Jump to content
EwinRacing Flash Series Gaming Chairs
mnrc

$300 Alienware Graphics Amplifier [Discussion]

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

This guy has started popping up around tech sites, and I thought it's interesting that another mainstream manufacturer has released an eGPU solution!

This box is a compact solution that includes the PSU and enough space for any graphics card. Build quality seems average, but good enough compared to the frankenbuilds we've been making.

Now I know that it uses a proprietary connector like the Vaio Z, but it appears to be some kind of PCIe connection. I'm curious as to whether this is Thunderbolt with a different connector, like they did with the Z. If so, could it be modified to fit a standard Thunderbolt cable?

Another possibility is that it's on the market because Dell did not go have to seek Intel's approval because this is not Thunderbolt at all. Who knows, one may hope.

Here's some pics and a link to one of many articles out there for those interested.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/8653/alienware-graphics-amplifier (added AnandTech link)

Hands on: Alienware graphics amplifier | Digital Trends

post-28471-14494998627036_thumb.jpg

post-28471-14494998626847_thumb.jpg

  • Thumbs Up 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is nice to see that a PC manufacturer is building such an enclosure. I'm interesed in the PCIe connector that Dell is using. It would be nice to use a PCIe cable with a standard PCIe 16x connector at one end and a Dell compatible connector at the other end. This way you could use two enclosures: one for PCIe to Thunderbolt (e.g. AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box) one for the graphics card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and not a single one of them has a GPU-Z screenshot?

Because these websites all have in common the fact that they pretend to be tech websites ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this too. What are the chances this interfaces with MXM instead of thunderbolt? Alienware have used SLI mobile chips before, I dont know if that means their Mobo have 2x MXM slots. Maybe one is used for external and the other for the 860m? It will be interesting to see if they can use the external for graphics and internal for PhysX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several sites are saying it uses a x16 physical slot wired up as x4 3.0 (32Gbps). Thats only double Thunderbolt2's 16Gbps contained in a proprietory Alienware 13 specific device.

Compare TB2 enclosures that can be attached to any Thunderbolt equipped notebook.

Plus 32Gbps TB3 will be releases with the 2015 Skylake platform.

Thunderbolt obviously being a better interface for eGPU connectivity. Just need Intel to allow it: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/8130-why-intel-not-allowing-thunderbolt-egpus-ideas-inside.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Tech Inferno Fan

I think they need to think of alloting royalty fees to you as the founder of this movement sir!

Wow it's like an established scene now for the eGPU segment..

US (techinferno DIY peeps), MSI GS30 Shadow, Dell Alienware 13, Asus (XG station 2), etc...

this is getting pretty much exciting everyday!

I hope Intel Skylake will be able to augment this movement more in the future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems very powerful. If they manage to get PCIe x16 across their cable… wow.

But gaming on the laptop screen should be only possible with Nvidia GPUs, right? No Optimus like feature with AMD cards I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice I think our gig is going mainstream now eh?

Thanks to Tech Inferno Fan and the rest who started this movement!

But its too pricey! Love the idea!

But still I am going to build a mini itx gaming pc at that price point (alienware 13+gaming amplifier)

which I tried to configure and reached up to $2400!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like their idea, but why can't just make PCI-E port on the laptop and plug a graphics on it? like a docking station, but PCI-E as connector

So if you have your laptop hooked up with that giant eGPU, and then may be connect a 4K monitor, then what's the main difference from desktop?

I was going to work on eGPU project, but I quit just because I found its much cheaper to build a small desktop and buy a cheap laptop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like their idea, but why can't just make PCI-E port on the laptop and plug a graphics on it? like a docking station, but PCI-E as connector

So if you have your laptop hooked up with that giant eGPU, and then may be connect a 4K monitor, then what's the main difference from desktop?

I was going to work on eGPU project, but I quit just because I found its much cheaper to build a small desktop and buy a cheap laptop.

The whole idea is having one system instead of two separate computers. You would leave your e-gpu enclosure and monitor at home, bringing your laptop to work, school, etc. When you arrived home, you plug it in and your thing laptop all of a sudden turns into a graphics powerhouse.

