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Alienware X51

ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

Well my old PC actually caught fire today, yes for reals saw orange glow, heard a pop, smoke and everything.  So had to get something new.  I got one of these Alienware X51 because it was on sale and so far it seems good.

But now I am getting worried if I made a mistake or not?  I just need it to last 2-3 years and run Guild Wars 2 when it is out along with World of Tanks, Second Life and maybe Eve.  I am not really a hardcore gamer and I don't need top of the line graphics but I want at least mid-level or a bit over that.

So was I dumb buying this today or will I be ok?

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Comments

  • drtack1drtack1 jacksonville, FLPosts: 253Member

    I stopped buying alienware when they sold out to Dell. But thats only because I bought my girlfriend a Dell and within the first 6 months the screen went out, the mouse pad broke, and the keyboard was glitching. Sent it off and got it back and in another 4 months the screen went out again. Her laptop was a Dell xps. When I found out Dell bought out Alien Ware I just never bought another alien ware laptop and went with Asus.

    I recomend Asus Gaming Series for the laptops. They are beast.

  • Storman1977Storman1977 Columbus, OHPosts: 207Member

    well, it depends.  Do you have a problem with the fact that you just paid for a (slightly) suped up Dell?

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  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

    wow sorry to hear it went that way drtack1 l:( 

    On Dell I have had great luck but I have one Dell I've ever bought, my laptop.  It still works like a charm and have had it right at 5 years, maybe a little more.  So from that standpoint the only reason I even considered this alienware was ok was the Dell association.

    But my main worry is I might have under-graphics carded myself, my previous PC was an Evga GTX 260 and it looks like the card in this is really right about the same overall.  Slightly ahead in ways, slightly behind in others.

    Just hoping this will last me 2-3 years.  I did read someone saying somethign about a GTX 670 fitting into this X51 tower and being able to be run by it due to the low power requirements and small powersupply in this, dunno about that yet, more research.

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  • drtack1drtack1 jacksonville, FLPosts: 253Member

    Yea I used to love dell back in 1999 lol. My first laptop was a big ol heavy dell that lasted all the way through college. Just bad luck like you said i guess.

     

    Usually when I buy a new laptop I go ahead and spend good money because I am liek you, I want it to be running the games that come out in another 3-4 years. 

     

    How many gigs of ram is on that card in the aliend ware? 

  • TamanousTamanous Edmonton, ABPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    Well you buy a performance pc from a company like Alienware when you want nothing to do with building one yourself and wish to rely on a warranty for all servicing. For some people that is important. The other option is to have a local shop build it and warranty it but you must be sure they are solid and reliable with good customer reviews.

     

    Many here (like myself) build their own pc's. It is the cheapest method for high end machines (frankly low to mid range pc's are usually cheaper pre-built or core packaged with OS) but you must know a great deal about pc's and software to never have any problems. I have access to MSDN software and numerous others for free through my work so it is cheaper still.

     

    If you researched the parts in your pc and are sure you paid a competitive price don't worry about it no matter what many ego's jump on and say here. 

     

    TIP: Make serious use of your warranty. There are, uh, tricks to ensuring solid replacement upgrades (or the entire pc) when you near end of warranty. You may want to read your warranty very carefully :)

    You stay sassy!

  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

    oh yes I got a serious 2 year at least warranty.  I used to always build my own but I had some really really bad luck ordering from Newegg and building them.  After 2x in a row on that, just bad luck imo for myself.  I have since bought prebuilt even though I can easily put one together, because I want the warranty and want more solid.  This PC that just died was a Cyberpower one but the warranty had passed, but I did get new MB, video card, power supply from the warranty when they conked out.

    I feel pretty good about this, just a bit worried like I said that I may have under video-carded myself, haha if that makes sense.  We'll see, I saw some vids of someone playing GW2 with this system and it worked great.

    To answer the video card has 1gb ram, system itself is 8gb ram.  The ram is double what my old PC was, the processor is a big upgrade over my old AMD 9850 black.   Now maybe to sell the good parts off old PC somewhere :P  the non fired, good parts

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  • simonwest80simonwest80 AshfordPosts: 173Member

    Which CPU and GPU did you get?

