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Dell Inspiron 8600 vs new Alienware Area 51m

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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September 1, 2003 11:56:21 PM

This summer I hope to be upgrading to either of these two laptops. Its going to be used for Gaming and college student uses. I'm concerned with the heat and battery life in the alienware. I curious to see benchmarks of the two.

I'm a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Student, not English, nor will I ever claim to be.
September 2, 2003 6:52:27 PM

I would recommend the 8600. Especially since you are a college student. The 8600 performs excellently (comparably or even better than the Area 51m), and it also very, very cool running and thus quiet. I have a D800, and the GF4 on that chews up more power than the GeForce FX Go on the 8600 but I still get 5hrs on a single battery when I'm taking notes at school etc.

There are some nice comparisons further down in this forum, you should take a look at one or two of those threads.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 2, 2003 7:17:56 PM

I've scanned through some of the other threads about this topic. The Thing is that the Alien Ware I'm refering to isn't out yet, Ive only seen specs from thier first off the line ebay model and a few reviews scattered here and there. The ability to upgrade the video card sounds pretty cool. Right now I have a docking station for my Dell, so I primarily se it as a desktop anyways. Just like the ability to pick up and move if need be. I am really wondering how the two perform in gameing situations, because that is one of the more important factors.

I'm a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Student, not English, nor will I ever claim to be.
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September 2, 2003 8:33:31 PM

All the top of the range Dells since the Inspiron 8000 have had the ability to have their graphics cards "upgraded" (i.e. "the old one err, broke, and um i need to replace it with this new one. thanks dell") - or were you refering to the Dell?

Well the GF4 is no longer the top of notebook graphics, but I run all games at maximum settings (PlanetSide struggles a bit, but that is mostly due to my connection), so one can only assume that the GeForce FX is better than that.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 3, 2003 5:24:08 PM

The Dell 5150 might be better for gaming than the 8600.
September 3, 2003 6:38:04 PM

Yes, well, no - I doubt it. The Mobility Radeon really limits the 5150, and the 3GHz CPU is not enough to counter that. Besides a 1.7GHz P-M will perform almost as well as a 2.8GHz Pentium 4, AND it has the right graphics.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 5, 2003 4:41:10 AM

A Random comment, love yoursig rapture

I'm a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Student, not English, nor will I ever claim to be.
September 5, 2003 2:46:51 PM

Yes, that's the crappy thing about the 5150. I'm not sure what Dell was thinking. But they come with 32 or 64 meg FX5200 cards now. If figure 64M 5200 is nearly as good as 128 5650 on the Dell 8600.

The other problem with the 8600 is that you have to pay fat cash for the 1.7 Pentium M, like $600 more. Most people can only afford the 1.3 or 1.4 So you end up getting a pretty sweet 5150 for about $1400 or a sweet 8600 for $2200.

The other thing I like about the 5150 is the screen is rated at 25ms response time vice 35ms on all the other "super sharp" LCDs.

But I am torn. I want a 5150 with the 128M 5650 video card. I wish I knew what the extra 50 was. I couldn't even find anything on NVidia's website.
September 5, 2003 10:04:21 PM

Don't take any of the facts from the Dell website to seriously, they are more often than not mistaken. If the response time on the 5150's LCD is lower than that of other UltraSharp LCDs, then it is not using the same technology (MVA), and will have a decreased viewing angle.

RaPTuRe

I bought My D800 knowing that I could upgrade it when it became sluggish. It still plays every game I own at maximum settings, maximum resolution. When it begins to show its age, I will purchase a new graphics card, (whatever the newest they have is at that stage), and I know I can always upgrade the cpu by at least 100MHz. So it all really comes down to whether or not you REALLY need the fastest graphics card, or the fastest processor, or a [proper] "notebook" at all. Decisions Decisions...

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 10, 2003 7:45:37 PM

Well specs on the new alien ware are finally out, yet I haven' been able to find any reviews. It would be nice to know what people like THG, or CNET thaought about it or the dell 8600. I have yet to find any concrete answer to battery life, or performance of the grafics cards. What ever of the two I get, they need to be able to hack doom III and half life 2. It would be nice to know what reviews also thought about heat, and noise of both.

I'm a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Student, not English, nor will I ever claim to be.
September 10, 2003 9:07:26 PM

The Inspiron 8600 will give you at least 4hrs battery life when using it as a word processor, or typical on-the-move usage. If you keep the screen dim, and all settings to maximum battery (CPU and GPU), you can just push 5 hrs out of it. If you are listening to music, with the screen off, you will get 7.5hrs. It scores around 9000 3DMarks in 3DMark2001SE, and 2500-3000 in 3DMark03 with the GF FX Go 5650. Don't know about HL2 or D3, but it runs very cool in comparison to most notebooks (e.g. room temperature a cool 20'C and the CPU temperature is 26'C constantly at idle, it will obviously increase with increased usage, but at 600MHz, even at 100%, the fan hardly comes on - the chip can be cooled passively. At 1.6GHz, it can get quite warm, but the fan can keep the temperature down at a fairly low level).

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 11, 2003 6:02:48 PM

After looking at benchmarks on Half life 2 on NVIDIA cards, I want an ATI card. I just hope Dell or Alienware offer the 9600 card

I'm a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Student, not English, nor will I ever claim to be.
September 12, 2003 4:20:48 PM

The 8600's have become a better deal this week. With Dell's ever changing rebates, the 8600 is much less than the 5150. If you get the 7200rpm HDD and 5650 video card you get up toward the $1700 range still.

The Alienware models have FX 5600 cards now, vice the ATI 9000's. They are still pretty pricey though I think, for what you get and they are power hungry.
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