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  • DarthPierce - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I have a hard time believing a samsung series 7 with 3615QM and gt 650M is getting scores 4x higher than a 3720M with raid 0 SSDs and SLI GTX680s. (22890 vs 5542)

    If those scores are real, why aren't they explained?
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Quick Sync can dramatically bloat certain scores. Reply
  • Freakie - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    "...but if you absolutely must have the most performance you can cram in a notebook, pricetag be damned, obviously this is the way to go."

    I don't know, I'd probably go with a Clevo P370EM over this... especially since I can configure a Sager one $800 cheaper and not have to worry about voiding my warranty if I want to apply my own paste xP Though anyone dropping this kind of money on a mobile gaming rig can more than chose whatever brand they want xP
    Reply
  • GTRagnarok - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Repasting an AW doesn't void the warranty. I might consider a Clevo if they put more thought into certain things, like the keyboard for instance. They cheap out and use the same keyboards on their 15" and 17" laptops. You end up with a pretty pathetic keyboard for a 17". And bad layout aside, the AW keys are just way nicer. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    The cooling just does not compare either. Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    When I had my XPS studio 16 one of the guys ( after getting to know my ability alittle better) said it would be fine to change the thermal paste, He even suggested it might help it throttle less.

    I wonder if these suffer from any throttling issues?
    Reply
  • bennyg - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - link

    "Pricetag be damned" then every point you mention is about price or warranty.

    AW is also one of the very, very few who bother to get GPU switching working (and well) on their big gaming rigs, while the 2.5-3 hrs I get on my Clevo P150HM is good enough for me (and didn't justify the premium commanded by AW) the AW have always been better on that front ever since they got a 9400M integrated working alongside the SLI'ed 9800Ms a number of years ago. I think that was even before Nvidia brought out Optimus?
    Reply
  • PCMerlin - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Open article.
    WUXGA or better screen?
    No.
    Close article.
    Reply
  • KineticHummus - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    you missed a step. forgot to add in making a worthless comment Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    1920x1200 is dead. Get over it. Reply
  • Silma - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I won't.
    That's why I keep my M17xR2, with probably the best screen ever on a notebook.
    Reply
  • Silma - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Oop answered to quickly. Indeed, mostly true unfotunately. Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I prefer 16:10 aspect ratio, also. The Alienware displays are great, but I wish they offered the IPS RGBLED panel from the Precision mobile workstation as an option. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I prefer 16:10, too. My desktop monitors are all 16:10.

    The problem is that 16:10 in notebooks is basically all but gone. Even HP's top of the line mobile workstation with the IPS DreamColor display went to 1920x1080.

    You can kvetch and be upset all you want, but this is the direction the market went. If you're really going to write off generations of quality hardware over losing a whole 120 vertical pixels of real estate, well...
    Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    You're forgetting a big elephant in the room: Apple, Although not much in the gaming dept, even their latest retina mbp has a 16:10 screen. They all do except the 11 air. Just wish the PC guys would copy that, they're copying everything else... Reply
  • N4g4rok - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    120 vertical pixels isn't worth the superiority complex. Reply
  • secretmanofagent - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Cynically speaking, sounds like you already have it. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Quite possibly.

    But the point remains remains valid. Why pass up a display because of that difference?

    For practicality's sake, there's nothing wrong with it.
    Reply
  • etundidor - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Is there any chance of upgrade tne M17x mobo in order to increase the RAM, Get SATA III 6G capacity and maintain this awesome display? Reply
  • etundidor - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Hey guys, Is there any chance of upgrade the M17x R2 mobo in order to increase the RAM to 32 GB or 16GB at least , Get SATA III 6G capacity, manage two GTX 680M and maintain the M17x R2 awesome HD display? Reply
  • 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
  • Silma - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    The conclusion is a bit flawed though.

    A. You don't buy a gaming computer to play today's games. You buy it to play today's games plus games in the next 3 years.

    B. There is a display port. When at home you may want to play on a 30" 2560x1600 screen and still want a laptop because you are often on the road.
    Reply
  • A5 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    If you want to play for 3 years, don't buy a laptop. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    The M18X supports intel XTU.

    The 3820QM is partially unlocked allowing you to add +400mhz to each turbo boost frequency (4 core, 2core and single core). You can also adjust TDP limits.

    If you upped the frequency by 400mhz and the TDP limits up to 75W short and 60W long then you could see for sure.
    Reply
  • Steveymoo - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Unless that screen refreshes at 120hz, I would have a hard time justifying spending this much money on a gaming laptop, even if I had all the money in the world. It's bulky, heavy, noisy, and hot, and all games are naturally capped at 60fps because of the LCD panel. There comes a point where the diminishing returns make the practicality of such a product null & void. Sure, you can say it's probably future proof, but graphics will only seriously improve when next gen consoles come out. By then, dx12 will have been released, and we will see another 1 or 2 generations of video cards from both AMD, and Intel.

