Alienware's CRAZY upgradeable laptop


  • Published on: 2019-01-10
  • this video from CES is brought to you by D brand their prism screen protectors and grip cases protect your phone that's pretty much all there is to it check them out at the link in the video description so let me put it this way this is the Alienware area 51 m and in the words of our Alienware rep which if he wasn't such a nice guy who's very credible i would find very hard to believe yes linus it has a full in core i 999 hundred k processor in and I went really because everything that I know about size and heat and how much you need to get rid of how much of it a ninety nine hundred K would produce would indicate that that sort of thing would be basically impossible and that's even ignoring the rest of the completely over-the-top specs of this thing so it's can be equipped with up to a an RT X xx atti graphics card with six gigs of Gd dr six memory that's GD r six right yes it's got what I'm assuming dual nvme boot drives in raid 0 do you have a two and a half inch expansion driving here surely not that's two and a half inch drive in here okay it's it's cut at 1080p 144 Hertz panel which might not be that impressive today but it's thin bezel and there's a plan for later this year to upgrade it to 240 Hertz and they've done all of this within like I would say a fairly slim desktop replacement form factor but it gets even crazier because while desktop replacements are kind of a replacement for the performance of a desktop they have never been a replacement for the upgrade ability of a desktop and that is where they really surprised me they're actually gonna allow me to open this so I need my toolkit where to go got it and they're gonna let us crack it open to see how they have achieved upgradeable graphics on this machine actually we're gonna move over here so a couple things jump out at us right away that's a 90 watt hour battery so in spite of the size we are still getting right up against the limit to what you are allowed to put in a laptop in order for it to be able to be carried on an airplane there's that two and a half inch drive bay that we talked about before they somehow managed to put four dimm slots on the bloody thing even though with 32 gig dims up coming that's not even entirely necessary we've got em got 2 expansion slot right here number one and then I don't see number two here's an MDOT 2.5 something label I don't know what that's to do with but I guess we'll find the other one a little bit later and we've got cooling fans I think we're gonna have to go deeper so Dell says I actually won't need help with that because they've provided a handy-dandy little key here for all the screws that I need in order to remove this what what is this called again ok the ribcage ok cool so we need 14 L eights here we go one do okay so now we're pulling off this back shroud here that covers up the rear i/o as well as these incredibly beefy looking heat sinks so you can see they've got support for their external graphics not that there's anything much more powerful than what's already in here external display Ethernet dual power inputs because hey that's the thing let's go ahead and remove some more screws get that rib cage off so we're just connecting the battery now this is an important first step so we just pulled this appears to be what the display output for the built-in display I don't know I'm kind of guessing at this point but we're actually getting very close to being able to get a better look at where we're going with this here okay so these Wi-Fi antennas do I need to pop these off it looks like I might be able to hold on a second hmm this one no this one's got to go shoot harddrive okay this one we're good that's when I'm getting caught but it's on with this I think we're good on that this guy's gotta go webcam oh we're getting close I can feel it oh this hard drive cable management actually has to come out there we go whoa these Wi-Fi antennas we may end up needing to remove those but not a hundred percent sure yet I think that's all that's holding us in right now yep okay well there goes the cable management for that sorry guys if it helps at all I feel really really bad no I don't that was a lie there's lies damned lies and then there's what I just said then there it is so this right here thank you so this right here is the secret sauce so here is and this is not a standard desktop socket did you guys create this socket standard this is a standard socket under here it looks so low-profile you're sure right no yeah the the LGA standard yes but this retention mechanism this is not standard it's a veritable bounty of exciting tech things so first of all I don't know what I was expecting well I do know what I was expecting because we've seen desktop processors in laptops before and typically they have just used the same mounting mechanism as desktop motherboards because it's a lot of work to engineer your own and Dell actually the folks that I'm talking to here don't actually know if they made their own mounting mechanism but I can tell you right now that that is not a standard one and so that would lead me to believe that it is entirely possible that they have actually created their their own hold down for it here now the LGA itself so that's the little socket that the CPU sits into that is standard so theoretically there is nothing that would prevent someone from buying a lower-end processor out of the gate and then actually upgrading it down the road a service that Dell plans to provide either themselves like you'll have to pay extra obviously but where they come to your house and install it for you or as a kit that you can actually do by yourself this is a really different way of thinking about laptops you're coming out baby yeah you are you want to yeah I got it all right here we go I was totally wrong so it's just this arm that's been changed I guess they just wanted to save a little bit space here so how does a standard desktop socket and check this out so all these thermal pads around here those are for the vrm because as you can imagine cramming the right kind of power delivery for this is a like intel has 95 watt processors and then they have 95 watt processors cramming the kind of power delivery you need for a proper desktop cpu into something like this is not trivial and of course you're gonna need all of that cooled by the same heat pipes beefy fans and beefy heat sinks that you have for the CPU itself but this this right here is the proverbial money shot because I think that most people over the next few years are not really gonna need to upgrade a core I nine ninety nine hundred K for gaming but the graphics cards those keep moving and that's where you're gonna see you know a 30% or 40% uplift and performance generation over generation that is as long as Nvidia has their way and this is the piece that Dell says they would like obviously bad stuff can happen the spec could change to such a degree that it's impossible but that they would like to be user upgradeable in the future now if you're familiar with milk book graphics you will already know that this is not and mxm module so that was the previous standard for upgradeable or modular graphics and laptops but Nvidia in their infinite wisdom is trying to kill it or not trying to kill it they have killed it so Dell actually leaned on the engineering prowess of their precision team to just go well if you're not going to support the standard then damn it I guess we'll do it ourselves so the idea here is that you could remove this with a couple of screws and not only you remove this right here and not only would you be able to change the performance you could even change the outputs on this thing so you could support future display standards like HDMI 2.1 for example pretty flippin cool now all that's left is to leave you guys to put this back together because I've got another appointment thank you guys and also to tell you guys about our sponsor D brands B brand is sponsoring our trip here to CES 2019 their grip cases as you can imagine it very grippy its line is proof because otherwise realistically they wouldn't let me endorse it and it's got their super clicky buttons as well as their trademark customizability so you got your precision cut true texture 3 on vinyl skins and pretty much any color you could want the other big thing this year is their prism screen protectors they've got an applicator so it goes on super easily you got a perfect fit every time and the impact resistance of this thing is quite frankly it's you have to see it to believe it you put this thing on you hammer a nail into a piece of wood with the face of your phone you take off the prism you've got a dented ass prism but you've got a pristine screen it's pretty much unreal you can check them both out at the link in the video description so thanks for watching guys we are on our way to the next suite here at CES 2019 don't miss any of it by being subscribed to Linus tech tips
  • Runtime: 10:18
  • alienware, area51, mobile, laptop, desktop, core, i7, i9, gaming, gtx, rtx, 2080, 2070, motherboard, ram, ces, 2019

