Aurora M-Alx 19" SXGA+ w/cam Rev1 system configuration
AMD Turion 2.4 Ghz 35W L2 1Mb ML-44
(2) Patriot 1gb DDR Pc-3200
(2) M-Alx NVIDIA G71 7950 GTX with 512MB
Hitachi 200Gb 7200 rpm SATA Hdd
8X DVD+/-RW NEC AD-5540A
W-Nweb 802.11 ABG Internal wireless
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
This is one huge laptop (15 LBS) and requires a rather large backpack to carry it arround. It has a very nice piano finish on it that is very easy to leave fingerprints on. I keep a microfiber cloth with me to wipe them off. I noticed that the backpack is very well padded but the actual area that the laptop goes in doesnt have a soft surface. So I improvised by using a flannel pillowcase to put the laptop in then put those into the backpack (my wife has not found this out as of yet). I also created a rather inexpensive laptop cooler for this beast (beleive me there are none out there to fit this beast), will get into that later in this post.
The order process
I ordered this on 4/13/08 and recieved it on 4/25/08. The entire process once again was easy and everyone I chatted with were very nice. The ALX team strives to make their customers happy. They sent me several emails detailing the process status. I will say that their web page, even to this day, still states that I am on phase one, not sure why it has not updated but the emails made that page useless anyway. There was a small glitch though, when I recieved my order they had forgotten to include my power adapter! I called them and they promptly sent me one next day air. Was able to use the unit for about a half hour on the battery but the rest of that day was miserable as I awaited my power adapter.
The box (dont mind Serenity, shes just a very curious cat)
The front and back of the unit. This has a color changing paint scheme that when viewed at different angles gives you several colors.
Here is a picture of my desk area with my MALX, Aurora SW edition, Powerbook, and my Area 51 766. That is another of my cats Misty.
I am quite impressed with this machine so far. It has run everything I have thrown at it and asked for seconds. My out of the box benchies are as follows.
I have run Doom3, Oblivian, Half life 2, World of Warcraft so far with all settings maxed out with no graphical lag whatsoever. As far as running application software, this machine basically groans in boredom. Heat so far has not been an issue. I pushed my CPU and it got to 68 degrees celcius. All functions work as well, the webcam, memory card slot, all the ports work. So far not a single issue has ruined my enjoyment of this machine.
So far I am impressed with this laptop. Sure its not the top end of the hardware scale, but for what I want, its more than enough. I love the screen realestate, nothing beats having lots of space to do things with. Sure this is hardly an ultra portable, hell, calling it a portable with a straight face is difficult, but for a mobile desktop it more than performs. My one and only gripe so far is the fact I cannot get any software to show me my GPU Temps. I would like to push this machine a bit, but do not feel conforatable doing so without seeing my GPU temps. Anyone with one of these beasts that has gotten something to show them their GPU temps PLEASE let me know what you used.
Cheap but effective cooler
I researched the web for days to see if anyone offered any kind of cooler for this beast to no avail. So, I did a bit of research and found that the number one issue with high performance laptops is lack of airflow to the bottom intake fans. On a trip to office depot I saw an item that caught my eye....
A simple wire paper basket. I took a small rubber tube and cut it down the middle to pad the front of the basket. I put the rear feet on the back of the basket and wala a cheap laptop cooler. Total cost 4.95! Here are some pictures with the laptop on top of it.....
Yes I know very Sandford and Sonish but hey it works! Also if need be, I can put a normal laptop cooler in the basket to push air into the bottom of the MALX.
That's it for now, I will continue to put other programs in this and let you know of its performance. For a total of 2499 with an extra battery and the backpack, I am very pleased with this purchase!
Oh as a footnote I got this unit with the 512mb 7950 gtxs instead of the advertised 256mb 7900 gtxs, and when I purchased this it was offered with only a 90 day warranty that I had changed to one year. Here is the new link for it http://www.alienware.com/Configurato...de=SKU-DEFAULT they have dropped it another 100 dollars and I was told they will be finished offering this in less than a month. I think its quite the value now, and if anyone is interested I would recommend contacting Alienware about it.