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 and Area-51, NVIDIA® and AMD® video cards use a technology called Scalable Link Interface (SLI™) or CrossFire™ to enable two or three cards to work together when processing graphics data. Naturally, having two or three 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.

Compare

Available Configurations Single Graphics Card Options Dual Graphics Card Options Triple Graphics Card Options
Desktop Graphics  NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 745
AMD Radeon™
R9 370
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 950
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 960
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 970
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 1070
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 1080
 
NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980Ti
 
AMD Radeon™ R9 FURY X NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX TITAN X
 
Dual AMD Radeon™
R9 370
 
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 950
 
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 960
 
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 970
 
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 1070
 
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 980
 
DUAL NVIDIA®
GeForce® GTX 1080
 
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

 -

 Alienware X51

 - - - - -
 -

Aurora

 Aurora

 Aurora

 - -
 -

Area-51

 Area-51

 Area-51

Dedicated Graphics Memory

 4GB DDR3

 4GB GDDR5

 2 GB GDDR5

 2GB GDDR5

 4GB GDDR5

 8 GB GDDR5

 4GB GDDR5

 8 GB GDDR5X

 6GB GDDR5

 4GB HBM

 12GB GDDR5

 8GB GDDR5
(2 x 4GB)

 4GB GDDR5
(2 x 2GB)

 4GB GDDR5
(2 x 2GB)

 8GB GDDR5
(2 x 4GB)

 16GB GDDR5
(2 x 8GB)

 8GB GDDR5
(2 x 4GB)

 16GB GDDR5X
(2 x 8GB)

 12GB GDDR5
(2x6GB)

 24GB GDDR5
(2x12GB)

 12GB GDDR5
(3 x 4GB)

 12GB GDDR5
(3 x 4GB)

 12GB GDDR5
(3x6GB)

 36GB GDDR5
(3x12GB)

 Width

 Single Slot

 Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot
 Approximate Wattage <75W 150W 90 W 120W145W  150W180W 180W 250W  250W 300W (2 x 150W)  90W240W (2 x 120W) 290W (2 x 145W)  150W360W (2 x 180W) 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) 1033 975 1024 1127 1050 1506 1126 1607 1000 up to 1050 1000 975 1024 1127 1050 1506 1126 1607 1000 1000 1050 1126 1000 1000
 NVIDIA CUDA™ Cores 384 N/A 768 1024 1664 1920 2048 2560 2816 N/A 3072 N/A 768 1024 1664 1920 2048 2560 2816 3072 1664 2048 2816 3072
 API's supported DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, Mantle DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2, Mantle DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, Mantle DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2
 Maximum Resolution 2560x1600 DVI 2650x1600 DP 4096x2160@60Hz
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
 7680x4320@60Hz
DP
 4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
 7680x4320@60Hz
DP
 4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
 4096 X 2160 DP 4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
 2650x1600 DP 4096x2160@60Hz
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
 7680x4320@60Hz
DP
 4096 X 2160 X 24 bpp @ 60
single DP
5120x3200
dual DP
 7680x4320@60Hz
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
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
 3840 X 2160 @ 30
4096 x 2160 @ 24 HDMI
1920x1080 HDMI4096x2160@60Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096x2160@60Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096x2160@60Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 X 2160 HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 1920x1080 HDMI 4096x2160@60Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096x2160@60Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096x2160@60Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI 4096 × 2160 × 24 bpp @ 60 Hz HDMI
 2048x1536 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) N/A 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)
 HDMI Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 HDCP Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 I/O ports DL DVI-D+HDMI+VGA Stacked Dual Link DVI (DVI-I, DVI-D), One HDMI, One DisplayPort Dual 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 1.2 DVI-D,
3x DisplayPort 1.3, HDMI 2.0
 S tacked Dual Link DVI (DVI-I, DVI-D), One HDMI, One DisplayPort DVI-D,
3x DisplayPort 1.3, HDMI 2.0
 Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 HDMI, 3xDisplayPort 1.2 Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 Stacked Dual Link DVI (DVI-I, DVI-D), One HDMI, One DisplayPort per card Dual Link DVI-I,
HDMI 2.0,
3x DisplayPort 1.2
 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 card DVI-D,
3x DisplayPort 1.3, HDMI 2.0
 Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2 per card DVI-D,
3x DisplayPort 1.3, HDMI 2.0
 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 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 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 card