Alienware laptop choices

Hey everyone,

I recently had the good fortune of scoring two laptops from Dell during a 25% off sale on Alienware computers. The first one...

Alienware M15x
15.6-inch WideHD+ 1600x900 (900p) WLED
Intel Core i7-720QM Quad Core Processor 1.6GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache)
4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz (2 DIMMs)
250 GB SATA II Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M
6 Cell Primary Battery

The second one...

Alienware M17x
17 inch WideXGA+ 1440x900 (900p)
Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9000 (2.0GHz, 6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (2 DIMMs)
500 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) with Free Fall Sensor
1 GB Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
9 Cell Primary Battery

I got the first one for $810 and the second one for $1010. I hadn't originally intended to get two laptops, so I'm trying to decide whether to keep both or, if not, which one to get rid of.

Clearly the second one is going to be better for games, no doubt about it. Two better video cards in SLI?! I didn't realize you could do that with laptops until I saw it. The question is, HOW much better? Is this going to be a very noticeable upgrade over the other laptop? 17" is honkin' HUGE, making it practically a portable desktop.

The first one won't play games as well, but it should still do great and it is smaller, lighter, and more advanced in core processor and RAM. Could I upgrade the graphics card later? Would it be worth it two years down the line?

The intent was to get a mid-to-high-range gaming laptop that I could get a good 3-5 years out of. I can't use two laptops simultaneously, but they are both so awesome that I'm tempted to keep the 15.6" for portability and set the 17" up as my new desktop. I already have a desktop with two 382MB DDR2 nVidia GeForce 9600 GSOs in SLI, though I might upgrade the motherboard, processor, and RAM if I don't keep this 17" laptop.

What do you think I should do? Advice would be appreciated.
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More about alienware laptop choices
  1. I actually have a netbook now, which is what I've been using since I sold my old Toshiba laptop. I use the netbook as a portable computer for notes, tabletop gaming, and things like that, but it doesn't hold up as a serious machine and reading anything on it long term sucks. The idea was to use the laptop for mid-to-long term travel, like going somewhere for a few weeks to a few months, but still have the power to play games decently. I wouldn't want to carry a desktop and monitor by airplane to El Paso for three months of military training, for instance.
  2. Random question; how will the two 1GB 260M's perform in comparison to the two dual-slot 382MB 9600 GSO's?
  3. julian tempest said:
    Random question; how will the two 1GB 260M's perform in comparison to the two dual-slot 382MB 9600 GSO's?

    Dual GTX 260M's will perform similarly to an SLI 9800 GT setup (desktop). 9800 GT's are stronger than 9600 GSO's. So you should see better performance from the GTX 260M's. Yes, I know I am extrapolating the results a bit, but it's the best comparison you are likely to get.

    Comparing 9800 GT vs 9600 GSO:
  4. I think you should keep only one lappy. The main thing is that where you use your laptop. If you dont travel often and your laptop is always there on your home desk then go for the alienware 17" as its heavy one but will give you a long term gaming experience. If you are traveling to much and are looking for new laptops in 2-3 years then 1st option is better. Alienware laptops will definitely bring new updated models in the later years.
  5. Wow. Dude, this was over a year ago. I've since cancelled the two 17" Alienware laptops, gotten the 15'4" Alienware, decided I didn't like it, bought an ASUS G60JX-X2, decided I absolutely love this laptop, and have sold the Alienware on eBay.

    The function of the laptop is to serve as a mid-term portable computer. If I'm going someplace for a few days to a few months, I take it and use it as my primary machine, usually leaving in the hotel room or equivalent. At home I have a desktop. I also have a 12" Netbook for travels less than 1 day, like going to school or a D&D game. Netbook has optimum portability. It's also an ASUS.

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