Alienware M17x R4 (2012), Ivy Bridge and Kepler Refresh

Alien Command Center and Experience

Dell doesn’t pack its Alienware notebooks full of bloatware, thankfully, but there is some very handy alien-themed software on board in the form of Alien Command Center, AlienRespawn, and AlienAutopsy.

AlienAdrenaline, Alien Command Center

The latest version of Alien Command Center adds an AlienAdrenaline section to the existing AlienFX, AlienFusion, and AlienTouch areas. AlienAdrenaline is a feature that lets you create “modes” for your various installed games that kick in when you launch them; for example, you can set a media player to come on, VoIP chat to initiate, and even launch an AlienwareFX State.

AlienFX, Alien Command Center

AlienFX is the feature that lets you control the 9 color zones on the M17x; the interface is clean and simple, so it’s pretty obvious how to use it to select a zone, change the color using the color wheel, and save a theme for later.

AlienFusion, Alien Command Center

For the fiddlers and tweakers, AlienFusion is your ready-made playground where you can configure and set power plans for the notebook. There’s a Quick Settings tab for basic options, such as setting the power button and lid close actions, the brightness, and when the system goes to sleep; mostly the choices are simply yes/no or on/off. On the Advanced Settings tab, you can go a little wilder and adjust power settings pertaining to the hard drive, wireless adapter, USB, integrated graphics, PCI-E, CPU, GPU, display, Web browser, and more. You can simply choose one of the preset power profiles, too, but that wouldn’t be as much fun, would it?

AlienTouch, Alien Command Center

If you’re particular about the touchpad controls on your machine, AlienTouch is pretty cool. In this area of Alien Command Center, you can adjust the tapping functions, sensitivity (for example, you can make it so that the touchpad reacts nimbly to your finger but mostly ignores your accidental palm movements), and scrolling features.


AlienAutopsy is on board to be a resource for accessing help (such as forums, the manual, and so on), service and support, and updates that come straight from Alienware. You can also create backup media, set Internet proxy settings, and poke through detailed system information.


The final prong of the Alienware pre-installed trident of software is AlienRespawn, which as you might have surmised from the name is a backup/restore program. (Although you can set backup media from AlienAutopsy, AlienRespawn is a fuller-featured application.) The basic backup/restore features are there, although to unlock its full functionality, you’ll need to drop $39.99 for the upgrade.

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