Laptops promise the freedom to take your computing with you but the price you have to pay is in performance. There are powerful laptops, of course, but you are mostly stuck with what you bought, save for upgrading storage or RAM. Laptop CPUs are impossible to upgrade but GPUs may soon be set free if these GPU upgrade kits for the Alienware Area-51m becomes a catchy trend on other laptops and brands.
It is actually less impressive than it sounds. The two upgrade kits for Dell’s early 2019 Alienware laptops do allow owners to upgrade to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 or RTX 2080 but it’s only limited to this particular model. That’s because the Alienware Area-51m already offered configurations with those GPUs so this basically makes it an upgrade for those who opted for the lowest configuration.
Still, the idea of upgrading a laptop’s GPU is novel enough to pique computer enthusiasts’ curiosity. This magic is made possible thanks to Dell’s proprietary Graphics Form Factor, which practically limits this enticing feature to Dell’s laptops. No other Dell product, has this fancy new tech, however, so the Area-51m will be its litmus test.
The GPU Upgrade Kits come with more than just the RTX graphics cards. There’s a new Cryo-Tech 2.0 Thermal Module designed to handle the added heat the setup will now generate. There’s even a new power adapter because a more powerful GPU will also need more power.
The Alienware Area-51m GPU Upgrade Kits will cost $1,038.99 for the RTX 2070 kit and $1,638.99 for the RTX 2080. That’s definitely a heavy price to pay for such a niche feature and Dell knows it, offering a time-limited introductory discount that brings the prices down to $699.99 and $999.99, respectively. And because it also knows that not all owners will be comfortable prying open their laptops, each purchase comes with an offer for a technician to come over and do the work for them.