travismlc
1 Copper

Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

So far I'm loving my new Area-51m.  It shipped with 2 power adapters.  What I wasn't expecting is that the adapters are noticeably different.  One is 180w and the other is 330w.  I have been running with both plugged in all the time.  The 180w adapter gets really warm.  Actually hot.  It's uncomfortable to hold for any length of time.  The 330w stays at room temperature.

All of the lit says you can run off of 1 adapter as long as you aren't doing anything power intensive.  The lit doesn't say anything about which adapter you can use if the adapters are different.  The 180w is smaller and easier to travel with, but as hot as it gets while running with the 330w, is running with the 180w alone even an option?

Also, does it make a difference which power port an adapter plugs into?  Both adapters have the same connection and there's no apparent difference between ports in the back of the system, so it looks like they are interchangeable.  Again, the lit doesn't say anything about plugging a bigger adapter into either of the ports.  I'm just wondering why the 180w adapter is getting so hot.

Thanks!

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6 Replies
U2CAMEB4ME
4 Germanium

Re: Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

Welcome to the Dell Community  @travismlc 

NOTE:Your computer ships with two power adapters, and it will operate normally with one power adapter connected.

For maximum gaming performance, it is recommended to connect two adapters.

Only use adapters supplied with your device, or Dell-approved adapters to power your device.

I would use the 330W adapter under normal operation.

But when Gaming, Video Rendering anything that would require some extra power then connect the 180W and use both.

Alienware Area-51m Setup and Specifications:

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/us/en/04/alienware-17-area51m-laptop/alienware-area-51m-setup-a...

Best regards,

U2


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travismlc
1 Copper

Re: Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

I understand what you're saying, but if you look at the documentation from the link you sent to me, the power adapters in the picture look practically identical. Not like the ones I received. It would be one thing if they were equal powered, but these aren't close. It also doesn't explain why the 180W heats up so much more than the 330W

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U2CAMEB4ME
4 Germanium

Re: Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

@travismlc 

NOTE: The images in this document may differ from your computer depending on the configuration you ordered.

They are images for demonstration purpose not actual pictures.

Look at the length of the cable coming from the AC adapter to the laptop.

I bet the ones you have are much longer than the ones in the image.

As for the 180W adapter being hotter than the 330W adapter.

I would think it is because they are in a Parallel Circuit.

Going back to my Electronic Engineering 101 classes.

Voltage is the same across each component of a Parallel Circuit.

The sum of the Currents/Amps through each path is equal to the total current that flows from the source.

I my opinion they should both be 330W

19.5V x 16.92A = 330W

Regards,

U2


Microsoft Registered Refurbisher
Microsoft Registered Partner
Windows Operating System lifecycle fact sheet
Lifecycle begins when released and ends when no longer supported
HP EliteBook 8770w i7-3630QM 32GB
HP ZBook 17 G2 i5-4310M 16GB
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travismlc
1 Copper

Re: Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

Of course the cable lengths are different in the image than in real life - this comment misses the point.  The pictures make it look like the power adapters give the same power.  Clearly, the power adapters are very different, and the documentation doesn't address the difference.  The reason I started this post is because running in parallel, the 180W is getting a lot warmer than the 330W, and I don't see how that could be a good thing.

I think the second part of your answer actually agrees with what I was thinking - the load on the 180W adapter is making it heat up because it differs from the 330W.  I would think that the guys at Dell would have considered this.

Just for reference, here's a pic of both power adapters together:

Area51MPowerAdapters.pngArea 51M Power Adapters

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lcoronel
1 Copper

Re: Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

I'm having a kinda similar issue: one of the adapters is warm, but the other one is almost cold. both status lights on the adapters are on. If I plug them to the other port .i.e. exchange the ports they are plugged to, the one that was warm, goes cold, the one that was cold, goes warm. Does anyone have any insight on how power management should be in this laptop? should both adapters be getting the same use? or one of them kicks in when the other adapter is maxed out?

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14bigben
1 Copper

Re: Area-51m, shipped with two different power adapters

My custom order sheet reads like so:

 

Extra Power Adapter

You need 2x 180W AC adapters to provide ample power for the RTX 2060, or 1x 180W + 1x 240W for the RTX 2070, or 1x 180W + 1x 330W AC adapters for the RTX 2080. OR select 1x 780W AC adapter with Splitter Adapter (will work with any CPU/GPU combination). Select 2x 780W, 2x 180W, or 1x 180W + 1x 240W (or 330W) AC adapters to have two complete set ups for 2 locations.

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