Hi all, Im going to give my two cents after towing around with my AW M5550 notebook and having multiple issues.
Originally Posted by Scorpius
Hi, been looking at a few 15.4" laptops with a 7600 gpu for general usage - including gaming. All the ones I've seen which use the same uniwill chassis as the m5550 seem to have problems with heat.
I read on another forum where some guy was having problems playing games on his laptop (not a m5550 but same specs) because of his gpu getting too hot so he popped off the cover and was concerned to see (in his opinion) a very poor cooling set up.
Does the cooling set up in the m5550 manage to keep the gpu from overheating during gaming or is a cooling pad necessary?
Hmmm, it all depends, if you play on a surface that blocks the bottom vents (like on your bed) it would be normal to have a thermal shutdown (although I haven't had that problem and at most the GPU temps are at 95c...5 degrees shy of the shutdown temp). Now, if you play on a solid surface (like a table) the notebook will get hot, but temperatures of both the CPU and GPU will not get close to their respective shutdown thresholds, so as long as you do that no worries (except if you have particulary bad luck and the cooling system was not properly mounted).
Now, the system under your lap gets VERY hot, most annoying components are RAM and GPU, and the palm rest gets too hot for my taste. Solution, get a Targus Chillmat (http://www.targus.com/us/product_details.asp?sku=PA248U
) and problem solved. Hope that helps.
For prabal34 and Aenim:
What are your CPU and GPU temps when stress testing the system? (For example run two instantces of superpi 32m...one for each core and check the max temperatures with Core Temp) Then test GPU temps with 3DMark or similar 3d app and check the temps on the NVIDIA driver. Do that on a flat surface as recommended above. At least for me temperatures shoot up to 73c for the CPU and 88 for the GPU, but I havent had a single crash. If temps are higher thanthat, contact AW, theyll probably recommend you to remove the cooling system, apply some thermal paste and put the system back together. If your temps are not getting so high up, it could be the random shut down issues that plagued M5550 systems (including mine). If that's the case, check this http://www.notebookforums.com/thread175425.html
out...it seems so far to have solved my issues.
AS a final note (and continuing on the title of the post "m5550: build quality" after playing with the system and comparing to other notebooks such as toshiba and sony, I find the M5550 of pretty poor quality, they really cut corners with this notebook, some quality issues I have found:
-Low quality potentiometer for the volume knob
-Averge to low quality screen (with backlight on the bottom making the bottom half blacks pale and the upper have better looking...not to metion the very limited viewing angle even from straight on)
-Poor quality speakers that randomly swith volume when a bass EQ setting is selected
-The subwoofer is a gimmick, it is not even attached to anything
-Sometimes removing the battery resets the CMOS clock to when the bios was issued
Although I'm happy with the specs and performance of the notebook itself, I can honestly say that so far my alienware "experience" sucks and I really thought they built quality products unfortunatelly with the M5550 it is really not the case.