Alienware Replacement Graphics Card???


Jan 13, 2013
Hey guys i'm new to this website but I've been having this problem for a while:
My Graphics card on my Alienware area-51 M17x have been dying and this weekend they completely went out with red lines of death and everything. So i took them out to see what was going on and i couldn't really get the actual card off of the heat sink/fan with the effort i made i'm not really sure how to do this. Also i was wondering if i can't remove the card then what would i do to replace the graphics card i don't have a warranty anymore b/c its been more than 3 years i got it in 2009. My graphics cards currently are the dual 9800gtm sli. If any of you have some tips/feedback anything would be greatly appreciated for my situation. :)


Nov 29, 2012

Read notebookreview very carefully to determine what cards will fit in your laptop. Note that (based on my cursory search) the Alienware naming scheme is a little confusing: An area-51 m17x is apparently a very different beast from an "All Powerful" m17x, and there may be another similarly named model in there to confuse the issue.

Ebay might have a capable part for a decent price available, but be very sure. Your laptop uses, as far as I can tell, an MXM 2.1 socket, and its BIOS will likely only accept two or three different 2.1-compliant cards.

Upgrading laptop hardware is always a little iffy even if you know what you're doing. For what it's worth, I have a similar laptop to yours (Clevo m570RU, which used the 8800m GTX instead of the 9800m GT), and when my card inevitably died for the second time (!!) just a few months ago, I found that replacing the video card (and I only had one) would cost more than building a new, more powerful desktop computer from scratch.

Why? Because laptop components get more expensive as they age, not less; unlike desktops, laptops can only take a very limited range of components, and so as time passes, supply dwindles because manufacturers stop making the components in question, but demand remains high because owners of a given laptop model will continue to need replacements. By contrast, when supply dwindles on a given desktop component, desktop consumers can (usually) swap in a newer, less expensive part with minimal fuss.

Not good news, I know, but read up on notebookreview. Maybe you'll get lucky. The high-end nVidia mobile graphics' cards from 2008-2009 were notorious for bad soldering (which inevitably fails due to thermal exhaustion), so people like you and me got screwed. The upside is that highly-capable laptop graphics' solutions are getting more heat efficient every day, so with any luck we won't have to repeat the experience again.

If you're feeling really adventurous, you could try the infamous baking method to reflow the soldering on your card's PCB. It ain't my style, but if you feel you have nothing to lose, you might give it a shot: