Ordering new AW17: Do we still have any Dell / AW reps in the forums?

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Devianti, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Devianti

    Devianti Notebook Consultant

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    Hey guys,

    Some years back I remember we had a couple reps on the forums that were able to assist with new orders / getting discounts etc. Is this still a thing? Have been searching around and it seems not. Managed to get a nice discount on my last AW back in Europe, and now I'm living in Canada looking to upgrade to the new 17 I was hoping for a 10% coupon etc cos I'm going all out with the config.

    Failing that does anyone have any good rep contacts for sales in Canada? :)

    Cheers!
    Dev.
     
  2. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Notebook Virtuoso

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    U're way better of upgrading your current AW rather than buying a new.

    EDIT:
    welp u got the 14inch version with BGA GPU. Guess you should rather look for MSI or something. New AW are a disaster. Don't believe me? Check AW subforum.
     
  3. Shark00n

    Shark00n Notebook Evangelist

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    Bah!

    I have a 17 R4 and sure, I had initial problems with thermal throttling and high temps. Repasted and repaded and now own a perfect unit.
    I thought about selling it and getting something similar but guess what, no other company is close to AW's value proposition IMO.

    MSI has the GT73 and GT75VR which are huge beasts, way to gamer looking, and no QHD screen option. Just a 120Hz TN 1080p (although it has slightly faster response times)
    HP has a very similar option with the Omen X but again, only 1080p option and tinny speakers with no subwoofer.
    Clevo's P775TM or P870TM have desktop CPUs so they have an edge in performance, but very outdated looks, outdated keyboard, not very many manufacturers carry the QHD 120Hz option, plus they are city-block huge and many also have their share of heating problems, specially with the 8700K.
    Asus are a PITA to repaste, also suffer from thermal issues.
    Gigabyte's in the same boat, plus they have horrible keyboards with lots of input errors, really noy great for gaming.

    The 17 R4 is beautiful, it's big but not fat, it's stupid solid, even the keyboard had a metal plate behind it for added stiffness. Has good audio, great QHD 120Hz G-Sync screen and a fully unlocked GTX 1080 vBIOS.

    I think it's the laptop to own right now, but that's just my opinion. I really could't see myself switching it for anything else in the market right now. Maybe only a Clevo P870TM (but my back would suffer with the weight, I carry it everyday) or the Omen X (but I'd lose the lovely speaker and subwoofer system in the AW).

    Buy it, repaste it and enjoy it!

    I repasted mine with liquid metal, new thermal pads and undervolted slightly. CPU and GPU don't go past 75C gaming for hours. And I don't even have a cooler base, just the back lifted up. I love it :D
     
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  4. Devianti

    Devianti Notebook Consultant

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    Heh yeah, way overdue an upgrade huh? :) I was looking at other brands due to the heating issue, but for the reasons Shark00n says below I'm still keen to stick with AW. Plus this little M14x has been so darn good to me for so many years. I was hoping the issues would have been resolved by the R4, but it seems iUnlock's guide has been updated for that so I guess not - that said I have known some people to get lucky.

    Thanks for the detailed response Shark00n! It's reassuring to read your comments on the QHD as I'm leaning away from UHD the more I think about it. I admit I am worried by the thermal throttling, and even though I'm technically competent, I'd be terrified of trashing a 3000 dollar+ machine. Perhaps I'll build up the courage to do it, but if it really becomes an issue I'll try my best to find someone in the Vancouver area to do it for me for a fee. After your repaste did it make the fans run any quieter?

    Dev.
     
  5. Shark00n

    Shark00n Notebook Evangelist

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    Yeah repasting helped with fan noise a bit. It stays pretty much at 75C under load (games), fans are loud but not overwhelming. I game with open headphones and I don't really notice it.
     