    If you got the 545 it will be a little weak as they said it is more or less a 550 which imo is the minimum for gaming (but this will still do a job and is better than a 260), if you got the 555 it shouldnt be bad at all and the reviews said the same as a 560se which in comparison is quite a bit better than a 260.  And since these cards have a max pull of 150w if you are not happy with the gfxs look at some of the ATI range and as long as you can find the form factor.

  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

    I got the i5 proc, the GT 545 card.  Didn't research at all, it was an impulse buy since it looked like the right price and performance ratios and I liked the small tower.  So far it runs everything I run at the same quality as the 260 did, perhaps slightly better in a couple areas. 

    Now you got me wondering if I can take it back and ask to upgrade to the 555  :P  Maybe, probably will just stick to this one since I already have so much stuff redownloaded.

     

    Thank you all for the answers and opinions.  I don't feel like I totally messed up now.  I am sure I could have done better, but not a disaster at least.

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,786Member Uncommon

    Whether it's a good purchase depends on your priorities.  If the small form factor is a huge priority to you, to the degree that you're willing to pay more for less performance, worse reliability, and no upgrade path in order to get that small form factor, then yes, the Alienware X51 is the thing to get.  Otherwise, it was a huge blunder.

    A GeForce GT 545 is basically a cut down GeForce GTX 550 Ti.  If it were sold at retail (it isn't), it would have to be about $80 or so to be a reasonably good value for the money.  It's a signifcant downgrade from your old GeForce GTX 260.

  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

    Yeah I read and read and read, in retrospect I'd have grabbed the GTX 555 on this but honestly so far this card has been on par with what my GTX 260 did.  In fact it seems smoother in ways.

    Eh, I will consider this an experiment if nothing else into Alienware, smaller size towers and lower power consumption or something :P

    Overall I am perfectly happy but will admit I am hoping they will keep an eye on this X51 tower and future upgrades by making sure there is some future card that will fit and work.  So far, so good but all I have played is SL, WoT and Eve, none of those are all that taxing.  I will try GW2 stress test out and see how it runs.

     

     

    Thank you all who responded, guess I am settling in for the long haul be it one month or a few years :P

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,786Member Uncommon

    There aren't any GeForce GTX 555 reviews out there, as it's a crippled bin of a GF114 die that Nvidia doesn't sell to the general public.  From the specs, if you go by performance alone, it would probably be a decent value as a $130 video card.  Maybe you get something like that in a $700 gaming computer, but probably not in what Alienware charges.

    There's nothing "lower power consumption" about Fermi.  If you care about power consumption, Fermi is pretty much the worst thing you could possibly get.

    The Alienware X51 also generally not upgradeable.  Standard size video cards won't physically fit.  That means you're dependent on Dell for upgrades.  Vendor lock-in of that sort generally means vastly inflated prices.  They can charge double what a card is worth, and your choices are to pay it, do without, or replace the machine entirely.  That's why off-the-shelf parts are such a huge advantage of desktops.

    The point of the Alienware X51 is the small form factor.  It perhaps helps if you think of it as somewhere between a desktop and a laptop.  It gets you a lot of the disadvantages of a laptop, but generally not as extreme as an actual laptop would have, but without all of the portability of a laptop.

  • NightCloakNightCloak Barrington, ILPosts: 450Member
    Originally posted by ZoeMcCloskey

    But my main worry is I might have under-graphics carded myself, my previous PC was an Evga GTX 260 and it looks like the card in this is really right about the same overall.  Slightly ahead in ways, slightly behind in others.

    Just hoping this will last me 2-3 years. 

    Your old card can run all of the games you mentioned just fine. The GTX 260 is approaching its "limit" so to speak in that it can play many of the newer games out but is closer to the minimum requirements than recommended for current or upcoming games. If you say your current card is running fairly on par with your old one, then you've not really upgraded with the money spent. You've only paid to increase the longevity of your old. And if you adjust for inflation, you've severely downgraded.

