Dell Alienware M17x
A new gaming laptop with 3D technology
If you look at the features of the latest notebook launched by Dell for gamers, you will see a new Sandy Bridge processor manufactured by Intel. The same way as with the 3D Visio from Nvidia. Is this a good laptop for gamers ?
The Alienware M17x 3D is finally here. Since it was announced at CES 2011 and then rejected because of a bug which affected one of the components of the Intel Sandy Bridge platform, this notebook has been anticipated by a lot of people. You must know that this is not its real name. It is known under the name of “Alienware M17x New” on Dell’s website. This notebook for gamers is an Alienware device powered by a Sandy Bridge processor. The new M17x has a display of 17.3 inch diagonally and is able to play full HD imaged refreshed at 120 Hz with the help of Nvidia 3D Vision Technology. You probably know that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphic video card seems quite “right” to play 3D in full HD mode with the latest games of the moment. We must test and verify if this Alienware notebook really has the same features written in the specifications sheet.
If you compare other notebooks with an Alienware you will see that the latter is like a little Ferrari in the PC world. With a great chassis and all the components very well selected and assembled with great care, this machine seems to breath just pure performance. If you are interested in its design, the new M17x 3D remains unchanged compared to the previous version. Its color is a very matte black. The backlit keyboard is very comfortable to use and its touchpad is great. You must know that the keys dedicated to multimedia (located right on the numeric keypad) offer the same functions (eject, volume control) as older models. In fact, the only changes seem to be in the connectivity chapter. Let’s see the review and test.
Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU
For its latest model, Alienware has not hesitated to use the most powerful Intel components up to date. Under the case you will find a Core i7-2630QM processor (Windows 7 gives the 7.4 score for this processor), 4 GB RAM of memory and a 256 GB SSD Hard Drive (Windows 7 score is about 7.6). If you are interested in the type of graphics, GPU is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M with 1.5 GB of GDDR5 memory. This graphic card is enough to render the most powerful games and is also able to implement 3D Vision on the display. The monitor offers a full HD screen (1920 x 1080 pixels) and integrates it with a small receiver kit 3D Vision. Usually, this gadget connects to a PC via a USB port.
You must know that the presence of 3D Vision technology prohibits the use of what Nvidia had going on for its graphic cards. At the same time, the graphics chip produced by Intel called HD 3000 is not able to control the graphic card. A direct consequence of this problem is that autonomy has to suffer. In fact, the autonomy of the Alienware M17x is only 2 hours of video playing, even without the 3D vision on. The M17x can function without recharging for about 5 hours if the graphic card isn’t used intensely. It seems that the lack of the Optimus technology nakes itself known in the performance. Which is not pleasant.
If you look carefully at the glossy display (with 17.3 inch diagonal), you will see that it is a panel with good quality. In our tests we measured a maximum brightness of 330cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of almost 965:1. Even if the brightness is high, you probably know that using 3D glasses will significantly reduce the brightness level of the screen. If you are interested in the levels of black, details seem to be clear and not burned. This way you can enjoy movies or games with maximum of pleasure.
We tested the gadget to see how silent it was and we were pleasantly surprised to see that is was, indeed, very silent. After measurements we’ve seen that the level of sound was about 30.0 dB when there less activity going on. And 47 dB in high activity. Usually a notebook for games is a lot louder, but in this case that didn’t happen. In fact, the explanation is related to the low heat emanating from the middle of the notebook. We recorded about 29° C on the palm rest and about 47 ° C under place used for the most important feature: 3D support.
After our tests we can say that the excellent performance, impressive design, good power consumption and noise control make the latest Dell Alienware M17x a good choice for gamers. The only weak point of this model is that you are not able to play games in 3D mode and HD without a drop in the levels of detail and filters of the settings. If you want to buy a gadget like this, you must know that the basic configuration costs about 1 999 euros (DMFR5-N00W7V01) . However, the product tested by us was even more expensive: it cost about 3060 euros. Seems to be a high price, but a necessary one if you need to use the Sandy Bridge platform from Intel and the latest 3D technology from NVidia.
|Screen Size||17.3 inch|
|Number of cores (s)||4|
|Hard Drive Size||640 GB|
|Processor frequency||1600 MHz|
|Graphics Processor Model||Radeon HD 4870|
|LED technology||No LED Technology|
|Processor Model||Core i7|