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Brian

Alienware M17x-R2 or M17x-R3? Your pick!

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Well we know some places don't allow this kind of discussion but this is Tech|Inferno, not only do we allow it, we encourage it! :snicker:

So I'll start first:

M17x-R2 Pros:

  • Dual 5870M is still FASTER than a single 6970M in most cases
  • M17x-R2 RGB LED can't be matched
  • The 920/940xm + TS combo beats a 2820qm and there is no 2920xm for R3 currently.
  • Construction: Aluminum vs Trojan Rubber. 'Nuff said.
  • Unlocked bios by TheWiz and possible GPU upgrades coming ala Crossfire 6970M.
  • Has been around longer and is now a very stable system.
  • You can grab it cheap on the Dell outlet.
  • Better touch panel.
  • IMO looks better than R3.

M17x-R2 Cons:

  • Older chipset + CPU architecture
  • No official 6970M love from Dell
  • Slightly heavier

M17x-R3 Pros

  • Sandy Bridge + Cougar Point (once it's revised haha)
  • Newer design that may appeal to some.
  • Lighter than R2 and thinner.
  • Soft Touch Rubber
  • 120 Hz 3D display technology
  • Extended battery life thanks to graphics switching tech (optimius + amd manual switching)
  • Low starting price

M17x-R3 Cons:

  • Soft touch rubber flakes off - rut roh!
  • It has been reported that the CPU throttles (DaneGRClose can confirm this)
  • No RGB LED
  • No dual card support

So there you have it, that's my list and my overall preference goes to the R2. R3 would have been in my sig if it had dual card support despite it's inferior build quality and lack of RGB LED.

Don't like my reasons? Well bring it! :76:

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IMHO Things I don't like on the R3 include 16:9 vs the R2's 16:10, and the touchstrip buttons are actual buttons, and don't look that great either. But lack of RGB, 16:10 and dual GPU support is enough to make me pass on it without a thought. I know one day Ill have to embrace 16:9, but that day will come in a few years, not any time soon.

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Nicely said Brian and DR650SE. Larger power supply on the R3 $100, New Sandy Bridge Processor $500, Crossfire 6970m with an unlocked bios by the WIZ and the ability to overclock tdp priceless!

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This is awesome, an open forum that as long as it stays civil anything is game :D I can't argue a single point that was made by Brian and think they're spot on. The two systems are VERY VERY different markets even though the names don't look like it.

As someone who has owned both I chose the R3 because I wanted something more portable, don't like dealing with some of the problems dual GPU systems can bring, and needed battery life measurable in hours not minutes. If someone is out for all out power, the R2 especially right now, is the winner. If you want a rig that is more portable, higher battery life(by quite a bit with the right config), and will still do very well in gaming and productivity the R3 may be the best fit.

The main points I see on the R3 are:

-SB CPU's

-More updates left

-Battery/portability

-3D screen(if you like 3D)

-Throttling CPU after high stress for long periods :(

The R2 main points are:

-Has the fastest CPU(for now)

-Dual GPU's(mainly benchmarking and a small amount of games)

-RGB LED screen

-Heavy as sin :( (although the R3 isn't a LOT lighter)

-Probably nearly done with available upgrades, even with help from people like Wiz

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As much as i miss an Alienware laptop now that I have sold mine, I am not even looking in the R3's direction.

To me it's total disappointment and while I agree that weight and battery life are important, the m17x was always marketed and branded as the holy grail of laptop power and the R3 is just not that. Unfortunately...

Where's that m18x again? ;)

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meh, what's any "disappointment" about? :rolleyes:

so there's a positive shift in the product lineup occuring which may require some patience (more now, no thanks to intel) while all reveals itself - no real biggie. ;)

i hate to do this, but a good analogy might just be cars.

there's an M11x (cruze), forthcoming M13x or M14x (malibu), perhaps new M15x (camaro), new M17x (corvette), and 'mythical' M18x (ZR1).

M17x R3 for those who want a 'sweet spot' system w/balanced performance/battery/size (almost same footprint as current M15x) with a single gpu that keeps pace with older dual gpu's (at relaunch), and new generation cpu's that (stock) outpace the fastest from the previous generation cpu's (stock).

M18x (*ahem*, 'mythical' M18x...) will (more than likely) be for those who are more inclined to give two ishts less about any sort of balance and demand all out 'maximum performance' utilizing dual gpu's, and maybe even perhaps more extreme cpu's...

