs, then maybe I can point you in the right direction.

Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
4 gb ram
Nvidia Geforce gtx 260m

Is that all the specs you need?

#15
Hangampalli

Hangampalli

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts

Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
4 gb ram
Nvidia Geforce gtx 260m

Is that all the specs you need?



I think my guide should work for you. I think I have the same specs. Are you sure you have a R1, cause that looks like R2.

#16
mdonley

mdonley

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

I think my guide should work for you. I think I have the same specs. Are you sure you have a R1, cause that looks like R2.

Not sure how do you know the difference

#17
Hangampalli

Hangampalli

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts

Not sure how do you know the difference



I think the R1 was the old m17x (note lowercase m and x) that was made b4 Dell completely acquired Alienware. It has a different case design than the ones out right now. The speakers looked different. I think it also had an area-51 label to it. I think at best they had 9800gt's.

#18
mdonley

mdonley

    InsanelyMac Protégé

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

I think the R1 was the old m17x (note lowercase m and x) that was made b4 Dell completely acquired Alienware. It has a different case design than the ones out right now. The speakers looked different. I think it also had an area-51 label to it. I think at best they had 9800gt's.

oh then i have r2 and also have you found anything better than the voodoohda for sound?





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

© 2014 InsanelyMac  |   News  |   Forum  |   Downloads  |   OSx86 Wiki  |   Mac Netbook  |   PHP hosting by CatN  |   Designed by Ed Gain  |   Logo by irfan  |   Privacy Policy