  6. Devianti

    Devianti Notebook Consultant

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    Yeah I almost always game with open headphones. The fans on my old M14x were never really that quiet even after all the BIOS shenanigans. Have just reached out to Hidevolution, figured I might as well get the repaste done professionally and get a few better components if the price is right. :)
     
  7. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Notebook Virtuoso

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    Very Biased review. Let me fix some statements that don't make sense:

    The MSI GT 73 / GT 75 has a much better screen than the Alienware, it's way more color accurate, better contrasts etc. While the QHD on the AW 17 only has a dissapointing 82.2% sRGB and 54% AdobeRBG color coverage the MSI FHD screen has a 92% sRGB and a 76% AdobeRGB 1998 cverage, which is insanely good. Contrast is meh and the brightness is everywhere from 400nits center and 345nits on side which isn't exacly even on the Alienware, MSI has it beaten in all regards except for resolution and maximum brightness (which i would argue 400nits is to bright for almost all people here)

    The speakers of the Alienware are very mediocre as well, they get smoked by a macbook and even harder by high end MSI notebooks, not even close. So talking about how HP speakers are tinny isn't really a discussion you should be taking when having an alienware. According to notebookcheck:
    It just showcases how biased you are towards your AW.

    In terms of design it's very subjective, to me Alienware and Asus which both have bery similair design really aren't anything special. I prefer the same design type, but I don't really think its that much prettier than other notebooks. Also don't talk about keyboards, the new keyboards in newer Alienware are a major stepdown from previous generations. Which OP will notice, the keyboard on both the clevo and Alienware are really bad compared to MSI and Asus notebooks in the same class. I used a keyboard on a M17x R4 and a 17 R4, the older model keyboard crushed the newer one, it wasn't even close.

    Asus are a pain in the ass, everythin from terrible driver support, terrible heatsink designs etc. I have not tried the newest ones just yet,so they might have improved on this, but considering that they were bad from 2010 - 2016 I doubt much changed to be fair.

    Gigabyte notebooks are way to slim, they suffer from thermal issues due to their choice of putting high end hardware into a way to slim chasis.

    Also it does not have fully unlocked vBios, no notebook has that.

    The Alienware 17R4 is mediocre, not bad not good. If you look objectively the MSI notebooks in the same priceclass smoke the Alienware for the most part, the only thing Alienware really has going for them is that they might have a better design for some people and the build quality of the chasis is much better than most notebooks. For instance the bigger MSI notebooks have also decent build quality except for the wonky screen, you can flex it to a very terrifying point.

    @Devianti

    So before I can recommend anything for you, I would ask you what you expect of the notebook. Like can it be heavy? Do you like sleek or flashy design? Maybe you don't care about the design? Keyboard? Value performance or speaker performance etc.? It really depends on your needs mate.

    I'll just tell you, that since 2015, Alienware has changed a lot, the new Alienware notebooks are nothing to the one you have now or the older ones you might be used to.
     
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  8. Shark00n

    Shark00n Notebook Evangelist

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    You are right, I am biased. It's not my fault I like my 17 R4 :p

    GT73/75 do have a better screen color-wise, but when you buy one you might get a 5ms panel or a 3ms one, I don't like not knowing what I'm going to get. The TN on the 17 R4 isn't the best, that's for sure, but the QHD resolution is great and is one of the main reasons I chose it.
    Brightness depends, I use mine on full brightness all the time. I work in a very fancy office where everything is white and very, very well lit, many of my coworkers struggle with seeing their screens, I don't. But that's my particular case.

    The speakers have more to give. AW Sound Center makes a huge difference. To sound and volume. I think it's competent and I would miss the subwoofer if I got something without one.

    Design is subjective, but build quality isn't. And AW haspretty much everyone beat on that.
    I also don't get what you're on about with the keyboard. It's great and super solid. Has the most travel in its class for a membrane keyboard. Sure, HP and MSI have pseudo-mechanical solutions (I have never tried one, they look good but I think have little travel distance for a mechanical kb) and you pay for it. I really like the keyboard in the 17 R4 and I owned MSI, Clevo, Asus and Gigabyte in the last 3/5 years. Haven't tried one of those mechanical ones though.

    I meant to say that AW made available a vBIOS for the 1080 which has the maximum TDP nvidia allows as spec. Thats 180W. MSI's vBIOS are somewhat locked to 150W, from what I've read around here.
    Performance diference is negligible in game though.

    I wouldn't call it mediocre. But it is a different value proposition, no doubt.
    Other manufacturers are busy with gaming looks, red vents and light up dragons, they are going bigger and have more space for SSDs, mechanical keyboards, more copper in the heatsinks, etc...

    AW just made a tank of a laptop that's got it where it counts to many people. I carry mine daily and I don't like to baby any piece of technology. They are tools first, toys second. So I do appreciate immensely the build quality, the bright and high-res screen, quiet keyboard and stupid big 99Wh battery.
    It's half the thickness as a GT75VR but performs pretty much the same. The GT75 also is very noisy and it's thermal performance isn't as great as the heatsink size might sugest.

