Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,388 Reviews & Articles | 64,087 News Posts

Alienware 51m laptop has swappable CPU, GPU

Alienware's new 51m laptop is modular, and its CPU and GPU can be upgraded
By Derek Strickland from Jan 8, 2019 @ 16:31 CST

CES 2019 - Alienware today announced the world's most powerful laptop, the Alienware 51m, which blurs the line between laptop and desktop gaming.




The Alienware 51m sports some serious horsepower with configurations up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 alongside a desktop-grade overclockable 9th gen Intel i9 processor, and is the first in brand history to feature 8-core 16 thread Intel CPUs leveraging the Z390 chipset. Despite the raw brunt and power, the most interesting thing about the 51m is it lets users swap out GPU and CPU components as if it were a desktop.




There's one catch: GPU swaps have to comply with Dell's Graphics Form Factor (DGFF) standard, so most gamers will rely on the Alienware Graphics Amplifier external GPU box for upgrades until AMD or NVIDIA release new cards in the format. "CPU upgrades can be done using standard desktop-class processors, while GPU upgrades can be done via onboard graphics module replacement," Alienware said.


The laptop-desktop hybrid also sports a 17.3-inch 1080p FHD 144Hz G-Sync IPS panel display with Tobii eye-tracking, up to 64GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM, and up to triple storage configurations including Intel's new Optane tech. An enhanced cooling system ensures those higher-end components stay nice and cool during demanding gaming sessions.




As far as software, Alienware has infused its one-click Command Center tech to manage everything from easy overclocking to RGB color profiles, fan settings, and adjustable gaming performance settings.


No pricing or launch info was confirmed, but as you'd guess there's lots of possible configurations. Check below for a full spec sheet of all the possible Alienware 51m configs:




Feature Technical Specification


Model Number1 Area-51m R1


Processor Options

9th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8700 (6-Core, 12MB

Cache, up to 4.6GHz w/ Turbo Boost)

9th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-9700K (8-Core, 12MB

Cache, up to 4.9GHz w/ Turbo Boost)

9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-9900K (8-Core, 16MB

Cache, up to 5.0Ghz w/Turbo Boost)

Operating System1,2 Microsoft® Windows® 10 Home 64-bit

Microsoft® Windows® 10 Pro 64-bit



Intel® Z390 Chipset


Memory Options1,2,3 8GB (1x8GB) DDR4 2400MHz*

16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 2400MHz*

32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 2400MHz*

64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 2400MHz*


Storage Options1, 5 Single Storage Configurations

1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid Drive

256GB PCIe M.2 SSD

512GB PCIe M.2 SSD



Dual Storage Configurations

128GB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid

256GB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid

512GB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid

1TB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid

116GB Intel Optane SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid


Dual Storage Configurations

512GB RAID0 (2x 256GB PCIe M.2 SSDs)

1TB RAID0 (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSDs)

2TB RAID0 (2x 1TB PCIe M.2 SSDs)

236GB RAID0 (2x 116GB Intel Optane SSDs)


Triple Storage Configurations

512GB RAID0 (2x 256GB PCIe M.2 SSDs) + 1TB (+8GB

SSHD) Hybrid Drive

1TB RAID0 (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSDs) + 1TB (+8GB

SSHD) Hybrid Drive

2TB RAID0 (2x 1TB PCIe M.2 SSDs) + 1TB (+8GB

SSHD) Hybrid Drive

236GB RAID0 (2x 116GB Intel Optane SSDs) + 1TB

(+8GB SSHD) Hybrid Drive



NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6

NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6

NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2080 with 8GB GDDR6


Display1 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display

17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display

with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology

17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display

with Tobii eyetracking technology

17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS Display w/

NVIDIA G-SYNC + Tobii eyetracking technology


Additional Display Specifications (all options)

• Three-sided narrow border displays

• 300-nits brightness

• 72% color gamut


Audio and Speakers

2.0 Speaker configuration

Alienware Sound Center via Alienware Command Center

7.1 Digital Audio out using HDMI out connection


Optical Drive Options Yes

External options only



1 Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port

2 DC Power Input Ports

1 Thunderbolt™ 3 with DisplayPort

1 RJ-45 Realtek 2.5Gbps Ethernet Port

2 USB 3.1

1 USB 3.1 with PowerShare

1 HDMI 2.0 Port

1 Mini-display 1.4 Port

1 Audio Out

1 Global headset

Slots 4 SODIMMs

Wedge-shaped lock slot


Chassis Materials

Magnesium alloy


Color Options

Lunar Light

Dark Side of the Moon



Alienware TactX keyboard with per-key RGB LED

AlienFX lighting, anti-ghosting, and N-Key rollover

technology 2.2mm key travel, programmable macro keys,

alphanumeric keys



Alienware HD (1280x720 resolution) camera with dualarray integrated microphones


Connectivity Options1

10/100/1000/2.5Gbps RJ-45 Ethernet network

Killer Wireless 1550 2x2 AC and Bluetooth 5.0


Battery Options

1 Lithium Ion (90 Wh) Battery, ExpressCharge capable,



Power Dual A/C adapter Options

180W + 180W adapters

180W + 240W adapters

180W + 330W adapters


Dimensions & Weight

Width 16.1 inches (410 mm)

Height 1.23 inches (31.2 mm) [rear]

Height 1.7 inches (42 mm) [peak]

Height 1.09 inches (27.65 mm) [front]

Length 15.85 inches (402.6 mm)

Max Weight 8.54 lbs. (3.87 Kg)



Alienware Command Center including AlienFX lighting,

Game Library, and Alienware Adrenalin, Alienware Mobile Connect


Peripheral Ecosystem1

Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor - AW3418DW,

Alienware Graphics Amplifier, Alienware Wireless

Gaming Headset - AW988, Alienware Pro Gaming

Keyboard - AW768, Alienware Elite Gaming Mouse -

AW959, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor - AAW2518H


Related Tags