M17xR3 - Owner Answered Frequently Asked Questions *READ BEFORE POSTING*

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Astrogiblet, Jan 25, 2011.

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  1. Astrogiblet

    Astrogiblet Notebook Evangelist

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    This thread should answer most of the questions you may have about the Alienware M17x R3, also review the documentation provided by Dell.

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/Alw_M17xR3/

    Mobile Manual should have everything in terms of specs, features, etc.


    ------------------------------------------------------

    IMPORTANT NOTE:

    Please be sure to see this thread -
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m17x/580844-guide-how-display-b3-sandy-bridge-m17x-r3.html

    Make sure you are on BIOS A04

    ------------------------------------------------------



    ********************************

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/ali...sandy-bridge-issue-what-does-mean-m17xr3.html

    ********************************


    *NOTE: Questions that have not yet been answered are now Blue. Please help us get these questions answered!*


    General Laptop Questions:
    -How does the power jack feel? Is it solid when the power adapter is plugged in?
    -Dr. J: "Yes"
    -Mandrake: "Yes, better than the M15x."
    -Knocturne: "Very solid. Much better than most laptops. You won't find the internal wiring getting loose on this one like i see with many others."
    -usshellfire: "adapter goes in smoothly without too much force. remains in place until removed manually."

    -How do the hinges feel? Do they creak, feel weak/loose, or make any noise when opening/closing?
    -Dr. J: "Feel fine but not as good as my xps 16"
    -Mandrake: "No noise, it's smooth yet firm."
    -Knocturne: "Not at all. The movement is very smooth but requires a firm grip to initiate."
    -usshellfire: "feels like an well oiled hinge when opening or closing the lid. screen remains in its 90degree position even when you rock/tilt your laptop back and forth. very well built. no noise."​

    -What is the case made out of? Is it the same or similar to the R2’s alloy casing? (NOTE: Alienware says it's made of solid magnesium coated with a rubberized plastic soft-touch coat.)
    -Mandrake: "Posh plastic. It's stronger than the Asus G73 but not as strong as the R2. Think AW M17."
    -Dr. J: "rubber/magnesium"
    -Knocturne: "Someone said it best when they compared it to "rubberized leather" because that's what it feels like. I like the feel. It doesn't show fingerprints and the keys are very nice to press."
    -usshellfire: "case is made of plastic. does not give you "cold" metal feel of the M15x or M17xR2. not sure what the chassis is made of as i have not opened it up yet."
    -How does the screen look? Can you compare it to the 1200p RGB screen in the R2?
    -Mandrake: "Screen quality is the same as the M15x...just bigger. Better than the M17xR1 but not nearly as good as the M17xR2-RGB LED."
    -Dr. J: "Looks excellent but not quite as vivid as my RGB LCD on the XPS 16. Just as bright or brighter though."
    -Knocturne: "I've never had the RGB LED but the screen is very bright and crisp."
    -usshellfire: "never owned R2 before. but i love this screen. colors are reproduced very vibrantly and viewing angle is quite good."
    -What is your approximate battery life? Please mention whether this is tested battery life or Windows estimated time remaining.
    -Dr. J: "3:28 on power saver with 100% charge."
    -usshellfire: "windows estimate - 4 hrs 25 min at 83% battery life. this is with screen at minimum brightness, alien FX off, graphics switched to IGP-intel 3000 HD"​

    -If you are a fast typer, do you notice any keyboard lag or any problems being able to type multiples of the same letter in a row quickly?
    -Dr. J: "NO and Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss"
    -Mandrake: "Definitely better than a chiclet keyboard but I loath those things."
    -Knocturne: "Actually, yes. The keys feel very nice but there is definitely some keyboard lag. It's also difficult to rapidly type the same letter."
    -usshellfire: "have yet to notice any lag or problem with the keyboard."

    -How is the trackpad? Is multitouch smooth in terms of scrolling or does it feel choppy/inconsistent and poorly executed?
    -Dr. J: "NIce and large. Multi touch unknown"
    -Mandrake: "Haven't worked with it enough yet but I already like it better than the R1/R2. It's smooth, not rough."
    -Knocturne: "VERY consistent. Feels smooth. I like it."
    -usshellfire: "no multitouch. but trackpad is very usable. not unlike R2 trackpad that i tested out on alienware display sets. even using very light pressure on the trackpad with one finger does not cause any problems, it manages to track your finger very precisely."

