Is there a way to tweak the graphics cards or overclock it so to speak?
Any help would be great..thx
Pros: Incredible Power, Screen has Incredible sharpness
Cons: Less than 60 min battery life, Noisy – fans pump on when playing games
**The Alienware m9750 was picked by our editors as the best Back to School 2007 Gaming/Desktop Replacement Top Pick. Please visit our BTS section for the rest of our top picks and articles about hitting the school halls this fall.**
Alienware’s reputation precedes the market when it comes to notebooks and gaming. They have a history of offering top of the line gaming rigs, that look great and offer customization to any customer needs. The new Alienware Area-51m 9750 plunges head first into the HD market as to one of the first laptops that offer an optional blu-ray drive for early adopters, while still providing gamers with dual graphic cards with SLI support. This is one mean machine.
2000 Gateway 2000 450 15’’
2002 Alienware Area-51m 5620P 15’’
2003 Alienware Area-51m Sentia 244 14’’
2003 Sony S-Series 13.3’’
2003 T23 Thinkpad 14.1’’
2004 Dell 9700 17’’
2005 Alienware Sentia 223 12.1’’
2006 Alienware Area-51m 5750 17’’
2006 IBM T60 Lenovo 14.1’’
2007 Sager 5460 14.1’’
Like my Alienware m5750, the m9750 is a step between a midsized laptop and a “desktop replacement”. With the unprecedented versatility of the Intel Core 2 Duo Chip, dueling nVidia video cards with SLI enabled and an HD 17 inch screen, there is very little this notebook cannot achieve when it comes to gaming. This is the kind of notebook to buy, if you are constantly on the move but still want to enjoy the luxury of gaming with maximum performance or even if you attend a lot of LANs but do not want to bother with packing up your entire Desktop Setup.
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7600 2.33GHz 4MB Cache 667MHz FSB
Operating System: Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 - With USB Mini Media Center Remote Control and Single NTSC TV Tuner
Display: 17" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD with Clearview Technology - Stealth Black
Memory: 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
Hard Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 320GB (160GB x 2) Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 16MB Cache
Primary CD ROM/DVD ROM: 8x Dual Layer CD-RW/DVD±RW w/ Nero Software Video/Graphics Card: Dual 512MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7950 GTX - SLI Enabled
Sound Card: High-Definition Audio with surround sound
Wireless Network Card: Internal Intel® Wireless 4965 a/b/g/ Draft-N Mini-Card
Communications: Integrated 10/1000Mb Gigabit Ethernet & 56K V.92 Modem
Warranty: 1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support w/ Onsite Service
Alienware Extras: Alienware Extras: Alienware® Mesh Cap, Alienware® Mousepad, AlienInspection - Exclusive Integration and Inspection - $100 Value - FREE!
SubTotal: $4,632 .00
Instant Savings: -$50.00
Order Total: $4,632.00
What’s in the Box:
Like all Alienwares, the m9750 comes pleasantly and safely packaged in two boxes. I am assuming Alienware stopped shipping machines in the black box because too many were being stolen while in transit to the customer. But nonetheless, the black box is inside a typical brown box.
Alienware’s have always been known for their flashly colors and sleek ‘out of this world’ design and this laptop was particularly special to me since it was my second laptop with Alien Eyes that glowed a blue ominous color.
The viewing angle of the m9750 is quite impressive. Much like the Asus G2P, the horizontal viewing angle is roughly 145 degrees both ways, and the vertical viewing angles are roughly 120 degrees. The contrast level is very high, the whites are white and the blacks are black. This is one superb LCD screen with a lot of similarities with Sony’s patented X-brite technology. There are 8 levels of brightness that can be controlled by holding the FN key and hitting the F8 and F9 keys. The lowest brightness setting is still useful in daylight despite some glare off the glossy screen, and the brightest setting is useful in daylight or in dark lit areas. Unfortunately the model I received contained a small blotch of dead pixels (I think) in the bottom right quadrant of the screen. I say “I think” because the blotch is a lot larger than most normal dead pixels unless it is a group of dead pixels. This is of course very annoying when it looks like a dead bug is squished on your screen.
