With improved efficiency and discrete graphics, there is little to no difference between laptop and desktop gamers. However, one of the major drawbacks of gaming laptops that you cannot deny is the lack of upgradability. A notebook framework’s limits typically make pegging out parts impossible, outside of maybe adding RAM, and most systems don’t even give users access to the internals.
On the other hand, the desktop gaming apparatus requires an upgrade, and even a new person without experience can put in a new graphics card without too much trouble.
Alienware tries and targets to bring that same upgrade competence to the laptop, and Alienware has done so with Alienware Graphics Amplifier, a new whirl on an old concept, and that’s the external graphics card.
The Graphics Amplifier gives housing for a discrete desktop-class GPU and utilities that horsepower to supercharge users’ Alienware laptop.
In 2007, Asus demonstrated an external graphics module, known as the XG Station, but it never came to market in the country (US). Finally, in 2011, one more external graphics solution came up, as a component of the Sony VAIO VPC-Z214GX, which used Light Peak to bridge a docking station, giving way to Blu-ray drive, discrete graphics, and several connectivity ports.
Now let’s talk about features and design.
Design and Features of Alienware Amplifier
Even in the most basic terminology, the Graphics Amplifier is a box for one’s graphics card. Apart from this, there are even more factors like a cooling fan, there is an integrated four-port USB hub, a 460-watt power supply, and some striking lighting effects, but those features make it a better box in the end.
When we talk about the rear panel, the Graphics Amplifier measures 6.8 by Alienware Graphics Amplifier, 7.3 by 16.1 inches (HWD).
It would look like a toaster thoroughly if it didn’t have that glowing Alienware logo and glossy plastic vents. But, at the same time, the idea will be simple; the plan is honestly a tremendous thought-out.
The Alienware has a two-part design, with a well-built base with the circuit board and power supply attached and a plastic cover with a latch in the back and a hinge in the front. The base and the cover are of sturdy metal.
You can look at a combination of laptop and graphics amplifier as a portable option for a gaming desktop. You can’t take a desktop with you; taking a laptop and amplifier is much more comfortable and portable.
It will weigh 7.8 pounds approximately, which is still half a pound more than the latest available Alienware. Thus, even though you can optimize the overall weight with an amplifier’s help, the better option will be to take an amplifier as a single unit.
The best thing you can find in an amplifier is that it supports AMD cards and Nvidia. So you will be getting a room for a full-length along with the dual-wide GPU and providing a 375-watt power and installed GPU (Within the 460-watt supply of an amplifier).
It includes the consumption of a cooling fan and its glowing accents), such a graphics amplifier can support any card after 600 series of Nvidia GeForce GTX cards, along with AMD’s Radeon HD 5000 series and newer ones. But you are not that lucky if you have an older card. In this case, you will only be limited to the PCI-Express x16 slot. Again, you can find room for a dual-width full-length card in it.
The Graphics Amplifier connects to the laptop with a proprietary cable, a combination of PCI and USB.
Apart from this, its cable, which is a braided sheather dual cable, contains a latch and release mechanism, along with a push-button. So you can prevent unplugging it while not using it with the help of such a cable.
Additionally, it is not advisable to plug in an amplifier in your laptop when powered on, as it might adversely affect the laptop via some exceptions or fatal errors. These similar errors appear when you remove GPU from your laptop or PC. When connected via cable, it replaces the internal GPU, providing good graphics as per your requirement.
As it will run as part of your system, no need to connect the card before you have turned your laptop on or after unplugging it from the power. You can even use software like Alienware’s Alien Adrenaline software, which is easy to trigger graphics amplifiers. To allow safe removal, in both the above case, the system will shut down.
Apart from this, you can even connect the laptop to an external monitor with a graphics amplifier’s help. For a higher resolution display, it takes advantage of the desktop graphics card. Moreover, with the help of its built-in, four-port USB hub, desktop dock along with the Graphics Amplifier can work significantly, and you can even connect the keyboard and mouse to the hard disk and other external storage of your system.
Installing A Card in The Graphics Alienware Graphics Amplifier
To get access to the internal board, you can use the latch available on your system’s back panel like a PCI-Express x16 single slot. Then you will need to unscrew and remove the Two metal fillers cover to clear the slot available empty in your GPU port.
You can now set up your new card into the PCIe slot available in the back panel. Make sure to retie the card with the help of some screws. At last, connect it with the power by plugging your system in a 6+2 pin connector. Now, close the housing after plugging the amplifier on the Alienware of your laptop, and again start the system. The amplifier will start as soon as you connect it to the laptop.
I hope you will now understand this simple process of installing Alienware in your system. But even this straightforward process has a few bumps. First of all, the amplifier might snag or refuse to open. Even though prying can help a little bit in this case, it didn’t work necessarily all the time.
Then, you can sometimes find the start guide a little misleading instead of explaining the installation process. You can either find a detailed user guide online. Still, some users will try to tackle this problem on their own instead of heading towards the internet.
After reviewing Alienware 15, we have concluded that as per the frame rates in games, 38 frames per second is worth playing, while nothing can match with the clarity of 44 frames per second.
But, after attaching an amplifier in a similar system, you can even achieve a score of up to 72 fps after jumping from 68 frames per second. Additionally, it is not surprising, but you can notice the significant difference when using desktops over laptops while playing games. The more space and power in the laptop and lesser thermal limitations, you will get a better graphical gaming performance.
Now that we are at the end of our article, the answer to whether we can use an Alienware graphics amplifier in any laptop is that you can, but only if the Alienware is compatible with your laptop. You can find various versions of Alienware; you have to choose the one most compatible with your device.