    -Does the keyboard flex at any parts? Do the keys feel solid or cheap and flimsy?
    -Mandrake: Yes, keyboard and lid flex.
    -Dr. J: "Nice and a bit heavy rubber feel instead of hard plastic. More travel up and down than any other laptop keyboard including the XPS 16."
    -Knocturne: "For me, doesn't appear so at all."
    -usshellfire: "flex only occurs if you like to pound away at your keyboard. under normal usage, each key depresses very easily and would not cause the keyboard to flex. it only starts to flex when you apply considerable pressure onto the keys. overall, the keyboard gives quite a solid feel."

    -Do you notice any audio popping while playing music, on Youtube, or in games?
    -Dr. J: "No"
    -Knocturne: "The audio has actually run very smoothly so far."
    -usshellfire: "no. considering the fact that this are laptop speakers, i have to say that they are very good."​

    -Do the speakers sound good? Do they have decent bass?

    -Dr. J: "very deep base relative to XPS"
    -Knocturne: "Don't know about the bass but you can tell the speakers were tested, they are working well."
    -usshellfire: "for laptop speakers, they are awesome! very crisp and clear audio while i was watching Avatar. bass was deep, but since they are laptop speakers, they dont give you much "kick""​

    -What are temperatures like? Can you post a screenshot of your temps after gaming?
    -usshellfire: "1 hr of black ops at max settings and CPU is at 72, GPU at 67."​

    -Do the palm rests get unbearably hot during gaming?
    -Dr. J: "No"
    -Mandrake: "TBD, palm rest is a finger print magnet. Think M17x rubber skull cap lid."
    -Knocturne: "No, in fact i feel little heat."
    -usshellfire: "plam rest gets lukewarm, but never hot."​

    -How loud are the fans? How often do they seem to go to full load?
    -Dr. J: "Loud only upon boot up."
    -Knocturne: "Surprisingly quiet for this level of performance. Not as loud as you'd think."
    -usshellfire: "had a hard time figuring out if the fans were even runnings. barely noticable under idle. and if you are gaming with your speakers on, you wont even hear the fans."
    -Is the HDMI input port capable of receiving 3D signals with audio from an external device? Is the HDMI in an HMDI 1.4 port?
    -johnnobts: "Ok, HDMI in works well with my Pocket 3d Camcorder, but alas, will not do 3d."
    -Do the onboard speakers receive audio from the HDMI in port?
    Yes. The HDMI In audio stream will output over the system speakers.

    -Does the laptop have to be powered on to use HDMI in, or does it work like a tv (on/off button for the monitor only)?
    -johnnobts: "Yes, the laptop has to be powered on, using a FN key combo (its labeled)."
    -Are the lighting/LED's arranged the same as the M17x R2 or are they similar to the M11x (M11x only had glowing white around head on lid).
    -Knocturne: "The head only glows white like the M11x"
    -usshellfire: "looks similar to R2, but cant be sure since i dont own a R2. alienhead on the lid only glows white "
    -Any light leakage from the black bezel?
    -Dr. J: "None noted."
    -Mandrake: "No. The LCD is EXACTLY like the M15x."
    -Knocturne: "Not at all."
    -usshellfire: "none, nada, zero, nothing"
    -Is the touchpad larger in the R3 than the R2?
    -Knocturne: "Same"
    -usshellfire: "no idea, but i wish that they had place the trackpad directly under the space bar instead of off setting it to the left. palms sometimes touch the top left of the track pad."
    -Is hardware easily accessible for self upgrades through panels? Is it one giant panel like past Alienware models or is it several panels?
    -Mandrake: "Yes, looks even easier than the M15x. I haven't tried yet but I don't think you need to remove the grills to get to the CPU and GPU. The service manual can answer that."
    -usshellfire: "seems to be one giant piece. bottom plate gives a very plasticky sound when you tap with with your fingernail. sounds cheap and thin (wish they had made it thicker)"​

