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Considering buying an Alienware m17x r4

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 21, 2013 6:17:10 PM

Hey guys, I'm considering buying a used Alienware m17x r4 with a 660m for around ~1000- 1100, then selling the 660m for around $200 and buying a 680m for around $400-500 and using it until the 780m gets a little cheaper. I have a few questions.. How long can I expect to run games on this setup on ultra/high/medium? Whats the best cpu I can fit in this model? How many hard drive slots does it have? Is there something better I can get for the money that will last longer? Is the bios unlocked for overclocking? Should I get something that can use the new haswell cpus? From what I've read the biggest advantage of haswell is longer battery life, but I'm not concerned about that at all since I will have it plugged in 99% of the time. I'm looking for something that has a lot of power and is very upgradable/moddable. I know the next gen consoles are right around the corner and I'd hate to buy a laptop that will be rendered useless fairly fast from the graphics leap. I know desktops are cheaper and better, but unfortunately those aren't an option since the only internet options I have at home are satellite and dial up and I have to go to a friend's house to do any online gaming. Thanks.

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September 21, 2013 7:02:39 PM

Best bet: Don't bother buying an Alienware (pre-dell takeover they were pretty good I suppose). But MAIN reason why I say not to buy an alienware mainly: PRICE. If you're going to blow $2,000-4,000 on a computer might as well purchase the parts from NewEgg or Amazon and build a desktop. Be a much better computer for the price (like.. 5-10x better) and less chance of crapping out on you than Alienwares do.

-owned 2 Alienwares myself, still running 2nd one M17-R1 (2008, right before dell took over).

Don't get me wrong it's a good computer, but it's just a name brand. like buying a ferrari or lambo. Looks good, but you can get better for cheaper.
EDIT: Wanted to include a photo of my wish list to prove my point
http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/719/cpwg.png
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September 21, 2013 7:48:13 PM

Yeah, I would definitely go the desktop route if I could, but I don't have anywhere to put one right now and I live in a rural area so the only internet option I have is satellite internet which gives me around 1400 latency in online games on a good day. I need a powerful computer that I can put in a car and take to a friend's house since that's the only way I can download anything over 200mb or do any online gaming. I have been checking out Clevo/Sager but it seems like it's going to cost just about as much for one with a 680m and I've read about people having problems upgrading them to the 780m (and the alienware looks cooler). I don't intend to buy it direct from dell unless I can talk the sales person into giving me like a 20% discount anyway.
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September 22, 2013 4:48:00 AM

When you buy an Alienware, you are paying for Dell's warranty, a factory-unlocked BIOS in which you can overclock and change voltage, decent cooling, and a laptop that you can drop without worrying about damage. If you don't care about any of those things, then buy something else.

I think that the m17x has four hard drive bays including the optical drive slot. The i7-3920xm is the highest-end CPU that the laptop can run.

I would not bother with a last-generation laptop, but that price is fine.
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September 23, 2013 8:38:42 PM

Thanks for the help.
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