    So, I have to ask, who exactly is wasting their hard earned cash on these laptop configurations?
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I'm one of those who 'wasted' their hard-earned cash on an M18x R2.

    Yes, the screen is the low-point (in the daylight), and yes I'd like more resolution, but no choice. Other than Crapple, who else does a better screen now, for this sort of machine?

    Anyway, it is not noisy, and for the 70% of the time I'm not gaming, completely silent too. I have to run Sandra SiS, or something to provoke the fans to any noticeable level. Even gaming the noise is quite acceptable. The girlfriend's MacBook is actually louder in everyday use, I kid you not. When her fans spin up, I hear it clearly over my usage.

    Hot? Where? Do you sit near the back by the fans?

    Games do run over 60fps, whilst it not noticeable on the screen, it is from the mouse, in feel / fluidity of play. E.g. MW3 is capped at 91fps, if I sync every frame, then yes it will run at 60fps. At home, I use the VGA output to my 3D screen, and it looks lovely. Not a fan of hdmi.

    Heavy, it is kind of, but with the Alienware backpack, I must say, it is quite manageable, and I am a frequent traveler. In 6 weeks, this M18x R2 has been to Thailand, Saudi, Venezuela, UK, and Thailand again. No problem. Even my previous was an 18.4"er, and I carried that across the globe for 2yrs.

    Price? We are not talking about the price difference between a new GTR, or a Ferrari, 'tis just a couple of grand more than a competing quality notebook, and not every household is short of money, I can tell you.

    I can also justify it, as our in-house software is heavy on cpu / memory requirements, and sometime the databases I need to run bring the supplied Core 2 duo laptops to their knees. So, I went with Crossfire, 3920XM, 16GB 1866MHz RAM, dual SSDs in RAID0, and this machine thus performs admirably when I get to site, running 4.4GHz on all four cores, all day. I know of some that run theirs higher.

    Its a real talking-point when meeting new customers too.

    Still waiting for AMD/ATI to finalise their drivers though (no 680Ms in mine, dual 7970Ms), so gaming can be hit-miss sometimes, but I hear this will be solved next month.

    Have a nice day.
    Reply
  • bji - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I cannot even look at the pictures of this Alienware. It is so ugly that it hurts my eyes.

    Also, Anand doesn't respond to his email, so don't bother ever emailing him. Not sure why he even puts his email address up on this site.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    If i was Anand i wouldn't even bother to reply most of the stupid emails, but would use the time to reply to constructive emails. Reply
  • tphillips63 - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    It depends on what your subject is. I and many others have email conversations with him over the years. I can tell you he does answer cogent emails on subject. Reply
  • DeeeNYC - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Aside from a pro gamer or people who are always going to LAN parties I don't even see the point in something like this. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Frequent travelers, such as myself, don't have the option to own a desktop, and indeed I just sold my last desktop, because of the dust gathering on it. (but I still prefer desktops, and would have one again, if I was stationary enough)

    I also hear people living away at Uni, like to use them too, as they can have large screens for watching movies, and pack up and go home for the holidays with their computer too.

    Don't forget others needing mobile workstations.

    And thus, for those of us who need raw power & portability, this is the only way to go.

    Also, you can pack it away in 5ms, when having parties / people over to visit, can't do that with your tower & screen & keyboard quite as easily...

    I hope that elucidates you.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    You can elucidate all you want, but DeeeNYC can't be elucidated. Reply
  • scook9 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I know it cost an arm and a leg, but the extreme CPU with the BIOS in this laptop is very impressive. People have been running the 2920xm in the M18x R1 at 4.5+ GHz with stock air cooling (no repaste needed - Dell is actually using quality paste on these Alienwares). I have not been following the R2 since I returned my R1 (loved it but the GPU died and dell did not have any new ones in stock so gave me a full refund 15 months after purchase!) but I imagine people are pulling off similarly impressive scores. Reply
  • Harmattan - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    It will be very interesting to see results of the 7970m Crossfire test. In my experience with my previous m18x with dual 7970m vs. my current dual GTX 680ms, while the AMD solution worked well when it did, in some cases Catalyst drivers failed miserably e.g., worse performance than a single 7970m. 680m drivers with SLI on the other hand have been rock solid for me.

