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Alienware M17x Laptop Optimal CPU/GPU for gaming

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  • Gaming
  • Components
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Last response: in Components
March 5, 2010 11:50:36 PM

Hi! This is my first post here. Wonderful and very informative site!

I'm a computer engineering student from Puerto Rico, and an avid flight sim gamer. I've got FSX, LOMAC, Falcon 4: AF and my new favorite, FreeFalcon 5.

I have been playing these games in my ancient desktop (from late 2006, with a positively anemic ATI Radeon 200M). My mom got me a laptop about a year and a half ago, but she doesn't know anything about gaming so it only had integrated graphics (ahhhhhh!!!), so barely any gaming in the laptop was possible. That laptop died, and I was going to finally buy something worthy for myself: an Alienware M17x. A few of my friends bought M15x's for last Xmas and the machines are positively awesome. But I wanted even more than just awesome - I wanted the most extreme performance I could buy. Money is not (much of) an issue.

So after I set the system up in Dell's website, it had an Intel Core i7 920 XM, Dual ATI Radeon 4870's, and a 250 Gig SSD. Yes, I was swinging for the fences, but I also have to run CAD and other design programs in my laptops, and I wanted something that could handle ANYTHING I threw at it. Before I plopped down over 5 grand for it, I decided to call Dell to make sure nothing was in the horizon. I doubted this to be the case since the 4870's are almost 2 years old. Sure enough, very nice dude told me that apparently Dell's going to update the line for this May, and that Radeon 5870's are going to be available. I asked him thru email whether the i7 980 XM would be available as well since it's supposed to be coming out this month, but he hasn't gotten back to me on that one (it would make sense because the 920 uses the same slot).

These are my dream specs and I'm for the most part willing to pay up for them:
CPU: Intel Core i7 980 XM @3.33GHz
GPU: Dual ATI Radeon 5870's or 5970's in CrossfireX
Drive: 250 SSD (Need for speed is extreme)
RAM: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3


The 5970's I'm not sure about, as they are pricey and they have only 5850 speeds, even though they are two cores. I'm wondering if this setup (Dual 5970's) would be sufficiently faster than dual 5870's for me to pay for it. I'd do it if it was at least a 30% improvement in performance.

And about the CPU: If the 980 isn't available, should I buy the 920 or the 870? I read a thread here a few days ago in which some benchmarks apparently rated the i7 870 better than the 920. I'm looking for the best stock performance: so should I choose the 920 or the 870 (if the 980 XM isn't available)?




More about : alienware m17x laptop optimal cpu gpu gaming

March 6, 2010 12:14:29 AM

Also, I recently got a Toshiba Laptop which I am going to use the rest of this semester and then will pass on to my mom who needs a new laptop. It's got an Intel Core i7 and an NVidia GeForce 310M GPU (I chose it this time). The performance increase over my old laptop is VERY noticeable, but I cannot run FreeFalcon 5 without it crashing 50% of the time. I think this may have to do with the game having a lot of 2D elements mixed with alot of 3D elements as well. This game does not use current code - it is Falcon 4 (which came out in '99) heavily modified but still reliant on alot of old code. For a freeware flight sim, it is awesome and whatever I go with HAS to run this game. I already checked my drivers and they are the most recent, and apparently ATI identified this issue with 2D graphic elements and fixed it (read it on this site). So I guess another point to go with ATI (that and DirectX 11 Support).

By the way, it HAS to be a laptop. I've got to move around with my stuff. Basically, what I want is a powerful desktop that I can take with me. Battery life is not an issue as I can always find an outlet =D.
October 13, 2013 3:17:43 PM

Tinito16 said:
Also, I recently got a Toshiba Laptop which I am going to use the rest of this semester and then will pass on to my mom who needs a new laptop. It's got an Intel Core i7 and an NVidia GeForce 310M GPU (I chose it this time). The performance increase over my old laptop is VERY noticeable, but I cannot run FreeFalcon 5 without it crashing 50% of the time. I think this may have to do with the game having a lot of 2D elements mixed with alot of 3D elements as well. This game does not use current code - it is Falcon 4 (which came out in '99) heavily modified but still reliant on alot of old code. For a freeware flight sim, it is awesome and whatever I go with HAS to run this game. I already checked my drivers and they are the most recent, and apparently ATI identified this issue with 2D graphic elements and fixed it (read it on this site). So I guess another point to go with ATI (that and DirectX 11 Support).

By the way, it HAS to be a laptop. I've got to move around with my stuff. Basically, what I want is a powerful desktop that I can take with me. Battery life is not an issue as I can always find an outlet =D.


Go with Sager... Best build quality out there. NP9570 preferably.