M17x R3 simply blows any other manufacturers comparable (single gpu) offering out (especially when considering price), hence all the rave site reviews posting. :D

and as to the "rut-roh", isn't the chassis on the M17x R3 similar to the M11x R2 dane? if so, there's no "rubbery" feel quite like the asus, and it definitely doesn't "flake off", so that's not really something all too concerning.

the M17x R2 held it's respective place in the old lineup, and the M17x R3 will hold its respective place in the new lineup - after all is said and done, all alienware customers will (hopefully) get their needs met. ;)

but hate on if necessarry, eh? lol :P

Edited by vikingrinn

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^^ I think the R3 would have much more popularity and support if Dell would make it's under their brand.

AW should be reserved for the most powerful stuff IMO.

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This is awesome, an open forum that as long as it stays civil anything is game :D I can't argue a single point that was made by Brian and think they're spot on. The two systems are VERY VERY different markets even though the names don't look like it.

As someone who has owned both I chose the R3 because I wanted something more portable, don't like dealing with some of the problems dual GPU systems can bring, and needed battery life measurable in hours not minutes. If someone is out for all out power, the R2 especially right now, is the winner. If you want a rig that is more portable, higher battery life(by quite a bit with the right config), and will still do very well in gaming and productivity the R3 may be the best fit.

The main points I see on the R3 are:

-SB CPU's

-More updates left

-Battery/portability

-3D screen(if you like 3D)

-Throttling CPU after high stress for long periods :(

The R2 main points are:

-Has the fastest CPU(for now)

-Dual GPU's(mainly benchmarking and a small amount of games)

-RGB LED screen

-Heavy as sin :( (although the R3 isn't a LOT lighter)

-Probably nearly done with available upgrades, even with help from people like Wiz

Good points but I'll add:

Battery life: My R2 gets about 2 hours with both GPU's active and my display above 50% brightness. Not great but good enough.

Weight: Heavy to some but to me it's not heavy at all. I use it on my lap daily.

R3 GPU upgrade path: Apart from 6970M, I don't forsee any other GPU upgrades before the next MXM revision and another model.

SB CPU: You mentioned throttling so that's a concern because Toms Hardware initially mentioned the same thing when they tested an R3.

TheWiz: Uncertain but based on his abilities, I think we have a good shot at 6970M (or crossfire) on the R2.

My biggest beef with the R3 is that they removed dual GPU, took away the possibility of anything other than standard WLED (they could have offered B+RG) AND that they added that shiny border all around the keyboard, what were they thinking...it looks hideous. Also, I'm weary of the Trojan rubber because it can wear off or get damaged in a short period of time like some G73 owners have experienced. I'd rather they would have kept the lid aluminum or at least magnesium and left the palm rest as rubber since that can at least feel nice for lazy typists.

But as you mentioned, the M17x-R3 is an M17x only by name and is vastly different than it's predecessors. It seems Alienware's target is the Asus G73 and we'd all agree that they've done a good job in that regard. Speaking of G73, I'll be doing a SB G73 review once it's available to me locally.

Viking - you're right, it's not a disappointment if you take it for what it is but if you consider the legacy it has to live up to, then it is a major disappointment. I do agree with Michael that something of the R3's caliber could have been brought to the newly revamped XPS line (e.g. XPS 17) and done very well without having to sacrifice Alienware's quality. Because if we're all frank about build quality, then R3 is a step down not up. Even the new XPS line are made of aluminum. Keep 'em coming guys and remember, this is for fun so don't get upset. :)

One thing I think all AW fans can agree on:

calvin.png

:13_002:

post-5-1449498758433_thumb.png

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^^ I think the R3 would have much more popularity and support if Dell would make it's under their brand.

AW should be reserved for the most powerful stuff IMO.

??? :confused: ???

there is general market enthusiasm for the new unit from both consumers (interest on par with M11x reception) and industry (ie: ign/laptopmag/hardwareheaven/etc./etc./etc.) alike...

it seems you wouldn't have been interested in the current M15x, which is similar segment to the M17x R3, hence you fittingly purchased a M17x R2 and seems the (mythical) M18x will fit your needs perfectly when launched (probably summer 2011)... ;)

Edited by vikingrinn

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Mythical shmythical, M18x will come...it better anyway.

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What? No love for my calvin pissing on asus photoshop skills???? :cry_002:

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??? :confused: ???

there is general market enthusiasm for the new unit from both consumers (interest on par with M11x reception) and industry (ie: ign/laptopmag/hardwareheaven/etc./etc./etc.) alike...

it seems you wouldn't have been interested in the current M15x, which is similar segment to the M17x R3, hence you fittingly purchased a M17x R2 and seems the (mythical) M18x will fit your needs perfectly when launched (probably summer 2011)... ;)

True that I wasn't interested in the m15x, and you are right that i went for the absolute best "most powerful" alienware had to offer and that was the R2 and the R1 before that. They branded their 17" rigs as the absolute power you can get in a laptop which the R3 is not. That's all I wanted to say.

