Help Me Choose: Video Cards

Whether you’re gaming, watching DVDs or editing video on your Alienware desktop, 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 Aurora™, NVIDIA® video cards use a technology called Scalable Link Interface (SLI™) to enable two 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.
Available ConfigurationsSingle Graphics Card OptionsDual Graphics Card OptionsTriple Graphics Card Options
Desktop GraphicsNVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 745
AMD Radeon™
R9 370
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 960
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 970
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980Ti
AMD Radeon™ R9 FURY XNVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX TITAN X
Dual AMD Radeon™
R9 370
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 960
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 970
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980Ti
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX TITAN X
 DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 970
TRIPLE NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980
TRIPLE NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980Ti
TRIPLE NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX TITAN X
Available On:

Alienware X51

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 Area 51

Area 51 Area 51 
Discrete Memory4GB DDR34G GDDR52G GDDR54G GDDR54G GDDR56 GDDR5 4GB HBM12 GDDR5 8GB GDDR5
(2 x 4GB)
4GB GDDR5
(2 x 2GB)
8GB GDDR5
(2 x 4GB)
8GB GDDR5
(2 x 4GB)
12 GDDR5
(2x6GB)
24 GDDR5
(2x12GB)
 12GB GDDR5
(3 x 4GB)
12GB GDDR5
(3 x 4GB)
12 GDDR5
(3x6GB)
36 GDDR5
(3x12GB)
Width    Single SlotDual SlotDual SlotDual SlotDual SlotDual Slot Dual SlotDual Slot Dual SlotDual SlotDual SlotDual SlotDual SlotDual Slot Dual SlotDual Slot Dual SlotDual Slot
Approximate Wattage<75W150W120W145W    180W250W -250 W 300W (2 x 150W)240W (2 x 120W)290W (2 x 145W)360W (2 x 180W)500W (2 x 250W)500W (2 x 250W) 435W (3 x 145W)540W (3 x 180W)750W (3 x 250W)750W (3 x 250W)
Controller Speed/Graphics Clock (MHz)1033MHz975MHz1127 Mhz1050 MHz1126 MHz1000Mhz up to 1050MHz1000 Mhz975MHz1127 Mhz1050 MHz1126 Mhz    1000Mhz1000Mhz 1050Mhz1126Mhz1000Mhz1000Mhz
On Board Memory Speed900MHz1450MHz3500 Mhz3505 MHz3505 MHz3500MHz 500Mhz3500 Mhz 1450MHz3500MHz3505 MHz3505 MHz3500MHz3500MHz 3505 MHz3505 MHz3500MHz3500MHz
On Board Memory Data Width128-bit256-bit128-bit256-bit256-bit384bit -384-bit256-bit128-bit256-bit256-bit384bit384bit 256bit256-bit 384bit384bit
API supportedDirectX 11, OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, MantleDirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL  4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2, MantleDirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, MantleDirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2
Maximum Resolution2560x1600 DVI2650x1600 DP4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
4096x2160x24
 bpp @ 60 single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
4096x2160x24
bpp @ 60 single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
 4096 X 2160 DP4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
2650x1600 DP4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
4096x2160x24
bpp @ 60 single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
4096x2160x24
bpp @ 60 single DP
5120x3200
Dual DP
4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
 4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
3840x2160 @ 30
4096x2160 @ 24
HDMI
1920x1080 HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI4096x2160x24
bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI
4096x2160x24
bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI
4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 X 2160 HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 1920x1080 HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI4096x2160x24 bpp @60 Hz HDMI4096x2160x24 bpp @60 Hz HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI
 2048 x 1536 VGA 2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link) 2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link) -2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link) 2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link) 2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link) 2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)2560x1600 DVI (Dual Link)
DVI Support YesYesyesYesYesYesyes (via Dongle)
Yes YesYesYes YesYesYes Yes YesYesYes
Dual-display CapableYesYesYesYesYesYes YesYes YesYesYes YesYes Yes Yes YesYesYes
HDMI SupportYesYes YesYesYesYes YesYes YesYesYes YesYesYes Yes YesYesYes
HDCP SupportYesYesYesYesYesYes yesYes YesYesYes YesYesYes Yes YesYesYes
VR (Virtual Reality) Ready No No NoYesYesYes -Yes - No Yes Yes YesYes - Yes YesYes
I/O portsDL DVI-D+HDMI+VGA Stacked Dual Link DVI (DVI-I, DVI-D), One HDMI, One DisplayPortDual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2HDMI, 3xDisplayPort 1.2Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 Stacked Dual Link DVI (DVI-I, DVI-D), One HDMI, One DisplayPort per cardDual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per cardDual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per card Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per card Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per cardDual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per cardDual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per cardDual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per card
Dongles

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