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Dell/Alienware X51

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Dell/Alienware X51

Postby SidTheSloth » 18 Feb 2012, 13:32

Anyone seen it/interested?

I'm a mac user and am very happy with my MBP etc, but when it comes to gaming i very often get annoyed that the mac version is considerably more expensive. Some release a dual disc (football manager) which is awesome but others don't which often means i resort to bootcamp and/or parallels. Seeing as im on my 360 mostly, gaming on a laptop screen then seems a little underwhelming.

I haven't really got the space for a full desktop so was thinking if only they made a pc the size of an xbox and lo and behold, newly bought Dell division Alienware have released the x51 which i reckon would look very at home under the TV with a wireless keyboard/mouse for sofa control.

A reasonable 700 - 1000 price on it too, full HDMI out with blu-ray option it's looking tasty, although the graphics card looks the only weak link, on further investigation it's due to heat and the small PSU they've had to fit into it. Anyone got one anyway or planning to get one?

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/pd
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby golliwoza » 19 Feb 2012, 15:56

Seems reasonable price wise, just be warned if it goes kaput DELL wont help you much in getting a replacement/fix.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby SidTheSloth » 19 Feb 2012, 18:37

golliwoza wrote:Seems reasonable price wise, just be warned if it goes kaput DELL wont help you much in getting a replacement/fix.


Yeah, that's a given. Got experience though, my two previous laptops were both Dells. I don't like the company but they're hard to beat on price PC wise without self-building.

This one appeals most because of the size etc, not many about like it except the mac mini which defeats the purpose! :D
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby golliwoza » 19 Feb 2012, 20:39

Have to say though they are great gaming wise any DELL laptop, I managed to play Crysis 2 on high settings with no lag for around 6 months, and that wasnt even a gaming laptop. Im hoping to upgrade my old tower for pc gaming as I have the majority of bits I need. All I need extra is a new graphics+sound card a new hard drive and motherboard, screw that all I have is a shell. :oops:
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby SidTheSloth » 20 Feb 2012, 00:08

golliwoza wrote:Have to say though they are great gaming wise any DELL laptop, I managed to play Crysis 2 on high settings with no lag for around 6 months, and that wasnt even a gaming laptop. Im hoping to upgrade my old tower for pc gaming as I have the majority of bits I need. All I need extra is a new graphics+sound card a new hard drive and motherboard, screw that all I have is a shell. :oops:


Ha, that's exactly why i gave up PC gaming, wanted to upgrade just the processor many years back and realised it wouldn't fit the board, graphics card wouldn't fit new board etc etc so thought sod it!

That's why i like the look of this nifty little thing, the most xbox-esque pc i've seen :D Of course the fact it has windows on it still provides plenty of opportunity for problems! :wink: New Ivy bridge processors are out later this year so two minds whether to wait, always the problem with pc's etc, always something better around the corner!
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby Bezza89 » 10 Sep 2012, 15:27

I'm looking to buy a new PC at some point, I've had this laptop for 5 years now, and I finally have a job that gives me a lot of disposable income compared to previous jobs, problem is - I hear windows 8 is coming out soon, and I'm not even sure half my games would run on windows 7 let alone 8.

All I need is a cheap desktop thing, which will be placed under my desk! It doesn't need to be able to power rocket ships, but getting a good frame rate out of say... I dunno, something BF3 ish. Not even that powerful, I know nothing of power, whatever BF3 maximum specs are, say they're 8gb ram, then I'll only need 4-6... I'm confusing myself now. Where's best for cheap but powerful?
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby msbhvn » 10 Sep 2012, 15:45

"Gaming PC" and "cheap" don't often occur in the same sentence, and BF3 is one of the more demanding games out there. The gaming beast I'm after is going to set me back close to £1500, but I'm hoping that'll last at least 3 years before needing anything upgraded. Don't wait for Windows 8, gaming is not a focus for it, tablets are. It's another Vista IMO, maybe even another Windows ME. *shudder*
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby Bezza89 » 10 Sep 2012, 15:51

Didn't say gaming, just want it powerful enough to run gta iv really at quite high specs, but other than that it'll be used for old games, my current laptop barely runs KotoR you see. But running IV and the rest would be good. Like I said, don't know much about power, but think doubling my laptop should work, 4gb ram. BF3 was just a random power guess at 8gb.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby golliwoza » 10 Sep 2012, 16:03

Bezza89 wrote:Didn't say gaming, just want it powerful enough to run gta iv really at quite high specs, but other than that it'll be used for old games, my current laptop barely runs KotoR you see. But running IV and the rest would be good. Like I said, don't know much about power, but think doubling my laptop should work, 4gb ram. BF3 was just a random power guess at 8gb.


Your best bet for getting a cheaper price would be to buy parts individually and build your PC up and replacing parts. I am not great at that so I ask some of the PC nerds on my steam friends list to give me a hand, but there are some good sites with a desktop which can run alot of games for around £600-£800.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby Bezza89 » 10 Sep 2012, 16:34

Seen dell inspiron for £330, 4gb ram, nearly 3ghz thingy. That'd at least run my games, I'm not too concerned about top specs as you say you can upgrade stuff...

*PS I'm on your bf3 server golli, everyone's here. By everyone I mean no one :cry: Blew up an M-Com though lol.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby golliwoza » 10 Sep 2012, 16:43

Bezza89 wrote:Seen dell inspiron for £330, 4gb ram, nearly 3ghz thingy. That'd at least run my games, I'm not too concerned about top specs as you say you can upgrade stuff...