    But I agree, AW is not making any more MXM laptops with SLI and desktop CPUs, they have pivoted quite a bit. But it's still a great product with great support and a great community. It delivers one of the best work and game experiences I ever had on a laptop.
    Sure I had to repaste it and was almost about to sell it just because of frustration regarding widespread thermal issues. But with some tinkering it's really a beast! And I can't find anything in the market that fills my needs like it. Oposition is thicker, has less resolution, is way to gamer-looking and has less than ideal support.

    Oh, and it also has Tobii eye-tracker!
    While it is a gimmick for games and pretty much only good for WOW-ing friends, I really like to have it on while working. Screen goes off and locked the moment I step back from my table, and turns on and unlocks when I sit back down again. Pretty seamless! Windows Hello works pretty good and is very safe with Tobii too.

    Besides, I paid 2600€ for mine. Where I live, a GT75VR with the same specs is around 3600€, that's 1000€ more. Not worth it IMO.

    Dell support is also in it's own league.
    Sure, people still have issues and it's not perfect. But, for example, I had an issue with my battery where it wouldn't charge. Laptop still worked just fine when plugged in, it just wouldn't charge.
    Called Dell and they had a technician with a new battery, at my workplace, within 3 days. Changed the battery myself during lunch-hour. I wasn't away from my laptop or my data for 1 minute. Didn't have to encrypt work files, or backup my entire OS before sending it in to the manufacturer.

    To put in perspective, when I last owned an MSI GS70 I had to wait for 30 days for MSI to fix a small issue regarding a noisy fan. 30 days without my laptop or my data! No replacement laptop was given. Dell's support has huge value to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  9. Danishblunt

    Danishblunt Notebook Virtuoso

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    The QHD is average, not great. I mean it's sufficient for you, which is great, good for you, but don't call it a great screen if it's just ok.

    Pretty sure the EC is limiting the performance, also the MSI cards run at 200Watts.
    The battery is huge and still has terrible battery life thanks to the lack of Optimus, again bad design choice if you ask me.

    We can ask @Phoenix about the thermal performance vs yours to see if that statement of yours holds true or not. Personally I highly doubt it, but I'm all in for a suprise.

    In the end you're really not being very objectively which I find a shame because you could be potentially misleading OP. You can tell that you like your notebook, which obviously you have the right to do so, but don't tell him that your screen is very nice or speakers are great, which objectively isn't the case. You can tell him that you love the design, it has sturdy chasis etc. which is all true, but don't tell him the other stuff.

    Also I think 80% of the Dell subforum can tell you stories about the support which would make you cry. Seriously, nobody has better nightmare stories than the AW Subforum.
     
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  10. Shark00n

    Shark00n Notebook Evangelist

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    Well it does have above than average res, brightness and viewing angles for a TN.
    Did now know that, I thought MSI was limiting to 150W, I'm sure I read something about that here. Not sure if it was about the newest GT series.
    If 3.5 hours is terrible with a GTX 1080 and 120Hz screen then I don't know what's good. Because everybody looooves nvidia optimus! And everybody loves going to the BIOS to turn it on manually on MSI laptops.

    Sure! Mine doesn't go above 75C while gaming. I don't do benchmarks or anything, just game and video render. It copes beautifully. I bet the GT series has an edge in temperatures but it should! Seeing as it's double the size.

    Sure, support is not great, but when it comes to turds I think it's the most polished turd out there! I don't live in the US, I live in Portugal. When I had an MSI support was awful here. Dell support for my unit was complicated the first time (Alienware doesn't sell in Portugal so I had to wait for parts) but then I did a ownership transfer with dell and they started stocking up. A new battery took less than 3 days from diagnosing it to getting it installed. I can not beat that where I live, not even Apple is as fast.

    But again, this is just my 2 cents. Nothing you read online should be taken to heart, OP can make his own mind reading every sort of experience and opinion around here. I tried lots of laptops and the 17 R4 is great for me. Would only trade it for a P870TM but would lose battery and built quality. Heat issues are also present and require tinkering. The Omen X is also pretty interesting. If it had a QHD and subwoofer I wouldn't think twice as it's the only other unit I know about with a 99Wh battery and sober enough looks.
     
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