3DMark 06 Results
1280 x 1024
2048 x 1536
Longer bars are better
At 1920 x 1200 with Medium Quality settings selected, the Alienware managed a mere 27fps compared to 51.1fps from the Mesh, but with anti-aliasing turned on, the Alienware frame rate dived to 4fps. By contrast, the Mesh was hardly affected by AA and plugged along at 45.3fps.
1920 x 1200 - Medium Quality
1920 x 1200 - Very High Quality
Results in frames per second
Longer bars are better
It was a similar story with Crysis' Very High Quality settings enabled. Without anti-aliasing, as the Alienware only ran at 7.3fps while the Mesh achieved 19fps. We turned on AA, and the Alienware crashlanded somewhere in New Mexico while the Mesh continued to hover, albeit at a barely playable framerate.
I purchased an Area-51 from Alienware
And I am going back to building my own systems.
I thought, geez, I'm tired of all the research, compatibility testing, tuning, and troubleshooting... Why not pay someone to do that for me? Alienware had a great reputation the last time I checked (that shows how long ago I checked, I guess). So I shelled out thousands of dollars for a fancied-up glowing box with oodles of RAM and an Intel Core 2 Quad processor, with a nice RAID-1 setup. [aside: I don't ever want to live through another hard drive crash. I still back up offsite, even my games, but I'm RAID-1 from here until death.].
After spending over 20 hours of on-phone time, and countless more hours of other time downloading testing software and running long tests, my machine is still unusable. I have used Vista on other machines, and for all its problems Vista is not enough to explain this level of instability. To anyone who has built systems it is obvious that the frequent random bluescreens are a sign of a hardware issue. Even after running Alienrespawn to wipe the drive and reset to factory configuration, it bluescreens. However, Alienware insists that it is a software issue, and will not do anything except tell me to run more tests.
If a company won't stand by their product enough to fix or replace obviously broken systems, I have no use for them. I am contemplating sucking it up and paying the 15% restocking fee (which is enough to buy a nice new laptop by itself!), just to see the back of this nightmare. I hope everyone at Alienware gets warts on their eyelids.
Is there any decent company that makes premium systems, or am I stuck building my own forever? It was fun for a while, but now it is just work.
and people say Apple make overpriced computers!
No sound card??
'There’s room to install a sound card, but as things stand you’ll probably be relying on the integrated SoundMAX audio.'
That comment there is enough for me to never look at an Alienware rig again, a decent sound card is part of a good gaming machine now days, onboard sound just doesn't cut it.
@£3624 I'd expect a top of the range x-fi card.
At that price, it's about 2 grand more than it's worth...
Can we have a NSFM tag on articles like this one? - Not safe for monitors. There's a lot of coffee gonna be spat out at the sight of that price tag.
Mac Pro? Seriously?
Since when has an 8 core Xeon workstation cowered in fear of a Core 2 based gaming rig? That doesn't make even the slightest bit of sense - the Mac Pro and this abomination of good taste are intended for an entirely different market.
And Price wise - the Mac Pro starts at $2,299 US - with a 2.8 GHz 4-core Xeon. The Area 51 starts at $2,099 US with a2.66 GHz Core-2 Duo.
That's just asinine.