Application and Futuremark Performance

Given that the Alienware M18x R2 we have in house features the fastest mobile CPU we've tested, the fastest mobile GPU configuration we've tested, and two SSDs in a striped RAID, it's reasonable to assume Futuremark's benchmarks are going to be pretty kind to it. With that in mind, I've added another wrinkle for both my edification and yours: I've included test results where available for AVADirect's second Quiet Gaming PC and iBuyPower's Ivy Bridge and Kepler-powered Erebus GT. Both of these are powerful current-generation gaming desktops that are available for roughly two thirds the price of the M18x R2.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

It's pretty crazy to think about just how fast a notebook like the M18x R2 can be, though you do pay very dearly for the privilege. Note that even its SSDs in RAID and SLI graphics hardware can't quite get it in contention with the two desktops and their overclocked CPUs. This is something that you're going to see a lot of.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

3DMarks 11 and Vantage show a substantial performance increase between the single and dual GPU Alienwares, but what's interesting is that despite the Ivy Bridge processor's substantial performance, it looks like it still may not be fast enough for this graphics subsystem.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

Our CPU-specific benchmarks continue to demonstrate the potential upshot of going with a custom desktop system and saving some bread, but if you need a mobile gaming system the i7-3820QM in the M18x R2 is no slouch. It very nearly breaks the 100fps barrier on the first pass of our x264 benchmark.

Introducing the Alienware M18x R2 Gaming Performance
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  • PCMerlin - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - link

    Wow.... Either you guys missed the "or better" aspect of it or you just haven't been paying attention to what the rest of the world is doing.

    Apple is offering up to 2880x1800 on MacBook Pro Retina (problem is, I'm not too keen on Apple). Retina screen resolutions are also available on i-Pads and i-Phones.

    Android phones and tablets are also catching up to those resolutions, Asus has a 1920x1200 on their 10.1" Transformer now.

    New TV's are coming out with 4k UHD (2160p)

    My 4 year old Gateway has a 1920x1200 screen - all I'm asking is why the PC market feels that 1080p is "good enough" when the rest of the world is aiming higher?

    If high-resolution PC laptops are dead, then my prediction is that the PC laptop itself will soon be dead, also.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    Would be interesting if they put 2560x1440 in this thing, considering the graphics power. Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    No. It is my money and I can buy what I want. If I want 1920x1200 and they aren't offering, there is nothing forcing me to buy their product. Also, if I never make them aware that they lost a sale due to the panel, then it will never get addressed.

    On the flip side. While 1920x1200 is not in fact dead, it has been largely relegated to high end offerings (with high end price tags). Now I must make a choice to spend the extra cash or do without. For the laptop market, I must also decide whether I can live with the other tradeoffs. For instance, I may be able to get 1920x1200 in a mobile workstation, but I also have to buy a workstation graphics card that isn't optimized for gaming. This may or may not be acceptable to me if I value gaming. High end workstation graphics, last I checked, had worse optimus support than their consumer counter parts. If I value optimus, this may not be acceptable.

    My personal number one issue is that most laptops don't have what I consider to be adequate cooling. I don't like to see my graphics cards breach 90C, much less my processor. Thermal throttling due to inadequate cooling (even with help) was the achilles heal of the M6400 I used at work (before it fried) and I'm not satisfied with <10C of margin before the dust even starts building up. Unfortunately, good cooling solutions seem to be mutually exclusive to 1920x1200 screens on performance laptops, so I'm now at 1920x1080 due to my prioritization.

    If PCMerlin prioritizes screen resolution, that is his choice to make. Alternately, he could buy the laptop and purchase an additional 1920x1200 or better monitor for when he's docked like I did.
    Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - link

    You know what would make this whole 16:9/16:10 discussion go away? If they kept the same aspect ratio and physical size and just upped the resolution/pixel density. A 2160x1215 screen would have more vertical pixels than our old favorite and a nigh-perfect 134.7 ppi at 18.4".

    Do I prefer 16:10 over 16:9? Sure. Do I prefer 1440x900 over 1600x900? Nooope. Would a 2160x1215 screen be more expensive to manufacture than a 1920x1080 screen at the same size? Not significantly, since the size of the screen drives the price more than it's resolution.

    What kills this Alienware (well, all Alienware laptops) for me, though, is the glossy screen. There's no way I'd pay more than a few hundred dollars for a laptop that has one.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    Don't know where you've been, but most of these 16:9 whinefests contain at least a few comments of people specifically mentioning how they would prefer 1440x900 over 1600x900 because of how the aspect ratio is just inherently superior... Reply
  • Sufo - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    Rubbish. The complaint is 1080 vs 1200. WUXGA can display 2 documents side by side comfortably. This is what is was designed for. Anything lower will not. Anyone who is found arguing that 1440x900 is superior to 1600x900 should not be counted towards the collected opinions of 16:10 supporters. The sad fact of the matter is that 1440x900 was replaced, by and large, by 1333x768 which is, by all accounts, a travesty. Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Thank you, Dustin, for both the M17x R4 and M18x R2 reviews. As a general question, are the display benchmark tests performed on the unit as shipped, or do you run a calibration first? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    We run a calibration first. Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Thank you for replying. Reply
  • Tchamber - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    "It's heavy enough that it can be uncomfortable on your lap or even to cart around from place to place..."

    I still have my old HP HDX9000 20" laptop that weighs neigh on 15lbs lol, its collecting dust except when I want to use its HD dvd player. My M17xR1weighs as much as this 18xR2, so I feel like its a bargain as far as size/weight is concerned. Its impressive how far laptops have come in the last few years.
    Reply

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