What is Alienware Graphics Amplifier? I bet you have heard about it and you’re curious about . That’s why you’re here. In this article you will find all the information you need. So, here we go!
As you know, there are several problems that bug your mind when choosing between a gaming desktop and a laptop. There may be some boundaries for you, that you may have a schedule where you are obligated to travel a lot, so you may better consider having a laptop. But you don’t want to supress your gamer spirit and you want a laptop which can give you a desktop performance. There are new high end laptops that can give you great performance, but the thing with gaming laptops is that most systems don’t allow you to comfortably swap inner parts and even if you can do it, it will be a pricey pain in the ass. This is where Alienware Graphics Amplifier comes to our help.
To explain it in the simplest way, Alienware Graphics Amplifier is the externally connected graphics upgrader for your Alienware laptops Alienware 13, 15 and 17 R2. It’s a box for your graphics card. It means that you can achieve gaming grade desktop graphics with your laptop anywhere and anytime you want. This is hell of an innovation! Good game Alienware!
Actually this is a concept that has been around for a while. Asus announced its XG Station Project in 2007, but it has never made its way to the market. Also Sony Vaio had a similar concept with its Light Peak Dock Station. Alienware Graphics Amplifier took this concept a step further.
If you’re a gamer who started his gaming life at the end of 90’s and the beginning of 20’s, then you already know that there was a thin line between performance and mobility. Well ok, not a thin line. There was a freakin thick line between mobility and performance. I’m talking about the time when there was Pentium III. People were fainting when they heard 500 MB of Ram. There were stil floppy discs around. You could never expect desktop grade performance from a simple laptop. Millenium children may not remember those times, but it was stil fun.
Today, thanks to the new achievments in technology, we are able to carry performance with us anywhere we go. You may not be aware of the development of mankind, but remember it everytime you play your next generation game with graphics set to ultra high. So, let’s take a minute of respectful silence for every scientist and engineer out there who brought us this amazing technology. And for Alienware also….
Design and Specifics
I must admit that it looks like a toaster, but the design crew has done a great job to make it look like an intergalactic pandora box more than a toaster. Alienware Graphics Amplifier comes as a small compact box. But it’s not just a simple box. It comes with a built-in cooling fan, 460 Watt power supply, an integrated USB hub with four ports and some cool lighting effects.
The box design consists from two parts. Base of the box contains the circuit board and power supply mounted on it..Base has been manufactuted from a strong metal. Top of the box has a plastic cover which can be lifted up to open the box. Top cover has a latch at the back to hold the plastic top and a hinge in the front. It can be easily opened up if desired.
The best feature of Graphics Amplifier is that you can mount into it almost any standard dual-slot PCI Express x16 graphics card. This involves Nvidia GeForce GTX starting from the 600 Series till the latest model today, also AMD Radeon HD 5000 and newer graphics cards are suitable. Just imagine that you’re playing with Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan quality graphics on your laptop. This is sick.
By the way, i must remind you something for a good reason and safety purposes. You can place inside the graphics amplifier any desktop grade graphics card which suits the forementioned specifics, but be careful that its power consume shouldn’t exceed 375 watt. Because the 460 Watt power supply is for the whole system in the box. The power of cooling fan is also generated by this power supply and that’s why you should leave an energy space for the cooler.
It weights 7,7 lb/ 3,5 kg with dimensions (H x W x D) of 6,8 x 7,3 x 16,1 inches/ 17,27 x 18,5 x 40,9 cm. For me it’s not a big weight to carry along, especially thinking of the graphics performance it provides i’m more than happy to carry it with me during a trip.
Safety and Handling
A propriety cable is used to connect the Graphics Amplifier and laptop. It also has a push-forward lock system at the USB end. Its main purpose is to not allow you to pull it off while you’re connected to the graphics box. Imagine what would happen if you’ve done that. While everything is fine, you just pull the graphics card out and leave your computer without GPU. Just like pulling out the graphics card of a desktop while it’s on. It may end with fatal errors. So that’s why Alienware figured out a safety mechanism.
Graphics card run as a part of your system. Because of that you must connect the Graphics Amplifier to your laptop before turning your laptop on and must disconnect it after turning your laptop off. It means that hot swapping, as expected, is not a chance with this alien tech box. But that’s the right thing, would you pul out your graphics card from a desktop all of a sudden? Who would do that?
The good thing is, Dell built in a second safety feature. If you somehow pull of your cable or disconnect the graphics amplfier, your laptop will turn itself off to prevent any harm.
Inside of the graphics amplifier is simple just like its outside. It has a PCB (Printed circuit board) with two PCI-Express ports. One of them has an expansion card with cable input and USB ports. The other slot is standing for the graphics card. And it is that simple, no additional gear. Maybe one thing that not everybody will appreciate is there are no ethernet or audio ports. It means that you can’t use it as a docking station. It’s for amping up your graphics. Audio and ehernet are the things you must solve from your laptop or other desired connection.
Good thing is that you can also connect your keyboard to the USB ports behind the box.
And one of the greatest features of Graphics Amplifier is that you can connect your laptop to an external monitor via Graphics Amplifier.
How to install?
There is one thing that you should know, Alienware Graphics Amplifier doesn’t come with a graphics card inside it. So you must obtain your own suitable graphic card of choice and place it into Graphics Amplifier.
It is so simple to do. Just move the latch at the back of the box and it will let you open it. Then you will notice inside the PCI-Express x16 slot. It will appear covered by two metal fillers for the empty GPU ports. Just unscrew and remove them. Then place your card to the PCIe slot and screw back the screws to secure the card. And finally, plug in two 6+2 pin PEG connectors to supply your card’s power, and you’re good to go.
Then you just plug in the power cable, plug your Graphics Amplifier to your Alien Laptop, and fire it up! Alienware Graphics Amplifier will automatically start up when you turn your laptop on.
Test conducted with Alienware Graphics Amplifier really show tremendous results. Frame per second parameter almost doubles up. In the chart below you can see the official results for yourself.
Of course the performance will vary by taking into count which graphics card is used. It will depend on your graphics card inside the Graphics Amplifier. This also shows the difference of performance between desktop gaming and laptop gaming.
The last time i saw, price for Alienware Graphics Amplifier was $299. Questioning the price is up to you. The only omment that i can make about is that it is a good gear if you are going to use it. If you want desktop grade graphics from your laptop, then Alienware Graphics Amplifier will do the trick.
Click here to check the latest price on Amazon.com.
Let’s summ it all up with its pros and cons:
- Quick and easy achievment of desktop grade graphics with your laptop.
- Portable, so if you would like to continue your gaming adventure with high grade graphics even if you’re out of town for a while, you won’t have any problems. Just plug it in.
- You can connect the graphics amplifier not only to your laptop, but also to another screen. High resolution monitors are one of thealternatives.
- Easy to use, easy to open up and easy to configure. Simplicity is the king.
- Great look, appealing to the eye.
- You can use it only with Alienware Laptops Alienware 13, 15 and 17 R2. If you have these Alienware laptops, then you might consider buying it. Graphics Amplifier is also offered as a bundle when buying Alienware Laptops.
- When you first get it, there won’t be a graphics card inside. You will have to obtain yourself. the graphics card you want to use.
So, this was what our article about. I hope now you have the anwer for your what is Alienware Graphics Amplifier question. It was fun fo me to provide you this information. I hope you’ve found what you need and some answers to your questios here. If you have anything in mind, please don’t hesitate speaking it. Your comments are HIGHLY appreciated. All the feedback you can give is really important to us and you can help us to shape this site with your own ideas. For direct contact you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you soon and keep in touch!!!