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Last reply by 04-18-2016 Solved
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Unrecognized device in Alienware Graphics Amplifier (GTX 980 Ti, AW 15 R2 2016)

Hi, everyone.

I have an issue with my Alienware Graphics Amplifier and Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming Windforce, hooked up to my Alienware 15 R2 (Windows 10). I will describe the situation, and then include the product details afterwards.

Please take note that the graphics card does not fit into my AGA, with the Windforce fans making the card too thick for the AGA lid to close properly (it bulges on the side where the card is). I'm operating currently with the AGA lid open. Also, the AGA is not hooked up to any external displays, only to the AW15.

When I run my AW15 without the AGA, everything runs smoothly with the onboard GTX 980M. I can play Rainbow Six Siege (the only game in the rig so far) at max settings. No problems.

When I plug in the AGA + 980Ti and power-up, stuff happens:

  • The entire system (AW15 + AGA + 980Ti) begins powering up. Everything lights up, the AGA fan spins, the Windforce fans spin. It reaches the first screen with the Klipsch branding on it.
  • After a couple of seconds, the entire system shuts off. No lights except for the power brick connector's, and all the fans die down.
  • Another couple of seconds pass, and the entire system powers up again. This time, it continues powering up.
  • It stops at a black screen that prints "Unrecognized device in Alienware Graphics Amplifier. Alienware Graphics Amplifier supports NVIDIA or AMD Graphics cards only. Press any key to continue...".
  • I press any key to continue. I've even let it sit at that screen for about a half-hour, with no difference.
  • The system continues booting normally, and I'm finally at Windows 10 Home.
  • A look at Device Manager recognizes two display devices: the Intel HD Graphics, and the onboard GTX 980M.
  • The AW Command Center indicates that the AGA is connected. It says that External GPU is Off, the Internal GPU is On. I am able to play around with the AGA's light color.
  • The AW15 runs and handles normally with the onboard GTX 980M, just like without the AGA.


I would really appreciate any help in solving or understanding the problem. Thanks a lot for your time. ^_^

Technical Details:

  • Alienware 15 R2, with Intel Core i7-6820HK, Windows 10 Home (64-bit), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5), 16GB RAM (2x8GB), purchased in January 2016 from Dell website.
  • Alienware Graphics Amplifier.
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming Windforce
  • Alienware drivers updated to latest as of 1st Feb 2016, from Dell website.
  • GeForce Driver 361.75 WHQL for Notebooks, from NVIDIA website. Also tested with the same driver for Desktops, with no difference.



=====o=====o=====

Alienware 15 R2 : Intel Core i7-6820HK  |  Windows 10 Home (64-bit)  |  UHD (3840x2160) IGZO IPS Display  |  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5)  |  32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR4 PC4-19200 2400MHz 260-Pin CL16  |  1TB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB SATA 6Gbps (Storage)  |  Killer 1532 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1  |  8-cell Lithium Ion (92 Wh) Battery

Alienware Graphics Amplifier : Stealth Black 9R7XN  |  EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ Gaming ACX 2.0+ (6GB GDDR5)  |  Corsair CX600M ATX Power Supply  |  Noctua NF-A9 FLX 92mm Fan

Replies (10)
503

Hi

Na it doesn't close properly at all, I have to leave it open, but it works great. I've got it sitting under my desk anyway with just the cable coming above the desk, so its out of site.

But ye, to answer your question - no it doesn't fit by a long shot, still works though

3429

Hi,

Does your AGA closed properly with Asus 980Ti 20th Gold Edition? as its length and height is much than requirement. I have seen some guys tried to put the MSI card with 5.5 inch heght and they were unable to close the AGA top cover. The Asus 980Ti 20th Gold Edition as smimilar height. Please advise

3429

RESOLUTION

The replacement card finally got in, and it's the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ ACX 2.0.

Stuck it into the Graphics Amplifier, hooked the GA up to my AW15R2, and voila! Works like a charm! ^_^

I dunno what's up with the GA and the Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming, but they're incompatible. The card was tested to be just fine. :(



=====o=====o=====

Alienware 15 R2 : Intel Core i7-6820HK  |  Windows 10 Home (64-bit)  |  UHD (3840x2160) IGZO IPS Display  |  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5)  |  32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR4 PC4-19200 2400MHz 260-Pin CL16  |  1TB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB SATA 6Gbps (Storage)  |  Killer 1532 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1  |  8-cell Lithium Ion (92 Wh) Battery

Alienware Graphics Amplifier : Stealth Black 9R7XN  |  EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ Gaming ACX 2.0+ (6GB GDDR5)  |  Corsair CX600M ATX Power Supply  |  Noctua NF-A9 FLX 92mm Fan

3429

Congrats!

And yeah, maybe Alienware should make it explicitly clear that their GA only works properly with reference cards, and maybe put a sign that reads "Use third-party/non-reference cards at your own peril!" - which of course would pretty much auto-kill the sales value of the thing.