    -How heavy is it? How heavy is the power brick?
    -Dr. J estimates the power brick to be roughly 1/3 larger than an XPS 16 power brick.
    -Knocturne: "Fairly heavy, sturdy, but not as bad as i was expecting. It can DEFINITELY be hauled around places. it's a good weight."
    -usshellfire: "not as heavy as it looks. seems lighter then %kg pack of rice =D.
    the power brick is HUGE! it might be the same or even bigger size then a nitendo DS XL. slightly thicker then a PSP fat,"
    -If you chose the single hdd option, does the R3 still come with a second hdd caddy?
    -Mandrake: "Yes, and interposer. There is an additional bracket there acting as a "dummy" placeholder within the bracket."
    -Knocturne: "Yes it does."
    -Is the lid a fingerprint magnet?
    -usshellfire: "no. unless you have sweaty hands."
    -Does the M17x come with all 3 antennas even when ordered without the Intel 6300 3x3 MIMO Wirless Card?
    -johnnobts: "yes, third antenna is included, taped beneath the keyboard"




    Video Questions:
    -How is the 3D experience? Is it worth it or do you feel its more of a gimmick?
    -Mandrake: "The 3D stuff is really cool. I thought it would be gimmicky but I like it. After you set it up it shows you screen shots of 3D games. I've never played 3D games and it looked really good. Lot's of depth to it."
    -Dr. J: "Amazing. Never thought it would be this good. WOULD ABSOLUTELY GIVE UP ONE OR TWO HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE FOR THIS!"
    -Is the screen big enough to really get a good experience in 3D?
    -Dr. J: "YES"
    -How are your framerates while gaming in 3D?
    -Is Optimus is supported on the 3D model?
    -Mandrake: "No optimus at all. Future bios upgrade maybe?"
    -Can you turn off the external video card on the AMD/ATI video card models (and only use the intergrated graphics)?
    -usshellfire: "i do have switchable graphic options between the intel 3000 HD and the AMD 6870."
    -How is battery life affected when the discrete graphics are turned on (with Optimus) vs entirely off?
    -How is battery life affected when turning off the dedicated AMD/ATI video card?
    -usshellfire: "battery life is doubled when using IGP as compared to using 6870."
    -How is battery life affected when 3D is turned on?
    -Does Fn+F7 turn off the external graphics card on the 3D model?
    -No. Mandrake found that it gives you an error stating "This does not do anything."




    Programs:
    -Can you run DPC latency checker and post the results?
    -Dr. J's Results here.
    -Can you run the HDTune benchmark on your HDD/SSD and post the results?
    -Initial (stock) Futuremark Scores?
    -johnnobts (System Specs): 14385 (3DMark 06)
    -Dr. J (System Specs): 14089 (3DMark 06), 8778 (3DMark Vantage)
    -usshellfire (System Specs): 14396 (3DMark 06), P9182 3DMarks (3DMark Vantage), P2164 3DMarks (3DMark 11)

    Does the R3 have 4 memory banks?
    Yes, consult the documentation online for additional information.




    Notes on the M17x R3:

    -Aznfire14: "Screen is super glossy"
    -3D does NOT require an external emitter like in previous 3D notebooks. Just the glasses and the 120hz screen.
    -Battery life is ~3.5 hours with the 6870 enabled and a little over 5 hours with IGP enabled (6870 turned off).


    First Impression & Review Threads:

    Mandrake: M17xR3 First Impression
    Dr. J: M17X R3 First Impression Dr. J
    johnnobts: Pastor's M17X R3 Impressions

    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/revie...vision-gaming-laptop-review-introduction.html



    Important M17x R3 Threads:

    *OFFICIAL* M17xR3 Owner's Lounge Thread - Part 1
    *OFFICIAL* M17x Benchmark Thread - Part 3
    M17xR3 Bags, Backpacks, Cases & Sleeves - Discuss Here
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m17x/563332-widi-wihd.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  2. BatBoy

    BatBoy Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Thanks for taking the time to work with the rest of the forum to compile this Astro... looks good so far!
     
  3. Dr. J

    Dr. J Notebook Deity

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    This thread should answer most of the questions you may have about the Alienware M17x R3.

    General Laptop Questions:
    -How does the power jack feel? Is it solid when the power adapter is plugged in?

    Yes, like the "rear entry" no comments ;)

    -How do the hinges feel? Do they creak, feel weak/loose, or make any noise when opening/closing?

