The company also showed some performance figures for the optional Graphics Amplifier. External notebook graphics have been in works by Nvidia since 2010, and ATI (now AMD) introduced Lasso codenamed external notebook graphics in 2008 too.
Years later, Alienware introduced its own version that uses both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards, called Graphics Amplifier. This is a custom made, external graphics card that will transform your Alienware 13, 15 or 17 R2 to a gaming powerhouse.
The external graphics will fit most of the latest Nvidia Geforce GTX or Radeon R9, cards including PNY XLR8 Geforce GTX 960 with 2GB GDDR5, VisionTek Radeon R9 285 with 2GB GDDR5, PNY XLR8 Geforce GTX 970 with 4GB GDDR5, PNY XLR8 Geforce GTX 980 with 4GB GDDR5, VisionTek Radeon HD R9 290 with 4GB GDDR5 or VisionTek Radeon HD R9 290X with 4GB GDDR5.
These are the cards that the company offers at its website, but you are free to buy and add your own graphics card. This week the company dropped the price of the Graphics Amplifier from the original $299.99 to $174.99, making it much more attractive.
Amazing performance increase for $174.99 + Desktop GPU price
The company recently tested Alienware Graphics Amplifier on the Metra 2033 Redux game and Alienware 15 notebook and showed an amazing performance increase.
The Alienware 15 with Intel i7-4710HQ, Nvidia GTX980M, 16GB DDR3, SSD + HDD combo already scores high at 1080p, and the game would score on average between 35 and 40 FPS. However, once they paired the Alienware 15 with the Alienware Graphics Amplifier and desktop GTX 980 the average FPS increased to an average or 55 to 60+ FPS which is a clear performance leap for mobile gamers. You can check the video at the YouTube link down below for more details.
Alienware also shared some slides from there internal testing where you can see 40 to 120 percent performance increases in 3Dmark 11 or Tomb Raider game on various Alienware notebooks including 13, 14, 15 and 17-inch models. The best part is that the Graphics Amplifier can be upgraded with the next generation graphics cards as long as they come with PCIe interface and fit the power profile.