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ajnindlo

Clevo/Sager or Alienware

Question

I have a two thousand dollar US budget. I am looking at the AW 17 or the Sager NP8275-S with

17" display

i7-4700mq or i7-4800mq

780m

16GB ram

750GB 7200 rpm drive

blu-ray or dvd drive

Some have told me I might be able to get a AW 17 for about two grand, which I know I can get the NP8275 for. Not sure if that is true.

Any feedback on differences between these two? How is the noise level with the vBios so they both run at say 85C on the gpu? I saw one thread on the AW 17 overheating the cpu, is this a concern?

I think noise, price, and possible issues are my biggest concerns. Thanks for your help.

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Alienware is overpriced because of their chasis builds. You should stick with the Sager builds and find one with those specifications. You'll notice a significant price difference.

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It used to be that AW had higher BIOS code quality, but the latest AW 17 BIOS has a bug that prevents the CPU fan from spinning up for some people. A plus for the AW is that AW can take both clevo and dell graphics cards if you plan on upgrading it in the future, while clevos can usually only take clevo cards (BIOS bug prevents dell cards from working right).

With the current BIOS bug though causing the CPU to overheat and Dell's VERY slow response to fix it, I have to recommend Clevo. Clevo usually runs several hundred dollars cheaper for identical hardware too.

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I have AW m18 from 2013 with SLI 780m. I cant complain about overheating. So far most stres full game was BF4 which reach 76deg. C. on both GPU. Ofcourse the price is overpriced in europe but still I took around 20% dsicaount from dell delaer:)

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Thanks for the responses. The chasis on the AW is Magesium and Aluminum, the Sager is plastic. The AW weighs a bit more also.

That cpu over heating, with a sudden unexpected shutdown does concern me. That, and they seem to limit the gpu to 75C on stock vbios. Good thing for svl7's vbios... Can a dell gpu be put in a Sager if the vbios is flashed?

I read several reviews and I have put together a pros and cons list from my perspective.

Alienware 17

Pros

Build, AW uses a Magnesium and Alum case

Speakers, Sagers are OK, but AW are reviewed better

Looks, I like the looks on the AW better with the lights, but I think most would get old after a while.

Macro Keys, Those are cool, Sager doesn't have. I believe software could fulfill this role though.

HDMI in. This is a neat feature missing on the Sager.

Warranty, on-site service. Sager is ship in. Service level seems a little better with AW.

Fan Noise, based on notebookcheck 43.5-51.8 under load, versus Sager 47.4-55.0 dba. See note 1

Headphone jack seems to have less or no noise. (not sure)

Cons

Price. This is a biggie. $2299 AW versus Sager $1824, $475 difference, See note 2

Performance, based on reviews the AW is a bit behind the Sager with the same cou and gpu. See note 1

Display was not quite as good as Sager

Battery Life, 2:36 wifi browsing, versus Sagers 3:14 wifi browsing (notebookcheck reviews)

No eSATA, I was hoping this would be an easy, fast way to connect my desktoo HDDs, I know I can get a usb 3 enclosure...

Lighted Touchpad too bright, while nice, it doesn't have brightness levels. Can it be turned off? If so then this is equal to Sager.

Sager/Clevo NP8275/P170SM

Pros

Performance, See note 1

Price, $1824 Sager, $2299 AW, Same specs. $475 difference. See note 2

4 drives plus optical for Sager (2x9.5mm SATA, 2xmSATA), AW has 3 plus optical. (2x9.5mm SATA, not sure on other one, is it mSATA orSATA?)

Display is a little better than AW, based on notebookcheck reviews

7.1 Surround sound possible, versus AW 5.1 Surround sound possible

eSATA/USB port. Should make it quick and easy to hook up desktop drives.

Battery life, Sager 3:14 versus AW 2:36, Notebookcheck reviews.

Weight. Seems the Sager might be a pound lighter, but specs were conflicting...

Three video out ports, versus two.

Cons

Fan Noise, Sager 47.4-55.0 dba versus AW 43.5-51.8 dba, both under load, from notebookcheck reviews

Heasphone noise. I know there is some static when the volume is turned all the way up, or so it is reported. AW seem like they are better.

Speakers are OK, but AW are good but no low end. So AW is better.

Case is plastic.