     

    I don't think this machine will give you a satisfactory 2-3 years unless you are perfectly happy with low settings.

  • caremuchlesscaremuchless Crestline, CAPosts: 603Member
    Originally posted by ZoeMcCloskey

    Well my old PC actually caught fire today, yes for reals saw orange glow, heard a pop, smoke and everything.  So had to get something new.  I got one of these Alienware X51 because it was on sale and so far it seems good.

    But now I am getting worried if I made a mistake or not?  I just need it to last 2-3 years and run Guild Wars 2 when it is out along with World of Tanks, Second Life and maybe Eve.  I am not really a hardcore gamer and I don't need top of the line graphics but I want at least mid-level or a bit over that.

    So was I dumb buying this today or will I be ok?

    I worked for Dell.

    If your going with laptops, XPS 15 or 17 is just as good or better than the alienware gaming laptops. They cost less money, may have some bloatware thats easy to remove and the only real difference is the color schemes and bigfoot network card in the alienware (highly overrated).

     

    Oh but wait, your looking at that overpriced, undercooled, underperforming x51---- bleh, no thanks.

     

    I worked for dell when that was released. Not impressed with that in the least.

     

    Man up and build your own. It's not hard. There are free guides everywhere and plenty of pc building enthusiasts that would walk you through it. 

     

     

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,786Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by caremuchless
    Originally posted by ZoeMcCloskey

    Well my old PC actually caught fire today, yes for reals saw orange glow, heard a pop, smoke and everything.  So had to get something new.  I got one of these Alienware X51 because it was on sale and so far it seems good.

    But now I am getting worried if I made a mistake or not?  I just need it to last 2-3 years and run Guild Wars 2 when it is out along with World of Tanks, Second Life and maybe Eve.  I am not really a hardcore gamer and I don't need top of the line graphics but I want at least mid-level or a bit over that.

    So was I dumb buying this today or will I be ok?

    I worked for Dell.

    If your going with laptops, XPS 15 or 17 is just as good or better than the alienware gaming laptops. They cost less money, may have some bloatware thats easy to remove and the only real difference is the color schemes and bigfoot network card in the alienware (highly overrated). 

    There's also a difference in the video cards.  Those matter if you're planning on playing games on them.

    There are three laptops on Dell's site in the "performance" section.  The Inspiron 15R features Radeon HD 7730M graphics, which is the single slowest video card in AMD's latest generation.  The XPS 15 features GeForce GT 640M graphics, which is the single slowest video card in Nvidia's latest generation.  The Inspiron 17R features GeForce GT 650M graphics, which is the next to slowest video card in Nvidia's latest generation, and the same chip as the GT 640M but clocked a bit higher.

    And that's the top priced option in each section.  The other, cheaper options would likely be slower yet.  The good news is that those video cards are faster than integrated graphics, and by enough of a margin to actually have a point.  Or at least they're faster than the integrated graphics you'd get in a laptop.  I'm not sure if they're faster than the integrated graphics in the top desktop bin of Trinity; my guess is that the GT 650M is and the others aren't.

    For comparison, look at the Alienware M17x, which is the Alienware laptop actually meant to handle gaming--and in demanding games, not just FarmVille and Solitaire.  That features four options.  The GeForce GTX 660M is the slow option, but it's still faster than any Dell-branded laptop.  The GeForce GTX 675M is the stupid option, for people who want to overpay for obsolete hardware.  But it's probably at least twice as fast as a GeForce GT 650M.  The Radeon HD 7970M and GeForce GTX 680M are the top of the line laptop cards from AMD and Nvidia, respectively.  They probably both offer around triple the graphical performance of the single fastest Dell-branded laptop available, and a larger margin yet over some other options.

    The downside of Alienware is the price tag.  You can get comparable hardware in a Clevo P170EM for cheaper.  But at least while paying a lot, you do get high performance.  That's more than can be said for any other Dell laptops.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,786Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by caremuchless

    Oh but wait, your looking at that overpriced, undercooled, underperforming x51---- bleh, no thanks.

