Alienware Graphics Amplifier

Gaming on a notebook has traditionally been a less than ideal solution for most committed PC gamers. Thin and light laptops with integrated (or lower end dGPU) graphics can only handle a limited range of current generation games. Nevertheless, serious gaming notebooks can handle just about any gaming task quite well. However they are heavy, expensive and you cannot upgrade them. There are transient gamers who don’t want to haul a desktop or have the space for it, but they do play in a desktop ergonomic with their notebooks, sometimes using an external display.

Alienware has come to the rescue. Recently they showed off their newest notebook, the Alienware 13. On the back of that machine there is a port that very few people noticed. The port is a PCIE mini connector and such a port could really have only one purpose: external graphics processing. This totally makes sense for notebook gamers. Historically games require more GPU over time than CPU. Notebook gamers are now able to upgrade their GPU which effectively extends the life of the machine, in addition to improving the graphics performance.

Alienware Graphics Amplifier (Source: JPR)

The Alienware Graphics Amplifier is a about the size of a UPS (~6.8 x 7.3 x 16.1”) and contains a 460 watt power supply, cooling fan, and PCIE X16 slot for the graphics card. It has four full power USB 3.0 ports and customizable Alien Head lighting. The gamer (or video editor/3d artist/etc.) can place any graphics card they want in it and could even fit a liquid cooling solution for the most extreme performance. When connected, the gamer can enjoy the supercharged graphics on the notebook display or use an external display. When engaged, the notebooks internal graphics (integrated or discrete) are disabled. This should reduce system temperature and potentially allow for higher CPU throttling. At this time the external graphics will not utilize SLI or Crossfire with internal graphics which is not a big negative given that dual graphics solutions do not yield huge gains for most applications.

Plenty of room under the hood for liquid cooling (Source: JPR)

The Alienware Graphics Amplifier is a win for the thin and light crowd who will be able to play games they never would have dreamt of as well as for serious gamer notebook customers who desire to extend the life of their PCs. The system will only work with Alienware notebooks equipped with the special port at this time and is patent pending.