Alienware M18x Gaming Notebook: A Tale of Two GPUs

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News Posted: Tue, Oct 4 2011 11:38 AM
Alienware M18x Notebook: A Tale of Two GPUsBig, bad and unapologetic. These three words accurately describe the Alienware M18x. Unapologetic about its size, this is a desktop replacement notebook that almost defies the entire category of portable machines. Sure, it's portable, in the sense that you can move it from room to room or perhaps pack it up for a LAN, but you're not tossing this bad boy into a dainty backpack or laptop tote. No, the Alienware M18x steps into the ring weighing in at nearly 12lbs (11.935) and thumbs its nose at would-be competitors.

In our efforts to evaluate Alienware's new gaming Goliath, the company decided to send us two machines with identical base builds, an Intel Core i7-2630QM quad-core at the helm, but with different graphics subsystems. One M18x came strapped with a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M GPUs in SLI. The other came packing heat with dual AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPUs in CrossFire...

Alienware M18x Gaming Notebook: A Tale of Two GPUs

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fat78 replied on Tue, Oct 4 2011 2:04 PM

wow that is one powerful laptop. Makes my desktop look sad.

However some one is going to have to be a huge gamer to need a portable laptop this powerful.

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"I'm not a fan the the Desktop Alienware machines, but on the mobile side, The M18X is a pieces of art and craftsmanship that I would be willing to pay a premium for. One downer is the fact that Optimus is no available on the single GTX 580M configuration, but your'e not buying this to stray away much from the desk, good to know though. "

"I dont like glossy screens but the ones on the Alienware are beautiful, seen it in person. To my linking, I would go for Nvidia's offering, its more powerful. '

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CDeeter replied on Tue, Oct 4 2011 4:50 PM

Absolutely spectacular and beautiful machine. Great job on the video too.

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AKwyn replied on Tue, Oct 4 2011 5:00 PM

Great review Dave. I haven't seen one of those screens up close so I don't know if it's true or not but the other specs look good, the laptop looks like a piece of art and it's even got a decent warranty/customer service.

Although I would go with the ATI due to it being more reasonable then NVIDIA's setup. I mean sure, you're getting better single GPU performance but those things take up power, run hot and don't offer much of a benefit over competing cards. (except for PhysX and CUDA but I doubt anybody would really need it.)


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Good review,....I'll take one of each please.

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LBowen replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 12:01 AM

Nice Benchmarks with Metro 2033 still requiring a beastly setup. Still definitely playable on those resolutions and better frame rates than what I have seen on other laptops.

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Thanks for the review Dave loved the through video. I too would be tempted to go with the CF setup simply because the price difference is so huge for a small difference. I really like the lighting touches that they put into these systems with the speaker grills and around the touch pad.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:46 AM

Very nice looking laptop and great review. The AMD Nvidia GPU split is interesting, and either one looks very nice to me!

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DBona replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 6:02 AM

ATI cards in laptops (and in general) are really terrible. I bought an Asus with 5870M in it and it would green-screen, blue screen and get terrible FPS in many games. Even after 2x RMAs, a ton of OS wipes and 50 beta / legacy / new driver trials, all with same problems.  Turns out it's just ATI's sub-standard driver support that causes problems.

Switched to an Nvidia gaming laptops, and all games run great.

As for the power use on nvidia cards. It's a non-factor. No gaming laptop can game for more then a couple minutes unplugged, and when not gaming, both have decent battery life (ati and nvidia) so it's a nonfactor when picking a GAMING laptop. I owned an Asus, SAGER and an alienware laptop, if you think you're going to play on battery power, you got another thing coming to you LOL.

Gaming laptops are for traveling gamers / LAN partiers. They need to be plugged in to game, but it's a LOT easier carrying a gaming laptop around then it is a monitor, desktop case, and keyboard/mouse.

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