Alienware M17x R4 (2012), Ivy Bridge and Kepler Refresh

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The Alienware M17x is a large desktop replacement notebook that is not built with battery life performance in mind, and the model we tested packed some of the most powerful GPU and CPU technologies currently on the market with what could only be considered an afterthought for power consumption. Regardless, we wanted to see what battery life was like under moderately strenuous workloads. Here are the results from our Battery Eater Pro tests.

Battery Life Test
Heavy and Light Workloads

The downside to running all those beefy components is that the battery in these mobile monsters can't power things for very long. The M17x's 9-cell battery was just about equal with most of the field, although the Maingear and ASUS G74SX systems wrecked the curve.

Bear in mind how widely battery life can fluctuate. You can extend a battery's charge by opting for more efficient power profiles, not to mention simply manually adjusting things like screen brightness; and of course, less demanding tasks such as word processing or Web browsing won't suck the life out of the battery as fast. We test these systems essentially as-is, so there's room for improvement on these times. 

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CDeeter 2 years ago

(cough) contest (cough)

That's one sweet laptop! Love the lighting effects, and it has all the performance I need =)

goingout1231 2 years ago

i still like ratina macbook pro ~!

3vi1 2 years ago

Great review. One question:

I didn't see the $116 power-brick pictured in the review. Since I imagine you'll be carrying it with you everywhere due to the battery life, I'm curious as to how big/heavy it is. Is it surprisingly small, or is it like I picture: with wheels and an extendable handle for easy dragging?

BDarr 2 years ago

The power brick only weights about 2-4 pounds i say but yes the battery life sucks with them. You can only go 2 hours with power saver and the ALienwar fx off.

OleTrondheim 2 years ago

Great review Seth. A bit disappointed that there wasn`t a 7970M to compare against though.

As for GTX 680M test, included Battlefield 3 and other games, there is a user that is testing it right now:

GTX 680M runs very cool even with huge overclock. A great GPU indeed

BDarr 2 years ago

Alienware laptops are pretty bad Ive had countless problems with mine and they still won't send me a new one even though i have the warranty for it. You can make/customize a laptop from a no name company for cheaper and it will last the same amount of time. You are buying an Alienware for the looking and brand instead of the customer service and quality they used to provide before Dell bought them out. Wish i would have never bought it.

Owner of a M15x Alienware laptop.

krammer66 2 years ago

It is not just Alienware! I just had a Toshiba Qosmio X775 880 great machine but I almost sent is back for the 5th time until corporate sent me a refurbished machine then month later I purchased the M17x. We only read more about the bad then the good replying about their satisfaction.

wuyu0109 2 years ago

I didn't see the $116 power-brick pictured in the review. Since I imagine you'll be carrying it with you everywhere due to the battery life, I'm curious as to how big/heavy it is

WStare 2 years ago

I notice the reviews are always the upgraded to the max versions, the ones the most of us can't afford.

The base model has only  a GTX 660m a 500GB HDD and 6GB of memory and only 1600x900 screen and is $1499.99 to start, I could build or have made a Supper Gaming Desktop or a great gaming laptop for far less than this.

Eye candy shouldn't cost that much more!

Fire_Rider 2 years ago

All the video through I was waiting for a game to be played, Like Stalker or whatever.

All those ports I see in the description!

Freightbum 2 years ago

I have had my M17x R4 since May 2012. This is my third and best laptop I have ever had. I'm fan of Total War games and Guild Wars 2 and this rig can handle anything that comes up. I keep this on a laptop cooler with a 220mm fan and the Alienware fans only really kick in on Shogun 2 when fighting with large armies. Which puts more stress on the cpu than the gpu. The differents in the rig reviewed here and mine is that I have the Ivy bridge 3820 cpu, AMD 7970, and the 32ssd and 750 gb hard drives. If you travel and like to play games and don't mine carring a extra 15 lbs around (adding backpack and other nic nacks) this is the way to go.

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