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Alienware Generations: M18x Review.

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AlienwareM18x.pngTech|Inferno reviews Alienware's newest M18x with comparisons to the prior flagship M17x-R2 and M17x-R3.

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Incredible work guys, I'm not finished with reading it yet, but it's an absolutely fantastic review!!! Thanks a lot for all the hard work [MENTION=5]Brian K.[/MENTION] and @StamatisX !!!

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Hey, I loved the review. Sorry to hear about the Dell/AW tech support, but at least you got the money back and got some time to play with a new toy. :)

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Awesome review! Very well made and write. Very educative too. Hope Michael Dell will get to read it... or, at least, take in consideration SERIOUSLY that:

"The M18x is a great system but Dell’s service leaves a lot to be desired." [endquote]

If we consider that the GPU were not pasted, etc. AND that a customer service is part of a system, then again: it's an evidence of the lack of a transparent Total Quality Control and Assurance at selecting and assembling parts, at manufacturing, boxing & delivering and at "post sell" service...

It's almost painful to think that such a engineering beauty, supossed to be a real state-of-the-art 'flagship', with such awesome potentials, is achieving at the end so a weak TQC&service...

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Great review guys! But who is the editor that doesn't want to make the switch to the M18x because of the screen? Sounds a lot like me...

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wow really in depth review guys. had to take a breather from reading the ending pages, hahahahah

great work!!!!

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Great review guys! But who is the editor that doesn't want to make the switch to the M18x because of the screen? Sounds a lot like me...

That would be me :D

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So would you guys say it is an overall good upgrade from the R2? Some of the benchmarks seemed to be missing the other systems like the R2 in Crysis 2. How come?

On another note, as everyone said it was a very great review. However just a bit of constructive criticism, I would say it was a bit over the place at times. There were so many aspects to the review that I think if it were a bit more focused it could have answered some tougher questions:

1. Upgrading the R2 Vs buying an m18x.

2. Buy now or wait for the 18x R2

3. Overall impressions of SB and the 2720 in particular as a good price/performance CPU or worthwhile to upgrade to the 2920.

By all means it was an outstanding review but hopefully in the future they will be more focused and less ambitious so that we can read about the systems as they come out. Peace.

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Yeah the Crysis 2 graph is missing the R2 results because I don't have a copy of the game.

1)A maxed out R2 (2x5870Ms and 940XM even overclocked) is not as powerful as the M18x (OCing the 2720QM can come really close to the 940XM OCed) The only reason not to upgrade is due to the lack of RGB LED and 1200p that the R2 has.

2)We have no information about the M18x-R2 so we couldn't speculate.

3)The 2920XM will benefit the synthetic benchmarks and applications that are heavily CPU depended. If someone uses the M18x just for gaming, an upgrade will have minimum impact on FPS.

We wish we could have the review published earlier, but since there were 3 laptops in 3 different locations it was very hard to coordinate things mostly because of the 3 different time zones (plus this is not our main occupation and all these tasks were performed during our free time).

Thank you though for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated and crucial for our future reviews

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So would you guys say it is an overall good upgrade from the R2? Some of the benchmarks seemed to be missing the other systems like the R2 in Crysis 2. How come?

On another note, as everyone said it was a very great review. However just a bit of constructive criticism, I would say it was a bit over the place at times. There were so many aspects to the review that I think if it were a bit more focused it could have answered some tougher questions:

1. Upgrading the R2 Vs buying an m18x.

2. Buy now or wait for the 18x R2

3. Overall impressions of SB and the 2720 in particular as a good price/performance CPU or worthwhile to upgrade to the 2920.

By all means it was an outstanding review but hopefully in the future they will be more focused and less ambitious so that we can read about the systems as they come out. Peace.

We were planning to add noise/temp measurements but none of us had time. I'm doing clinical rotations right now + studying for my USMLE Step 2 so I have literally no free time anymore to devote to T|I or anything computer related. It's largely the reason why I bought a $850 XPS 15z and got rid of the M18x. Stam is busy applying for new IT jobs and Mike is moving to Brazil--just all around bad timing. Next major review we do will include all those aspects hopefully.

But to address your questions:

1. We addressed that in the benchmarks and left it to the user to decide if they want to upgrade or not. We chose not to make a recommendation in regards to that because everyone has their own reasons for upgrading or not. We did point out the display differences as well as the performance differences between the GPU and CPU though.

2. We have no idea what the M18x-R2 will have and thus will not include speculation in our reviews.

3. SB vs Clarksfield should have answered that. SB is clearly much better but 2920xm is not worth it since it does not have unlocked TDP. Ivy bridge might have that but it remains to be seen how good that will be (addressed in the review as well).

Appreciate your feedback.

Edited by Brian
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Brian, the review is amazing, don't worry about it. If someone has more questions, I think he/she can easily ask here on the forums. :)

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we should add a link to this thread at the end of the review so people can easily ask follow up questions.

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Yeah the Crysis 2 graph is missing the R2 results because I don't have a copy of the game.

1)A maxed out R2 (2x5870Ms and 940XM even overclocked) is not as powerful as the M18x (OCing the 2720QM can come really close to the 940XM OCed) The only reason not to upgrade is due to the lack of RGB LED and 1200p that the R2 has.

2)We have no information about the M18x-R2 so we couldn't speculate.