Unlike he m5750 which is also a 17-inch notebook, the 9750 does not come with a full size keyboard. At first glace, it does look like a full size keyboard but upon further investigating it is obvious some keys were removed. I suppose this was due to the fact that the 9750 has so much technology under the hood that it would be a hard task to manage a full size keyboard, two video cards, two hard drives and a cpu. The only fault in the keyboard is the fact that it sits higher than most notebooks and laptops. There is a large space between the bottom of the keyboard and the edge of the laptop which makes resting your arms and wrists slightly uncomfortable when you are typing. The only way to fix this is buying your own keyboard, which many people who buy this laptop would do anyway. The keyboard has the normal black colors, black keys with white lettering with the standard laptop function (FN) keys that allow you to raise the volume, adjust the brightness or switch between video outputs. There is also an enable and disable wifi, blue-tooth, hibernate, touchpad, webcam, and Home, Page Up/Down and End keys.
It was hard to image the m9750’s touchpad could get any better than the m5750s, but it sure as hell did. The raised horizontal line that separates the touchpad from the scroll pad is still there, but the scroll pad is MUCH more effective. This should be a stock feature on every laptop ever made. The scroll pad is also extremely useful and effective.
Multimedia Keys – New on the 9750 are a series of multimedia keys or “instant access” buttons as advertised on Alienware. They access buttons are touch sensitive and all it takes is a slight wipe of the finger and the button will active. This is a very sleek feature allowing quick access to your default web browser, your default e-mail client, windows media player, Power DVD 7 which comes preloaded on the 9750 and a button to access the Windows Media Center. There is also a play/pause, fast forward and rewind button for controlling your DVDs or CDs.
LEDS - Aside from the Alien Eyes, there are a few indicators, all blue that really stand out and make the 9750 a tight package. There is a wifi indicator with a radio tower icon, an AC power indicator with a plug icon, a disk drive activity icon, and an indicator that lets the user know when they press a multimedia key.
Alien Eye - The picture describes itself.
Wifi – Comparing the wifi card to the Alienware’s 5750 Internal Intel® PRO Wireless 3945 a/b/g, with the 9750’s Internal Intel® Wireless 4965 a/b/g/, the 9750 appears to have the advantage.
Speakers – The speakers on the front of the 9750 are actually quite impressive. Playing videos of youtube, gametrailers, or apple sound clear and concise with very little bass rattling.
Input and Output Ports
Front: The front of the laptop is nothing special. A normal laptop latch, holds the lid down while two three inch speakers are located on the left and right side of the front. In the center of the front is the CD/DVD tray. The CD/DVD tray is in an awkward position if you are using an external keyboard. If you wanted to change a CD or DVD, you need to move the keyboard. On the front of the laptop is also a 1.3 Megapixel Camera that can be used as a webcam or other uses.
The pictures from the webcam are just as good as the pictures you can take on your cell phone. But for some reason the camera is reversed so the images come out backwards. No idea why they just don't work as a regular camera. Here are the quality shots.
Right Side: They moved the volume control to the right side, instead of the front left side on the 5750 which i thought was a perfect spot for it. When you adjust the sound, a green progress bar appears on the screen letting you know what volume level you are at. Also located on the right side is microphone and headphones jack, front/rear and center speaker audio ports, an optical port and a USB port.
Left Side: The left side of the laptop has two USB ports, IEEE-1394a Fire Wire port, RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps), a 4-in-1 Memory Card Reader (SD / MS / MSPRO / MMC), Express Card Slot /54mm and the laptop lock.
Rear: The back of the laptop is packed filled with ports and I/Os. Unlike the 5750, the 9750 has both DVI and VGA out, on top of an S-video out. That's three outputs on the back of this monster. Pretty impressive. There is also an S-video in, coaxial in for the TV tuner, audio in, an another USB port and the RJ-11 Modem jack. In case you haven't been counting, thats 4 high speed USB ports conveniently located on all four sides of the 9750. They thought of everything.
Bottom: The bottom of the laptop contains nothing out of ordinary but access to remove the battery and other internal components as well as the intake fan.
Size and Weight
With a 17 inch display, there is no doubt carrying the 9750 around will be a tad annoying. Even if you happen to purchase the ginormous Alienware backpack that comfortably seats the laptop in a protective pouch, walking to class with it on your back does put some strain on you. The 9750 is by no means unbearable and is no where near the weight of 14 lbs of my first Area-51m 5620P, but at 8.5lbs the 9750 is not ideal for traveling a lot. Again you are making a compromise in the Area-51m line. You are not purchasing the smallest laptop with a 15 inch display, and you are not purchasing the largest at 19 inches. That said, taking the 9750 around is not a chore for once in a while LANs and occasional trips, but it could turn into one if you happen to travel with it everyday. Finding a backpack or carrying bag to fit the 9750 may be difficult for it did not fit in my original Alienware backpack which is why I decided to purchase the Alienware Odyssey Backpack.
