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

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Introduction and Specifications

The term “laptop” can only be loosely applied to the nearly 9.39-pound Alienware M17x--you don’t exactly want to have the thing perched on your lap for any extended period of time. But you know what? Who cares. The M17x is a powerful and (mostly) portable gaming rig, and Dell can call it anything they want; awesome by any other name is still awesome.

The M17x has been in Dell’s Alienware lineup for a while, but now it’s been refreshed with the latest and greatest in mobile components, packing an Ivy Bridge CPU and the newest NVIDIA Kepler-based mobile GPU. The Intel Core i7-3720QM (2.6GHz/3.6GHz Turbo, 6MB cache) is one of the highest-end mobile processors in Intel’s Ivy Bridge lineup, taking a backseat only to the Core i7-3820QM.

Here's a quick look at the beast in action before we dig into the particulars...

Dell paired the Intel chip with NVIDIA’s smokin’ hot GeForce GTX 680M (2GB GDDR5) GPU for a massive one-two gaming punch. In addition to an intense of amount of graphics firepower, the 680M includes NVIDIA's Optimus technology. Optimus is switchable graphics technology that intelligently and automatically alternates between the battery-friendly integrated graphics (in this case, the Intel HD 4000 series) and the more powerful discrete GPU for a balance of performance and battery life.

Dell Alienware M17x R4 - Ivy Bridge and GeForce GTX 680 Refreshed

Alienware M17x Gaming Notebook
Specifications & Features


Operating System:








Optical Drive:



Card Reader:



Video Port:

Audio Port:


Battery Pack:



Manufacturer Warranty:

3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3720QM Processor @2.6-3.6GHz, 6MB cache

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

17.3-inch WideFHD 1920 x 1080 60Hz WLED

Intel HM77


Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di HD 5.1 w/THX Tru Studio Pro

2.0 Speaker configuration audio powered by Klipsch

8GB DDR3-1600MHz

500GB SATA Hitachi 7200RPM, 32GB mSATA Samsung PM680 caching SSD

Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW)

Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet NIC

Killer Wireless-N 1103 a/g/n 3x3 MIMO with Bluetooth 4.0

9-in-1 Media card reader

2.1MP full HD camera with dual digital microphones

USB 2.0 /eSATA 3Gbps combo port with PowerShare Technology, USB3.0 x 4

VGA (15-pin, D-Sub, HDMI-1.4 output w/ audio, HDMI 1.3 input w/ audio, mini-DisplayPort

(3x) Auto-sensing jacks for Line-out (2 line out; 1x SPDIF/Headphone), Microphone Input jack

4-Zone, multi-color RGB, 82 key keyboard with AlienFX lighting controls

High Capacity 9-cell Lithium Ion (90whr)

11.97x16.14x1.75 inches (DxWxH)

9.39lbs (starting)

1 Year Limited Warranty (Optional up to 4 yrs.)

$2,469 (as configured) 

The M17x is further outfitted with 8GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, a beautiful 17.3-inch WideFHD 1920x1080 WLED display, and a host of I/O ports including four USB 3.0 and HDMI in/out. Although the storage drive is a solid, if somewhat modest, 500GB (7200RPM) SATA drive, it’s paired with a 32GB mSATA drive for SSD caching and a nice boost in performance.

What’s under the hood is always most important, but Dell definitely didn’t ignore the exterior; let’s have a closer look...

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