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Help me choose between two laptops, two purposes!! I'm a rookie!

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January 30, 2012 6:11:32 PM

Just wanted some of you guys with hardware experience to weigh-in on these two laptop options, unbiased.

Alienware M18x
Intel Core i7 2860QM 2.5GHz (3.6GHz w/Turbo Boost, 8MB Cache)
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1866MHz (2DIMMS)
18.4-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 WLED
Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6990M AMD CrossFireX OR Dual 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 580M – NVIDIA® SLI® - Which would you choose?
1TB RAID 0, 2x 500GB, 7200RPM Solid State Hybrid
Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader, BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW
Soundblaster X-Fi Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled
Killer Wireless-N 1103 a/g/n 3x3 MIMO

Apple MacBook Pro 17"
2.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x2GB
750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Intel HD Graphics 3000 AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB GDDR5


I need a laptop option, I know for half the price of either one of these laptops, I could have a killer desktop setup. But with work and school, I need to be able to have the system mobile, I don't mind the size of either laptop.

I'm pretty sure for gaming, the alienware would be the clear winner. Now pretend I wasn't a gamer, at all. Which computer would you go with for reliability and usage for movies, browsing, internet, torrents, streaming, school, notes etc, and why???

**Please, no "save that $ and build an excellent desktop". The money isn't an issue, won a certificate toward it from work. I need a laptop, not desktop.

More about : choose laptops purposes rookie

January 31, 2012 9:06:44 AM

With gaming and price out of the picture, I would go Macbook Pro.

Half the weight to lug around,, very high quality. If you need Windows later, there is always BootCamp.
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January 31, 2012 9:37:24 AM

MacBooks tend to have solid reliability, battery life and performance. With high build quality and lightweight designs, they are pretty much the portable laptop of choice, providing its within your budget range of course.

Be aware that not all games are available for MAC though. This may be a deciding factor for you depending on the games you play.

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January 31, 2012 1:22:17 PM

tlmck said:
With gaming and price out of the picture, I would go Macbook Pro.

Half the weight to lug around,, very high quality. If you need Windows later, there is always BootCamp.



Well I mean minus the gaming, the price on both are around the same. The biggest thing for me was;

The AlienWare in green has;
Blu-Ray Player vs regular DVD
18.4" Screen vs 17"
2 x 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 580M – NVIDIA® SLI® vs 1 x 1GB GDDR5AMD Radeon HD 6770M
1TB RAID 0(2x500GB) 7200RPM Solid State Hybrid vs 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1866MHz vs 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM(2x2GB)

Both have the same 3 year additional warranty.
Since I don't know a damn thing about computers or hardware, I guess my question is, with the above advantages of the AlienWare;
Large lead in the graphics
250gb more space and an SSH
faster memory
blu-ray player
1.4" bigger screen

$3,458 is the final cost of the AlienWare and the final cost of the Apple is $3,058.

Does that hardware amount to being worth the additional $400 for the alienware?
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January 31, 2012 1:40:35 PM

With both laptops, your paying some towards brand name without a doubt.

It's a little hard to directly compare hardware between a windows and a mac. Mac's tend to make better use of what they have due to everything being very platform specific. Mac's are fantastic performing laptops, don't get too hung up on the numbers.

Generally if you can make use of all the little features Mac's have to offer, go with a MAC.....if your unsure.....then it's likely a windows-based laptop is the right choice for you. Not to mention the Alienware laptop offering better gaming performance.

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January 31, 2012 1:46:41 PM

By the way, i dont think you have the specs of that M18x laptop right.

The base price, without anything close to the spec you listed is (in the UK) £1600
With all the specs you listed (Graphics card, RAM, HDD's ect), the laptop costs over £3000......

Almost double the price of the MAC.......

EDIT: Just noticed you edited your post above with the prices so ignore this.


The deciding factor really is DO YOU WANT A MAC? or do you want a WINDOWS PC...... They are both incredibly different and whichever you choose should be based on your user needs. Personally I think the Windows (M18x) will be more fitting.

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January 31, 2012 1:49:28 PM

AdrianPerry said:
By the way, i dont think you have the specs of that M18x laptop right.

The base price, without anything close to the spec you listed is (in the UK) £1600
With all the specs you listed (Graphics card, RAM, HDD's ect), the laptop costs over £3000......

Almost double the price of the MAC.......

EDIT: Just noticed you edited your post above with the prices so ignore this.



It's correct, if I went with the 32gb option and the 2.7's+, then it'd be another $2,000. The one I listed would've been about $4,000, but I get the EEP discount, student discount, and alienware is offering a 15% off special on totals $3,799+
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