    Feel fine but not as good as my xps 16

    -What is the case made out of? Is it the same or similar to the R2’s alloy casing?

    rubber/magnesium

    -How does the screen look? Can you compare it to the 1200p RGB screen in the R2?

    Looks excellent but not quite as vivid as my RGB LCD on the XPS 16. Just as bright or brighter though.

    --What is your approximate battery life? Please mention whether this is tested battery life or Windows estimated time remaining.

    3:28 on power saver with 100% charge.

    -If you are a fast typer, do you notice any keyboard lag or any problems being able to type multiples of the same letter in a row quickly?

    NO and Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss


    -How is the trackpad? Is multitouch smooth in terms of scrolling or does it feel choppy/inconsistent and poorly executed?

    NIce and large. Multi touch unknown

    -Does the keyboard flex at any parts? Do the keys feel solid or cheap and flimsy? Nice and a bit heavy rubber feel instead of hard plastic. More travel up and down than any other laptop keyboard including the XPS 16.

    -Do you notice any audio popping while playing music, on Youtube, or in games? No and very deep base relative to XPS

    -Do the speakers sound good? Do they have decent bass?

    -What are temperatures like? Can you post a screenshot of your temps after gaming?

    -Do the palm rests get unbearably hot during gaming? NO
    -How loud are the fans? How often do they seem to go to full load?

    Loud only upon boot up.

    -Is the HDMI input port capable of receiving 3D signals with audio from an external device? Is the HDMI in an HMDI 1.4 port?
    -Do the onboard speakers receive audio from the HDMI in port?
    -Are the lighting/LED's arranged the same as the M17x R2 or are they similar to the M11x (M11x only had glowing white around head on lid). White glowing head on lid.

    -Any light leakage from the black bezel?

    None noted.

    -Is the touchpad larger in the R3 than the R2?
    -Is hardware easily accessible for self upgrades through panels? Is it one giant panel like past Alienware models or is it several panels?
    -How heavy is it? How heavy is the power brick? 1/3 size of brick a bit bigger than XPS 16.

    Video Questions:
    -How is the 3D experience? Is it worth it or do you feel its more of a gimmick?


    Amazing. Never thought it would be this good. WOULD ABSOLUTELY GIVE UP ONE OR TWO HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE FOR THIS!

    -Is the screen big enough to really get a good experience in 3D?
    YES

    -How are your framerates while gaming in 3D?
    -Is Optimus is supported on the 3D model?
    -No
    -How is battery life affected when the discrete graphics are turned on (with Optimus) vs entirely off?
    -How is battery life affected when 3D is turned on?
    -Does Fn+F7 turn off the external graphics card?
    -Can you run DPC latency checker and post the results?
    -Can you run the HDTune benchmark on your HDD/SSD and post the results?

    For more information on the M17x R3, see the following threads:

    *OFFICIAL* M17xR3 Owner's Lounge Thread - Part 1
    M17xR3 First Impression
    __________________
    Portable { Google Cr-48 Chrome Notebook | Alienware m15x (2.1GHz/8800m GTX/4GB DDR2-800) | TI TravelMate 4000E | Toshiba NB305-N310 Netbook }

    Desktop { Lian Li V2000B Plus II | Phenom II X4 940 BE 3.0GHz | XFX Radeon 5850 1GB | 6GB (3x 2GB) Kingston Hyper-X DDR2-1066 | 6TB Storage | PC P&C Silencer 750w }[/size]

    M17x Questions/Impressions
     
  4. Astrogiblet

    Astrogiblet Notebook Evangelist

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    Major thank you to Dr. J! I'm working on taking your comments and moving them into the first post right now!
     
  5. youven

    youven Notebook Guru

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    One more question to be added to Astro's list

    If you chose the single hdd option, does the R3 still come with a second hdd caddy?
     
  6. BatBoy

    BatBoy Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    this has been covered... yes.
     
  7. Astrogiblet

    Astrogiblet Notebook Evangelist

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    Was not sure what this meant, so I didn't add it.

    Also, if any of your answers change with time (Like you notice the fans being loud more often), please let me know so I can update the FAQ.

    I added it to the FAQ.
     
  8. Dr. J

    Dr. J Notebook Deity

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    If you took an average size real brick, the power supply is about 1/3 as thick and about the same length and width as a guess.

