Alienware is set to debut it’s new “allpowerful” gaming notebook at E3 next week, but conveniently enough, the detailed specs have been broken early by Gizmodo and I forced myself to read this twice just to make sure I wasn’t mistakenly looking at a desktop. The m17x crams in two 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280m graphics cards, along with the new Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad.
It can also optionally be configured with up to 8GB of DDR3-1333, a 1TB hard drive (or optional 512GB SSD), as well as blue ray. Another amazing feature is the crystal clear 1920x1200 17” display, a resolution that is still somewhat rare in the notebook category. Additionally, since we all know this type of graphics horsepower can be somewhat power hungry, if your looking to do non-gaming tasks, it also has a build in Nvidia 9400M to help with battery life if all you need is aero glass. As for input/outputs, it comes with an impressive load out of options which includes 4USB, eSATA, as well as Display Port & HDMI.
The pricing is expected to start at around $1,800, but don’t expect to get all the features listed above at that price point.
The Alienware brand conjures images of powerful and elite computing hardware—think of the nearly invincible antagonist from the 1987 action flick, Predator. Alienware’s M17 looks the part, but the unit we received for review was about as dangerous as E.T.
Our zero-point notebook is based on Intel’s Core 2 Duo E6700 and Nvidia’s GeForce Go 8600M, so we’ve grown accustomed to newer challengers gutting it. But for all its bulk and menacing looks, the M17 proved to be only slightly faster than that aging reference rig, and it was considerably slower in our nongaming benchmarks than the HP HDX 18 we reviewed in January.
Despite the presence of two ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 GPUs running in CrossFire X, the M17, which came equipped with 64-bit Vista Home Premium, turned in an anemic performance in our gaming benchmarks, with Quake 4 clocking in at 119.2fps and FEAR at just 26fps. Compare that to the Gateway P-7811 FX we examined in our October issue, which pumped out Quake 4 at 133fps and FEAR at 108fps.
I have an Alienware Area-51 m7700 laptop computer with 2GB of memory and an Nvidia GeForce 6800 Go with 256MB GDDR memory. It’s three years old and runs fine, but I would like to upgrade the graphics to get better video response. I play World of Warcraft and occasionally have problems with the video becoming a bit choppy. Plus, with the economy in its current poor state, I don’t really want to buy a new computer anytime soon, so upgrading my current computer seems like a good, relatively inexpensive way to go. The problem is, when I talked to a tech support person at Alienware, I was told a video upgrade isn’t available for my computer because the current videocards work with only the current bus configurations, not with my computer’s bus. Is there truly no way to upgrade my laptop’s video?
The economy is in pretty rough shape, and it would appear that Alienware has taken notice. Their latest machine is a clear attempt to tap into the market of people that don’t have several grand to drop on frivolous pursuits, or simply put, everyone but Eliot Spitzer.
The Area-51 750i will be built off of an Nvidia nForce 750i SLI motherboard, a Core 2 Duo E8400 and an Nvidia GeForce 9800GT. To compliment the mothership, there’s also 2GB of DDR2 RAM to keep the random accesses as random as possible, and it’ll all come to you on Windows Vista 64-bit.
While the tech specs might not seem incredibly impressive, the price isn’t too bad. And plus, who wouldn’t want that wicked Alienware case?
In a first for Alienware, the company has introduced a CrossFireX-capable gaming notebook for mobile gamers looking to pack some added heat (figuratively, though likely literally as well) in time for the holiday gaming season. Wealthy fraggers can outfit the new M17 with a pair of ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 3870 videocards for plenty of pixel-pushing power on the notebook's 17-inch WXGA+ or optional WUXGA widescreen display.
"By incorporating the all-out performance of CrossFireX graphics and quad-core processing into Alienware's award-winning notebook lineup," says Frank Azor, executive vice-president for Alienware's Product and Marketing Group, "the M17 delivers an impressive feature set at a price point that doesn't break the bank."
Gamers can also double up on storage with up to 640GB of hard drive space in a RAID 0 array (2x320GB), or up to 1TB in RAID 0 for those willing to drop down to a 5400RPM spindle speed (2x500GB), enough to hold 250,000 songs according to Alienware. Other specs and options include Intel Core 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme processor support, PM45 chipset, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, RAID 1 support, ATSC HDTV tuner, Blu-ray optical drive, three USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port, WiFi, and other goodies.
The hardware comes wrapped in a "Stealh Black" soft matte finish bearing Alienware's logo and trademark aesthetic flair. But the real surprise is in the price. A base configuration starts at a comparatively modest $1,400, with less than a $2,000 investment required for a configuration consisting of a Core 2 Duo processor, dual-videocards, and 3GB of DDR3 memory on a 1920x1200 HD display.
It’s easy to be seduced by Alienware’s m15x notebook. From its handsome silver-gray case to its cool-yet-tasteful LED accents to its comfortable lap weight of less than eight pounds, this 15.4-inch machine had us at hello. Of course, only excellent performance would keep us interested.
We’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of Maximum PC readers: The first is the standard Joe or Jane who has four desktop machines at home to do all the heavy lifting. For these users, a small, low-power notebook is more than sufficient.