Owners of the Alienware m15 R5 report strange GPU-Z results for their 30 Series laptops.
Is this a case is it a faulty vBIOS or has something else gone wrong?
Some owners of the Alienware m15 R5 gaming laptop are trying to answer this question of finding fewer CUDA cores inside the GPU-Z for the RTX 3070 laptop chip than they should – actually 512 fewer cores.
It is a fairly standard procedure for laptop manufacturers to confuse watches and TDPs to fit into a cooling and power supply solution.
What is not common to do is to reduce the number of cores to achieve a more convenient map, so we doubt that anything else could happen here.
Nvidia’s RTX 3070 mobile graphics processor comes with 5,120 CUDA cores, which is now 768 cores shy of the desktop models.
Even stranger are the reported TMU and ROP numbers: 144 and 96, respectively.
There should be 160 TMUs, but the reduction here applies to a smaller number of cores: 4,608 cores would make 36 SM and there are four TMUs per SM for a total of 144.
Less than expected and not perfect, but it doesn’t make much sense. As for the ROPs, however, they should be 80 with the RTX 3070 mobile chip.
What we are looking at here are the full 96 ROPs of the GA104 GPU, which are only found in the RTX 3080 mobile GPU and RTX 3070 desktop onthe graphics processor.
Alienware R5 owners have tried several different options in search of a fix, and this includes flashing vBIOS.
This is a potentially dangerous maneuver for a gaming laptop, as it can cause GPU burns. In this case, the GPU is soldered to the motherboard of the laptop, which makes it doubly risky.
So it’s an honor for those who have tried it, because maybe they understood this whole thing in the process.
The BIOS for the Alienware m15 R4 laptop, once installed in the R5, restores 5,120 CUDA cores in full glory.
Users also report better performance, so the GPU in the affected R5 laptops appears to have been poor due to a poorly reported version of vBIOS.
Consumers are hoping for a formal overhaul to avoid the annoying flicker process, which is anything but a permanent solution for those affected.
Many have asked for answers from Dell support, and we are also curious to see if there will be an official response to what is happening.
In the meantime, if you have an affected R5 laptop, you may need to contact Dell Support directly to be the first to know when there is a repair that I can assume will be on the road soon.
Like I said, flashing your vBIOS can be a risky business, so we’d recommend keeping it on hold until a more sanctioned fix is in place – hopefully it will arrive soon.