Graphics Card

By TrenxT ยท 5 replies
Jul 30, 2013
Post New Reply
  1. I currently own the original version of the Alienware M17X. It came with the dual 1 gig 280m cards.
    Due to some games requiring DX 11 I want to know if I can change this Video Cards for a better one that supports DX11. If it can be upgraded, which is the best one? I dont care about the price.

  2. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Here is a list of DX11 Graphics Cards.
    Here is a hierarchy of how Graphics Cards compare.

    Since you have a laptop, upgrades are not as straight forward as with Desktops.
    While I have cracked the case on many laptops for various upgrades and fixes... it is still something that makes me a bit nervous as compared to desktops; to do it without damaging something requires some special tools that are not difficult to find, and a good step-by-step guide for your particular upgrade. I have replaced burned out screens, and have removed keyboards and bezels to access motherboard for processor & fan replacement, as well as swapping out oem hd for new ssd, etc ...

    For your project... upgrading a video card...
    In general, I would think "Probably not advisable" (my opinion, others may differ!)
    a) Not really cost effective, even if you can find the cards... and if you can, they are probably used (refurbished? erm!) and do you really want to take a chance on something someone else is "parting out"? Maybe someone knows of a source for new / guaranteed mobility cards? While Dell does sell various parts for the 17x, video card replacements are not listed on the site. I suspect the dell video cards are proprietary, not third party, but not sure.

    b) Thermal and power concerns for the new cards
    May not be adequately supplied by the old laptop & PSU. Will your laptop be able to dissipate the heat generated? How much more power will the new cards require?

    c) cpu and gpu should be balanced... either could be bottlenecked by the other.
    No point having a more current card if the cpu cannot keep up.
    In your case... this is probably not an issue
    as it appears both the 18x and the 17x generally use the same cpu.

    Here is a report from someone who upgraded their 18x to GTX680 sli.

    Here is another report on the 17x and the 680.

    If money really is no object, why not just step up your Alienware Laptop to the 18x?
    Specs... AM18XR2-10663BK
    SLi ENABLED DUAL (2) 2048MB PCI-Express nVIDIA GTX 680M's (4096MB Total) w/ GDDR5 DX11 Video Cards

    Heads up though: Not all AM18xR2 units are built the same. Some have different processors, (Slower) and some have different cards (some shipped with the GTX660).

    Of course... if you just want to crack the case, do it yourself, and learn,
    well, that's a whole 'nuther story. :)
    Jad Chaar and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. TrenxT

    TrenxT TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Not a techy guy so all of the above is not for me hehehehe.
    Just wanted to know if there was one vid card that could be just installed and thats it.

    Upgrading for me is not an option now. when I upgrade I go for the best one because as you know a system is the maximum today and tomorrow theres another one.. so going for the medium one is not a choice for me.

    When I bought this one It was 5k.. The same price for the 18x at this moment. :/
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Get a desktop, unless you really need to have the laptop for some reason.

    Even then, two desktops with better performance will cost you less than 1x Alienware laptop.
    B00kWyrm likes this.
  5. TechGamer

    TechGamer TS Guru Posts: 370   +40

    to be honest u never go for brands like alienware I built a gaming pc with 1000 euros and it maxes out everything I throw at it and its not even as near as u could of gone with 5k $ thats insane u could of atleast built 2 desktop gaming pcs with that amount of money
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    If you want to upgrade the video card in an Alienware, it's Sortta possible. The problem is alienwares tend to be out of the few laptops that are upgradable, the hardest.

    From what I have read, the highest option for that computer is 5870m cfx. There is the option of dual 285's, but that won't be much of an improvement. After reading the talk and reviews, that will be your best buy because sit will offer a nice performance increase and will work. I was read those forums and links/vids first before deciding.

    Hope that helps!

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...