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Help Me Choose: Video Cards for Alienware Desktops

Whether you are 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.

Video Card

How video cards work

Discrete (dedicated) 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 Radeon™ 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 Single Graphics Card Configurations

Single Graphics Card Configurations NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 Ti NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2080 NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti AMD Radeon™ RX 580 AMD Radeon™ RX 570X AMD Radeon™ RX 580X AMD Radeon™ RX Vega⁶⁴
Dedicated Graphics Memory 4GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5X 11GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 11GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB HBM2
Width 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 120W 150W 180W 180W 250W 185W 180W 260W 185W 120W 150W 295W
Base Clock 1290 1506 1506 1607 1607 1480 1410 1515 1350 Up to 1257 MHz Up to 1168 MHz Up to 1257 MHz Up to 1247 MHz
Boost Clock 1392 1708 1683 1683 1733 1582 1710 (OC) 1800 (OC) 1635 (OC) Up to 1340 MHz Up to 1244 MHz Up to 1340 MHz Up to 1546 MHz
NVIDIA CUDA™ Cores 768 1280 1920 2432 2560 3584 2304 2944 4352 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Stream Processors N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2304 2048 2304 4096
G-Sync/Freesync Ready
APIs Supported DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4/5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4/5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4/5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0 DirectX 12 DirectX 12 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0
Maximum Resolution 7680x4320@60Hz 7680x4320@60Hz 7680x4320@60Hz 7680x4320@60Hz 7680x4320@60Hz 7680x4320@60Hz 7680x4320 7680x4320 7680x4320 4096x2160 4096x2160 4096x2160 4096x2160
HDMI Support
HDCP Support
I/O Ports DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, USB-C DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, USB-C DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, USB-C DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0 DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0 DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0 DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0

Compare Dual Graphics Card Configurations

Dual Graphics Card Configurations NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 Ti NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2080 AMD Radeon™ RX 570X AMD Radeon™ RX 580 AMD Radeon™ RX 580X
Dedicated Graphics Memory 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5X 11GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5
Width Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot
Approximate Wattage 300W (2 x 150W) 360W (2 x 180W) 360 W (2 x 180W) 500W (2 x 250W) 360W (2 x 180W) 240 W (2 x 120W) 370 W (2 x 185W) 300 W (2 x 150W)
Base Clock 1506 1607 1607 1480 1515 Up to 1168 MHz Up to 1257 MHz Up to 1257 MHz
Boost Clock 1683 1683 1733 1582 1800 (OC) Up to 1244 MHz Up to 1340 MHz Up to 1340 MHz
NVIDIA CUDA™ Cores 1920 2432 2560 3584 2944 N/A N/A N/A
Stream Processors N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2048 2304 2304
G-Sync/Freesync Ready
APIs Supported DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5 DirectX 12 DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0 DirectX 12
Maximum Resolution 7680x4320 @60Hz 7680x4320 @60Hz 7680x4320 @60Hz 7680x4320 @60Hz 7680x4320 @60Hz 4096x2160 4096x2160 4096x2160
HDMI Support
HDCP Support
I/O ports DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link-DVI DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b, USB-C DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0 DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0 DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0

Compare Triple Graphics Card Configurations

Triple Graphics Card Configurations AMD Radeon™ RX 570X AMD Radeon™ RX 580X
Dedicated Graphics Memory 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5
Width Dual Slot Dual Slot
Approximate Wattage 360W (3 x 120W) 450W (3 x 150W)
Base Clock Up to 1168 MHz Up to 1257 MHz
Boost Clock Up to 1244 MHz Up to 1340 MHz
NVIDIA CUDA™ Cores N/A N/A
Stream Processors 2048 2304
G-Sync/Freesync Ready
APIs Supported DirectX 12 DirectX 12
Maximum Resolution 4096x2160 4096x2160
HDMI Support
HDCP Support
I/O ports DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0 DP 1.40 HDR, HDMI 2.0
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