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Alienware m15x: True Gaming Portability?

3D Graphics, Continued

Quake 4 appears to be significantly CPU-bound in the big Dell, and the mid-sized Alienware m15x is still powerful enough to play at high quality settings at the 1920x1200 panel’s highest resolution.

Like Quake 4, Serious Sam 2 is significantly CPU-bound in the Dell at low settings. Cranking visual quality up to 4x antialiasing and high anisotropic filtering moves the bar where the CPU limitation takes effect. Meanwhile, the middle-weight non-SLI Alienware Area-51 m15x charges through with only the slightest graphics limitation, still providing twice the needed frame rates at the highest available resolution.

Supreme Commander is the only game that really requires the more powerful graphics system of the big Dell XPS M1730, as the game is barely watchable at the lowest display resolutions using the Alienware Area-51 m15x.

Warhammer plays almost smoothly using the Area-51 m15x at the highest settings. Remembering that strategy games don’t actually need to play perfectly smoothly, Alienware’s middle-weight should be more than ample. SLI gives the Dell a significant lead only at the panel’s native 1920x1200 resolution.

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    PC's go outdated very fast, so just sell the uni.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