    As for the case for this ultra-powerful laptop, it's this: it's a portable desktop replacement. The reason I own an m18x r2 with dual 680ms is not because I want the most powerful laptop in the world, but rather because I want a laptop that rivals and in some cases exceeds the power of a desktop. I live in a relatively small apartment in NYC where every square ft counts. The m18x allows me to save space/reduce clutter, utilize my 2560x1600 monitor to its fullest AND be able to take a no-compromise gaming experience on the road if I want.
    Reply
  • geniekid - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Those are impressive performance numbers, but they better be for what they're charging. The baseline model makes the new Razer Blade look like a pretty decent deal - I'd pay an extra $500 for the SSD and superior build quality. Reply
  • twtech - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - link

    How does the keyboard feel? Are there any issues with it? How do your palms feel resting on it? Is the touchpad decent? Are there any issues with accidentally moving the mouse pointer or clicking when you're trying to type? Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    The keyboard is 'ok'. Its not the best I've ever used, but indeed is far from the worst too.

    The fact that it can change colour is lost on me, as I have set it to blue, and it stays like that, unless I fire up BF3, when it decides to change colour on my anyway, which is kind of interesting to see, but thats about it. It flashes red when you are near to death, and can be configured to do just about anything you want, but I've not really explored that.

    The touchpad does not suffer from much interference from your palms whilst you type, whereas the last laptop I had, did interfere very much. I'm sure this is the best touchpad I've had on a laptop to date. With the curve on the case in front of it, using the touchpad feels good too, but...

    When typing, the curved case ends where you wrists go, and makes it less comfortable. That curved edge should go right across the whole front of the laptop I think.
    Reply
  • PresenceOfMind - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    I'm about to purchase a M18X with SLI GTX 680M and I've been reading all I can to make the best choice.
    I'm very surprised with your article conclusion.
    I don't understand how can you make such a statement when your benchmarks, most of them, were not even done on game max settings and max display resolution. With lower settings you got average of 60FPS in same games, that's the minimal FPS expected for a hard core gamer machine.
    Furthermore, I would like to point out that M18X R2 scored 40 FPS more than a M17X R4 and also the fact that a M18X R2 built quality is a lot superior to the M17X R4. The M18X R2 is only 800 dollars more expensive than M17X R4.
    And as conclusion, I would like to bring up the fact that for this kind of machine, we should expect it to run it for at least 3 years before replacing. Do you really believe that a single card will be able to run the incoming games and new graphic technologies?
    PS : My only complain about the M18X R2 is the fact that it doesn't have 3D display and it doesn't support 1920X1200 resolution.
    Reply
  • Dug - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    I wish they would change the style or come up with alternative.
    Right now it looks like a Chevy.
    Many people would prefer something less annoying.
    Reply
  • ronmccord - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    I own the Mx18 running 2x580 m is sli and 2x256 in raid ssd, killer wireless everything top notch.
    I own this rather then a desktop for two reasons. I live in Colombia so bought it in Usa and was easy to bring with me vs a desktop which would be not possible. Also the M18x is aluminum and larger then the m17x which helps with cooling. I am hoping for a good 3 years out of it. I also like Alienware support which is the only! I repeat only company that will come to your house here in Colombia there is not one other manufacturer here that has a warranty except Apple. Had my Dell Xps laptop repaired twice here new hardrives. I also am running a Dell 30 inch with 2550x1600 res so good graphics is a must!. Now I am am a tech junkie and I also own a R2 M17x in sli with the aluminum case. I still check around like Sager and Msi to find options to Alienware but you can't beat the construction quality, warranty or look of the Alienware. Also I have it laying on top of the ZVOX speaker if you have not checked them out it fits perfect on it.. Matter of fact only thing that looks good is a laptop on it, and X51 style or an htpc style case. Only one speaker needed and the sound is incredible to watch movies and videos etc. With the Alienware Blacklaptop on top with Green lighting looks menacing. I love this look so much I actually would consider the Alienware x51, if that thing can run well with the equivalent of gtx 670 power I may consider passing the M18x to gf. Look forward to what Alienware and others come out with by next year this time. Who knows may be external graphics options that will allow me to have A small Alienware for travel and home or a 680m equivalent power in a m14x. Until then very happy with the M18xx and remember for those not appreciating it the more space you have to cool the better off you are! Thanks for reasing my long post hope it helps some in deciding I enjoyed everyones post especially the guy who lugs his m18x all over the world makes me feel better for my upcoming 30 day trip to Argentina however I only have the messenger bag vs backpack so I am jealous
    Reply
  • etundidor - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Hey guys, Is there any chance of upgrade the M17x R2 mobo in order to increase the RAM to 32 GB or 16GB at least , Get SATA III 6G capacity, manage two GTX 680M and maintain the M17x R2 awesome HD display? Reply

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