The Alienware Graphics Amplifier was a rare upgrade option for gaming notebooks in 2014. This means that the proprietary dock port disappears. After Dell announced new Alienware laptops such as the x15 and x17, it was noticed that both devices dispense with the elongated and proprietary dock connector. Alienware Graphics Amplifier (test) could be connected to this in earlier models from the manufacturer.
Dell has now confirmed to The Verge magazine that the product will be discontinued. The manufacturer refers to external Thunderbolt graphics housing, which is currently the most widespread standard for such solutions.
The Alienware Graphics Amplifiers do not integrate their own eGPU. Instead, it is a case into which various desktop graphics cards can be plugged via PCI Express. An I / O hub is also integrated. Four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports can be used. The case supports dual-slot graphics cards and delivers a maximum of 460 watts of power. This is sufficient for all current models from Nvidia and AMD. The case should be easy to open and a GPU upgrade should be possible quickly.
Instead, Thunderbolt eGPUs
However, Dell stopped supporting the product a few months ago. Accordingly, more recent graphics cards, such as Nvidia Ampere or AMD’s RDNA 2, could have problems with it. The product is also no longer being delivered to European contact points. A maximum of remaining stocks will be sold out.
The graphics amplifier was a sensible alternative for customers of an Alienware notebook to upgrade the hardware again. The product was introduced in 2014. At that time, Thunderbolt ports were still rare on Windows PCs, which explains the proprietary bus connector. Since then, the Thunderbolt port eGPU chassis market has grown, but it is still a niche market. Notebooks with Thunderbolt 3 or 4 are already standard.