Alienware M17x Dual-GPU Gaming Notebook Review

Alienware M17x Dual-GPU Gaming Notebook

Synopsis: The M17x is Alienware's current flagship gaming notebook. It features an anodized aluminum shell that is available in a variety of colors, including silver, black, and red, and its 17" LCD sports a covering comprised of a single sheet of glass, that runs from edge-to-edge. The M17x also features 'BinaryGFX' technology which gives users have the ability to switch between discrete or integrated graphics and a 'Stealth Mode' in which the discrete graphics cards are turned off and other components throttle down to achieve a 65W power limit. We tested a high-end configuration, complete with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 processor, dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M GPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 1TB RAID 0 array, and it put up the best benchmarks scores we have seen from a notebook to date.

Alienware M17x Notebook

Alienware M17x Gaming Notebooks
Features and Options

Video Card Options

  • Single 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
  • SLI Dual 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
  • SLI Dual 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M

Processor Options

  • Intel Core 2 Suo P8600
     (3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
     (3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9600
     (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9800
     (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000
     (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9100
     (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX9300
     (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)

Color Options

  • Anodized Aluminum - Space Black
  • Anodized Aluminum – Lunar Silver

Display Options

  • 17-inch WideXGA+ 1440 x 900 - (900p) LCD
  • 17-inch WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 - (1200p) LCD

Operating System Options

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)

Memory Options

  • 4GB, 6GB, 8GB DDR31 - 1067MHz
  • 4GB, 6GB, 8GB DDR31 - 1333Mhz

Hard Drive Options
Single Hard Drives

  • 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, 500GB - 7,200RPM
  • 128GB, 256GB SSD

Performance RAID 1

  • 500GB 7,200RPM (2x500GB)
  • 320GB 7,200RPM (2x320GB)

Performance RAID 0

  • 320GB2 7,200RPM - RAID 0 (2x160B)
  • 640GB2 7,200RPM - RAID 0 (2x320GB)
  • 1TB2 7,200RPM - RAID 0 (2x500GB)
  • 256GB2 SSD - RAID 0 (2x128GB)
  • 512GB2 SSD - RAID 0 (2x256GB)


Optical Drive Options

  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Combo (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

Network Adapters

  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 (10 / 100 / 1000 Mbps)
  • Internal Wireless a/g/draft-n with MIMO (2x2) Technology
  • Internal Wireless Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR


  • Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio


  • 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo (2-in-1 port)
  • IEEE 1394a (4-pin) port
  • ExpressCard Slot
  • DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA - Video Output
  • Front Speakers Audio Out Connector / Headphone Jack
  • Center Speaker and Subwoofer Audio Out Connector / Headphone Jack
  • Rear Surround Audio Out Connector
  • Audio In / Microphone Jack
  • Two Built-In Front Speakers

TV Tuner Option

  • ExpressCard Digital TV Tuner w/ Remote

Media Card Reader

  • Built-In 8-in-1 Media Card Reader


  • AlienFX Illuminated Keyboard
     (Exclusive Design)

Software Personalization Options

  • Avatar
  • Window Style
  • Mouse Pointers
  • Wallpapers
  • Power Plan
  • Automatic Updates
  • Time Zone
  • Laser-Engraved Nameplate


  • 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery


  • 11.7lbs (as configured)




Alienware M17x Image Gallery

Click For Larger View

Left 4 Dead
1920x1200 (4XAA, 16X Aniso)

Battery Eater Pro
(Classic Test, Discrete Graphics)
59.42 FPS
1 Hour, 4 Minutes


  • Excellent Performance
  • Great Aesthetics
  • Customizable Lighting
  • Powerful Graphics


  • Heavy
  • Short Battery Life
  • Finicky Touch-Sensitive Buttons


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