Let me know if I missed something significant, or made a mistake. Most of these are not major differences. I know some of my cons might be pros to others.

Note 1, Performance and fan noise. Obviously performance is closly related to fan noise. So one has more performance and more fan noise, the other has less performance but is quieter. As we would expect. The problem I saw in the reviews was the two units had different limits set on max temp or max clocks. Thus you are comparing apples to oranges. I suspect the AW might have better cooling, but they could be close. I don't know. I would like to see noise and performance when they are set equally. Also, looking in the AW 17 owners thread, I saw a few reports of the units shutting down when the cpu hit about 100 C. I haven't seen this issue in the Sager threads. But once again it may be just a settings issue. Not sure.

Note 2, Price. I priced a AW 17 on the normal site, so no deals, not refurbished, no coupons, etc. I then priced a Sager with the same specs, I used lpcdigital.com.

Specs used were: i7-4700mq, 16GB ram, 780M, 750GB 7200, DVD burner, Windows 8 (7 was same price). The difference is $475, which is a big difference. I don't know how much the AW price can come down.

As I said, let me know if I missed anything significant or if I made a mistake.

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Clevo is have been for many years the best buck for the money. I still own a M570RU and an M570TU. They do tend to have some rough edges, like being very noisy but all in all they do deliver. Again, these comments are based on these 2 machines, which are pretty similar.

Ah, and ironicaly I paid +2000€ for the first one back in 2009, and when I was looking to get some spare parts for it, a couple of months ago I run accross the TU (a later model) for which I paid 200€. They still blow the socks off of many mid range machines.

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I would go with the Alienware 17.

Why?

For starters it is a lot more quiet than the Clevo. The new Alienware are known to run really quiet considering the specs. I have the Alienware 18 with two GPUs. Its hands down the most efficient cooling system I have owned and its very quiet even during gaming.

Clevo's on the other hand is pretty noisy.

Quietness: Asus > Alienware > MSI & Clevo

The new Alienwares is built out of 60 % metal. They are very sturdy.

Alienware also have 240W PSU, which is very handy if you plan on overclocking the hardware. Clevo come with 180W PSU which is fine for a stock GTX 780M, but you need a bigger one if you plan on overclocking it.

Clevo is cheaper, but if you can haggle down the price on the Alienware 17 and get the same hardware as you do on the Clevo, go with the Alienware 17. You can find coupons everywhere and you can try to haggle with sales department to get the price down on the Alienware. You shouød watch out for Black Friday. There might be some hefty discounts happening then.

If you can get better hardware on the Clevo because the Alienware is more expensive, then the scale might go the other way.

Good luck

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I looked at some reviews, seems the video card is limited to 75C, which is why it is quieter. I even talked to some owners, who say with the vbios from here it gets quite noisy. I am also hoping the Prema bios/ec, and svl7 vbios will make it quieter.

AW case is part metal and very sturdy, but heavier.

The 17" Clevo comes with a 230 watt power supply, so that is about the same.

I tried calling AW twice and haggling down the price. Best I could do was $100 off the price which was still $375 more than the same specs on the Clevo.

I will watch black friday deals, on both sides I don't know any veterans... So far the price difference is big enough to make the Clevo a much better deal.

Thanks to all that responded.

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If i were you..I will choose Clevo. Why?

1) Not overprice

2) Upgradeable gpu (same with AW)

3) Nice design

4) Best support

AW is overprice with such specs f=

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We can close this thread. I choose Sager, simply because of price. Otherwise they seemed comparable. You can't go wrong with either choice.

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I had the same decision to make not long ago. I chose Sager 8278-S over the alienware m17x. The alienware cost close to 20% more than the clevo/sager with the same specs. I didnt try to haggle with AW over theri price though, so I cant comment on that. I am happy with the Sager and even though its plastic it has a very high quality feel to it and it doesnt flex. The only thing that i dont like is the wiggle in the screen as you lift it. the AW didnt have any issues like that.

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Alienware, better build quality is worth it, if you want a quiet experience get sound canceling headphones. Don't cheap on a portable gaming system.

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didnt someone mentioned that the alienware gaming laptops have serious GPU + CPU "throttling" issues ???

to keep their system from heating up ... the moment the temperatures reaches a certain core temp ... both the CPU + GPU throttles and under clocks ...

causing serious performances issues ...

