Customer Review

44 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dell's Alien Benchmarks Well Even With I5, December 24, 2013
This review is from: Alienware 14 ALW14-1250sLV 14-Inch Gaming Laptop (i5-4200M, 8GB Memory, 750GB Hard Drive, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, DVD+/-RW, Bluetooth, Windows 7 Home 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
Dell's ownership of Alienware hasn't hurt the franchise. I benchmarked this against 5 other machines, all with I7's (except the mac), including Dell's own loaded Inspiron and Asus' loaded laptop. For 400 bucks less: get this! The benchmarks in all categories were NOT notably different than the I7. Of course you also can get this with an I7 but in my case that would be ego, given nearly equal performance with not only heavy gaming, but also running Unity game programming island tree sims, which can even crash the most robust towers.

I also hate to say this (because I'm not a big Apple fan), but a little 2011 Macbook at $300 LESS than this met both its and the I7 Dell's benchmarks. Ugh, but true. Sorry to all my fellow PC types.

You can beef up Alienware to 3 grand plus like the good old days with ultra premium speakers, more flash, more RAM, etc. but that depends on your goals. If you're just looking for a lightning fast, high horsepower gaming machine that's also ideal for business and general computing, this is a great compromise. Comparing prices and features with tigerdirect, the price points here on Amazon are better, but tiger throws in Windows 8 where this often still comes with 7 (depending on when you read this, check it, it might be up to 8 in a bit).

Doesn't matter to me, as 8 shines more with touchscreens and tablets, and frankly machines like the surface are sweet, but deprive you of a lot of "tablet" features you'd want like Google play, jelly bean, apps, etc. In that arena, the new Kindle takes the cake, beating out ipad in my humble opinion (see, I did manage to get an Apple jab in, even though I begrudgingly acknowledge mac IS fast). (The one I like is here: Kindle Fire HDX 8.9", HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB). I'm also not a big fan of the new appliances like chromebook that need the cloud for everything-- it is still nice to have your own files when wifi isn't around, and I can't afford big data plans ala 4G.


Email answers: 1. Yes, Amazon's table has weight wrong, it's 6 pounds. 2. Yes, my comparison is with I5 overclocked to between 3.1 and 3.2. It does not take a lot of work to push the I5, and folks who just leave their I7 untouched out of the box are frankly paying $400 too much! The difference between the tiny overclock possible with 3.4 won't be seen even in the most advanced games (or intense other apps) once you tweak the 5. Also, the 7 is VERY dust and temp sensitive, and loaded inspirons get into auto shut offs constantly.

Again, if you are less lazy than I am and frequently pull the cover for dust duty, its not an issue. Thankfully, the fix is usually a 5 minute fur ball removal in most cases! I'm not anti-7 in any sense, but just want to save you money as these AWs can be seriously expensive, and this model is one of the few full featured "deals" that really give you a major bang for your buck, even for apps like solving advanced polynomials with NumPy (supercomputer level math!) in addition to ram hogging gaming. If you're in High School, tell your parents this is for solving polynomial inequality competitions, and tell them you also want this book: Polynomials (Problem Books in Mathematics). Hey, if you do gaming too, it's not my fault! If you're a parent-- this IS a serious math machine, really! I teach math as well as game programming and it is a GREAT way for teens to stay interested in tech!!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2014 4:41:33 PM PST
BLOOD says:
How loud is the fan? I had the old m14x r2 and it was horrid under games.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2014 2:43:10 PM PST
You're right, it's fairly loud, but not a lot more so than say a Dell 1500 series, but you can calm it down greatly with a relatively inexpensive NotePal X-slim laptop pad that is REALLY quiet. Makes fan on motherboard come on WAY less. The NotePal is available here on Amazon.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 11:06:59 PM PDT
I'm looking to buy a new gaming laptop and was looking at this and the alienware 17. I have a basic knowledge of computers and don't know the difference between i5/i7 processors, or the Ghz to the processors besides one is faster. so I appreciate the fact that you mentioned the little dust and temperature detail about the i7. something I wouldn't have learned from some generic review. It's a relief knowing there isn't much difference between a 3.1GHz processor and 3.4 because I'm planning to get the alienware 14 with a i5, 3.1GHz over the alienware 17 with a i7 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost(whatever that is) which would save me $400.... Great review

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2014 5:45:56 AM PDT
I'm always happy to see when I've helped, thanks! When you get your I5, just Bing or Google "overclocking" (or see it on Wikipedia) or "overclocking cpu" and you'll see your options. Amazon doesn't allow follow search links or I'd give you a few, but the above works fine for the top 3 or 4 results that are organic on each engine for forum answers (not ads). Enjoy your new PC!
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