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Alienware Alpha R1 and R2 upgrades

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by Vanne, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Bought a couple of SSD's for the kids Alpha's, and R1 and an R2.


    HP s700 SSD 500GB

    s-l1600.png

    I dont know too much about these drives , aside that they used 3d nan, i picked these up 2, for 110US, so thats pretty good.

    Hopefully this will blast some more life into the Alphas for the kids. I also looked into the CPU upgrades, but the I5 should be fast enough really.. I love the form factor of these Alphas, plenty fast enough for not so new games.

    anyone else using the Alpha's?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  2. Haillion

    Haillion Member

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    I've got an R1 Alpha to which an overclocked gpu bios has been applied. Re pasted the heat sinks, added wifi 6, an i5 and extra ram. They're good for what they are, tiny but useable on mid to low settings in games. I have been playing Darksiders Warmastered edition at 120FPS on this one recently. It still has merit when it comes to getting the most out of ageing hardware. I would have loved to have gotten an R2 to be able to use the gpu dock.
     
  3. OP
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    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Just bought 2 gpu alienware docks on special on amazon, not so much to use straight away, just as a bit of future proofig for the kids PeeCee's. I also bought a second R2, for my middle kid.. ;D
     
  4. Haillion

    Haillion Member

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    The dock for the r2 would be great for an upgradable gpu option.

    I recently had to replace the bios battery to get my R1 to post. I've since donated it to my nephew as i replaced the alpha with a trident while i waited for the battery to arrive. Cost me 16 bucks and now the alpha is running again properly. To be honest i wasn't sure that would fix it as the light would flash yellow twice then power off the unit on startup.

    What cpu's do you have in you're R2? With the release of the RTX 3060 would this be a worthy addition or would you go something mid stream like a 1060 or amd equivalent?
     
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    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Both of my R2's (kids Peecee's) have the i7-6700t, but my R1 only has the I5 spec..
    I am thinking of buying another graphics amplifier for the R1 and then use the wifi slot for the E-gpu dock. The dock is cheap enough at 130 AUS, and will be a clean install, and has a PSU already built in. Id just have to mod the base for the E-gpu pcie socket, which id say is do-able..

    Ive been looking for a 4790T for the R1, but prices are still crazy for a 3 year old cpu. the 4785t is a bit better, but still over 100US plus shipping... that sucks hard..

    Pulled the trigger on the 3rd Amplifier and the egpu kit (the egpu kit is 45 bucks), so thats pretty cheap, esp if it prolongs the use of the Alpha.
     
  6. Haillion

    Haillion Member

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    I'm inspired by the R1 EGPU upgrade. Honestly I'd heard it could be done, just a bit more involved in terms of where everything goes. Please could you post pics of how it all hooks up if its not too much trouble?

    Even the i5 dual core with HT on the R1 had OKish single core performance, threaded well and was good for the GTX860m. Anything higher than a GTX1060 would see better returns with that elusive 4790T but how much I couldn't say obviously.

    It would be interesting to see how well the EGPU dock maintains performance of the card that you get for it as the number of PCI-E lanes available to the gfx card would have to be less right? Or does that not really matter as much?

    Good to see someones willing to maintain one of these little machines and even do something that could possibly make it a screaming gamer for some time to come. :thumbup:
     
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    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Just recieved my 3 graphics Amplifiers.. lol..

    i also ordered the NGFF pci-e V8.4D EXP GDC from Aliexpress.. ..And waiting for a refund from Amazon for the M.2 v8.0 version, which isnt compatible with the R1's wifi slot. Should be pretty easy to mod that puppy. Ill let you know when that thing arrives.. not holding my breath though, lots of ali stuff here goes walk about.

    Ahh the stupid shit you do when your locked up in a hotel room in Bangkok...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  8. Haillion

    Haillion Member

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    As a fellow human being I can relate to this kind of thing. Hope it arrives for you without delay. I'm still waiting for a phone from 2006 though i've given up on that one long ago.
     
  9. OP
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    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Egpu kit just arrived.... lol however.... my new Alienware Alpha R2 also just arrived... which negates the EGPU as it has the plug for the Graphics Amplifier...

    The new R2 6700t was about 30 bucks more expensive than buying a used blank 6700T cpu... wtf!!!

    So the kids now have an Alpha R2 each.. (3 R2's total , which means ill get the R1...) lolol..

    wonder how it would compare with my 2009 Classic Mac Pro 4,1 (which is my daily driver)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
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  10. Haillion

    Haillion Member

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    That's awesome.

    Assuming the software is still supported on the mac, windows 10 is on the alpha's.

    Just installed fedora 34 beta on an amd laptop. I don't know if it was supported in earlier fedora but the switching to discrete gfx card works well.

    With the alpha, do the gfx amplifiers run the output to the monitor or do you plug it into the alpha? What I think I wanted to ask is can the amplifiers be hot plugged after boot or do they have to be fixed to connect at boot so they work?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021

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