Alienware 18 Upgrading Questions!


New Member
Dec 22, 2013
I recently received the Alienware 18 as a gift, but it was the base model. It feels wrong to limit such a great gaming rig. It came with 8 GB of RAM, and Dual Nvidia GeForce 765m graphics cards, and a 750 GB hard drive. I would love to put dual 780m cards in it, and at least a 1TB hard drive (with SSD, or whatever you believe to be best) also, I think 24-32GB of RAM would be great. I would like to know If this is possible, and since I am no computer whiz, who I could allow to do this (ex. bestbuy). Thanks so much for your help!
But you'll need deep pockets though! A pair of 780s are gonna cost a fortune, even on ebay! Putting in a couple of SSDs and an extra 8GB memory should be relatively inexpensive to do though. Seriously op, your dual 765s are on a par with a single 780 so your machine is still a great pixel pusher :D


Dec 26, 2012
I would go for a pair of 7970m it will be a lot cheaper and not that much difference in performance unless you want to run a triple monitor setup or even the NVidia gtx 680 but again the price you are paying for 2 680m will be double the price of the 2 7970m only for an extra few fps and in a lot games the 7970m beats the 680m a few fps. But that's just my opinion check out gpu boss and just research which is best for you


Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
I can confirm. I upgraded my M18x with dual 780Ms and it was not a cheap exercise. Around $1500 from memory. You will get a little back from selling your old cards but not much as they are entry level cards which are best sold to people upgrading older machines.
I think my upgrade was money well spent.


Jan 5, 2014
Sure... go with 680M or 780M. Both are awesome and a LOT more powerful than 660M. You'll see a massive increase in performance.

You will need to obtain heat sinks for 100W NVIDIA graphics cards because the 660M heat sinks are not effective enough to keep those much more power graphics cards as cool as you want them to be. The rest of the parts will be fine. Please note that if you have one 660M, in addition to a right side heat sink you will also need an SLI bridge cable, 330W AC adapter and right side fan if you want to upgrade to SLI.
Thanks MattyB. Spent most of the day talking to Dell and remembering why I don't like them. Since the machine was a gift I was going to simply gut it and use components I already had. The problem was Dell in two conversations gave me incorrect parts numbers for the 770M. Looking up the parts number gave me the build kit (heat sink/thermal paste), but not the card itself. When I keyed in my service tag number as instructed the system told me the system wasn't eligible for tech support (amazing on a one week old machine).
Know this sounds like a rant, but my last Alienware machine was pretty good, but Alienware tech support was horrible, don't know why I thought it would be better under Dell. Only site I found selling the 770m or the 780m was in Romania. That's why I was tempted to just wait, do more research and get the 880m.

The RAM upgrade from 8 to 32 was painless as was the hard drive updates (OCZ Vertex 480 boot) and (Crucial M500 960) went pretty smooth, just having a hard time getting those video cards