Alienware Alpha Intel-Powered SFF Gaming PC: Consoles Beware

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PCMark and 3DMark Tests

Futuremark is one of the best-known benchmark providers around. We use the PCMark line to give us a sense of a computer’s overall capabilities and we’ve found the 3DMark line to be a good indicator of gaming performance. The new 3DMark FireStrike test is designed to challenge even high-end systems.

Futuremark PCMark 7 & 8
Simulated Application Performance

PCMark 7 runs through the types of tasks your PC is likely to encounter during ordinary home and office use. It tests the system’s graphics capabilities as well, but it isn’t meant to be a gaming benchmark. Look at the two PCMark benchmarks as an indicator of a system’s general usage performance.


alpha pcm8 home

alpha pcm8 creative

alpha pcm8 work

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The Alpha isn't an office heavyweight. It can handle ordinary, daily tasks and Web surfing, but you can get more power for general use out of a similarly-priced Dell Inspiron.

Futuremark 3DMark 11
Simulated Gaming Performance

Although Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 has been around for several years, it still provides a good look at a system’s gaming capabilities. It's also handy tool for benchmarking machines that still run Windows 7. We ran this benchmark on the Performance preset, at 1280 x 720 resolution. If you download the free version of this benchmark, make sure you're using the Performance preset to avoid comparing scores that were run with different test configurations.


The Alienware Alpha puts our other test systems to shame in 3DMark 11 with more than double the score of the Brix. The Alpha should produce solid scores in graphics-oriented benchmarks generally, but particularly in an older, lighter test like 3DMark 11 on the Performance setting. The next benchmark (3DMark Fire Strike) will put a much heavier strain on the Alpha's capabilities.

Futuremark 3DMark Fire Strike
Simulated Gaming Performance
The next test we chose was Futuremark’s newest: 3DMark Fire Strike. This benchmark is designed specifically for gaming PCs. Because Extreme mode is geared towards systems that have multiple graphics cards in CrossFire or SLI configurations, we opted for Normal mode, which runs at 1920 x 1080.

c3dm firestrike

The Alpha handled 3DMark Firestrike just fine. The Nvidia GeForce GTX card gives the Alpha the oomph you'll need to play games, and considering that your TV's resolution is probably 1080p, the Alpha is well equipped to handle TV gaming.

Tags:  Dell, SFF, Gaming, PC, Alpha, Alienware

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