The price still needs to come down for this to make sense, but it is slowly getting there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The whole idea is having one system instead of two separate computers. You would leave your e-gpu enclosure and monitor at home, bringing your laptop to work, school, etc. When you arrived home, you plug it in and your thing laptop all of a sudden turns into a graphics powerhouse.

What this guy said.

When it comes to working, having multiple machines is a bit of a drag. I want the portability of a Macbook Pro etc, but when it comes to 3D applications, I want more power than any mobile GPU can offer in a lightweight and compact solution.

If Apple was offering this as a solution for a similar price, I would be all over it.

To be honest, it's disappointing to see that it looks like they've just used a normal size PSU in the box, given there are plenty of power supplies designed for servers which fit in a 1U enclosure. As for size, ultimately I want something that I can put in a carry-on bag when travelling. Early days I know... and good on them at least for brining a product to market!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only that, also you can design a cooler (and cheaper) laptop if you know that heavy 3D apps will ran in a external GPU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also can't wait, But why are they using this setup? A laptop should be portable in my opinion.

It is nice though, people don't need an extra PC now to play very high demanding games but I think that the only suitable setup would be in your own home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I'll just keep on hoping that a mainstream manufacturer will release something like this without a proprietary cable someday. I've been wanting to get an ultrabay 750m for my y400, but apparently they don't sell those in India :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I almost bit the bullet to order the things I need for Akitio EGPU setup this weekend, then I saw Alienware 13. I find 300$ a fair price for the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. So I went to the DELL site wanting to order that... but..

Alienware 13 only comes with i5-4210U!! 15Watt LV Dual Core CPU. I would assume the CPU right now is the bottleneck, it wont be able to keep up the GPU. So the whole setup seems flawed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I almost bit the bullet to order the things I need for Akitio EGPU setup this weekend, then I saw Alienware 13. I find 300$ a fair price for the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. So I went to the DELL site wanting to order that... but..

Alienware 13 only comes with i5-4210U!! 15Watt LV Dual Core CPU. I would assume the CPU right now is the bottleneck, it wont be able to keep up the GPU. So the whole setup seems flawed.

Alienware 13 is flawed because of the overly chunky chassis, the lacklustre CPU, the x4 3.0 proprietory eGPU link and the ridiculous price for it all. The thing is preformance redundant even before it's arrived to it's customer.

It makes more sense to get a 13"/15" Macbook Pro along with a AKiTiO Thunder2 TB2 eGPU (x4 2.0). Such TB2 eGPU adapter can then be plugged into any TB/TB2 equipped notebook.

I'm waiting to see if the 13" MSI GS30 has a better implementation than the Alienware 13. Some prelim info suggests it uses a x16 link. Also keeping my eyes open to see if there will be a refreshed 14" HP ZBook G2. The thing would be awesome if they give it a TB2 port, 35W i7-quad CPU, PCIe SSD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm waiting to see if the 13" MSI GS30 has a better implementation than the Alienware 13. Some prelim info suggests it uses a x16 link. Also keeping my eyes open to see if there will be a refreshed 14" HP ZBook G2. The thing would be awesome if they give it a TB2 port, 35W i7-quad CPU, PCIe SSD.

post-30843-14494998676707_thumb.png

yes who needs TB2 if you have this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[ATTACH=CONFIG]13019[/ATTACH]

yes who needs TB2 if you have this.

Hope so. PCIe requires 4 wires per lane. x16 requires 64 signalling wires, x4 only needs 16. Means x16 requires a substantially larger eGPU docking connector. Worth noting that Haswell HP DV6/DV7 notebooks are using x4 3.0 electrical links for their internal dGPUs. Talk about cost cutting and adding of not so obvious performance redundancy.

It's yet to be seen what sort of CPU they put in the GS30. If it's a ULV then it's a fail. Needs at least a 35W i7-quad to have gaming cred. If the machine is overly chunky then it too will detract buyers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Alienware just signs the death warrant to MXM upgrade to all 'previous gen' laptops. Another excuse to move on to on-board/soldered graphic cards.

  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.