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Finally

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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July 24, 2002 1:10:06 AM

I got my Area 51-M today.

Here are the main specs:

1.7 Ghz Mobile P4
512 MB PC 2100 DDR RAM
15 inch UXGA+ display (very nice)
40 Gig HD 4200 rpm (coulda been faster, 13 ms seek time)

OS: Windows XP Professional

All in all I like it. The Build seems nice. The only places I noticed chasis flex so far is underneath the comp near the fans and near the Combo Drive (the plastic part you pull on to remove it). That's not really a big deal, though, because the rest of the drive is covered by the computer case and it's the fixed drive that has to be first unfastened by tools. My real concern is that the latch to keep the LCD screen closed seems a tad fragile. It's heavy, but that's all right. The most I'll ever lug it around is to and from LAN parties in the next building over.

The documentation is nice. Got a full Windows CD disk and a driver disk. The driver disk looks like the reflective layer may actually have been produced with a flaw so I'll have to see about getting a new one. I'm backing up the HD with Drive Image 2002 right now, so it isn't really a pressing concern.

It seems very fast. Alot faster than the machine I'm using right now. I'll run 3Dmark 2002 SE on it within the week. I expect I'll be spending the better part of the week tweaking and reconfiguring XP to make it faster and more secure.

Well it's almost finished backing up so right now I'm going to do a dry run of the restore process.

later

~Skully

More about : finally

July 24, 2002 1:49:40 AM

What type of graphics card did you get?
July 24, 2002 4:24:59 AM

oh yeah, I forgot *heh*

It's an ATI 7500 Mobility Radeon with 64 Megs DDR RAM

~Skully
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July 24, 2002 8:24:11 PM

Ok I got the same card in my "off brand" Sager. I can't wait to compare 3dmarks. Mine has been tip top BTW.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
July 24, 2002 9:55:47 PM

Dude your system looks <b>exactly</b> like mine.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
July 24, 2002 11:20:36 PM

While we're comparing benchmarks, i scored a 5183 in 3dmark with the following:

Dell Inspiron 8200
2.0 GHz Pentium 4-m
512 megs DDR
40 GB 5400 rpm HDD
64 mb GeForce4Go
July 26, 2002 1:14:43 PM

You can't compare with Skull_Angel... He got a wimpy cpu. Wait until I get mine..
July 26, 2002 1:20:42 PM

My friend just got a Sager 5620 though, with these specs:

P4 2.4 GHz
1024 MB DDR PC 2100
64 MB DDR ATI Mobility 7500
15" UXGA 1600x1200

and he scored 4983.
July 26, 2002 6:50:56 PM

I'll let you know what mine is soon. What resolutions were you running the 3Dmark tests at anyways?

And ph0rse the 1.7 Ghz P4 mobile is hardly a wimpy processor. The 2.0 is 17 Percent faster mhz wise but I doubt it's 17 % faster across the board in real world apps. So, what are you getting a 2.4 Ghz P4 desktop? good luck with the battery life.
July 26, 2002 7:28:42 PM

The laptop I bought, though, is meant to be a desktop replacment, not a portable. So weight and battery life are things I agree to sacrifice. The pentium 4 desktop chip, however, uses a lot less power then previous chips already, so its not as bad as it may initially seem.

Since you got the Alienware Area51-m though, how long did it take for you to receive yours? I ordered mine July 14th and it's still in the building phase..
July 26, 2002 8:17:06 PM

Well, I'll mostly use mine plugged in too. I just wanted less heat and a little more battery life because I'll occasionally be away from an outlet. It took awhile, because I'm not in the U.S. If it's in the Building stages though shouldn't take longer than 12 buisiness days. Depending on how long it took to them to get approved by the credit card you might have it in a few days.

I've read some people oc'ing the 7500 to about 270 and I think that the stock speed is about 220 mhz. So if you see scores much above 5300 in 3DMark chances are the GPU is overclocked. I probably won't overclock mine cause I can run most games at 1240x1024 at 32 bit color pretty smoothly.


BTW from what I've read if Jedi Outcast is your game then you've got the best laptop for it. How fast a P4 desktop did you order anways?

The fan in the AC adapter is noisier than the laptop most of the time.
July 26, 2002 8:20:35 PM

I find it very curious that folks around here think that the Area51 is a great machine but look down on ProStar and Sager. Near as I can tell they are all the exact same thing. My Sager has the same Radeon7500 vid card, the same Intel 845 mobile chip set, the same Intel p4 chips available, the same case and so on.

