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Alienware m15x: True Gaming Portability?

Benchmark Results: 3D Graphics

Always controversial, 3DMark doesn’t necessarily represent actual gaming performance, but continues to be used as a benchmark standard. Let’s get those results out of the way before considering the actual gaming capabilities of the mid-sized Alienware m15x.

Using the same processor, the SLI advantage gives the big Dell a huge lead of around 58%, which is slightly more than its difference in traveling weight.

Turning up quality levels puts even more emphasis on SLI performance, with the big but barely luggable Dell leading the far more portable m15x by up to 69%.

Both notebooks use the same processor, but we still wanted to make sure the performance difference was due only to the use of SLI in the larger Dell system. 3DMark also provides a CPU Performance score to help in this regard.

The scant difference between CPU performance proves that when it comes to 3DMark, SLI is the only technology impacting our test scores.

With the oft-irrelevant yet surprisingly popular 3DMark tests out of the way, we can now focus on what really matters: performance in actual game tests. We begin with a relatively easy benchmark in Prey.

Even with 4x antialiasing and 8x anisotropic filtering, the Alienware m15x is completely playable at its panel’s full 1920x1200 pixel resolution. Yes, the big SLI-equipped Dell is faster, but on-the-go gamers should be willing to give up the excess performance in order to achieve greater portability.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • portable laptops can never be gaming PC.

    what's portable?
    small laptops that can be easily put onto trail table.
    hand hold device that can be easily carried around and have at least 5 hours of battery life.

    what's a gaming PC?
    a PC that can handle all game you throw at it
    a PC that can provide constant performance, not 2/3 performance when on battery mode

    so you see, there is no such thing as gaming laptops, all you going to get is a half way house where it's neither really a laptop (in sense that it sucks at battery life and weights a ton) and isn't really a gaming PC (in a sense that it won't perform and doesn't allow easy upgrade of graphics card)

    best solution for university students is like what i've done: a beast of a gaming PC, and an iPhone for portable entertainment. (or Asus EEE, MSI Wind, etc)
    PC's go outdated very fast, so just sell the uni. PC when moving away.
    Reply
  • fudgeboy
    unfortunatly unlike you're situation, there is people out there who have to move around ALL the time. i have a family member in the australian defence force who has a mid-end gaming laptop. sure he cant have the settings turned up all the way but the important fact is he still has something to play games on. thats what the gaming laptop is here for. two different things - gaming laptop - gaming pc. now STFU and GTFO my internets =D (kidding)
    Reply
  • tim851
    what's portable?
    small laptops that can be easily put onto trail table.
    hand hold device that can be easily carried around and have at least 5 hours of battery life.

    Who made you king and let you decide what portable means?
    Reply
  • jeb1517
    I announce wyx as King of definitions of portable.
    Reply
  • bobwya
    +1 jeb seconded!!

    I got out my old 15" Pro-star (Clevo) P4 heater/laptop on the train earlier this summer. The guy across from me had a 13" Mac with a newer processor, etc. Boy was I embarrassed since my laptop looked like a chunky breeze block compared to his!!

    But really if you want a gaming laptop you are going to get something similar to my old laptop more akin to a portable PC (I mean 4kg+ of heft, etc. is not for the feint of heart!!) This won't change until fuel cell technology becomes mainstream...

    Personally my next machine will be a lightweight laptop with a 15" or smaller screen. As long as it can playback 720p x264!!

    Bob
    Reply
  • what's with these tiny pictures, I can barely see anything
    Reply
  • hoofhearted
    I think I'll opt for the Sager NP8660 15" model. Much more bang for your buck.
    Reply
  • Kaldor
    hoofheartedI think I'll opt for the Sager NP8660 15" model. Much more bang for your buck.
    I second this.
    Reply
  • Mach5Motorsport
    I'm waiting for Tuan to hype the Mac Airbook Gaming Laptop as superior in his next insightful article on toms.
    Reply
  • njalterio
    A score of around 13,400 in 3dmark06?
    What a joke. With my q6600 @ 3.0 and an HD3870 I get a little bit lower than that at around 13,000. I wonder how much more that laptop costs.

    Unless you have money to blow and/or the need to be extremely mobile just get a desktop computer. Hopefully you will build it yourself, but even buying a high end desktop would be a better deal than getting these kinds of laptops. I know too many people who think they need a laptop, and it just sits at their desk anyways.
    Reply