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    Thinking of getting an alienware 13 to replace alienware m17x r3 and ultrabook

    I currently have an m17x r3 (with an hd6990m) and a dell xps 12

    (if you know what the alienware 13 is skip to my questions)

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    I have seen the alieware 13 which is almost ultrabook sized with a capable 860m but you can also connect an external desktop gpu (which you have to spend £200 on adapter and then buy the card)

    It sound really cool and means you have a capable small laptop for gaming whilst away from home (lunch time at work for me mainly) but also when you get home you can use a very powerful gpu to max out your games.

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    Questions

    1) Is the cpu of the alienware 13 going to limit many games and will it be that noticable? (passmark 3422 - dual core) my alienware has quad core passmark ~6000 and my xps12 has a i7 4510u with passmark ~4000

    2) Is it worth the upgrade cost I will be losing some hardware benifits e.g. less ram, only one hdd, worse cpu than both my current laptops, no bluray drive but I will have one device that will be much better for gaming on the move and at least the gpu will be much better when at home. I'm guessing I can sell my laptops for at least £1000 combined (I've not really looked into it) and at the moment with the 12% discount I can get the alienware 13 with the 1080p screen and the gpu adapter for about £1000 (will need to buy a desktop gpu as well) will also need to buy an ssd as it comes with a hdd at that price but their ssd upgrades seem to be more than buying one seperately (so can have a spare external hdd)

    5 Comments

    Original Poster

    Actually 1 more question. should I get the external gpu later? can save nearly £200 that way. Just worried when I need it it may not be possible to buy as its a proprietary device.

    As it sounds like you're not in any hurry to upgrade then I'd personally wait until a decent test has been done of the technology. It could well end up adding noticeable lag or suffering from similar problems to AMD's dual graphics (which generated more frames but didn't noticeably add to the perceived framerate in practice).

    External graphics enclosures have been launched a couple of times before. First with Expresscard's PCI-E 1x link and then with Thunderbolt's PCI-E 4x link, neither have taken off in practice.

    An i5-4210U is a very similar CPU to an i7-4510U. They're around the same performance as a desktop Pentium/i3 if you want to look at performance analyses for some of the games you play. A lot of games these days don't seem to use the CPU heavily though, particularly in single player, so I don't think that's a concern unless you play lots of strategy games (and in that case, you probably wouldn't bother with anything faster than an 860M).

    Original Poster

    EndlessWaves

    As it sounds like you're not in any hurry to upgrade then I'd personally … As it sounds like you're not in any hurry to upgrade then I'd personally wait until a decent test has been done of the technology. It could well end up adding noticeable lag or suffering from similar problems to AMD's dual graphics (which generated more frames but didn't noticeably add to the perceived framerate in practice).External graphics enclosures have been launched a couple of times before. First with Expresscard's PCI-E 1x link and then with Thunderbolt's PCI-E 4x link, neither have taken off in practice.An i5-4210U is a very similar CPU to an i7-4510U. They're around the same performance as a desktop Pentium/i3 if you want to look at performance analyses for some of the games you play. A lot of games these days don't seem to use the CPU heavily though, particularly in single player, so I don't think that's a concern unless you play lots of strategy games (and in that case, you probably wouldn't bother with anything faster than an 860M).

    Thanks. That's some great advice and after looking up the cpu i see its single core performance is actually better than the i7 in my alienware so that's reassuring.

    Anyway I know waiting is the smart move (as the new gen gpus and cpus are just around the corner) but I ordered it anyway

    I got free delivery and 12% off making it ~ £835 without the external gpu. I can always return it within 14 days if it turns out to not be very good.

    I decided to not get the external gpu because as you say it may not function as advertised (having bought many dells I know how crappy they are with drivers when things are released - but they usually sort things out eventually)

    Just build a desktop and buy an nvidia shield to stream. 'Gaming laptops' are a joke compared to real machines.

    Original Poster

    MusicmanJP

    Just build a desktop and buy an nvidia shield to stream. 'Gaming laptops' … Just build a desktop and buy an nvidia shield to stream. 'Gaming laptops' are a joke compared to real machines.

    I disagree, I think streaming is a joke. I would rather play naively at lowest settings than stream at ultra. The lag is too annoying for me. I suppose it's an option for some.
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