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:System Help: (Dell)Alienware ALX vs (HP)VoodooPC OMEN

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February 12, 2007 5:44:37 PM

Since Alienware is linked with DELL and Voodoo is linked with HP, this seemed to be an Ok place to put this topic. I am a long time custom-systems builder but I have decided to be lazy and give one of the big custom PC makers a go this time around and build a gaming(primary)/workstation(secondary) system online. Unfortunately, the two sytems that I am looking at don't seem to have alot of head-to-head reviews on the web and I was hoping for some better feedback than the company websites give me.

I'm looking at a water-cooled Intel Quad core system from both parties. (the Alienware Area-51 and the Voodoo OMEN Intel video studio).

Currently my config for both systems is:
- 2x 150G 10K RPM Raptors (RAID-0),
- 1.0 TB of Non-Raid backup drives,
- 4 Gigs of the company's supplied RAM,
- Windows Vista Ultimate (I have XP Pro at home in case the vista should try to eat itself),
- Whatever Processor/Video watercooling is offered by the company,
- I have yet to decide on my 7.1 audio options but I will go something higher than integrated MB audio,
- I may go dual Geforce 8800's if I place more emphasis on gaming, but since I would like to adress my fears that the SLI is the most likely problem with regards to system cooling, driver issues and general system operations, let's just assume that I have made up my mind and I am going SLI.

Does anyone know of a reliable review of these systems head-to-head (config doesn't have to be exact) that has been posted within the last month? If not, does anyone have experience dealing with these systems, their components, or these companies directly that could help me make a decision? My main concerns are the reliability and quality of their components, craftsmanship, cooling, and overall support. I am open to other system manufacturer's as well (Widow PC, Falcon, etcs.) but I decided to examine these two builders first.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
February 12, 2007 9:07:28 PM

Personal experience with either system? No
I have heard horror stories about Alienware though. Computers being shipped wired wrong or not being correctly packed. Stuff you wouldn't expect after paying big bucks for a PC.

Personally what I would do is compare the Voodoo and a Falcon Mach V. The magazine Games for Windows reviewed high-end systems from Voodoo, Falcon, Alienware and a few others. The Falcon and Voodoo ended up going toe to toe. The Voodoo edged the Falcon out by a small margin. You can go to pcmag.com to see reviews of systems from all PC builders like the ones mentioned. They do not include head to head though.
February 28, 2007 7:14:52 PM

I've built systems for many years and have also been a business customer of Dell for a long time. Alienware's manufacturing and QA should be improving from the Dell buyout. I personally am in the same boat as you right now. I am looking hard at the Dell line. I like the looks and specs of the new XPS systems.
May 6, 2007 5:03:08 AM

Quote:
Since Alienware is linked with DELL and Voodoo is linked with HP, this seemed to be an Ok place to put this topic. I am a long time custom-systems builder but I have decided to be lazy and give one of the big custom PC makers a go this time around and build a gaming(primary)/workstation(secondary) system online. Unfortunately, the two sytems that I am looking at don't seem to have alot of head-to-head reviews on the web and I was hoping for some better feedback than the company websites give me.

I'm looking at a water-cooled Intel Quad core system from both parties. (the Alienware Area-51 and the Voodoo OMEN Intel video studio).

Currently my config for both systems is:
- 2x 150G 10K RPM Raptors (RAID-0),
- 1.0 TB of Non-Raid backup drives,
- 4 Gigs of the company's supplied RAM,
- Windows Vista Ultimate (I have XP Pro at home in case the vista should try to eat itself),
- Whatever Processor/Video watercooling is offered by the company,
- I have yet to decide on my 7.1 audio options but I will go something higher than integrated MB audio,
- I may go dual Geforce 8800's if I place more emphasis on gaming, but since I would like to adress my fears that the SLI is the most likely problem with regards to system cooling, driver issues and general system operations, let's just assume that I have made up my mind and I am going SLI.

Does anyone know of a reliable review of these systems head-to-head (config doesn't have to be exact) that has been posted within the last month? If not, does anyone have experience dealing with these systems, their components, or these companies directly that could help me make a decision? My main concerns are the reliability and quality of their components, craftsmanship, cooling, and overall support. I am open to other system manufacturer's as well (Widow PC, Falcon, etcs.) but I decided to examine these two builders first.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.


For that obscene amount of cash I would get a Falcon Northwest Mach 5.

I have heard a LOT of bad about Alienware and only a bit of okay. Their systems are also supposed to be LOUD. Never get cyberpower or ibuypower in case you were wondering.

No experience, but heard a lot of good. I have an XPS Gen 3, although I have had my share of issues with it the customer support has been exceptional (when I bought it it was US, then went to India, now after my warranty ran out back in US)

Voodoo is more pricey, but has a different look (windowed mirrored)

I have heard only good about FN.

A Mach 5 with good specs is as follows:
Icon Brush Aluminum get paint if you are INsNE :twisted:
IcON standard silver (get a window w lighting if you want)
Silverstone 750w PSU (only get 1000w if you are using SLI)
Nvidia 680i SLI
Intel Core 2 Duo e6600 (best price performance if you want more get a QX6700/6800 for INSANE CASH)
4gb (must have) DOMINATOR 6400C4 (higher clocks= tons of cash minimal performance increase)
Nvidia 8800GTX 768mb (NO GET ULTRA is waste of cash) if you want SLI then get it, its just way pricey
dont get a physx card its a waste
Creative Labs Xfi (other cards are minimally better for much more $$)
wireless networking depends on how u access the internet (wired/wireless)
2x 150gb WD raptors for INSANE speed (although I would just get 1 and get save cash)
Seagate 500gb hd :) 
2x Plextor DVD burner (get 1 or a bluray if u want)
flash media/floppy
you say you want Ultimate
Logitech g7 and g15

TOTAL: 5.1K .... damn thats a LOT of money....

anyhow, to summarize I would never get an alienware, only FN
!