*PS I'm on your bf3 server golli, everyone's here. By everyone I mean no one :cry: Blew up an M-Com though lol.


The Inspiron laptop was the last one I had it is good if you treat it right but don't get thinking about playing GTA 4 or anything higher. It will gradually degrade and overheat, in the end I could not run anything. You could though most likely run it at minimum specs.

Yeah I have been having trouble getting people in my server, I usually go on at around 7ish with a few mates then we start to get alot more joining when they see that there are players in.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby msbhvn » 10 Sep 2012, 17:04

The graphics card in a PC is what does most of the work to run games and it's the first thing to go in a budget PC.

If you look at the X51 on Dell's site, the two lowest priced ones are virtually useless for playing most games, even the four year old GTA IV. The graphics card in them, the GT 545, isn't much more powerful than the GT 440 I've got in my current PC, which runs GTA IV on low-medium settings and has a lot of slowdown even then.

The one for £899 has a GTX 660, which is a proper gaming card, 8GB of RAM, and a good CPU, the i5. Yes, it's expensive, but it won't disappoint and you're getting a lot more for your money. The £799 X51 goes up to £909 if you upgrade the graphics card to a GTX 555, which is quite a bit less powerful than the GTX 660 you get in the £899 one! I reckon the GTX 660 will run BF3 quite well too, probably medium settings and you should get GTA IV/EFLC up to high.

The £899 X51 doesn't come with a monitor, and Dell's cheapest will set you back £180. Argos has quite a good range of 1080p monitors, a Samsung 21.5" one is £125.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby Bezza89 » 10 Sep 2012, 17:11

I don't care for BF3 on pc by the by, just comparing power. I will probably hold back then for a while until I accrue enough/find out about next gen. It's only to play all these steam games I bought at top spec, except GTAIV which would probs be low spec, as well as just upgrading as my laptop is wearing out a bit. The inspiron I was on about is a desktop not a laptop, and coincidentally I have a inspiron 1501 atm.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby msbhvn » 10 Sep 2012, 17:49

I'd say you'd be better saving up a bit. Dell do "Buy now, pay later" which means you get it now (avoiding Windows 8 altogether because it's not out until late October) and gives you up to 12 months to save up and you only pay £75 more than you would upfront. It depends on your credit rating and whether you trust yourself to save up in time.

I bought my current cheap PC from Currys (don't laugh) a couple of years ago and I've been thoroughly disappointed with it. The case has a flap over the DVD drive that covers up the eject button when the tray is open, so I have to shove the tray back in to close it. The motherboard is ancient, so I can't upgrade to a decent graphics card. The CPU is pretty good, but is literally the highest spec one that will work in the crappy motherboard. I've sworn off buying anything made by HP ever again because of it.

Building a PC yourself is the only way to get something that would run GTA IV well for around £400-£500. It's not that difficult to build a PC, especially if you get the motherboard with a CPU installed for you, like Scan (which I live quite near) sell, but you have to know what you're doing and which components are the best value and compatible with each other.
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Re: Dell/Alienware X51

Postby SidTheSloth » 10 Sep 2012, 18:00

msbhvn wrote:The one for £899 has a GTX 660, which is a proper gaming card, 8GB of RAM, and a good CPU, the i5. Yes, it's expensive, but it won't disappoint and you're getting a lot more for your money. The £799 X51 goes up to £909 if you upgrade the graphics card to a GTX 555, which is quite a bit less powerful than the GTX 660 you get in the £899 one! I reckon the GTX 660 will run BF3 quite well too, probably medium settings and you should get GTA IV/EFLC up to high.


I think you'd be surprised by quite how well the GTX-555 performs in the X51, there have been some fancy collaborations between alienware and co. with the cards etc being optimised (and i don't mean overclocked) so the thing performs much better than the sum of its parts. I agree with your base point though that it's a no-brainer to upgrade now they've introduced the 660 to the line up (literally in the last few weeks - i've been watching this like a hawk all year!)...

Bezza, if all you want is something to play games on like that, you don't need to be up the top end of the market, the XPS 8500 as an example is cheaper than the X51 but still perfectly capable of playing the games you want from Steam. I'm guessing like me you'd be more concerned with the RTS type ones on steam anyway (plus GTA) with the 'blockbusters' being for your 360/Gertrude? There's in inspiron 660 with an upgraded graphics card too (GT 620) for £429, so long as you're happy it won't be cutting edge it'd be perfectly serviceable (I'd go for the 8500 given a choice but your money - and i've spent literally ten minutes looking!) - all depends on what you can/want to afford?

The good news is, you don't have to spend 1500+ anymore to get a good gaming rig, they're out of date so fast it just isn't worth it (msb - this isn't a dig at you, if you can afford it, go for it! :wink: ), likewise upgrading has become something of a mugs game. I used to play the 'build your own game' when i was younger too but i'd rather spend a little bit more now and spend the time playing games than playing with components. Hence why i settled on the X51 for myself, it's kind of like a compromise of all factors, small, relatively cheap and decent performance that i can toss away in 2-3 years and replace. Yes i can build one myself for cheaper, yes i could splurge another 500 - 1k and get it's bigger brother (although it's MUCH bigger so i'd need a desk for the beast), but there really is no need. When looking at PCs there's always that 'oh, if i spend just £50 more i can get this' temptation, but most people don't need or use the extras they buy - most games don't yet use 4GB ram, let alone the 8 most people think they need as an example (but it's cheap so quite harmless too) :wink:

I'll just add on after seeing msb's post - don't buy it from faeces world or Curry's...
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