Alienware Area-51 M5500 Notebook

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Performance Comparisons with Quake 4

Quake 4
id Software, in conjunction with developer Raven, recently released the latest addition to the wildly popular Quake franchise, Quake 4. Quake 4 is based upon an updated and slightly modified version of the Doom 3 engine, and as such performance characteristics between the two titles are very similar.  Like Doom 3, Quake 4 is also an OpenGL game that uses extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows, but unlike Doom3, Quake 4 features some outdoor environments as well. We ran this these Quake 4 benchmarks using a custom demo with the game set to its "High-Quality" mode, at resolutions of 800x600 and 1024x768 without anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering enabled and the aspect ratio set to "Widescreen".

Using the Doom3 engine, it is no wonder Quake4 pummels the Intel integrated solution. However, the NVIDIA-based discrete solution works surprisingly well with this title as it is able to turn in nearly 60fps with the game running in "High Quality" mode. By raising clock speeds to a stable 330/770MHz, we are able to break through the 60fps barrier and are rewarded with silky-smooth gameplay.

Once the game's resolution is raised to 1024x768, we expected the notebook to begin to stumble as this is a relatively new title based on a graphically intensive engine. However, even at this resolution the 128MB GeForce Go 6600 was turning in framerates above 40fps with the overclocked speeds tempting 50fps overall. It would certainly prove interesting to see whether a 256MB version of the same GPU would bring significantly better results at higher resolutions. Fortunately, Alienware does offer a 256MB GeForce Go 6600 as an option when configuring the system.

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