For those always on the lookout for a portable gaming rig, Alienware is one name that always comes to mind in that department. Their laptops and desktop computers are generally considered some of the better boutique builds on the market today and with the announcement of their new line of gaming laptops which sport the new AMD Radeon Rx 470 graphics processing unit (GPU), that is likely to not change one bit. The powerful GPU, which the partnership announced last night via a post on the AMD Radeon blog, looks to come in either the 15 or 17-inch version of the Alienware rig.
While the inclusion of a powerful GPU in a laptop isn’t anything new, what seemingly sets this apart from other builds is the fact that the Rx 470 powering the visuals on screen isn’t a pared back mobile version of the powerful, yet moderately priced card. AMD boasts that this is the real deal in a full desktop variety GPU. As a famous genie might quip, “supreme cosmic power – itty bitty living space.” While the Rx 470 isn’t on the scale of the cosmos, it isn’t a slouch either. The card is more than capable of providing uncompromising visuals and performance at 1080p, more than enough for today’s modern gamer, especially when you consider their console counterparts struggle to hit a full resolution in most cases.
The Alienware 15 and 17 are also available with the GTX 1070 and 1080 GPUs, giving the discerning user more choice. While there isn’t a price difference listed on the Alienware website, there will no doubt be variations and configurations that vary in price to give consumers the best option for their prospective price range.
The Alienware laptop also features a 25 percent thinner chassis, which is an important feature for most as more material often means more bulky weight. Additionally, the new laptops offer more efficient heat dissipation. Finally, the laptop comes with fully lit LED keys, as well as fast DDR4 RAM.
Alienware’s 17 model comes with an added feature with the addition of Tobii IR Eye-tracking, which AMD claims will give users more features in games when paired with the power of the Polaris GPU. Examples include possibly using the eye-tracking to tag enemies in Ubisoft’s The Division as well as using it in the newly released Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Additionally, the Tobii IR Eye recognition software is integrated into Windows 10, allowing users to simply wake the laptop from sleep mode simply by looking at the rig.
AMD’s Rx 470 has become a force in the lower-priced market, and it’s important to note that lower-priced doesn’t equate to low performance. The Polaris powered GPU is more than capable of powering some of the world’s most demanding games at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. That’s important to note because the barrier of entry for quality PC gaming has been sufficiently reduced as a result, as you’re no longer required to spend $300-$400 on a quality GPU. Rival Nvidia may have a stranglehold on the higher end market, but AMD does have an advantage for those who are looking to get great performance for less money.
The inclusion of the Rx 470 into the laptop gives consumers a great option, especially on the go. Typically the trade-off for laptops has been in the power department. Now with the inclusion of a full desktop GPU into the Alienware, you no longer have that compromise.
It’ll be interesting to see if other laptop makers follow along and start to do so as well. Companies like Razer and ASUS would do well to do the same, especially if the performance disparity between the Alienware and other offerings widens as a result.
[Image via Alienware]