In my opinion it would have been a better move for them like I and Brian mentioned to take the XPS 17 and make it what R3 is today and keep up with their tradition for the 17" AW beasts.

Again, my opinion...

What? No love for my calvin pissing on asus photoshop skills???? :cry_002:

Haha! Mad skillz u got there!

Mythical shmythical, M18x will come...it better anyway.

That's the spirit! :)

Positive thinking, just like in "The Secret" LOL!

Edited by Michael

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meh, what's any "disappointment" about? :rolleyes:

so there's a positive shift in the product lineup occuring which may require some patience (more now, no thanks to intel) while all reveals itself - no real biggie. ;)

i hate to do this, but a good analogy might just be cars.

there's an M11x (cruze), forthcoming M13x or M14x (malibu), perhaps new M15x (camaro), new M17x (corvette), and 'mythical' M18x (ZR1).

M17x R3 for those who want a 'sweet spot' system w/balanced performance/battery/size (almost same footprint as current M15x) with a single gpu that keeps pace with older dual gpu's (at relaunch), and new generation cpu's that (stock) outpace the fastest from the previous generation cpu's (stock).

M18x (*ahem*, 'mythical' M18x...) will (more than likely) be for those who are more inclined to give two ishts less about any sort of balance and demand all out 'maximum performance' utilizing dual gpu's, and maybe even perhaps more extreme cpu's...

M17x R3 simply blows any other manufacturers comparable (single gpu) offering out (especially when considering price), hence all the rave site reviews posting. :D

and as to the "rut-roh", isn't the chassis on the M17x R3 similar to the M11x R2 dane? if so, there's no "rubbery" feel quite like the asus, and it definitely doesn't "flake off", so that's not really something all too concerning.

the M17x R2 held it's respective place in the old lineup, and the M17x R3 will hold its respective place in the new lineup - after all is said and done, all alienware customers will (hopefully) get their needs met. ;)

but hate on if necessarry, eh? lol :P

Yes it's similar but not the same, I don't think it feels rubbery per say, but it does have a softer feel to it. As for the "rut-roh" part I've personally seen one user who has sent their R3 back due to peeling coating, and was told of another user who had the same thing start so the coating will be something to keep an eye on. I too would have preferred a powerder coated type of solution to the chassis as even if the ST coat holds up it's still not as tough as powder coated metal.

Good points but I'll add:

Battery life: My R2 gets about 2 hours with both GPU's active and my display above 50% brightness. Not great but good enough.

Weight: Heavy to some but to me it's not heavy at all. I use it on my lap daily.

R3 GPU upgrade path: Apart from 6970M, I don't forsee any other GPU upgrades before the next MXM revision and another model.

SB CPU: You mentioned throttling so that's a concern because Toms Hardware initially mentioned the same thing when they tested an R3.

TheWiz: Uncertain but based on his abilities, I think we have a good shot at 6970M (or crossfire) on the R2.

My biggest beef with the R3 is that they removed dual GPU, took away the possibility of anything other than standard WLED (they could have offered B+RG) AND that they added that shiny border all around the keyboard, what were they thinking...it looks hideous. Also, I'm weary of the Trojan rubber because it can wear off or get damaged in a short period of time like some G73 owners have experienced. I'd rather they would have kept the lid aluminum or at least magnesium and left the palm rest as rubber since that can at least feel nice for lazy typists.

But as you mentioned, the M17x-R3 is an M17x only by name and is vastly different than it's predecessors. It seems Alienware's target is the Asus G73 and we'd all agree that they've done a good job in that regard. Speaking of G73, I'll be doing a SB G73 review once it's available to me locally.

Viking - you're right, it's not a disappointment if you take it for what it is but if you consider the legacy it has to live up to, then it is a major disappointment. I do agree with Michael that something of the R3's caliber could have been brought to the newly revamped XPS line (e.g. XPS 17) and done very well without having to sacrifice Alienware's quality. Because if we're all frank about build quality, then R3 is a step down not up. Even the new XPS line are made of aluminum. Keep 'em coming guys and remember, this is for fun so don't get upset. :)

One thing I think all AW fans can agree on:

calvin.png

:13_002:

The 2 hours you get would be enough for most people, I am frequently in situations where I need more though so that was huge for me. The weight isn't so much of an issue, the R2 was manageable by all means but it's nice to have a bit less weight in the bag. The GPU's is something that I think AW has to release a stronger Nvidia offering if they want to do very well with the 3D, the 3D was one of their main selling points so I see that happening and possibly others. The throttling is a major concern but the R2 had it up until 6 months ago as well, the good thing is the only situation I've seen it throttle is under major stress for long periods of time so it's not something most users will see often. I agree 100% on the screen, at the very least they could have offered something better but then again there may not be anything currently made with 3D+RGB/B+RG. I still think the 1 major thing AW did wrong was to name this in succession to the R2, a new line or at least name should have been started to indicate that it was a different market, hell even something along the lines of M17x-3D would have been better than naming it the R3 after what they've shown the R1->R2->Etc path has been. And yeah the picture is friggin awesome Asus can burn after what they did to me last year, low class garbage machines.

