alienware vrs dell
I have about $3000 to spend on a new laptop. I've been thinking about either the alienware area51-m or the dell 8200. The alienware comes with a faster desktop processor and the cpu on it is upgradeable. The dell comes with a 64mb geforce 4 while the alienware uses the ati 7500 also 64mb. The dell offers a 5400 40 gig hd while the alienwares is 4200 40gig. I'm not sure which would be a better gaming machine. I am trying to get the best gaming laptop I can. I would go with a desktop but I travel a lot and lugging a desktop with me just wouldn't work. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
I would save some money and buy the Dell 8200. I just ordered one yesterday. I looked at the Alienware system as well then noted that it is the same laptop as the Sager NP5620, but with a $500 mark up for the Alienware name <A HREF="http://www.powernotebooks.com/specials.php3?model_id=149" target="_new">http://www.powernotebooks.com/specials.php3?model_id=149</A>.
Ok if you are really looking for performance, then I recommend the Alienware for various reasons. We order Dell 8200s weekly here at work and I have just recevied my Area51m.
I've noticed that the Dells just do not perform well, I am not certain if it is the hard drive or just the chipset they use, but performance really suffers. We have not however ordered a Dell with the new 5400 RPM hard drives, so I am not certain of the boost with that. Another thing to note, however, is that IBM makes the hard drives that go into the Alienwares, and if you look at Average Seek Times, the IBM hard drives blow away the dells (like 12ms Alienware to 20ms Dell).
On the video card issue, I do not think the Dell nor the Alienware will make it easy for you to upgrade the video. Though Alienware doesn't mention video card upgradeability, it does use the Intel 845MP chipset which uses external video via AGP 4x, so its definately upgradeable if you are willing to take the laptop apart.
Another thing to note is going with desktop processors. I'd like to see a benchmark test comparing a 2.0 GHz p4 and a 2.0 GHz P4-M. I truly think the desktop processor would outperform the mobile, but I have yet to see actual comparisons.
I also debated going with the Sager because of price difference. But with the Alienware, they focus on cooling and all other minor details to optimize the machine. Also after looking at the Sager website, its not a company I would spend that much money with. Not to to mention their support is probably terrible.
I don't think the desktop 2.0 Ghz P4 will outperform a mobile 2.0 Ghz P4 because, as far as I know, they have pretty much the same architecture, aside from the power saving features in the mobile CPU
Also there was a PC Magazine article about desktop P4 CPU's placed in a laptop. Their performance was lower than would be expected for the speed of the CPU.
"Today, our preliminary testing indicates that 2.2-GHz processors in laptops perform similarly to and maybe slightly better than the fastest mobile chips. Let's be clear, however: You still get only 1.6- or 1.8-GHz performance out of a 2.2-GHz desktop processor when it's placed in a laptop."
Actually Dell use IBM Hard drives aswell as Toshiba hard drives. The different speed HDD wont make a really big difference, expecially in gaming.
"On the video card issue" Dell !virtually! encourage the upgrade of their graphics cards. you can order a new one from dell, and they will ship it to you all you do is get under the hood, take out 2 screws, and slot in the new graphics (Bios updates are also essential), but it voids the warranty.
Dell may not focus as much on cooling, but their product is well rounded, and very sturdy. with nifty little features.
I dont think there will be much difference between a P4 and a P4-M...
except for that 1 pin for speedstep
"The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a beer bottle, they're on TV."
What do you mean when you say the Dell 8200s don't perform well? How are they configured? What benchmark are you using when you are testing them?
I think everyone is getting caught up in the hype over Alienware. I have nothing against their company, but I don't think they are worth $500 more than a similarly configured Dell. You also get a slightly better video card with the Dell. What does their supposed extra cooling get you? Unless your machine is locking up there is no need for extra cooling or do you want to overclock? The Alienware has the exact same case as the Sager so there can't be any additional vents. Check out how Powernotebooks does at Reseller Ratings. They kick butt. A perfect 10. Support for their Sagers is pretty damn good.
Hmm...cool Alienware T-Shirt or $500. I'll take the money!
