Alienware Graphics Amplifier
Alienware Graphics AmplifierAn optional external accessory is the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. It's about the size of a small form factor desktop PC (though shaped much differently than most) and is designed to sit on your desk -- it's not really meant for travel. What it does is provide desktop-class graphics performance at home when you're near a power source, while still allowing you to disconnect the Alienware 13 R2 when hitting the road.
The AMP uses a proprietary connector that plugs into the back of the Alienware 13 R2. That means you can't use it with other brand laptops, only Alienware's 13 R2, 15 R2, and 17 R2 laptops.
A list of known NVIDIA graphics cards that work with the AMP includes the GeForce GTX 660, 660 Ti, 670, 680, 690, 759 Ti OEM (192b), 760, 770, 780, 780 Ti, Titan, Titan Black, 960, 970, and 980. On the AMD side, cards Alienware has confirmed to work include the Radeon HD 5970, 6990, 7870, 7950, 7970, 8770, 8870, 8950, and 8970, and R9 270, 270X, 280, 280X, 285, 290, and 290X.
Our test unit came with an PNY GeForce GTX 980 XLR8. The AMP alone adds $200 to the cost of the laptop, or $900 if bundling it with the GTX 980.