In any case, did your new card work with the same driver (361.75 Notebook for mine) that you were testing with the earlier card? Just plug and play now?



=====o=====o=====

Alienware 15 R2 : Intel Core i7-6820HK  |  Windows 10 Home (64-bit)  |  UHD (3840x2160) IGZO IPS Display  |  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5)  |  32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR4 PC4-19200 2400MHz 260-Pin CL16  |  1TB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB SATA 6Gbps (Storage)  |  Killer 1532 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1  |  8-cell Lithium Ion (92 Wh) Battery

Alienware Graphics Amplifier : Stealth Black 9R7XN  |  EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ Gaming ACX 2.0+ (6GB GDDR5)  |  Corsair CX600M ATX Power Supply  |  Noctua NF-A9 FLX 92mm Fan

3429

So... I ended up taking the card back and exchanging it for a ASUS 980Ti 20th Gold Edition - works perfectly.

All I can conclude is that the GA is not compatible with every card and Alienware need to state this in their advertising. 

Hope you had some luck with yours as well!

3429

Yea I tried doing this, had no luck :( 

I have been on the phone to Alienware to try and get them to give me a proper response, I spoke to the tech guy for about an hour and he could not get it to work. They are sending me out a new AGA to try. I do not think they should market the product as being able to handle any graphics card if it doesn't. 

I'll keep you updated how the new GA goes.I don't think Alienware should market the GA as being able to work with every card, if it does not.

But ill find out soon enough.

3429

Swell! Afriend of mine is using the EVGA GTX 980Ti SC+ so I know that works too. He's overseas, though, so I can't borrow his card.

Which Alienware is your GA hooked up to, and what OS are you running? Also, what GeForce driver version and type (Desktop or Notebook)? Might be helpful in determining if I have driver issues or malfunctioning hardware. ^_^


EDIT: Just saw your sig. We pretty much have the same setup there, except I'm running Win 10 Home. :)



=====o=====o=====

Alienware 15 R2 : Intel Core i7-6820HK  |  Windows 10 Home (64-bit)  |  UHD (3840x2160) IGZO IPS Display  |  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5)  |  32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR4 PC4-19200 2400MHz 260-Pin CL16  |  1TB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB SATA 6Gbps (Storage)  |  Killer 1532 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1  |  8-cell Lithium Ion (92 Wh) Battery

Alienware Graphics Amplifier : Stealth Black 9R7XN  |  EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ Gaming ACX 2.0+ (6GB GDDR5)  |  Corsair CX600M ATX Power Supply  |  Noctua NF-A9 FLX 92mm Fan

3429

I'm running an EVGA GeForce GTX 980ti 6GB FTW in my GA and it works great.  Haven't had any problems with it.

Alienware 15R3 / Intel i7 6820HK / 512GB M.2 SATA SSD (boot), 1TB 7200RPM SATA (storage) / Windows 10 Professional / Killer 1535, Killer e2400 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB / Alienware Graphics Amplifier w/ EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 980ti ftw 6GB

3429

Well, I got some advice from the Alienware Facebook page - unfortunately, I've just sent the card back to have it replaced by an EVGA 980 Ti SC+ ACX 2.0 or a Gigabyte 980 Ti G1 Gaming (both of which have been confirmed by other folks to work with the AGA) so I couldn't test it yet. Here it is:

  1. Uninstall the graphics drivers.
  2. Install the graphics drivers with the AGA unplugged.
  3. Install the graphics drivers again with the AGA plugged.

Not sure how useful this is, but that's what they've told me. If you've got the card ready, you can give it a shot and update us here. ;)



=====o=====o=====

Alienware 15 R2 : Intel Core i7-6820HK  |  Windows 10 Home (64-bit)  |  UHD (3840x2160) IGZO IPS Display  |  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5)  |  32GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR4 PC4-19200 2400MHz 260-Pin CL16  |  1TB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB SATA 6Gbps (Storage)  |  Killer 1532 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1  |  8-cell Lithium Ion (92 Wh) Battery

Alienware Graphics Amplifier : Stealth Black 9R7XN  |  EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ Gaming ACX 2.0+ (6GB GDDR5)  |  Corsair CX600M ATX Power Supply  |  Noctua NF-A9 FLX 92mm Fan

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
3429

I am getting this exact same problem!

Exact same setup, but I am using a 980ti Waterforce, is it potentially something to do with Gigabyte cards?

Have been on the phone to Alienware multiple times but they do not know what it is, the best I could get was, "your card is not compatible" - I dont know how I feel about that considering Alienware claim, 

  • Amplify your performance: Step up your graphics performance with support for a full-length, double-wide, desktop graphics card.
  • Hook up your favorite displays: The graphics amplifier allows you to enjoy the performance of the desktop graphics card on your Alienware 13, 15 and 17 R2 notebooks LCD or on any external display connected to the amplifier

At no point does it say, "With a supported card"  - faulty amplifier? or misleading advertising? the latter would not surprise me.

Would love to hear if you had any progress.

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