The range of each major notebook manufacturer has models designed for gaming. These set powerful processors, discrete graphics and a large amount of RAM. But apparently they do not differ from the more common modifications, having just another accessory. But there are some brands that are paying the question gaming stations (both mobile and stationary) where more attention. One of the most famous, of course, is the Alienware, owned by Dell. We will talk about a new model of Alienware 17 , which is based on the new Intel Core processors and the fourth generation is a device for compromises impatient players.
Alienware laptops have always been famous not only powerful components, but also with special design. Futuristic housing, an abundance of LED lights and logo with an alien – all should allocate owner of a slot among the general monster. Alienware 17 – a bright representative of the series, so stands out from the monotonous laptop like a spaceship near biplanes. The main body material – matte black plastic, but the lid is covered with a silver insert almost the entire area. The insert has a chopped form, is inserted into the slot LED lighting, which is equipped with a logo and an alien face. The cover is mounted very tight loops, but with special diligence to open the laptop with one hand can still be.
The working surface is the same matte, soft to the touch. Alas, for the beauty you have to pay, so the periodic removal of fingerprints will be the responsibility of the owner. Interface connectors are fully focused on the sidewalls – back cover is reserved for ventilation and front stereo speakers are placed. With the exception of the rear face of the notebook adorned with all the slots with LED backlight.
About the weight and dimensions of a gaming laptop with a 17-inch panel to speak, perhaps, nothing special. He’s big and heavy, so acts more as a desktop replacement gaming computer which can occasionally carry on any Lan-party and a party of friends.
Approximately half of the bottom of the laptop occupy the vents with metal protective grids. In general, the issue resolved ventilation is very true – the main openings for warm air are on the back side, not the left, as it likes to do a lot of manufacturers. This means that the notebook is not only to be comfortable right-handed, but left-handers – streams of hot air will be slowly heated hand.
As it should be well equipped with computers, Alienware 17 has all the necessary interfaces that may be needed hardcore gamer. The left side has a combined input / output HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports and a mini-jack for three – two separate headphone and microphone jacks, and a combined headset.
Right, you can find an opening slot for the DVD drive and read Blu-Ray, has two connectors USB 3.0, and Gigabit port Ethernet. Card Reader Card reader provides SD / MMC. Connector for the power supply is located on the left side, and the cord is equipped with a LED backlight.
Display and Sound
17.3-inch matrix with a resolution of 1920×1080 – the only controversial issue in Alienware 17 . Matt screen with LED-backlit, but why it was necessary to use the TN-technology – is unclear. Reduction in price as a justification does not fit here, since the laptop is expensive and the savings on the matrix would not have received. The second possible reason – already known misconception about blurring IPS-panels and their unsuitability for professional gamers. However, this bike has lost its relevance long ago. In any case, such a device would like to see a quality bright IPS-screen, but it is not Alienware 17.
Of course, the set TN-matrix is of acceptable viewing angles and good color coverage, but not enough saturation, and color temperature chart you can see for yourself – take out some value possible.
On the matrix can detect the web camera and stereo two holes.
The front panel of decorative plastic “radiators” hidden dynamics of two well-known company Klipsch. Frankly, when you first turned on accidentally music through the built-in sound system I was surprised – a pleasant, slightly even bass sound.
Keyboard and Touchpad
A nice feature of Alienware 17 became a full-sized keyboard with numeric keypad. Full-size arrow keys too, but handed down a little lower. The top row of function keys, as expected, has a dual purpose, and the inclusion of an alternative regime to pressing Fn. Here, too much attention to detail – Fn placed next after the Ctrl, so as not to embarrass accustomed to the standard layout users.
In addition to the standard keys, 17 are provided in the Alienware and four programmable buttons placed above the number pad. Running commands and macros is ensured by our pre-utility. The keypad is illuminated, and it is divided into four zones, each of which has its own independent illumination.
