Underneath the Area-51 m15x you will find a 5.2 Ah 6-cell battery, a large removable panel to ease maintenance and upgrades, and a name plate customized for the individual purchaser.
Removing the cover panel reveals the hard drive, memory, accessory cards, and coolers for the graphics and CPU.
Most important to any gaming system is the graphics, so Alienware packed our system with its optional GeForce 8800M GTX 512MB module, a notebook part that’s based on the same hardware as the 8800 GTS 512MB desktop graphics card—not the 8800 GTX. Bear in mind that Alienware didn’t pick the model name, so desktop users annoyed by deceptive component nomenclature should address their complaints to Nvidia...
A solid graphics solution should be complemented by a good central processor, so our Area-51 m15x sample included Intel’s most powerful notebook component: the 2.8 GHz Core 2 Extreme X9000.
As a result of power concerns, Intel-based notebooks generally sacrifice front side bus speed compared to the company’s desktop models. Case in point, the highest model X9000 processor runs on an 800 MHz front side bus, whereas the fastest workstation-oriented Core 2 Extremes run at 1600 MHz. It’s no surprise, then, that even a top-end notebook uses only DDR2-667, but at least Alienware upgraded ours to the maximum of 4GB.
Our Area-51 m15x was also supplied with a 200 GB Seagate Momentus 7200.2 hard drive.
The biggest reason gamers are likely to choose a notebook is portability, so a wireless solution is needed. For the ultimate in wireless performance, Alienware equips all of its m15x models with an Intel 4965AGN 802.11G/Draft-N wireless adapter. Of course, as Intel readies Centrino 2, that wireless adapter will slowly be phased out in favor of a new family of draft-N devices.