Rated: 17" WUXGA 15.66" (w) x 11.75" (d) x 1.5" (h) and 8.5 lbs
Actual: Weight: 9.4 lbs
Heat and Noise
The 9750 comes packed with performance so naturally one would expect some heat and noise which unfortunately is the case. Playing games will almost always turn the fans on full blast, which is good. Don’t want all that top touch technology burning out on you. Playing games with headphones the noise is not even noticeable. The 9750 does get hot. Especially towards the back where the exhaust fans are. The positive side is the heat does not affect the keyboard. If anyone has owned the Alienware Sentia 223, you may recall that they keyboard and touchpad got very hot to the touch. This is not the case on the 9750. The heat is blown out the back and users will not even know about it unless you stick your hand back there. The 9750 is the kind of notebook you want to keep a keen eye on over time. After one years use, take a can of compressed air and spray the exhaust fans. Over time, dust will built up around the fans causing the laptop to not be ventilated properly. This is the cause of most overheating problems. I think most people would rather be safe than sorry.
I tested the 9750 on two sets of brightness settings and spent the time surfing the web with Firefox 2 or writing this very review in Microsoft Word. When the power cord is unplugged from the notebook, the power button changes from blue to red as an obvious indicator. When the battery icon in the system trey is clicked or hovered over, the laptop estimates 1 hour and 20 minutes of total battery usage at the lowest brightness setting. At the highest brightness setting, the notebook indicates an hour and 20 minutes of battery time. The actual times are show below.
8/8 – 10:46 11:41 55 minutes
1/8 – 7:35 8:36 1 hour and 1 minute
Despite the short battery life, the m9750 was not designed to be an ultra mobile notebook. The hour of battery life will allow simple tasks under emergency circumstances with no outlet to plug into.
Here is a list of tested synthetic and gaming benchmarks. All results are with stock hardware settings.
Stay tuned for a complete review of my experience with the m9750 after the four day LAN QuakeCon in Dallas, Texas from August 2, to the 5th. I have currently 19 games installed on this machine which include the following:
1. CounterStrike: Source
2. Battlefield 2142
3. Battlefield 2
4. Doom 3
5. Quake 3
6. Quake 4
7. Unreal Tournament Classic
8. Unreal Tournament 2k4
9. Day of Defeat
10. Day of Defeat: Source
11. Call of Duty
12. Call of Duty: United Offense
13. Call of Duty 2
14. F.E.A.R. Combat
15. Command & Conquer 3
16. Supreme Commander
17. Company of Heroes
18. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
19. Need for Speed: Carbon
The m9750 ships with Nero 7 and Power DVD preloaded, both are top notch programs for burning DVDs/Cds and playing movies respectively.
The m9750 ships with an huge power block that generates a typical amount of heat. It also ships with a free mouse pad, Alienware notebook with drivers and manuals, and if you ordered a Windows Media Center Edition the laptop ships with a USB blue-tooth controller.
Take a look at the difference in power blocks from the 5750 and the 9750.
Screen – Incredible sharpness, equal if not better to Sony’s patented X-brite technology! With an additional blu-ray player, there will be no question this screen is one of the best.
Performance – At 2.33 Ghz and 2GB of RAM this machine takes on any task and any game at full res
Touchpad – responsive but not too touchy, scroll pad is near perfect
Wireless – What an improvement from the 5750!
Free Stuff – Ships with free hat and mousepad
Noisy – fans pump on when playing games
Keyboard - moved towards the screen, large space in between bottom of keyboard and edge of laptop
Battery Life – 1 hour max battery at highest/lowest brightness
I fell in love with this laptop. At first I thought it was jealousy considering how it puts my Desktop to shame in pretty much every game I benchmarked, but its not just the outstanding and relentless performance. It is the idea of having a notebook that is capable of this kind of power and packing it up throwing it in a case or backpack and going on a plane to take that kind of power with you on the road. I pushed the laptop hard, and could not find a single fault with it while benchmarking and gaming on it.
If you have any questions about anything written here you can e-mail me: Dukefrukem[at]notebookforums.com