Large touchpad case color shifted to the left and has two buttons, set flush with the work surface. The most impressive part is colored light touchpad. The functionality of the utility responsible for setting the touchpad is also impressive. Here and adjustment of pressure sensitivity, several options scroll the screen (including a strange circular with a write up of circular finger movements on the touchpad), additional technologies and features, manually change the scrolling area on the edges. But here is the lack of multi-touch eclipses all these tricks – like corny scroll through a Web page with two fingers and a laptop these gestures, alas, does not understand.
Options and Performance
As befits gaming supercomputer, Alienware 17 completed the most productive processor Intel Core i7 fourth generation (Haswell). Depending on the version it can be i7-4700MQ, i7-4800MQ, i7-4900MQ or i7-4930MX. In the role of graphics accelerator cards are the discrete Nvidia, on the GeForce GTX 765M c 2 GB GDDR5 “budget” modifications to the GTX 780M c 4 GB GDDR5 in top configuration. Memory size can also vary from 8 to 32 GB of DDR3-1600.
With drives still serious. In the simplest most affordable modification of the hard disk drive of 750 GB with a speed of 7200 rev / min. Next game is, as they say, to increase – from a hybrid drive with an additional 64 GB of cache-based SSD and to “win” in a RAID0-terabyte array of four SSD 256 GB each. This solution should provide the best performance due to the fact that the data is broken down into blocks and are written in different media at the same time, but in terms of fault tolerance, this approach can be confusing – in case of failure of one disk, the whole system stops working.
But we came upon the configuration of “simple”, equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i7-4700MQ with a clock speed of 2.4 GHz, 16 GB of RAM and a discrete graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M with 3GB GDDR5. Used for data storage drive Western Digital WD7500BPKT volume of 750 GB.
Of course, the main point of interest in such a device is performance. The discount can be done on almost everything, but the “brake” laptop should not, allowing the owner to such an expensive machine to run without problems and enjoy the latest games set maximum settings.
Alienware has shown excellent results in synthetic benchmarks, but it seemed to us is not enough. We have now launched the popular World of Tanks, which, after the introduction of the updated graphics become very demanding on resources. When the specified maximum settings laptop showed an average of 30 frames / s, and high – about 60-70 frames / s. Great result for the mobile device, but what happens if you turn off the notebook from external power supply? A drop in performance will almost double. On battery power with maximum settings in WoT we got 17 frames / s, which again confirms – a system rarely be used away from an outlet.
Another factor is the autonomy that such devices have not always been on top. Performance kit and 17-inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1080 “eat up” the battery with an active game for a half hour. In principle, the result is quite good.
Interestingly, some claims to noise or heat does not arise. The working surface is heated slightly, and the inclusion of the cooling system, though audible, but the level of noise is not critical.
The software part
In our sample Alienware 17 operating system Windows 8. Actually, so the lack of multi-touch touchpad was found in almost instantly – to get to the login window “gesture” has failed. But the system encountered a special program Alienware Command Center with multiple tabs, adjusts the backlight, the power consumption and keyboard macros.
AlienFX manages the 10-band illumination. Each zone can have its own color, selected from the 20-color palette and change the mode of the glow. AlienFusion responsible for setting performance and power, on the whole copying the existing operating system, except for backlight control. The tab is set AlienTouch work touchpad, which we have already spoken in detail, and the Alien TactX allows you to specify commands or macros to four programmable buttons. And the last AlienAdrenaline tab allows you to configure the software and hardware of the laptop on a certain game. For example, you can start with World of Tanks include a media player, close the browser or Skype, as well as to reconstruct the color scheme of the backlight. All of this happens automatically when you click on the shortcut. The interesting thing.
Laptop for gamers – not just a performance drive. It must attract externally and have extra “features” that will please the players. It was so out Alienware 17. It is beautiful, powerful and expensive. You have to pay for the pleasure, as well as for exclusivity.
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