You can get some pretty decent gaming laptops these days but they’ll never be able to quite compete with a fully fledged desktop system, which is why Alienware has decided to launch a new desktop graphics card adapter for those who choose to game on a desktop replacement laptop.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an external graphics adapter for laptops but they are usually only seen at trade shows as prototype models rather can consumer products. The ‘Graphics Amplifier’ from Alienware will cost $300, it’s essentially a large cage for your desktop GPU. The amplifier hooks up to the Alienware 13, the company’s latest laptop to release. Users will have to buy a desktop GPU separately, making this a pretty expensive upgrade for most.
The amplifier is designed to only support two slot GPUs, although height and length won’t be a problem when it comes to AMD or Nvidia’s latest solutions. With the amplifier, you’ll be able to connect a few external displays as well, just in-case that one 13 inch laptop screen isn’t enough for you.
The Alienware 13 starts at $1000 and comes with a 720p screen, although you can step up to 1080p or 1440p models. If you were planning on doing this graphics upgrade your best bet would probably be sticking to the base model and picking up a nice external 1080p monitor to hook up to your graphics amplifier.
While the Alienware 13 is the only supported laptop for now, future models will be supported eventually. The GPU enclosure comes with its own power supply, so you’ll have another power lead to plug in to the wall, not much is known about the cooling inside but there seems to be plenty of ventilation for non-blower style coolers.
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KitGuru Says: Honestly, $300 seems a bit steep for a GPU enclosure, especially if you factor in the external monitor and the desktop class GPU itself that you’ll need to make the most out of it. It is also limited to just one of Alienware’s current models. What do you guys think of this? Are desktop GPU enclosures for desktop replacement laptop systems a good idea? It doesn’t seem too bad if you have the money but most will probably opt to built their own systems.