My local gaming friends & I are big into LanParties and we travel all over the state going to them, This is the domain of the laptop. I have the AlienWare Area51-M and it runs circles around my friends Inspiron 8200, as well as every other laptop and most of the desktops at every Lanparty I have been to since I got it!. Except for the CPU & GPU(My friend has the Geforce4 440 Go & P4-M 1.8Ghz) our hardware is Identical and mine will still get over 1500 more 3D marks in 3dMark2001SE than his can muster on it's best day & he paid about $800 more for his Dell than I spent on the Area51-M. As far as performance goes I can tell you right now there is no comparison, I run JediKnight2 in 1600x1200x32 with the detail setting set to maximum when he can only run it in 1280x1024x32 at the lowest possible detail settings and all that while Im running 2 displays and he is only running one. No matter what game we play I usually have a 40 to 50 FPS advantage over him and his video card the Geforce4 440 Go doesn't even have half the features or look nearly as nice as my Mobility Radeon7500. If the AlienWare Area51-M is too expensive for you then you can always buy it from one of the OEM companies since AlienWare isn't even the one that makes that laptop. It is actually made by a company called CLEAVO and can be purchased from many companies, www.extremenotebooks.com is just one of many that sells that exact same laptop and they will ship one to you for a little over $2,300!
Interesting. No websites that I have been to report the ATI besting the Geforce4 440 Go in testing. Does you friend have a 32 or 64MB model? What about his screen? Is it UXGA? If not, that may be why he can't go 1600X1200.
I went to the Dell site and cannot see how he could have paid $800 more for his Dell system. Alienware is always a good $500+ more than a similarly configured Dell. I ordered a 8200 for $1700(after rebates). PCWorld gave the 8200 decent marks. Haven't seen any testing on the Area-51M yet.
His display is equal to mine, In fact all his hardware is exactly equal to mine except his CPU & GPU, it's an UXGA 1600x1200 and acording to the quote he gave me it was about $800 more than what I paid for mine at the time he bought it which was almost 5 months ago. I just checked Dell's web site and put together the exact same system he has and compared the price and I was right, even now that the P4-M 1.7Ghz CPU is hella alot cheaper than when he bought his the system he has would still cost atleast $600 more than what I paid for my system!
The only tweak I have made to my system is a driver switch, Instead of using the Mobility Radeon 7500 driver from www.ati.com I am using the Mobility FireGL 7800 driver from www.ibm.com...
He is right, Clevo makes the Alienware as well as the Sagers. Also, I don't think you've looked at the specs of the Alienware, because it not only matches Dell's price, but beats it. Price a 2.0ghz Dell w/ 512mb ddr ram, 64mb nvidia, 40gb hd, cd/cdrw/dvd combo and UXGA display and then compare.
Moreover, Nvidia does not beat ATI in the mobile market. The Radeon 7500 mobility is the best laptop video card. This site actually compared the two, but I think they used the 32mb model of the Nvidia. If you search google, you will find benchmarks of the two, and you'll see the ATI outperform the Nvidia.
And about resellerratings, I think its rigged anyway.
It's pretty wild but even dell doesn't make their own laptops, They are made by a company called COMPAL. All dell does is just buy them from COMPAL, Jack the price up several hundred dollars, Install an OS and stick their name on the outside of it...
This comapny also makes quite a few of the compaq notebooks...
What has been said here needs no ending...
Yes that's my whole point on Alienware. Same as a Sager and others, but with a $500 mark up. What are you really getting for the mark up?
I have looked at the specs of both Dell and Alienware several times. You must be comparing two different processors. There's a big price difference between the P4 and the P4-M. Compare the Dell and the Alienware P4-M and you'll see the big Alienware mark up. And as Skull Angel pointed out in another thread on this board, you do not get desktop performance out of a laptop with a desktop CPU plus you drink batteries much faster.
Couldn't find any benchmark comparisons of the two video cards except for Tom's. If you see any please post the URL.
What do you think is rigged about Reseller Ratings? They seem pretting accurate to me based on all of my online purchases.