Alienware is a subsidiary of Dell. It specializes in desktops and laptops for gaming and also other high graphical performance applications. Alienware offers M11x, M15x, and M17x product lines for their gaming laptops.
In this article, we will look at its highest performance product line, the M17x laptops.
Alienware M17x gaming laptops boast of the most powerful Intel mobile processor. It uses the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, which has Intel Turbo Boost Technology for dynamic, on the fly overclocking feature to deliver the speed needed for high-end gaming. It also boasts of ATi CrossFireX dual GPU graphics to deliver the ultimate gaming experience. According to the alien ware website at the time of writing, the M17x gaming laptops starting price is USD1799 in the US and SGD3499 in Singapore. The price difference is due to different default specifications offered on its website in both countries.
Let’s go through the M17x gaming laptop’s technical specs.
With its processors, Alienware only offers Intel processorsItsts Singapore website offers Intel Core i7-740QM (default) and upgradable to options i7-840QM i7-940XM Intel core processors for a price. On the US website, it offers Intel Core i5-520M (default), upgradable to i5-540M, i7 720QM, i7-820QM, and i7-920XM Intel Core processors for a price. These are the latest i5 and i7 product line from Intel and should do well for any game requirement.
It is shipped with Windows 7 operating system. As far as gaming is concerned, this should not be of any concern. Most new games support both Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
For graphic or video card or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), M17x comes with CrossFireX Dual 1GB GDDR5 ATI Mobility Radeon HD5870. A single 1GB GDDR5 ATI Mobility Radeon HD5870 and single 1GB GDDR5 ATI Mobility Radeon HD4870 options available. You can’t have too much video memory. Graphic card handles the graphic processing for your computer. Increasing the video memory, using CrossFireX allows 2 or more graphics cards to work together to improve the system performance, giving you smoother, sharper, and more detailed graphics. Games now have very detailed graphic effects such as shadow, reflection 3d, and a more powerful graphics processor to ensure the ultimate gaming experience. ATI is a company acquired and owned by AMD since 2006. Its main competitor and the other major player in the graphic card market is NVIDIA’s GeForce.
M17x gaming laptops come with MacAfee antivirus. While antivirus is not an aspect to be considered for gaming laptops, it is essential as many viruses, Trojan, and worms could easily infect your laptops while accessing the internet.
For its memory, M17x gaming laptops comes with 4GB (2x2GB), 6GB (2GB+4GB) and 8GB (2x4GB) 1333MHz or 1067 MHz DDR3 SDRAM. More memory increases the overall system performance. It allows more space for the laptop to store currently used data and enables your computer to run more applications simultaneously. It is a rule of thumb that laptops with Windows Vista or Windows 7 have at least 2GB RAM. For gaming laptops, the more memory, the better.
For the display, M17x gaming laptops come with HD Display. It offers 17.0 inch UltraSharp WUXGA (1920×1200) RGB LED Display with TrueLife or 17 inches WideXGA+ 1440 x 900 (US only). A bigger display with high resolution will give a better gaming experience with the state-of-the-art graphics gaming has to offer. Alienware laptops also come standard with a 1.0 MP Webcam and digital microphone array.
M17x gaming laptops come with a 640GB 7200 RPM SATA (320GBx2) Hard drive. It is also upgradable to a 1TB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive (500GBx2). There are also 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB Solid State Drive options available. A solid-state drive is less susceptible to physical shock, quieter, and have lower access time and latency. However, the price is much higher than a hard disk drive. For now, a solid-state drive may not make too much difference in a gaming experience. There is an improvement to load times for games using a solid-state drive, but that itself may not justify the high price you have to fork out. To store more data, video, pictures, install more programs and choose a higher capacity hard drive.
MX17x gaming laptop comes with 8X DVD + /-RW Drive with DVD + R double layer write capability Optical Drive, Wireless 1520 802.11n Half Mini-Card or Intel Ultimate N WiFi Link 6300 a/g/Draft-n 3×3 MIMO, Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio, 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery and AlienFX Illuminated keyboard. It features a QuickTouch system control pad and boasts of a sensitive keyboard. The casing and laptop design are also very sleek and nice. Also, it comes with a 1-year Premier Service with 1-year CompleteCover (Singapore) or 1-year In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis(US). Based on my experience, it is good to consider upgrading to a longer plan as it saves you the hassle of worrying when your laptop breaks down.