    So let me get this straight.  You recommend against an Alienware X51 because it's too much cost for not enough performance.  And instead, you recommend a laptop which is even more expensive for even less performance.

  • caremuchlesscaremuchless Crestline, CAPosts: 603Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by caremuchless
    Originally posted by ZoeMcCloskey

    Well my old PC actually caught fire today, yes for reals saw orange glow, heard a pop, smoke and everything.  So had to get something new.  I got one of these Alienware X51 because it was on sale and so far it seems good.

    But now I am getting worried if I made a mistake or not?  I just need it to last 2-3 years and run Guild Wars 2 when it is out along with World of Tanks, Second Life and maybe Eve.  I am not really a hardcore gamer and I don't need top of the line graphics but I want at least mid-level or a bit over that.

    So was I dumb buying this today or will I be ok?

    I worked for Dell.

    If your going with laptops, XPS 15 or 17 is just as good or better than the alienware gaming laptops. They cost less money, may have some bloatware thats easy to remove and the only real difference is the color schemes and bigfoot network card in the alienware (highly overrated). 

    There's also a difference in the video cards.  Those matter if you're planning on playing games on them.

    There are three laptops on Dell's site in the "performance" section.  The Inspiron 15R features Radeon HD 7730M graphics, which is the single slowest video card in AMD's latest generation.  The XPS 15 features GeForce GT 640M graphics, which is the single slowest video card in Nvidia's latest generation.  The Inspiron 17R features GeForce GT 650M graphics, which is the next to slowest video card in Nvidia's latest generation, and the same chip as the GT 640M but clocked a bit higher.

    And that's the top priced option in each section.  The other, cheaper options would likely be slower yet.  The good news is that those video cards are faster than integrated graphics, and by enough of a margin to actually have a point.  Or at least they're faster than the integrated graphics you'd get in a laptop.  I'm not sure if they're faster than the integrated graphics in the top desktop bin of Trinity; my guess is that the GT 650M is and the others aren't.

    For comparison, look at the Alienware M17x, which is the Alienware laptop actually meant to handle gaming--and in demanding games, not just FarmVille and Solitaire.  That features four options.  The GeForce GTX 660M is the slow option, but it's still faster than any Dell-branded laptop.  The GeForce GTX 675M is the stupid option, for people who want to overpay for obsolete hardware.  But it's probably at least twice as fast as a GeForce GT 650M.  The Radeon HD 7970M and GeForce GTX 680M are the top of the line laptop cards from AMD and Nvidia, respectively.  They probably both offer around triple the graphical performance of the single fastest Dell-branded laptop available, and a larger margin yet over some other options.

    The downside of Alienware is the price tag.  You can get comparable hardware in a Clevo P170EM for cheaper.  But at least while paying a lot, you do get high performance.  That's more than can be said for any other Dell laptops.

     

    The difference in video cards, between XPS laptops and Alienware laptops, could be changed by customizing the XPS laptops and upgrading the video cards to the equivalant of their Alienware brethren.

    and is why I said the following,

    If your going with laptops, XPS 15 or 17 is just as good or better than the alienware gaming laptops. They cost less money, may have some bloatware thats easy to remove and the only real difference is the color schemes and bigfoot network card in the alienware (highly overrated).

     

    ^ I should of also said ALOT less money. 

     

    In response to your second post,  I don't reccomend buying prebuilt pc's at all.

    But if he was going to buy a laptop, I would choose an XPS over an alienware.

     

     

      

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,786Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by caremuchless

     

    The difference in video cards, between XPS laptops and Alienware laptops, could be changed by customizing the XPS laptops and upgrading the video cards to the equivalant of their Alienware brethren.

    Have you been to Dell's web site lately?  They don't offer video card upgrades in the models I checked, apart from the Alienware M17x.  Which makes sense, as it's a waste of money to build a laptop to handle a 100 W video card and put a 35 W card in it.  And it's completely unsafe to build a laptop to handle a 35 W video card and offer an upgrade to a 100 W card.

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