|

Help Me Choose

Help Me Choose: Video Cards

Whether you’re gaming, watching DVDs or editing video on your Alienware™ laptop, the quality of the graphics you experience is only as good as your video card. Along with the computer monitor itself, the video card determines the number of colors that can be displayed, as well as the contrast, resolution and overall gaming graphics.

How Video Cards Work
Discrete video cards can provide better performance as compared to integrated video cards. Discrete video cards are separate from the motherboard and include a specialized graphics processing unit (GPU). Because of their onboard GPU, discrete video cards don’t have to share the CPU with other programs.

Discrete video cards include memory of their own, measured in gigabytes (GB). Graphics memory is used by the GPU to accelerate graphics performance, store textures using game graphics, and make gaming, movies and other entertainment intensely realistic. High-performance graphics cards require a significant amount of graphics memory.

How to Get the Highest Performance
In Alienware PCs, two or more video cards can be linked together to boost total gaming performance. NVIDIA® video cards use a technology called Scalable Link Interface (SLI™) to enable two or more cards to work together when processing graphics data. Naturally, having two video cards working together to render graphics increases the available frame rate and provides more depth and detail. With the added horsepower of dual graphics cards, you can use higher resolution displays and enjoy high-definition (HD) gaming without sacrificing graphics performance.

 
System AvailableAlienware 18  Alienware 17 Alienware 17 & Alienware 14Alienware 14 
Graphics OptionDual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780M (SLI)Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M (SLI) Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M (SLI)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780MNVIDIA GeForce GTX 770MAMD Radeon™ R9 290X NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765MNVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
NVIDIA CUDA™ Cores 1536 x 2960 x 2768 x 21536960 NA768384
Graphics Clock (MHz)Up to 823Up to 811Up to 850Up to 823Up to 8111280
850Mhz (Up to 900Mhz with Boost) 
Up to 850Up to 1,020
Texture Fill Rate (billions/sec)105.3k x 264.9k x 254.4k x 2105.3k64.9k 72 gigatexels/sec.54.4k32.6k
Memory Clock (MH)250020002000250020001200 2000 2500
Standard Memory ConfigurationGDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5 GDDR5GDDR5
Memory Interface Width256 bit192 bit128 bit256 bit192 bit 256 bit128 bit 128 bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)160 966416096153.6 64 80
AMD Mantle API  No No No NoNo Yes No No 
 AMD Enduro™ TechnologyNo No No  NoNo Yes  NoNo 
NVIDIA® Optimus™ SupportYesYes Yes Yes YesNoYes Yes
NVIDIA FXAA SupportYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
NVIDIA TXAA SupportYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
(GTX only)
NVIDIA PhysX® capableYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
NVIDIA 3D Vision™/3DTV Play™ supportYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
 AMD HD3D Technology NoNo  No No No Yes No No
Blu-ray 3D supportYesYesYesYesYesYes YesYes
DirectX 11 supportYesYesYesYesYes 11.2YesYes
OpenGL 4.3 supportYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
7.1 channel HD audio on HDMIYesYesYesYesYes YesYesYes
PCI Express 2.0 supportYesYesYesYesYesYes YesYes
PCI Express 3.0 supportYesYesYesYesYesYes YesYes
Alienware 14

  • Using Tomb Raider’s built in benchmark tool, we plugged in an external display with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 to the Alienware 14 and collected the results at High Quality as well as Ultra Quality (for fun).
  • The Alienware 14 provides so much performance that even the Intel Core i5 with NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M combination is capable of producing an average of 41.4 frames per second with HIGH quality settings.
  • Using our highest end configuration and using ULTRA quality settings, the Alienware 14 was capable of producing a playable average of 34.4 frames per second.

Alienware 17

  • Using Bioshock’s built in benchmark tool, we plugged in an external display with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 to the Alienware 17 and collected the results at High Quality as well as Ultra Quality (for fun).
  • Experience Bioshock Infinite at up to 97.7 frames per second using MEDIUM settings at a 1920 x 1200 resolution with our base CPU and GPU configuration.
  • Using our highest end configuration and using
    • ULTRA quality settings, the Alienware 17 produced an average 95.51 frames per second.
    • Medium quality settings, the Alienware 17 produced an average 185.53 frames per second.