Alienware Graphics Amplifier: the ideal playmate of the laptop?

With Graphics Amplifier, Alienware offers a solution that is designed to provide mobile computers the same power as their desktop counterparts, with an external graphics card. The ideal solution to support mobile? Not sure...

laptop and game are two difficult world to mingle. For in such a compact chassis that such a computer, even a 17-inch rather cumbersome, it remains difficult to place the same components as in a desktop enclosure.

The reason is simple: the heat generated by these chips (CPU as the GPU) is too important to be discharged, even with ventilation and thus noise, very important.

Consequent frequency reduction phenomena and other security updates that inevitably lower the level of performance.

NVIDIA, with its latest generation of GPU Maxwell has shown class GPUs desktop in notebooks, but this progress is still well shy (see NVIDIA GTX 980, now in portable).

The best way to bring graphics horsepower gain at a mobile computer is to go through an external solution.

Graphics Amplifier
The idea of ​​deporting a powerful GPU does not date from yesterday. Some are well tried it in 2011 - Sony Vaio Z or with the Gigabyte M2432 with - never to return. Several manufacturers have also developed Thunderbolt boxes, but have not marketed the Intel prohibiting this use.

It was not until this year that an actor like Alienware, specialized in equipment for a player, put his two cents in this story. With Graphics Amplifier, the brand with the alien has the ambition to make you "play without compromise." With success ? Our test.

A not very discreet package


The Graphics Amplifier is an external housing with dimensions of surprised us when we discovered the product. Measuring 17 cm high, 19 wide and almost 41 deep, it will not go unnoticed if you decide to install it on your desktop. And with its 3.5 kg, it is one and a half times heavier than the Alienware 13, for example.

Alienware Graphics AmplifierAlienware Graphics Amplifier
Apart from its generous dimensions, making the Graphics Amplifier anything but discreet, it is the breakdown he embarks. For cooling the graphics card installed in the housing, Alienware provided a fan at the front. The idea is not meaningless, but we would have liked the speed of the fan is modulated by the load on the graphics card.

Alienware Graphics Amplifier
Instead, it runs continuously and at the same speed. Computer 90s ... Inevitably, noise is continuous and clearly present: the housing is significantly more noise, most of the time, the card it houses.

This noise, one should not, however, food provided by Dell to provide the graphics card power it needs. This block is in fact known to be forgotten, much better than the fan that occupies the opposite side of the housing. With an output of 460 W, it does not, however to feed the cards whose consumption does not exceed 375 W. This, with modern maps, is not really limiting, especially as this power has two connectors 6 + 2-pin, enabling it to deal with any eventuality.

Alienware Graphics AmplifierAlienware Graphics Amplifier
This block is also responsible for supplying the hub four USB 3.0 ports located at the rear of the housing. A good idea if you want to connect a keyboard, mouse or other peripherals.

Alienware Graphics Amplifier Next page > Edited on 30/12/2015 at 4:18 p.m.