I got the 2G desktop cpu in mine and run around 4560 3dmarks at 1024 by 768 at full color depth (default settings). I'm expecting this 1.7 to get around 4300 on ac power and around 2000 on batts. Can't wait to see what up!!

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
July 26, 2002 8:23:22 PM

More tests from laptops here at work:

Dell Inspiron 8200
P4 1.8ghz Mobile
GeForce2 32mb Go
256mb ram

2453 3Dmarks

Inspiron 8000
933 Mhz p3
512 MB Ram
32mb GeForce2 go

463 3Dmarks

All tests, including the Sager 5620 I previously mentioned, are run at 1024x768x32.
July 26, 2002 8:31:31 PM

I got the 2.2ghz chip. But the maximum PC review got a 2.4ghz and it scored 5158. I'll post what I get when mine comes in.
July 27, 2002 1:02:57 AM

4859 in 3Dmark2001 SE on AC power

I got 4852 on the 2nd run and 4844 on the 3rd run.

the last test details were

Game 1 Car chase lo detail 73.8 fps
Game 1 Car chase hi detail 35.3 fps
Game 2 Dragothic lo detail 79.6 fps
Game 2 Dragothic Hi detail 46.6 fps
Game 3 Lobby lo detail 85.1 fps
Game 3 lobby hi detail 41.1 fps



I ran the default settings in 3DMark and restarted before he first test as in the guidelines in the help file. The 2nd and 3rd tests I just had 3DMark run again without restarting. I got lazy so sue me.

Test details 1024x768 32 bit color etc. etc.


I let you know what I get on DC power later.
Remember what PC Magazine said about Desktop P4 CPU's not performing at their maximum potential in a laptop chassis?
They perform at the same level as a mobile P4 clocked a few hundred mhz lower. I posted the address in other posts in this category already. Here it is again...

http://www.pcmag.com/article/0,2997,s=1470&a=23263&app=...

Anyway, I'm now thinking that part of the price mark up is because they may actually take apart the laptop and tweak the cooling a bit. Notice that Alienware makes it an issue that they use Arctic Silver III on the CPU and heatsink in their ads. I haven't seen Sager or Prostar make the same claims in their ads. Granted that doesn't mean that Sager or Prostar don't use Arctic Silver III in their cooling setup, but wouldn't say so if they did?

I think heat also plays some part in the fact that my scores got slightly progressively worse. I'm expecting that ph0rse's 2.2 Ghz Alienware laptop will beat mine, because of my supposition about what they do to the cooling systems before they ship em out. I think the arctic silver probably lessens the "Desktop chip in a laptop case" factor that PC Magazine pointed out in their article

An average of 4850 3DMarks ain't bad though eh? :) 

P.S. I just ran the 3DMark on DC power and got 4852. I guess Alienware disabled the power saving feature in the Graphics chip because the CPU's speedstep feature is enabled in BIOS. The BIOS is one of the first things I checked. *heh*
July 27, 2002 1:28:05 AM

I read the link last time but I guess I didn't understand it. I thought that what it said was that desktop cpus in laptops would not go as fast as if they were desktops but that they would be as fast as their mobiles at the same clock. Anyway I'm glad you got something extra for your money cause you spent a lot more then I did. I was really hoping it would turn out this way for your sake even though I was betting otherwise. Now I'm curious to know what the difference is cause the machines spec out the same. I wonder if mine is a reject like a cel cpu and it is running a little underclocked or something.

Click <A HREF="http://www.pcmag.com/article/0,2997,s=1470&a=23263&app=..." target="_new">http://www.pcmag.com/article/0,2997,s=1470&a=23263&app=...;/A>


Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
July 27, 2002 1:38:40 AM

You do have twice the sysem memory which could account for some/all of the difference.

Anybody got a area51 with 256M?

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
July 27, 2002 2:05:18 AM

Sorry to be such a pain. I ain't gonna buy 256M just to see if my system can pick up a few hundered 3d marks but you could test yours with half the memory ripped out pretty easy. If you wanna know too please go down to 256 and repost the results.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
July 27, 2002 9:58:40 AM

Well right now I don't want to open up the keyboard and remove a plate so I can temporarily remove a 256 SO-DIMM. I'll wait until I want to upgrade before opening it up. If I could get to it just by opening one panel on the bottom I would. I'll give you that with only 256 Megabytes of memory my 3DMark score would be about the same as yours. You'd still have a Mhz advantage in CPU speed though.
July 29, 2002 1:55:59 PM

Wow, I honestly didn't think you'd score that well.. No offense :)  I just wrongly assumed that 1.7 ghz was slow. But your scores almost match my friends 2.4ghz 1gb ram Sager (5983).

