Alienware 15 Graphics Card Upgrade from 980M to 1080

Naval_

Commendable
Sep 1, 2016
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Unfortunately, the university I work for has bought me a laptop with the 980M graphics card with the Alienware 15 model. I'm trying to get it returned in order to wait for the 1070/80 ones, however, I'm not sure if I will be able to. If not, I'll need to upgrade to the 1080 as I'll be working with AR/VR stuff. Does anyone know if this is possible and if it will void my warranty?

Thanks!
 

Purpletalon55

Respectable
Apr 2, 2016
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It is going to be quite a wait, not worth it to be honest, you wont see much performance gain maybe 5%. You cannot upgrade laptops unless they are MXM format chips, which are only really availiable in higher end laptops, $1700+ and i think only sagers, falcon northwest, puget systems etc. Reason for not being able to upgrade yours is the fact that the gpu is soldered to the motherboard.
 

Dudeguy65

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Aug 25, 2016
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The performance difference (at least for gaming) from a 980M to a 1080 or even 1070 is significantly more than 5%, and the new Alienware laptops were announced today for an end of September release so they aren't far off at all.



 

Purpletalon55

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Apr 2, 2016
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Okay let me clarify this for you, a 1070 or 1080 mobile gpu will have 4 or 8gb vram, but the limitation is that those chips are still on old slow GDDR5 memory, and have a small 256 bit bus cannot even use all 8gb. All that was changed was memory clock speed which isnt going to impact it enough to feel it. Mobile versions since they said they cannot fit full desktop gpus in laptops like they did with the 980 would be slower than desktop gpus period. Also even if alienware offers the graphics device, its slow and outdated interface would bottleneck the cards hard.
 

Dudeguy65

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Aug 25, 2016
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I'm not a hardware expert, but look at the benchmarks. Across the board the new pascal cards outperform the previous generation by 30-40%. Unless there is a serious conspiracy and false advertising going on here, I don't know where your doubt about the new cards is coming from.



 

John_717

Prominent
Apr 25, 2017
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Bump......

NAVAL did you ever end up making the upgrade?

Also can anyone confirm that the card is soldered to the motherboard?
 

HOkay

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Feb 15, 2011
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Haha, this turned out to be an utterly terrible prediction! The 10-series mobile GPUs are a HUGE step up from the 9-series thanks to the better power efficiency.
The marked answer was right about MXM modules in laptops though - these are unfortunately quite rare, & you rely on the laptop bios supporting the new GPU which is usually very hard to predict! On top of that, Alienware always use custom-shaped GPUs rather than standard MXM so you'll have to buy an Alienware-specific 1070/1080 GPU, if they're even supported.

Did the OP ever make any changes out of interest?
 
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