Dell has introduced a device called Concept Polaris under its Alienware brand. It is designed to connect an external graphics card to computers that have such a need – primarily laptops.
Contrary to most concepts, this project has very real roots: a device called Graphics Amplifier used to be sold under the Alienware brand, it launched in 2014 and was discontinued about six months ago. As Dell says, all of the lessons the company has learned from this product were taken into account in developing the project. The device received a more modern design, a choice of interfaces, backlighting and the option of vertical or horizontal installation. The most important technical innovation was the abandonment of the built-in power supply and its replacement by external ones (up to 2 × 425 W), which significantly reduced the dimensions of Polaris.
A full-size desktop graphics card up to 40 cm long can be accommodated in the device’s housing, which can be cooled using a proprietary built-in 240 mm system Liquid cooling Cryo-tech. While the graphics amplifier was connected to Alienware laptops via a proprietary port, the new product has Thunderbolt 4 as the main interface – this means that Polaris can be connected to any laptop with such an interface. The device can also act as a hub and offers external USB-A, USB-C and Ethernet (2.5 Gb / s). The result is an all-round practicable device, the fate of which has not yet been determined: The company actually plans to bring something similar to the market, but warns that anything about the project can change, including its purpose.