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Reviewed: Alienware's Amplifier turbo-boosts a laptop with Titan X graphics

Gordon Mah Ung | April 29, 2015
Alienware's Graphics Amplifier has been described as the Holy Grail of mobile gaming. I think that's going too far. The Holy Grail of laptop gaming would be the ability to upgrade your laptop graphics like a desktop, using off-the-shelf parts.

The asterisk is there because there are clearly limitations with the Amplifier. Despite my trouble-free use of the GeForce GTX 980, my initial GeForce Titan X problem gives me a little pause about future potential driver issues. Oddities like the performance dip when running a monitor off directly off the GPU make me wonder. I'll also point out that the sole 80mm cooling fan is just too loud.

Despite this, there's very little downside if you think about it. Unlike MSI's GS30 Shadow,  which requires you buy into the cabinet from the get-go, you don't have to buy the Amplifier now. Fast-forward a year or three, when you realize the internal graphics no longer cuts the mustard. Just pick up an Amplifier, buy the decent mid-range card of 2020 and rock on. 

The Amplifier really extends the lifespan of an Alienware laptop: You give up on portability, but the alternative is to buy a new one or stop using it for gaming. That's a pretty awesome alternative to have, and pretty big competitive edge over competing laptop designs.

 

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