*OFFICIAL* Alienware "Graphics Amplifier" Owner's Lounge and Benchmark Thread (All 13, 15 and 17)

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by Mr. Fox, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. illuMinniti

    illuMinniti Notebook Evangelist

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    Interesting. Is that just a feature with laptops due to storage limitations or does that apply to a desktop motherboard M.2 2280 slot as well?
     
  2. cookinwitdiesel

    cookinwitdiesel Retired Bencher

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    It is 100% up to the motherboard designer. In this case, the 16 lanes from the CPU are 8x dGPU, 4x ThunderBolt, 4x AGA so there were none left for storage devices. Realistically this is not an issue since storage is a pretty low priority operation that can be done as a best effort operation in the background. Rarely will this impact user experience in a meaningful way.

    This is actually the ideal configuration for ThunderBolt performance. The most annoying thing to me is that the AGA does not share lanes with the dGPU through a switch, so when the AGA is plugged in, 8x lanes are just wasted since the dGPU is disabled.
     
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  3. illuMinniti

    illuMinniti Notebook Evangelist

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    I see. I'm not surprised but I've also never heard about all that. Learned something new, thank you
     
  4. cptchu

    cptchu Newbie

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    Just bought a new Zotac 1070Ti Amp! Edition for around $350!
    I wanted to report my success installing the card with it booting up immediately, albeit the Nvidia drivers were missing for some reason.

    To summarize the past 330 pages that I've combed to see what cards would or would not fit as I'm sure it'd benefit someone:
    General idea for a "perfect" fit with the lid closing:
    - <10.5" in length, 2-slot width, and <5.0" height

    My card: 2 slot, 11.8" L x 5.83" H, 1.71" width
    I can confirm that the 11.8" card fits and doesn't bump into the hinge, and, sticking a tape measure in there, I'm sure cards up to 12 and 13" would fit comfortably too.

    My lid does not close completely, and I'm okay with that. I keep it propped up so some of the cables are hidden, but the two fans on my 1070Ti (& lighting) are exposed. This reduces temperatures with the standard curve by about 6 degrees (66-67C to 59-60C. This has yielded higher clocks (+25-30mhz) courtesy of GPU Boost 3.0.

    I am not noticing any bottlenecking with my i7-6700T (I run an Alienware Alpha R2) nor the typical loss of 5% by using the Amp.
    - Userbenchmark score of 114%, 28th percentile out of the box (average is 115%) and OCing with Firestorm to 124%, 93rd percentile with 160 core offset + 500mhz memory.

    AGA mods: following the direction of some other posters here, I stuck a Noctua NF-B9 replacing the loud fan. I've noticed that this is louder than my 1070Ti's dual fans at 60%. Oh well!
    Kept the current PSU - seems to be reliable for now.

    Overall very happy. I hope the details of this post helps someone, especially someone who's not sure if their target card will fit!

    https://imgur.com/a/6SQoxXk

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Izekael

    Izekael Notebook Geek

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    I need some help with my aga. I have a evga 1080 ftw and a 700wat ps. I am just getting a white screen and device manager says the 1080 is stopped.
    when I boot to bios everything works properly.
     
  6. londere

    londere Notebook Enthusiast

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    The question in fact is anyone know if its possible to use cuda with a high end graphics on the amplifier and linux?

    The facing problem is: i don't have money to build and exotic high end desktop either to buy a high end laptop.

    Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Tapatalk
     
  7. cookinwitdiesel

    cookinwitdiesel Retired Bencher

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    As far as the OS knows it is just a GPU connected over PCIe x4 same as if it was internal off the motherboard. Should be fine for CUDA use. I am not sure if the Alienware software is actually needed though for the AGA to function properly, that software is windows only.
     
  8. dsmrunnah

    dsmrunnah Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you for running these test! I'm trying to figure out the most modular way for both my girlfriends XPS13 and my 17 R4 to hook into my new AW3418DW monitor. Unfortunately her little XPS13 doesn't have the power to push the full 3440x1440 very smoothly, at least when she starts getting into content editing.

    I've been looking at the AORUS 1080 Box, primarily because of cost, but it doesn't allow for changing the GPU. That leads to me to try to find something similar to the core where I could swap cards between the core (for her PC) and the AGA (for mine). Seems like a lot of work, but also seems like the best option giving our situation. Might just need to build a desktop for the house lol.
     
  9. cookinwitdiesel

    cookinwitdiesel Retired Bencher

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    A desktop will probably be the best long term solution with the best user experience. My experience with a TB3 eGPU on my AW 15 was NOT good. Still need some wrinkles ironed out and I see zero incentive for Alienware to undergo that work as they have and push the AGA currently.
     
  10. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Virtuoso

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    As far as I kn
    It only works correctly when you uninstall the AGA software.
     
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