    My XPS 16 power supply (130 watts) is about 2/3 the size of this one.

    I can easily take photo's but do not understand the photobucket methods of posting here...
     
  9. Astrogiblet

    Astrogiblet Notebook Evangelist

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    Go to imgur: the simple image sharer and upload the picture. It will give you links to post here. Or you can take the "Direct Link" they give you and click the button above the reply box that says "Insert Image" and put that URL in there.
     
  10. Mandrake

    Mandrake Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Did my best...

    General Laptop Questions:
    -How does the power jack feel? Is it solid when the power adapter is plugged in?
    Yes, better than the M15x.

    -How do the hinges feel? Do they creak, feel weak/loose, or make any noise when opening/closing?
    No noise, it's smooth yet firm.

    -What is the case made out of? Is it the same or similar to the R2’s alloy casing?
    Posh plastic. ;) It's stronger than the Asus G73 but not as strong as the R2. Think AW M17.

    -How does the screen look? Can you compare it to the 1200p RGB screen in the R2?
    It's just like the M15x but bigger. Nicer than the R1 but not as nice as the R2- RGB LED.

    -What is your approximate battery life? Please mention whether this is tested battery life or Windows estimated time remaining.
    No clue.

    -If you are a fast typer, do you notice any keyboard lag or any problems being able to type multiples of the same letter in a row quickly?
    Haven't typed on it enough yet. Definitely better than a chiclet keyboard but I loath those things.

    -How is the trackpad? Is multitouch smooth in terms of scrolling or does it feel choppy/inconsistent and poorly executed?
    Haven't worked with it enough yet but I already like it better than the R1/R2. It's smooth, not rough.

    -Does the keyboard flex at any parts? Do the keys feel solid or cheap and flimsy?
    Keyboard is the most obvious. If someone doesn't post a vid by the weekend I will.

    -Do you notice any audio popping while playing music, on Youtube, or in games?
    Just loading the OS now....lol

    -Do the speakers sound good? Do they have decent bass?
    No clue yet.

    -What are temperatures like? Can you post a screenshot of your temps after gaming?
    TBD

    -Do the palm rests get unbearably hot during gaming?
    TBD, palm rest is a finger print magnet. Think M17x rubber skull cap lid.

    -How loud are the fans? How often do they seem to go to full load?
    TBD
    -Is the HDMI input port capable of receiving 3D signals with audio from an external device? Is the HDMI in an HMDI 1.4 port?

    -Do the onboard speakers receive audio from the HDMI in port?
    TBD

    -Are the lighting/LED's arranged the same as the M17x R2 or are they similar to the M11x (M11x only had glowing white around head on lid).
    TBD

    -Any light leakage from the black bezel?
    No. The LCD is EXACTLY like the M15x.

    -Is the touchpad larger in the R3 than the R2?
    Same

    -Is hardware easily accessible for self upgrades through panels? Is it one giant panel like past Alienware models or is it several panels?
    Yes, looks even easier than the M15x. I haven't tried yet but I don't think you need to remove the grills to get to the CPU and GPU. The service manual can answer that.

    -How heavy is it? How heavy is the power brick?
    TBD

    -If you chose the single hdd option, does the R3 still come with a second hdd caddy?
    Yes, and interposer. There is an additional bracket there acting as a "dummy" placeholder within the bracket.

    Video Questions:
    -How is the 3D experience? Is it worth it or do you feel its more of a gimmick?
    -Mandrake: "The 3D stuff is really cool. I thought it would be gimmicky but I like it. After you set it up it shows you screen shots of 3D games. I've never played 3D games and it looked really good. Lot's of depth to it."

    -Is the screen big enough to really get a good experience in 3D?
    So far I think so. Need to do some real 3D gaming.

    -How are your framerates while gaming in 3D?
    TBD

    -Is Optimus is supported on the 3D model?
    No optimus at all. Future bios upgrade maybe?

    -How is battery life affected when the discrete graphics are turned on (with Optimus) vs entirely off?
    N/A

    -How is battery life affected when 3D is turned on?
    TBD

    -Does Fn+F7 turn off the external graphics card on the 3D model?
    -No. Mandrake found that it gives you an error stating "This does not do anything."
     
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