Alienware has just released a device that will allow users to use a desktop-grade GPU on a laptop. Aptly named the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, Alienware hopes that this device will close the gap between desktop-grade gaming graphics and laptop-grade gaming graphics. The amplifier will be released alongside the Alienware 13, Alienware’s latest gaming laptop.
The US$300 (RM983.25) graphics amplifier is meant to be positioned on the user’s desk to provide that extra GPU boost if users find that the Alienware 13’s GPU doesn’t cut it. There’s a catch, however: the amplifier uses a proprietary PCI-Express based cable and is currently only compatible with the Alienware 13.
The amplifier does its job by offloading the graphics processing on the laptop to the GPU that is housed in the amplifier. The amplifier comes with an integrated 375-watt power supply that is capable of powering many recent graphics cards in recent memory as well as up to four peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard or an external hard disk drive through the four USB ports.
In terms of graphics card compatibility, the amplifier will gladly accommodate graphics cards that use a single full-length, dual-width PCI-Express x16 desktop graphics card. This means that graphics cards such as the recent Nvidia GTX 960 or an AMD Radeon r9 280x would fit right into the chassis of the amplifier.
Although this seems to be a great way to incentivise the purchase of an Alienware 13, the asking price of US$300(RM983.25) for the amplifier before factoring in the cost of a desktop-grade graphics card would probably scare some users off.
At this point in time, no news has surfaced regarding the availability in the Malaysian market.