Alienware 18 Notebook: Haswell, GeForce GTX 780M - HotHardware

Alienware 18 Notebook: Haswell, GeForce GTX 780M

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Performance Summary: There’s really not much one has to say about the Alienware 18 that isn’t borne out in the benchmarks. The machine tore through our spate of tests and took the top score in almost every one, showing off the horsepower afforded by the mighty Intel Core i7-4900MQ processor and the graphics firepower of the dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M cards in SLI. That said, this sort of performance reflects a generational bump in Alienware notebook components, so it was to be expected.

If pressed, we’re not sure we’d change much of anything on this gaming beast. It would be nice if the optical drive could burn Blu-rays, and the front edge where your wrist rests while you use the machine could be a little more comfortable. Other than that, there’s really nothing else you could ask for.

The processor is top of the line, and there are two high-end GPUs inside. 32GB of RAM is more than enough. The display is huge and beautiful. Dell even struck an excellent balance of storage and performance by implementing a spacious 512GB mSATA SSD and a large 750GB SATA drive (7200 RPM). It’s true that other models have RAID-ed SSDs, which can offer a substantial performance boost on the storage side, but for an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gaming notebook, you want to have plenty of storage in addition to performance. (We imagine some folks would prefer the extra SSD performance, but it’s a matter of personal preference more than anything, because the standalone SSD is plenty fast.)

To top it all off, Dell did a fine job of redesigning the look of the Alienware 18. Not that there was anything wrong with the old design, but this new edition looks classier without feeling dull; the lighting schemes and options are all still present, the keyboard is loaded with toys, and the new backlit touchpad (whose lights you can switch off if you prefer) is just plain cool.

The $4,499 price tag is a bit dizzying (there are cheaper build-outs, obviously), but if you’re looking for a solid gaming machine at a bargain price, there are other Dell Alienware configurations (as well as good options from other manufacturers) that you can value shop for. The Alienware 18 is the one that you buy when money is no object and you refuse to accept anything less than everything.


  • Outstanding general performance
  • Killer gaming performance
  • Excellent chassis and layout redesign
  • Built like a tank
  • Great 1080p HD Display
  • Extreme Price
  • No Blu-ray burner, just player

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Want one so bad! Thing is a monster. That pricetag, though....

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I hear ya Bruce. It's pricey for sure but there aren't many machines in this class of notebook that can compete.

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The most recent game on there is 2 years old (Arkham City). Then we have AvP, Metro 2033, Lost Planet 2 and Just Cause 2 all coming in at 3 years old. There's even a 5 year old game on there (Far Cry 2)...

Isn't it a bit pointless testing bleeding-edge tech with old games!?

Why not Lost Planet 3? Why not Far Cry 3!? Why not any games that have been released in the last year!?

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Alienware Laptop or just as good as the recent Desktops my opinion

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I bought my Alienware 18 back in October of 2013. I have been loving it. Since then there have been several Bios & GPU driver updates that have significantly improved this laptop's performance.

Here is what I bought:

Alienware 18 Laptop (18.4" screen @ 1920x1080/60Hz)

CPU: Intel Core i7-4900MQ Factory OCed to 4.0GHz

GPU: 2 x 4GB nVidia GTX 780M in SLI (2x256-bit with 3072 CUDA cores)

RAM: 32GB DDR3 RAM (4x8GB Kingston HyperX @ 1600MHz)

Storage: 2 x 1TB Samsung 840 EVO SSD (2TB total storage)

Optical: Panasonic UJ265 6x Dual Layer Blu-Ray Read/Write(100GB)

Wireless: Killer Wireless N 1202

OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

@ JamesPayter, Far cry 3 gets around a 90fps average fully maxed out on this laptop. I normally just keep v-sync turned on for a very stable 60fps. This is with Bios version A09, & WHQL Geforce driver 340.52. ;)

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