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Alienware 17 R3 Mass Upgrade?

  • 43

Hey :)

I've got an Alienware 17 R3 (2015-2016) Laptop, with those speces: 6820HK/16GB/980M-4GB/250GB-SSD+1TB-HDD. PSU is 240W.

Now, i've reached a level when I feel it's no longer strong enough, and it's falling behind the new Alienwares by far. but to be sentimental, I don't want to buy a new Alienware, I want to "mass upgrade". as I remember, the AW 17 R3 is CPU/GPU upgradeable (not soldered). 

GPU- I would like to upgrade to GTX 1070 or higher.
Keyboard- the current one isn't ghosting free...
Display Screen: an IPS 120Hz one.

(CPU\RAM untouched).
To make story short- I want it to be AW 17 R5 like as much as possible.
How can I make that upgrade? is it even possible?
Do I have to replace the motherboard, and if so, can it fit the R3?

Thank you in advance!

Antworten • 6

I was pretty sure the GPU and CPU are soldered on with these machines. 

Howdy CeleRayZ,

Assuming you got your model name correctly, there is no way to upgrade the CPU or GPU without a motherboard swap.  Those are both BGA (no sockets) starting with the Alienware 17 R2.  You do have the option of using the Alienware Graphics Amplifier

Using this, you can upgrade to a retail desktop level GPU to get more performance out of your system.  You can upgrade your RAM and your storage system (SSD or HDD whichever you have), but to upgrade your display is tricky.  Your best bet would be to grab a Graphics Amp (above) and hook it up to an external monitor.  

FWIW, I had one of these systems (with an i7-6700HQ and GTX 970M) about 2 years ago that I was using with an Graphics Amp.  I ran it that way (with a GTX 1070) until I bit the bullet and upgraded to the Aurora R7 (full desktop).

Good luck!

Rich S.

I was pretty sure the GPU and CPU are soldered on with these machines. 


Given the cost for a graphics amp and external card I would seriously think hard about just replacing the laptop with a newer model (from dell outlet) or going full desktop (those new Aurora's are very pretty) and use your laptop for when you are out and about (I have an old Alienware M17xR4 for this purpose - just play old games when I'm away from home for work).   Even if you could upgrade you are stuck with the maximum being an i7 7920HQ and that is only if Alienware provided a Bios update for the motherboard (Coffee lake is only compatible with 1151 revision 2 motherboards) - so not much of a CPU upgrade.  

A new mobile GPU even if it wasn't soldered is a costly upgrade alone so I'd be looking through the classifieds for a handy spares and repairs second hand machine  - if you are brave enough.