3)The 2920XM will benefit the synthetic benchmarks and applications that are heavily CPU depended. If someone uses the M18x just for gaming, an upgrade will have minimum impact on FPS.

We wish we could have the review published earlier, but since there were 3 laptops in 3 different locations it was very hard to coordinate things mostly because of the 3 different time zones (plus this is not our main occupation and all these tasks were performed during our free time).

Thank you though for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated and crucial for our future reviews

Yes again very informative and overall a good review. I just figured I would do FU on the forums. I re-read and I think a few things I understand better and just had to re-read because the wording is a bit funny. For example, in the TS discussion it was stated that the 2720 was soundly beaten by a minute by the 940xm OC. However I think it was meant to be interpreted that the 940, when OC'd, was able to beat it's original time by a minute. So the reading of that was very interpretive since the bar graphics showed that the 940 beat the 2720 by about 9.5 seconds. When looked this way, I feel better about the upgrade since I don't run a 24/7 on my 920.

A question I have though is did you guys have any idea why Metro33 MAX FPS was so low on the R3? In your opinion, would you think the 6970s are much better in the future against the 5870s since some of the newer games that were optimized showed almost a 100% scale? I believe 2 5870s are a bit faster than a single 6970, so I am thinking that 2 6970s in CF with good scaling will be upward of 50-70% greater in games optimized for them? (Thinking BF 3 hopefully).

Thanks all.

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Awesome review, Guys! Sorry to hear about your M18x, Brian. I know how bad it feels when the best system is paired with the worst support experience.

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I re-read and I think a few things I understand better and just had to re-read because the wording is a bit funny. For example, in the TS discussion it was stated that the 2720 was soundly beaten by a minute by the 940xm OC. However I think it was meant to be interpreted that the 940, when OC'd, was able to beat it's original time by a minute. So the reading of that was very interpretive since the bar graphics showed that the 940 beat the 2720 by about 9.5 seconds. When looked this way, I feel better about the upgrade since I don't run a 24/7 on my 920.

Correct, if you check the graph the 940XM after the overclock finishes wprime 1.55 1024M 60seconds faster than its stock time. The 2720QM after the overclock finished 11seconds faster, and comparing both CPUs overclocked, the 940XM beats the 2720QM by 9 seconds. So the 2720QM is better value for the money since it offers almost similar performance but in a much lower price.

A question I have though is did you guys have any idea why Metro33 MAX FPS was so low on the R3? In your opinion, would you think the 6970s are much better in the future against the 5870s since some of the newer games that were optimized showed almost a 100% scale? I believe 2 5870s are a bit faster than a single 6970, so I am thinking that 2 6970s in CF with good scaling will be upward of 50-70% greater in games optimized for them? (Thinking BF 3 hopefully).

Metro 2033 is a very heavy title, 2x 5870Ms are still faster than a single 6970M and I wouldn't expect miracles from future drivers, no matter how optimized they will be, a single 6970M will have a hard time with this game, even in CFX when everything is maxed out the cards are being pushed really hard. Since the GTX 580Ms are, and eventually the 6990Ms will be, offered as option for the M18x I would recommend those for a better gaming experience, especially for DX11 games like Metro, BF3, etc... rather than waiting for driver optimizations.

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Totally awesome review guys!

Thanks a lot!

It helped a lot in deciding!:)

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Totally awesome review guys!

Thanks a lot!

It helped a lot in deciding!:)

Your welcome, glad you found it useful. I've got an XPS 15z coming in a few days, will probably post some pics of it in the Dell section and do a repaste job on it with some disassembly pics.

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nice review!~ :D

the alienware M17x R3 and M18x are definitely both excellent systems, yet share the overall sentiments of d(h)ell atm... :mad:

thanks again for the in depth article guys!~ :D

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Thanks @StamatisX, [MENTION=5]Brian K.[/MENTION], @Michael for the amazing review it really was well done and you guys did a lot of hard work even without any time available right now. Truly a great comparison of all the systems and options. For those talking of the 2920Xm perhaps a user or two could bench a few similar benches and post results here since it may make a few more people happy just to see the comparison of the benches... and then it probably would not show any huge difference of the 2720QM. I feel for ya Brian I am not happy with Dell right now I've waited far too long. I may get on the phone with them and express myself if this poor customer service goes on any longer.

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Guest bifnewman
Thanks @StamatisX , @Brian , @Michael for the amazing review it really was well done and you guys did a lot of hard work even without any time available right now. Truly a great comparison of all the systems and options. For those talking of the 2920Xm perhaps a user or two could bench a few similar benches and post results here since it may make a few more people happy just to see the comparison of the benches... and then it probably would not show any huge difference of the 2720QM. I feel for ya Brian I am not happy with Dell right now I've waited far too long. I may get on the phone with them and express myself if this poor customer service goes on any longer.

I honestly can't believe you don't have it yet. How long has it been on order?

BTW, great review guys. I'm using this to compare my M17x with the one in the review. My M17x sits around 25fps on BFBC2 at 1920x1200 w/ all high settings except 1xMSAA and 4x ANISOTROPHIC FILTER, no vsync, and no HBAO. Also in GTA 4, at 1600x1200 w/ settings maxed out, it sits around 20fps. WTH is wrong with this thing?

Edited by bifnewman

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