i7 - 3610QM processor
6 GB of RAM
500 GB HD
I know RAM upgrades are possible with the laptop, but I was wondering if it would be worth it? I can currently play BF3, but most my settings are cranked down quite a ways and Im still only averaging 30 FPS. Same with Diablo/Skyrim.
If I upgraded to 16 GB of memory, would I get a significant FPS increase? If not, what would my main bottleneck be?
At what resolution are you playing? And is it the laptops native resolution or an external monitor?
Also, why did Dell provide 6 GB of memory in a dual channel configuration? AFAIK that kind of configuration has been known to bottleneck memory-intensive applications. Games probably aren't affected much if at all.
For gaming, you probably don't have to worry about upgrading. However, if you're a heavy multitasker and play memory intensive games it may be worth upgrading to 2 x 4 GB sticks or more.
Even though mobile GPU's "look" like they are equivalent to their corresponding desktop GPU's, this is not the case, they are much stripped down versions . I know if I hadn't done significant research I would have bought a laptop with a GPU very similar to that and probably would also have been disappointed in the results, gaming laptops with proper gaming specs are quite expensive!
Most of the alienwares are dual gpu/sli capable and adding a second card would help. They are also integrated gpu/dedicated hybrid and usually the correct software and key combo on the motherboard has to be activate to switch from integrated to dedicated gpu. Make sure you are actually using the geforce card in full dedicated mode. Adding a (expensive) second gpu is an option as well. Really the basic base models are like getting a cheap Benz. Yes, its a Benz but a similiarly priced Ford will blow it away in every aspect. It's only when you spend money and upgrade everything does the Benz start to give you Benz quality. Same with Alienware. buying a base model without SLI or all the extra upgrades, you're paying a lot for the name with not much more performance than a laptop that cost 1/3rd the price.