How much processor power do I need? Which laptop should I get?

I really like the Alienware brand!
I haven't seen how big the 18.4 screen size laptops are, not a lot of 17.6 ones either unsure how much of a difference it makes.
I care how nicely things look on screen hence the choices I have listed :P
I don't think I'm going over 4 Gigs of Ram
I don't know how big the difference in gaming that a 5400RPM vs 7200RPM HDD will make. don't usually care unless it actually makes a bigger difference than I realize xD
Battery life isn't really a concern of mine

Buying these from dell outlet refurbished/used/scratch dent
Anything I should know about?

M18x vs M17x R2

-I want the dual GPU option in both
-In a M18x I would get the NvidiaGTX 460M x2 VS AMD/ATI 5870M Crossfire
-->They don't look too far apart on notebook check:
I'm asking because there might be something I don't know about them (FPS looks pretty close like within a 5-10 fps range of each other on the first few games I looked at.

Probably won't be going into 3-D unless you guys think its really worth it, but also I heard it gives you a headache idk, costco sales guy told me passive 3-D waay better should I wait for that) since the ones Nvidia makes are active right? I really want to try it too, but I don't know if its worth gaming in with my set-up (of just one 460m on a R3 or if its really good I'd get m18x 460m SLI 3D)

Also Screen Res:
M17x R2 (1920x1200) RGB <-- heard its great!
M18x (1900x1080)

Do I really need that kinda screen res anyway on a laptop? I want it to look nice but at those res is it just pointless?

Will I really even need that much GPU power (if its actually a lot...)

I am just really CLUELESS how much processing power I need
M17x R2
Will probably get an I7-720 FIRST GEN (2nd gen is like 20% increase in performance per GHz right?) or something around there.
Will probably try to grab a I7 2630

Honest I'm just going to playing games mostly looking forward to running Battlefield3, and CoD:MW3 In the highest settings :D

Do games really even take full use of processors? Am I (I think the term is) bottle-necking it?

Also if any of you often game on a laptop does the keyboard get uncomfortable? I'm going to play it on a desk not on my lap.


M18x M17x R2
1920x1080p 1920 x 1200 RGB
460m SLI (possibly 3-D? in future?) vs 5870 Crossfire
$1600+ i7-720 (1st gen)
$1200-1400 depends if I grab Blu-Ray :D
I do have netflix would get HD plan if
I got the blu ray player too!

idk if the increase in price is really worth the upgrade
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  1. whoe bottom part got messed up
    m18x is 1920x1080p
    460m SLI

    M17x r2 is like 1200-1400 higher 1400 is with like blue ray maybe?
  2. dude if your number is correct of a 20 percent increase clock for clock you still have to account for the additional .4ghz the 2630 gives you over the 720 and with sli gpus you will run into a cpu bottleneck prolly in games. i have two games that cpu bottleneck with a 540m so with two 460m that number will grow.

    also the 460m and 5870m are both outdated and i hate recommending outdated parts to people. look for a laptop with a 560m or 6970m those both are crazy fast.
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