Alienware 18 Notebook: Haswell, GeForce GTX 780M

Introduction & Specifications

Dell has updated its Alienware series of gaming notebooks with the refreshed Alienware 18, and what an update it is. In addition to a new generation of hardware, with both Intel's Haswell and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 780M rumbling under the hood, Alienware has completely redesigned the look of the chassis, keyboard, and touchpad, all of which we’ll examine more closely in just a moment.

One thing that has definitely not changed from the previous generation Alienware notebooks is the size and weight of these monsters, but of course, all that weight belies components built for serious gaming firepower.

We'll dig in a little deeper on the pages ahead, but for now here’s a quick look at the Alienware 18 in action:

Dell Alienware 18
Specifications & Features

Optical Drive:
Alienware 18
Intel Core i7-4900MQ (8MB cache, 4GHz Turbo Boost), overclocked
Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M (4GB GDDR5)
18.4" WLED FHD (1920 X 1080) TrueLife Display
32GB dual-channel DDR3-1600MHz
750GB SATA 3Gbps (7200 RPM) HDD
Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BDROM, DVDRW, CD-RW)
Broadcom 4352 802.11 ac 2x2 and Bluetooth 4.0
8-cell Lithium Ion (86 w Hr)
1 Year Alienware Basic Support
Alienware Command Center 3.0
$4,499 (as configured), lower cost builds available

The Alienware 18 has a factory-overclocked Intel Core i7-4900MQ processor inside, but the real performance kicker comes from the dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics cards. There’s also 32GB of dual-channel DDR3-1600MHz memory, and the storage setup is a solid one-two punch of a 512GB mSATA SSD and a 750GB (3Gbps, 7200 RPM) HDD.

Despite the thick bezel, the 18.4-inch (1920x1080) TrueLife display boasts incredible viewing angles and a not-too-glossy finish. The machine also includes a slot-loading dual-layer Blu-ray reader (with DVD and CD write capabilities), 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a built-in webcam.

Alienware’s Command Center 3.0 software is part of the package too, as is a year of included Alienware Basic Support. With the intro out of the way, let’s dive in and take a closer look at this rig and its software.

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