COMMENTS: 20

  • Carl Burns

    Clevo P775TM1-G 17.3" FHD/3K/4K - nVidia RTX 2060/2070/2080 - Intel Hexa/Octa Core 1.449,00€

  • Lucian Boicu

    My 2012 Alienware M17x R4 is still going strong in 2019, after being hauled in over 50 flights across Europe, Asia and North America. The external case is scratched from all the luggage suitcases its been crammed in & thrown around on flights, but the internals & screen, are solid. Also never had to service anything on it (I think a key popped off and i just pushed it back in, once, maybe in 2015?). Dell makes really solid laptops.

  • Mythryl

    Linus I find your lack of ESD awareness disturbing. What message are we sending to the kids?

  • clintinterface

    The last model had probs with the heat? And only 2usb ports! Two of the reasons i didnt buy it. 3usb ports, well we getting somewhere. I cant wait for some tests to see how it is on a longer gaming sessions! May worth it for me this time. Also upgradeable, sweet.

  • Tom Hsia

    That does NOT seem like adequate cooling.

  • antoinebugleboy

    Anyone else start to get a little nervous around 3:53? /r/sweatypalms

  • Jamie Hasted

    Soooo... they have added tech that I had in my 7 yearold M17x R4...?

  • male grotesque

    he is a sales guy not from design/ production line what do u expect

  • DaWrightWay DatWay

    I have been watching your videos for about 2 years and I`m not too good with CPU and GPU upgrading but I fell that your videos are great and that I can learn a lot from them thanks Linus or Mr. Linus

  • Xander Zoolander

    Upgradable graphics isn't that hard, all you need is a PCIe connector and power source. Migrate all the power to a single connector, and the PCIe connector can be made relatively small. It's not rocket science. Is Dell/Alienware planning on truely keeping this upgradable though? If I buy one at release, will it have components for it in a couple years, 5 years, maybe even a decade later if the chassis survives that long? There's no point in hyping upgradability if the product is killed within a few years, or if a new model is released every year. Are they going to have a solution for older components, like maybe a cheap case you can throw everything into to have as a backup desktop, or something? What about the case of the laptop itself, if the chassis does last 10+ years, is it planned to have different I/O plates for future standards of I/O? Say USB type C becomes the bottom line but also has a generation or two of successors, would I have to get an all new chassis for this, or could I just swap out an I/O plate with a new motherboard that has the newer I/O? Again, there's no point to the upgradable hype if the idea doesn't work after a few years.

  • velvetMXO

    Why is Linus going crazy when Sager, Clevo, and many other laptops come with non BGA Processors and graphics cards? The GFX is cool I will say.

  • richard p

    OW GOOD video i sub and liked to you thks in advance sub back O I have the notifications on too

  • Daniel Fernández Barrera

    Hey! Did they mention when they’d release the 240 Hz panel? You say “later this year”, did they share a specific month? Quarter? FHD @ 144 Hz for this beast is kind of lackluster. QHD @ 144 or 240 Hz should have been offered since now... like on the m15 and m17. I’m on the fence for this sole reason and would spend 4.5K immediately were it not for this.

  • *Shrek*

    tfw this laptop is better than most people’s towers