Alienware Concept Polaris: external GPU with built-in liquid cooling

Alienware teases Concept Polaris at CES 2022: external GPU enclosure takes 16-inch graphics cards, rocks built-in liquid cooling.

@anthony256
Published Tue, Jan 4 2022 5:34 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Jan 28 2022 10:42 AM CST

Alienware unveiled its interesting Concept Nyx at CES 2022 this week, but it also showed off its Concept Polaris which turns portable gaming laptops into enthusiast-class beasts.

Alienware Concept Polaris: external GPU with built-in liquid cooling 05 | TweakTown.com
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The new Alienware Concept Polaris is a fancy-looking external GPU solution that can handle huge graphics cards -- up to 16 inches, compared to the original Alienware Graphics Amplifier which took 10.5-inch graphics cards -- as well as rocking built-in liquid cooling.

Alienware Legend 2.0 ID theme is featured throughout, Alien FX loop lighting, and the usual cable management being on point is here with the Alienware Concept Polaris. There's a removable internal PSU, which reroutes the power through to dual 330W adapters, while a higher-end model with dual 425W adapters is also in the pipeline.

Alienware's new Concept Polaris is so big that it can handle gigantic graphics cards including the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X which is a Big Boi GPU. Not just that, but there's some built-in liquid cooling through the 240mm Cryo Tech cooler with Alienware's in-house Element 31 TIM.

On the outside, the company has provided Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB 4 and even USB-A, USB-C, and 2.5GbE networking. Alienware expects first landing of its Concept Polaris external GPU enclosure sometime in the future but there's no firm release date.

Authored by Umar Khan - Alienware Product Experience Planner

"The Alienware community may remember when we launched the Alienware Graphics Amplifier in 2014. This was our take on the Gaming eGPU (external Graphics Processing Unit). It was praised for its performance enhancing feature set and helped gamers take their laptop's graphics performance to previously unreachable levels.

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As the needs of the gaming community evolve and change, we constantly look at how to bring unique experiences and take performance to the next level. This can lead to net new innovations and the exploration of different product categories, or it can even rewrite the definition of an existing solution. We believe Concept Polaris is the latter. Concepts like this are just one of the many ways we develop, test and refine features and solutions. It's how we push the boundaries for the performance-driven enthusiast as we think about the future.

Concept Polaris takes everything we learned about the Alienware Graphics Amplifier from our teams, customers and our community to improve upon that past innovation. When designing this concept, we first defined who we were building this for: the core Alienware customer. A performance-driven enthusiast. We also saw a lot of cross functionality for gaming creators that would benefit from desktop level graphics in their mobile gaming solutions. And finally, we were conscious of where and how people are gaming now, knowing that working from home has transformed the real estate of the battle station set up.

Now, let us take you on a tour of Concept Polaris. Starting on the outside, this iteration of Concept Polaris has the futuristic Alienware Legend 2.0 ID with its soft rounded edges, meaningful cable routing and the Alien FX loop lighting. And it can be oriented both vertically and horizontally, making it ideal for those with limited desk space.

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For power, we removed the built-in power supply and provide power through dual AC adapter solutions. One iteration of Concept Polaris delivers power through two 330w AC adapters and, in another variant, we can utilize two 425w AC adapters. This allows us to deliver the dedicated power needed for desktop gaming graphics, while reducing the occupied internal space.

The inside is just as beautiful as the outside. You will find that the dimensions of this concept allows for off-the-shelf full-size 16-inch desktop gaming graphics cards. This is liquid cooled - of course - with our 240mm Cryo-TechTM cooling solution including our thermal interface material, Element 31. With that kind of cooling architecture, overclocking your GPU natively with Alienware Command Center to reach its unrealized potential could never be easier.

Accessibility to this experience is something to consider as well. Unlike the earlier Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which was designed for Alienware products, Concept Polaris could provide connectivity through Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4 and USB-4, giving it the ability to open up desktop gaming graphics performance to a broad range of laptops. It doesn't stop there either, Concept Polaris features USB-A, USB-C and 2.5Gb ethernet ports - which could arm users with a central hub to expand their ecosystem further.

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To wrap it up, Concept Polaris is one of our most recent takes on how we could reimagine delivering even more performance options to gamers and potentially expand the gaming ecosystem. It's a device that brings you the inspiring design of Legend 2.0 in a small form factor - considerate of your limited desktop real estate.

It's a device that enhances your laptop's performance above expectations - providing desktop-level graphical strength thanks to GPU overlocking and Element-31 cooling.

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It's a device that provides the versatility to connect your gaming weaponry - whether it's just a keyboard or mouse, or the full network capability needed for those looking to make their mark as a gaming influencer.

Of course, it is a concept and many of these features and ambitions will evolve and change and, perhaps, even the purpose of the device will be redefined. We're not just looking to innovate for innovation's sake though - let us know what you think! We want to hear your thoughts as we continue to explore concepts like this for the near future!"

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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