Should i buy an Alienware Graphics Amplifier or Build a New Desktop?

Hello folks!
i have an Alienware 17 R2 that i bought 2 years ago.
i'm not sure if it worth to buy an Graphics Amplifier to put an Nvidia GTX 1080 ti or instead of that should i spend that money on maybe start buying the components for building a new desktop.
P.S.: I'm gonna to have to buy the graphic card 1080 ti as well. xD

sell me the laptop for 100usd i need a laptop lol

If you go with a desktop setup, it'll obviously cost a good amount more. I think it really depends on your use case, considering that the amplifier is $170 while a complete desktop setup is going to be a bit more than that.

Do also take into consideration that external GPU docks do not provide the full power of the card used within.

There is a 20 - 30% drop in expected performance when used through a dock. So your 1080ti will be much closer to a 1080 stock when used in this way.

The upside is you can use it now with you laptop and work.toward building a desktop and then drop the 1080ti into that when done.


Not even a 1080 gets used to its full potential. Jayztwocents did some benchmarks a while ago with the Asus ROG dock.

There's also a second video where he uses an external monitor, but the gain isn't all that much.

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Came in here just to link that video. OP please if you get the amplifier, don't waste on a GTX1080 unless the desktop you build, you'll use it for later, and get a different card for the amplifier for a portable gaming setup.

Depends on how much you travel and how much you game on these different locations. If you don't really intend to game someplace else - or if you are fine with the capabilities your alienware has to offer - I'd suggest building a desktop system.

I know. That % drop is on all cards. I was just pointing out that a 1080ti is about 20-30% faster than a 1080, so a ti in the dock will knock it back down to about 1080 levels.

If you put a 1080 in it will get knocked down 20 odd % too. What ever card you put in gets reduced performance.

I wonder if there is a saturation point though, if you go with a slow enough card will you get full performance out of it because it is just not saturating the connection, or is it just a built in reduction due to the connection path to the CPU.

As I understand it's a bit of both. Thunderbolt just doesn't have the same amount of bandwidth as PCIe 3x16 (though current cards don't use all that bandwidth either), and additionally to that you have CPU overhead.

A 1080Ti would be knocked down way below 1080 level when a 1080 is throttled already.

What GPU does your notebook have atm? Considering all the mentioned drawbacks of an external GPU a new system might be the better solution...