Alienware Announcement - mobile gaming just hit the next level!
Alienware announced this week what’s going to be under the bonnet of their refreshed laptop range so SFL met with them to have a poke around!
Since Alienware joined forces with Dell in 2009, the gaming laptop specialists have gone from strength to strength and are now Dell’s premier gaming brand. With their signature sci-fi inspired theme (apparently, the founders and creators of Alienware were huge fans of the X-Files), colourful display and powerful processing performance, gamers who want top-end, high definition desktop quality mixed with the flexible freedom of a laptop have been investing hard. So what can we expect from the refreshed range? Here comes the science:
Firstly, in keeping with the slick Alienware aesthetics, nothing has changed to the exterior chassis on any of the models – the new M14X, M17X and the M18X. The range still has the same keyboard and pretty lights as older models but internally, everything else is better, faster and smarter. The biggest news is the inclusion of 3rd Generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors manufactured on 22nm process which will drastically improve boot up times and provide a 10 – 20% increase in performance, more than the previous Sandy Bridge processors did, not that they were shabby! Pack on top of this the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphic card options with GDDR5 graphics memory combined with the new PCI Express 3.0 which offers double the bandwidth of the previous PCI Express 2.0. Snazzy sharp graphics are essential in modern gaming but perhaps more importantly is sound. Whether watching films or playing games, a good soundtrack can evoke emotion or atmosphere, deliver powerful dialogue or pick up subtle sound effects, so it’s no surprise that the updated Alienware laptops built-in sound is powered by Klipsch® audio speakers and the Creative Sound Blaster audio chipset with THX 7.1 digital surround sound. The stats keep stacking up as all refreshed Alienware laptops also come with 1600MHz dual channel memory and offer capacities up to 16GB on the new M14x or 32GB on the M17x and M18x. Elsewhere, they support mSATA technology (a new format of ultra-small Solid State Disks) which can be configured as a boot drive to speed up loading your Windows operating system or as a Caching drive to improve performance. You can give each game you launch a unique profile using the new AlienAdrenaline Game Mode feature which allows you to disable unnecessary programs and close background apps, activate your music player or bring up key web links. You can even pre-program the lighting and in game effects thanks to the AlienFX software control system so that certain events in the game will trigger an illuminating response ie. all the dash goes red when someone in the game dies or you can access unique loading menus. And the list of options goes on like a game show conveyor belt; a blu ray loading slot, new wireless network cards, 3D capability on the M17x, a HD camera plus they are lighter in weight and have better battery life so you can go longer between plugging in, meaning more time for gaming…
In fact there are 38640 unique hardware combinations available on launch which puts the iPad’s measly 6 to shame. Historically, Alienware haven’t offered such variety before but the partnership with Dell means they can really push the ‘build your own’ option where if you’ve got the budget, you can really max out the hardware resulting in some bewildering performance. However, even if you stick to the basic model, you’re still getting a laptop that packs a punch: “Our customers want the most immersive gaming experience possible, and we’ve taken the all-powerful M14x, M17x, and M18x laptops and made them even better, delivering the latest technologies for almost every need.” said Frank Azor, General Manager, Alienware. We saw the Witcher 2 running on the M17x and the detail, the colour, the sharpness and the response as we played was impressive. Whether you choose the M14x, the M17x or the M18x (in either Stealth Black or Nebula Red), you’re going to need some serious pennies but this new generation of portable desktops are complex, exciting and appear to be worth it.
For full technical details, pricing and info, visit the Alienware website.