Edited by DaneGRClose

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What? No love for my calvin pissing on asus photoshop skills???? :cry_002:

much love! :D

True that I wasn't interested in the m15x, and you are right that i went for the absolute best "most powerful" alienware had to offer and that was the R2 and the R1 before that. They branded their 17" rigs as the absolute power you can get in a laptop which the R3 is not. That's all I wanted to say.

In my opinion it would have been a better move for them like I and Brian mentioned to take the XPS 17 and make it what R3 is today and keep up with their tradition for the 17" AW beasts.

Again, my opinion...

np, understand! :D you'll be (hopefully) getting the new revision, albeit with an inch or so larger screen in a chassis that's probably the same size as the earlier lineups R2! ;)

Yes it's similar but not the same, I don't think it feels rubbery per say, but it does have a softer feel to it. As for the "rut-roh" part I've personally seen one user who has sent their R3 back due to peeling coating, and was told of another user who had the same thing start so the coating will be something to keep an eye on. I too would have preferred a powerder coated type of solution to the chassis as even if the ST coat holds up it's still not as tough as powder coated metal.

yikes, i definitely stand corrected then - i was under the impression the complaints were akin to the M11x R2 chassis complaints, lol! :P (six units floating around here atm serving their purpose quite nicely and *knock on wood* not a one with issues - no, not even hinges!) that's surprisingly silly they didn't just use the already existing coating from the M11x R2, which is a non-issue... go figure! :rolleyes:

The 2 hours you get would be enough for most people, I am frequently in situations where I need more though so that was huge for me. The weight isn't so much of an issue, the R2 was manageable by all means but it's nice to have a bit less weight in the bag. The GPU's is something that I think AW has to release a stronger Nvidia offering

most def. agree with this dane! ;)

Edited by vikingrinn

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np, understand! :D you'll be (hopefully) getting the new revision, albeit with an inch or so larger screen in a chassis that's probably the same size as the earlier lineups R2! ;)

Ohh man, how i hope you are right, and soooooon!! :)

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I didn't see anyone mention the R3 having 12gb DDR3 max as compared to R2 8Gb DDR3. Like the R3 posted in your signature DaneGRClose.

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I didn't see anyone mention the R3 having 12gb DDR3 max as compared to R2 8Gb DDR3. Like the R3 posted in your signature DaneGRClose.

True, the reason why no one mentioned it is 99.9% of users don't have any need for more than 4-8gb right now. The real max on RAM is actually technically 32gb with 16gb doable for very cheap.

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True but at 32gb max for those how would use it that seems like a +1 for R3. I know what you mean I barely noticed a difference from my last computers 4gb to my R2's 8gb.

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16gb is a godsend for those that run multiple VMs on the same machine.

It happens a lot that I need to simulate q real working environment running a cluster of db servers plus a cluster of application servers. That could mean 4-5 VMs running and if I allocate 2gb of memory to each vm that's 10gigs right there.

But I agree that for non development purposes there is a little to do with more that 8 gigs.

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OMG OMG OMG OMG! This is an R2 vs R3 debate! Are you crazy??!! (falls backwards and faints) lol

I just tore up all my baseball cards and made YOU GUYS my official heroes!

BTW R2 RULES!!!!

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16gb is a godsend for those that run multiple VMs on the same machine.

It happens a lot that I need to simulate q real working environment running a cluster of db servers plus a cluster of application servers. That could mean 4-5 VMs running and if I allocate 2gb of memory to each vm that's 10gigs right there.

But I agree that for non development purposes there is a little to do with more that 8 gigs.

Everyone thought I was just being ridiculous when I got 8 gigs. But when they saw I ran a SQL server/ support console VM with XP/ and 2 Dynamics client VM's, they were impressed.

Downside is I have to do all the work, lol.

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lol guess you shouldn't have setup the VMs. BTW try adding an avatar now, it should be fixed.

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Wish there was a way to discreetly let others know this thread was alive and well here since the other guys keep deleting posts and closing threads. A bit ridiculous.

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Wish there was a way to discreetly let others know this thread was alive and well here since the other guys keep deleting posts and closing threads. A bit ridiculous.

A bit? :)

Putting a link to our forum I'm your sig over there might help ;)

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