M18x Pre-Order Configuration Questions... Ask HERE

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by BatBoy, May 11, 2011.

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  1. jono123

    jono123 Notebook Consultant

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    Nvidia have really priced themselves out of the market.

    If you look at the 6970 XF that is 4Gb of serious muscle for the fraction of the price. The 480 /485 offer a variance of about 10-15% performance increase but come at a huge price premium. This makes utilsing them in AW's too expensive. When they drop the lame 460m we will see a migration to a sensible SLi option at an affordable price.

    If I was buying now, XF all the way.
     
  2. steviejones133

    steviejones133 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Good point. the 6970's pack some serious power - and are heck of alot cheaper too.....i dont know HOW much cheaper but probably cheap enough for me to not warrant the Nvidia price tag for the slight gain you MAY get in SOME games....
     
  3. Räy

    Räy Guest

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    I was wondering on whether or not to go from a 2720qm to a 2920xm. My main use of the laptop will be for Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Autocad, CATIA and some C programming as I'm going for Mechanical Engineering in college. Obviously the difference in gaming is pretty small between the two processors but in terms of professional CAD usage does it make that much of a difference? Obviously, I was going to get either 2x4gb hyperx 1600 or 4x4gb hyperx 1600 since ram usually is most key in CAD. I can't afford to also buy an overpriced Quadro when for a small premium I can pick up xfire 6970s.
     
  4. TheMatrixHacker

    TheMatrixHacker Notebook Evangelist

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    If you can afford it... I would go for the 2920xm, I cant and went with the 2720qm. Not a big deal to me, because it still clocks at 2.8 ghz. I mean we are talking performance standards here. For standard programs/gaming use.. is more than fine, your not going to be breaking any benchmarks but your not going to be sitting around twiddling your thumbs either.
     
  5. Zero989

    Zero989 Notebook Virtuoso

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    2720 clocks @ 3ghz on four cores with turbo boost. 3.3ghz single core.

    im pretty sure the 2920xm @ 4ghz is on a single core and 3.8ghz on four cores.
     
  6. TheMatrixHacker

    TheMatrixHacker Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes sir. Thanks for the correction. I was thinking the 2630qm.
     
  7. evil_mike

    evil_mike Notebook Evangelist

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    Okay, here goes. I'm seriously considering an upgrade, as my first gen m17x (post Dell acquisition) warranty is about to expire and, well, it's time. I'm a gamer - not competitive or anything, but it's my hobby of choice - and I want something that'll kick the crap out of Battlefield 3, Skyrim, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Or at least not make me go, "dammit!! Why can't I run this on anything but medium quality settings?!!"

    Anyway, here's what I put together as a possible contender:

    • Intel® Core™ i7 2630QM 2.0GHz (2.8GHz w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache)
    • 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz (2DIMMS) - I plan to replace this with 8 or 16 GB of 1600MHz memory
    • Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon™ HD 6970M - AMD CrossFireX™
    • 750GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s - I plan to add an SSD for the OS
    • Intel® Advanced-N 6200 a/g/n 2x2 MIMO Technology and Bluetooth 3.0
    • Internal WirelessHD Technology - FullHD Video Transmitter
    • Slot-Load Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
    • Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio

    Okay, so that config comes to a grand total of $2,546.04 without the memory or SSD upgrades. That's more than I want to spend, but I think it's a worthwhile investment.

    Questions:

    1. Is there any reason I should upgrade the processor? I've read conflicting replies to this same question in other posts. Based on the fact that this will be primarily for gaming (FPS, MMO, and RPG mostly), should I bump the processor or is that good enough for my purposes?

    2. I know everyone swears by SSD, and I will probably add one as my primary drive. My question is - will I see a noticeable difference between an SSD and a hybrid SSD drive? I mean, I know that they are faster, but I wonder if it's worth the couple hundred $$$ to upgrade, or should I just stick with a hybrid SSD for now.

    3. Wireless HD - I added it as a futures thing, as I don't have a TV that will support it natively (I'd need a wireless HD receiver at some point). Question is: if I don't add it now, is it possible to get it after the fact?

    4. I've pretty much settled on upgrading my RAM to at least 8 GB. Question for you is: is that enough for a gaming system or should I bump to 16? I may just stick with 8 for now and add more later.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
  8. mloney87

    mloney87 Notebook Enthusiast

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    1. From all that has been said the 2630QM is plenty enough for gaming.

    2. In my opinion an SSD is a better choice, The Hybrid hard drives only store the most commonly used files which means anything else you try to run on the hard drive will run at the regular platter type speeds.

    3. The WirelessHD can be added later but the difficult part will be adding the antenna, which does not come with the laptop without the intial purchase of WirelessHD, The antenna runs behind the display panel.

    4. 8GB is plenty for all your needs. Only in a few cases would you need more than that.
     
  9. The1TruJok3r

    The1TruJok3r Notebook Consultant

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    Answers:


    1. I was going to go with the base processor but when reading more about the 2720 vs the 2630 I just wanted the extra kick the 2720 gives. It does better virtualization which I do plan on using even though gaming is a primary function, for me th 2720 was worth the extra money 500mhz for only 150 bucks where the other going to 4ghz is a ton of money and either way you probably aren't going to see % of money = % of performance, so if you are just all about games I'd stick with the base.

    2. Hyrbrid SSD's will fill up if you do multiple game changes. I think the max was about 3 games and the cache is dumped and that is just an average as games with lots of files can change cache much more frequently. Since you can do both in the M18x I would suggest a smaller C drive say 128gb and go with a larger 7200 for storage say the WD Black or even the Hybrid 500 Seagate for storage. You will see a huge difference in performance from an SSD and hybrid in games especially and in just general feel of the system responsiveness. The Crucial M4 or the Vertex 3 are your best bets.

    3. Adding this in the build phase is probably pretty crucial. It can be added aftermarket but then you have to mess with all the antenna routing and install and trust me it can be messy. I got the Kit and the Transmitter in the laptop and I love it. I can pop on the WiHD and set the screen to extended and play a movie on the project for the family all while I'm gaming on my main screen. It's pretty neat and before I had to have two pc's to do this. Still have a dedicated HTPC but really I could probably sell that now.

    4. 8gb of memory is probably all you will ever need for games, but now is a good time to buy memory if you have the money. For 200 bucks you can get the 1600mhz Kingston for 16gb. Really quite a good deal but if you are just gaming you can go for the 8gb kit and probably be just fine for under 100 bucks. I'm more future proofing my system because at the amount of money I spent I plan to keep this thing 3 to 4 years, with a possible upgrade to me and transfer to wife in 2yrs if the market has changed enough and there is a need for the options at the time.
     
  10. wraithrsw

    wraithrsw Notebook Consultant

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    I hope you're right about the latter. Though I reckon I won't be needing a powerful card for 2 years. After that, we'll see. :D
     
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