You probably know what an Alienware is. Besides custom-building through the black market, these are about the most powerful PCs ever made...
But they're so damn expensive, and most people are careful and cautious enough not to buy these. After all, Alienware doesn't have a store around the block... all computers and parts are ordered and delivered through the internet. Are you willing to take the risks?
For some, the awards that the computers received were good enough proof, but other, more cautious customers would desire more personal testimonials before going into a multi-k dollar committment. This thread is for such people.
What I Have
I bought the MJ-12 7550i
and here are the specs:
Memory: 2 GB
Processors: Dual xeon 3.4ghz
Graphics: ATI 256 MB Fire GL 7100 Workstation Graphics
Harddrive: 400 GB 7200 RPM
Memory is how fast your computer goes. The minimum standard these days are 512 MB... that was the memory of my old computer
512MB to 2 GB isn't much of a speed difference. If you want to see speed difference from a 512MB computer, you should look into 4GB, which is pretty rare. Nevertheless, it is
faster, and you will slightly notice the increase in performance.
Processors are the things that handle your programs and how everything runs. Pentium 4 is the minimum standard these days, and that was what my old computer ran on. Xeon is what the web servers run on, so when you go to Yahoo or Google, keep in mind that the site is being run by Xeon-powered servers. 3.0ghz is the minimum standard, my old computer was 3.2, but the Alienware I have now is 3.4.
Unlike its similar counterpart, memory, the processor speed is noticeable. Processor power isn't really measured by speed... its more of a performance, multi-tasking scale.
For example, the Alienware can run Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash MX 2004, and Dreamweaver all at the same time without much problems... it can also be running a spyware sweep and iTunes full update at the same time with a consistently fast speed.
Graphics: This is what powers the display of the computer. 128MB is the minimum, and that's what my old computer had... 256MB is pretty good, but some graphics cards go up to 512MB. Ultra-expensive, though... You have to be careful what kind of card you get, though. Workstation graphics is generally not a good choice for gaming, so you have to do a little research on what's best for you.
The following games all work with the Alienware MJ-12 7550i with 256 MB ATI FireGL 7100 graphics:
1. Halo PC
3. Homeworld 2
4. Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow
5. Rise of Nations
A game that will not
work is Roller Coaster Tycoon 2.
Harddrive: This is what stores your information and programs...
I bought acoustic dampening and AlienIce2.0 video coolers, terra green lights. The system is still pretty loud, but not as loud as Dell's XPS Desktop system. The cooling system is incredibly efficient, however... my room is pretty small, and an Air Conditioner running at 60 degrees Faharanheit keeps the room at 75
, merely because the computer's cool air intake system is so efficient.
The technical support is standard, not quite as good as stated on the website, but good nevertheless. It is very hard to understand the technical support consultant, due to a language impairment, but patience is exceptional in this case.
Does it perform well?
Yes, indeed, it performs well and though it dropped short of my very high expectations, it gets an A score, overall.
Is it worth $4.5k?
This question is a little edgy... you could probably get something just as good for half the price, but you'd be lucky to get a computer with the same cooling system. Also, the case is Alienware-exclusive, and it's probably one of the neatest CPU boxes ever created.
I hoped this helped. It was created to educate you about Alienware systems, whose name is shrouded in glory but whose contents are shadowed in doubt. Good luck!