Dissecting the Spot-51m Gaming Notebook

The Alienware Spot-51m is the most upgradeable notebook we have noticed in a extensive time, but getting to all the parts is not as easy as just taking away the bottom. To obtain out what’s involved in swapping out the CPU, GPU, storage and RAM, we grabbed our toolkit and tore the detail down.

In the provider manual, Alienware’s mother or father company Dell endorses a Phillips head screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver and a plastic spudger for the occupation, however we did not obtain a have to have for the flathead. We did, nevertheless, obtain tweezers useful for taking away tiny screws.

The preliminary actions are easy ample: Locate a cleanse workspace, keep your screws in order, and make positive the system is off and that it’s unplugged in advance of diving in.

Initially, I took off the bottom address. I loosened the six screws and then jimmied the foundation off with the spudger, and it lifted proper off.

That discovered the initial layer of internals. The RAM (all 64GB of it in four sticks) was immediately accessible, as was the two.five-inch challenging generate, battery and wi-fi card. But to take away the desktop-class CPU and the graphics card, I had to go further.

The main obstacle is what Alienware calls the “computer foundation,” the black plastic shell that covers the motherboard and extra of the parts. But in advance of that could occur off, the rear I/O address — Alienware’s signature rear hump — has to occur off.

To do this, I initial had to disconnect the cable that controls the light-weight all around the I/O ports, and then take away it (it has a light-weight adhesive) from the laptop’s shell. 4 screws hold the rear address on bottom of the personal computer, and one more two keep it hooked up at the again. The moment those six screws were taken off, I was capable to force it proper off and established it apart.

Ahead of taking away the plastic foundation, a couple of other merchandise have to be taken off or disconnected. There is the battery, which we initial disconnected from the motherboard and then taken off the six screws holding it down in advance of getting it out of the notebook. Right after that, we had to just take out the wi-fi card by taking away it from the bracket (one screw) and disconnecting the antenna cables. This is also a great time to take away any SSDs that are in the way. The generate in the SSD1 slot demands to occur off, as it’s on top of the personal computer foundation. The next one does not have to have to to be taken off still.

Now, we’re prepared to tackle the plastic interior foundation. Here’s the rub: There are a number of cables hooked up to it with adhesive, and it’s held down by extra than 14 screws. These involved the challenging generate cable (which has some cable guides on the foundation), the Tobii eye tracking digicam cable (linked to the system board), taking away a screw that keeps the exhibit-cable and an accompanying bracket hooked up to the relaxation of the personal computer, unplugging that from the board, as properly as disconnecting the digicam cable and peeling that off the foundation. Right after taking away one longer silver screw that retains the plastic foundation to the deck, I then unscrewed the 14 black screws holding down the significant plastic foundation at several points. The moment those were out, the plastic foundation came off with just a pull, revealing extra of the motherboard beneath.

From in this article on out, disconnecting anything was easy in comparison. The CPU and GPU are not reachable still, but we’re getting there. Initially I had to just take off the heatsink, which is comprised of both of those warmth pipes and the laptop’s pair of rather significant fans. Initially, that meant disconnecting the two enthusiast cables from the board, then loosening the screws that hold the heatsink down. There are eight screws on the metal heatsink by itself that wanted to be loosened. They are numbered from one to eight and wanted to be loosened in reverse order to make certain even stress launch.

The moment that was performed, the heatslink lifted proper off the motherboard.

With that gone and established apart (did we point out you have to have a huge work space?), I could last but not least see the CPU and graphics card.

The GPU is on a proprietary module produced by Alienware’s mother or father company Dell. You cannot buy a new one still to in fact make an up grade, however Alienware explained to me these really should be available by the stop of the yr.

The GPU is secured by a few screws, in addition one more two screws holding on a cable that connects to the board.

On top of that, you have to disconnect the ability cable from both of those the board and the CPU. Then the graphics module just lifts up and off.

If you’re questioning about dimensions, here’s what the the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 module in the Spot-51m seems like in comparison to a desktop 2080.

The CPU (in our case, a Main i9-9900K) is a desktop chip, so you can take away it just like any other CPU.

Only push down on the lever and pull it again to open the address, and then carry the processor out of the socket. Of course, you are going to want to reapply the thermal paste on both of those the CPU and GPU when upgrading or reassembling the personal computer.

Just for the sake of completeness, I also pulled out the RAM, next SSD and the challenging generate, exposing the entirety of the board.

At this issue, there’s almost nothing else to just take out, until you care to substitute the CMOS battery. I did not feel the have to have.

Placing the Spot-51m again with each other was an work out in endurance, but if you arrange your screws and meticulously set the cables again in, you really should have anything in doing work order in a 50 percent hour or so. Alienware explained to me that as extensive as you stick to guidelines and don’t break everything (or lose any screws), disassembly will not void your warranty.

Certainly, this is the most upgradeable gaming notebook I’ve noticed in a extensive time — or maybe ever. While we’re still ready for the true GPU modules to be launched, I can validate that the moment you can buy them, the up grade course of action just demands common equipment and a tiny endurance.

Additional: Best Gaming Laptops

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Additional: All Notebook Material

Photograph Credit rating: Tom’s Components


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