The difference between Alienware also lies with the ram and hard drive. I called both companies to see what they use and Alienware told me they use Kingston memory. Sager gave me a speech about Ram being a commodity and that brand has no overall effect on performance. Alienware also uses the IBM Travelstar hard drive, which may perform better then the Toshiba hard drive used in the Sagers.. I am not sure on the hard drive issue though, both companies are well known for good performing products.
July 30, 2002 12:55:20 AM

Hmm figured I should write in cause I just recently got an Area51m also. I've got the 64 meg ati same as skull_angel. Have the desktop 2.2ghz processor. 512 ram. Basically it's the standard config for it except 2.2 ghz instead of 2.4ghz. 3dmark2001 was the first thing I ran on it after installing my wireless ethernet card. Right out of the box without any overclocking I average around 5290. I've got 2 scores published.

http://service.madonion.com/compare?2k1=4020112

should be the compare page for my 5292.

http://service.madonion.com/compare?2k1=4001779

Is the compare page for my 5287. Heh figure everyones gonna call me a liar now and say I overclocked or something.
July 30, 2002 3:50:05 AM

Hell yes.. I am glad I chose Alienware now. Can't wait until mine comes in :) 
July 30, 2002 4:34:53 AM

*grin* I really love this laptop. I'm playing NWN with every video option checked cept shiny water and a resolution of 1600x1200. Even have anti-aliasing turned all the way up and I have no probs. I've read a couple postings in the Alienware forums bout the heat but I haven't had a problem yet, so I think it's only the 2.4 ghz processors. Battery life is a bit disappointing. Get about 60-70 minutes battery life while playing NWN with only the primary battery. Did purchase the secondary battery also but haven't tested it out yet. Hmm only problems I've had so far don't have to do with the system itself but with the sales department. When I ordered I was told that the video card wasn't integrated with the motherboard but turns out it is. They did tell me however that I could send it back in and have the motherboard/video card replaced when a new card becomes available. Was also missing my free t-shirt and mousepad but hopefully I'll get those soon.
Oh on a side note. Anyone know how I can possibly increase my 3dmark score without overclocking?
July 30, 2002 6:13:41 PM

Remember when I said I wasn't gonna by extra ram just to see if I can keep up with you guys? I lied. Just ordered a 512 stick today, we will see if the little Sager can keep up with the mighty area-51. Ships today.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
August 1, 2002 7:25:27 PM

I received my Area51-M today configured with the 2.2ghz also and 512mb ram. I only scored 4963, though, how did you manage 5290?
August 1, 2002 8:31:48 PM

Hrm. I didn't really do anything. Closed all the programs I had running, disabled everything in network properties and ran it. Oh killed the lil ATI icon thingy thats by the clock. What version of video drivers do you have installed? My driver version is 6.13.10.6118
August 1, 2002 8:48:27 PM

Ok I got my computer up to full speed on batts thanks to you guys. Someone here posted the same 3dmarks on batts as ac and got me to thinkin. The duty cycle on batts was 50% and i turned it down to zero. This makes everything way smoother on batts. Can't wait to get the extra ram and see if Sager can hang with the A-ware.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
August 2, 2002 3:32:11 PM

Where did you get version *.6118? I can't find it anywhere...
August 2, 2002 3:47:55 PM

Got em from Ati's website. Towards the bottom of the page clicked on drivers for built by Ati. Then selected my OS as Windows XP and card as radeon 7500. Hmm looks like they just came out with new drivers for it yesterday. I tried installing the ones that are dated as released yesterday and it didn't work. If I find the old ones that I have on mine I'll post a link to it. Dunno if it's the drivers tho, cause they didn't really improve my score much. Was getting like 5287 before the drivers...getting around 5290 now. Highest I've gotten is 5296. I want 4 more points :( 
August 17, 2002 3:33:32 AM

Update

I hate xp so I decided to take a rather huge chance on the Clevo win98 radeon 7500 drivers and system BIOS. Good News! The systems are in fact the same enough that the bios is the same. My system now runs:

4886 3dmarks

with the new clevo bios/drivers and does not lock up on Wolfenstein anymore (so far).

Color me happy!!

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
!