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I have to agree that the Alienware is overpriced, you'll get much more for you money with the Clevo/Sager. I'll also say that the build quality of the Alienware will be better overall, but the Clevo W370SS that I bought is not a cheap feeling system and is put together well. Just remember, they all buy the chips/boards/components from the same manufacturers and put them in their own cases. There is definitely more variation in portables than desktops though.

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I am an owner of an m14x albeit an older one. The chasis are made well and there some niceties, but one major pain point is the amount of work and management required from a driver perspective. Dell has to much proprietary for my comfort. There are other Clevo builds that that are comparable with Alienware. A close friend of mine purchased (a few years back) a Clevo W230ST (CLEVO - Products) and for a 12 inch IPS display laptop the amount of customizing you can do is quite amazing. I had a chance to work within the chassis, and it was far easier and more customizable than my M14x by a long shot.

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Clevo p150em

Cpu: Core i7 3740qm

Gpu: Nvidia 675mx 4gb

Ram: 16gb ddr3 2133mhz

Hdd: Seagate sshd 1Tb

Os: Windows 8.1 64bit

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if u buy an alienware u didnt pay only for the chassis. i decided to alienware because the chassis, ull never find this on another notebook and u got also custom alienware colored chassis light.

but that s not the only one. the cooling solutions in alienware laptops are one of the best overall i think.u know what i mean? if i see a sager or an clevo, i just see a normal gaming notebook but if i see an alienware, this is made for enthusiastic gaming and overclocking! thats why i decided to alienware

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My Decision goes to Alienware too before 14 months.

I took a AW17 with i7 4800MQ, NVIDIA GTX780M. It was a pre owned Notebook. The price was 2000 Euro. I think my next Notebook is a SLI Powermachine.

Greets

Daniel

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I recently decided i wanted a new laptop, ended up with a Clevo p150 something (if i remember).. It was the budget solution with a 870m in it and i liked most of it, but one thing killed it for me.. The keyboard ghosting was terrible and i had to return it.

Ended up going for an Alienware 17 instead (and got the big brother GPU as well). It's a completely different machine, quality wise this seems to outperform the Clevo by a long shot. It's by far the best laptop i have owned or let alone used. I'm loving it!

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I recently decided i wanted a new laptop, ended up with a Clevo p150 something (if i remember).. It was the budget solution with a 870m in it and i liked most of it, but one thing killed it for me.. The keyboard ghosting was terrible and i had to return it.

Ended up going for an Alienware 17 instead (and got the big brother GPU as well). It's a completely different machine, quality wise this seems to outperform the Clevo by a long shot. It's by far the best laptop i have owned or let alone used. I'm loving it!

What do you mean by keyboard ghosting? From my experience because I have owned both, that Alienware is overpriced and seem to have more problems than Clevo. I have had motherboard issues with an M18X R2 and other problems with an M17X R4. I have nothing but happy things to say about my Clevo/Sager NP9377. Price per performance/quality parts can't seem to be beat. Just my $.02. Hope this helps. :)

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I am happy with my AW18. Retail price is eye watering, but refurbs (with 1-year warranty) can be found for considerably less. So it was a no brainer to go with AW.

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I have Alienware since January 2012, and I can say, the service post warranty is too expensive. I had a really bad experience with my graphic card HD6990m and they asked me to pay 840€ to replace graphic card for the same... My election was looking for ebay and get GTX780m by 450€ to replace for myself.

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Well, I've heard good story if you talk to the rep and try to negotiate with them. Seeing how your config is almost top of the line, I guess they can take a few things off, as well as offer you some good promotion for your next purchase. Otherwise, buying a refurbished model can save you the $400 difference. Dell offers the same warranty as new model, you just won't have the personal tags like when you are buying a new machine. I bought my M17x R4 two years ago as refurbished model and it stays going strong, nothing wrong whatsoever. So my experience is actually very good :D. And of course, Alienware looks awesome!

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At least you could just buy it and replace it for yourself... I am in a simmilar situation as you were with my Clevo 170em and hd7970m.

I also went with a 780m from e-bay as a replacement only to find that Clevo cut off software support for my laptop rendering it unable to use the new gpu. Fortunately there is Prema with his infinite awesomeness, so there is still hope for me.

Anyways, be glad you got an AW

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