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You Can Finally Buy GPU Upgrades for Alienware Area-51m

Alienware Area-51m

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Alienware is finally selling GPU upgrade kits for the Alienware Area-51m (opens in new tab), its massive notebook that it marketed with upgradeability in mind since it was announced at CES 2019 (opens in new tab) in January.

The upgrade (opens in new tab) kits (opens in new tab) come with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (opens in new tab) or RTX 2080 (opens in new tab) desktop-class graphics card (opens in new tab), a thermal solution and an appropriate power adapter. A representative for Alienware told Tom's Hardware that "MSRP for the RTX 2080 will be $999.99 after 39% off, and RTX 2070 will be $699.99 after 32% off," though those are limited-time prices and the website is currently showing them at higher costs. 

You can buy the kits and upgrade them yourself, which Alienware reps told me won't void your warranty unless you break something. But if you're not comfortable with that, you can also have a technician from the company come to your house to perform the installation, which is built into the cost.

When the Alienware Area-51m started shipping, it only came in configurations with an RTX 2070 or RTX 2080. Since then, configurations have launched with a GTX 1660 Ti (opens in new tab) and an RTX 2060 (opens in new tab), so the upgrade kits seem squarely pointed at owners of those cheaper configurations (or if you have an RTX 2070 and would prefer an RTX 2080).

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The gaming laptop (opens in new tab) also uses a desktop-class CPU, but Dell doesn't seem to be selling those separately or offering a similar service. One could buy an LGA1151 CPU (opens in new tab)from other retailers and install it themselves, if they were comfortable doing so.

If you're curious to see what you have to do to replace these parts, you can check out our teardown of the Alienware Area-51m (opens in new tab).

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE