Just How Good of a Gaming Machine is the Alienware M17x?
With specifications that make many desktop PCs feel pedestrian, the Alienware M17x uses many of the fastest laptop components currently available, and is targeted at the gaming market. The build quality, design and performance of this laptop (even in the standard build) are all really exquisite. Gamers will think they have died and gone to heaven as they destroy their enemies effortlessly, but gamers beware, you may find your friends so envious that you can’t get time to yourself as they crowd around pleading for a go!
The M17x is not cheap, but then neither is a Ferrari!
The M17x is not small or light. It measures 406 by 54 by 321mm, it weighs over 5kg, and some might argue it is a portable desktop. They are wrong – it is a beautiful machine and, let’s face it, getting some well needed bicep building exercise whilst carrying the M17x to receive your gaming champion award is hardly a burden.
Now for some hard facts about the M17x….
Aside from the power socket, which sits at the rear, all of the ports are located on the sides of the chassis. On the left, you get three USB ports (one of which doubles as an eSATA port), as well as mini-FireWire, DisplayPort, HDMI-out, VGA-out and Gigabit LAN connections. Over on the right, a slot-loading DVD writer is joined by a further two USB ports, audio in/out, a multi-format card reader and an ExpressCard/54 slot.
A decent level of customisation is made possible thanks to Alienware’s Command Center suite of utilities. The most eye-catching of these is AlienFX, which lets you change the colour of the ten LED-backlit sections of the laptop, allowing for an utterly garish rainbow effect or, if preferred, no lights at all.
When powered by an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 CPU it gives a clock speed of 2.53GHz – mobile processors don’t come any faster than this! The processor is backed up by 4GB of DDR3 memory and you also get three graphics chips: an integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M and two discrete GeForce GTX 280M cards running in an SLI configuration.
Given its powerful components, Alienware has sensibly furnished the M17x with a 17-inch screen that features a suitably high native resolution of 1,920×1,200 pixels. Other specs include 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and two hard drives — 7,200rpm, naturally — providing a total of 1TB of storage.
In benchmark tests the Alienware M17x destroys the competition at a range of screen resolutions. It is breathtaking! However, please note that when worked hard, the fans can make a noise that makes you think a helicopter is landing on top of the house, but put on a set of headphones and you won’t even notice it (other people in the room may suffer, but why are they hanging around anyway).
So to conclude….
The Alienware M17x is the ultimate gaming machine – it simply takes your breath away.