Alienware M17x Dual-GPU Gaming Notebook Review

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Synopsis: The M17x is Alienware's current flagship gaming notebook. It features an anodized aluminum shell that is available in a variety of colors, including silver, black, and red, and its 17" LCD sports a covering comprised of a single sheet of glass, that runs from edge-to-edge. The M17x also features 'BinaryGFX' technology which gives users have the ability to switch between discrete or integrated graphics and a 'Stealth Mode' in which the discrete graphics cards are turned off and other components throttle down to achieve a 65W power limit. We tested a high-end configuration, complete with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 processor, dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M GPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 1TB RAID 0 array, and it put up the best benchmarks scores we have seen from a notebook to date.

Alienware M17x Notebook

Alienware M17x Gaming Notebooks
Features and Options

Video Card Options

  • Single 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
  • SLI Dual 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
  • SLI Dual 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M

Processor Options

  • Intel Core 2 Suo P8600
     (3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
     (3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9600
     (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9800
     (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000
     (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9100
     (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX9300
     (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)

Color Options

  • Anodized Aluminum - Space Black
  • Anodized Aluminum – Lunar Silver

Display Options

  • 17-inch WideXGA+ 1440 x 900 - (900p) LCD
  • 17-inch WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 - (1200p) LCD

Operating System Options

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)

Memory Options

  • 4GB, 6GB, 8GB DDR31 - 1067MHz
  • 4GB, 6GB, 8GB DDR31 - 1333Mhz

Hard Drive Options
Single Hard Drives

  • 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, 500GB - 7,200RPM
  • 128GB, 256GB SSD

Performance RAID 1

  • 500GB 7,200RPM (2x500GB)
  • 320GB 7,200RPM (2x320GB)

Performance RAID 0

  • 320GB2 7,200RPM - RAID 0 (2x160B)
  • 640GB2 7,200RPM - RAID 0 (2x320GB)
  • 1TB2 7,200RPM - RAID 0 (2x500GB)
  • 256GB2 SSD - RAID 0 (2x128GB)
  • 512GB2 SSD - RAID 0 (2x256GB)


Optical Drive Options

  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Combo (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

Network Adapters

  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 (10 / 100 / 1000 Mbps)
  • Internal Wireless a/g/draft-n with MIMO (2x2) Technology
  • Internal Wireless Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR


  • Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio


  • 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo (2-in-1 port)
  • IEEE 1394a (4-pin) port
  • ExpressCard Slot
  • DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA - Video Output
  • Front Speakers Audio Out Connector / Headphone Jack
  • Center Speaker and Subwoofer Audio Out Connector / Headphone Jack
  • Rear Surround Audio Out Connector
  • Audio In / Microphone Jack
  • Two Built-In Front Speakers

TV Tuner Option

  • ExpressCard Digital TV Tuner w/ Remote

Media Card Reader

  • Built-In 8-in-1 Media Card Reader


  • AlienFX Illuminated Keyboard
     (Exclusive Design)

Software Personalization Options

  • Avatar
  • Window Style
  • Mouse Pointers
  • Wallpapers
  • Power Plan
  • Automatic Updates
  • Time Zone
  • Laser-Engraved Nameplate


  • 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery


  • 11.7lbs (as configured)




Alienware M17x Image Gallery

Click For Larger View

Left 4 Dead
1920x1200 (4XAA, 16X Aniso)

Battery Eater Pro
(Classic Test, Discrete Graphics)
59.42 FPS
1 Hour, 4 Minutes


  • Excellent Performance
  • Great Aesthetics
  • Customizable Lighting
  • Powerful Graphics


  • Heavy
  • Short Battery Life
  • Finicky Touch-Sensitive Buttons


Image gallery

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doojus 5 years ago

1 hour of battery life with a dual gpu laptop? I freaking doubt it. How exactly did you conduct the battery tests.

marco c 5 years ago

Battery Eater Pro's Classic Test, which taxes the whole system.  Doubt it all you want, that's what it pulled off whether you want to beleive it or not.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

I love that the first thing you throw on it is L4D Big Smile

It's a good looking laptop for sure. That keyboard flex bothers me a bit. If my $350 netbook has no flex what so ever, I would expect the same for a almost $5000 laptop. 

mah_101381 5 years ago

I'm sold. Wish they included a few more games or other tests to further show its abilities.

peti1212 5 years ago

Powerful Laptop, but I must say, I hate how it looks. Eww.... oh and it's huge. No wonder because it has so many things crammed in.

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