Alienware M14x Gaming Laptop Review

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SiSoft SANDRA and PCMark Vantage

We started our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2011, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Memory Bandwidth, Physical Disks).  These are low-level synthetic benchmark modules that showcase raw throughput in these four critical subsystem areas.

SiSoft SANDRA Benchmarks
Synthetic General System Performance


SANDRA CPU and Multimedia

SANDRA Memory Bandwidth and Hard Disk Performance



SANDRA shows impressive performance for the Core i7-2630QM quad core CPU in the M14x, as it handily beats out a similarly clocked previous generation Core i7 X940M quad-core as well as the 3.2GHz Turbo Boost speeds of the Core i5-2520M dual-core.  Memory bandwidth oscillated around the 18GB/s mark for our 4GB DDR3-1333 configuration, which is pretty solid for dual-channel performance, and the 500GB 7200RPM Samsung hard drive on board the machine scores about in line with competitive drives from Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi.

Next we ran Futuremark's system performance benchmark, PCMark Vantage. This semi-synthetic benchmark suite simulates a range of real-world scenarios and workloads, stressing various system subsets in the process. Everything you'd want to do with your PC -- watching HD movies, music compression, image editing, gaming, and so forth -- is represented here, and most of the tests are multi-threaded, making this a good indicator of all-around performance.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage
Simulated General Desktop Performance

PCMark Vantage paints a compact picture of performance here between these similarly configured notebook competitors.  The Alienware M14x is able to just edge out the top spot here but if you really wanted the machine to break away from the pack in this general desktop application benchmark, just go for an SSD upgrade option in the configurator on Dell's site.

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