Ready to buy an Alienware PC ?

As above & was wondering if anyone else has one & can recommend them.
Also what PSU brand do you get ?
And what to avoid if buying one ?
Also don't seem to see what Motherboard they are offering :-/
 
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Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
AFAIK Foxconn have been and still are the manufacturer of Dell Motherboards and aren't off the shelf boards, i.e. specifically designed for Dell with chipset changes and a specific BIOS for the machine.

PSU Information a couple of years old:



And Flextronics are used also in current machines.

You won't know until you receive the machine and check the part numbers.
 
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I contacted them this morning & they said they make their own PSU & I find this hard to believe.they said it's " 875 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply" :-/
They also said they make their own Ram & going by google people say it's Corsair ram,so again confused.
They also told me the Motherboard is an Intel® X79 with Unlocked BIOS for Overclocking.
As it comes with windows 8 I'm not sure If I'll like it on Windows 8 & so it should not be a problem going back to windows 7 ?
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
Dell do not and I doubt will ever, make their own hardware :laugh: X79 is the Intel Chipset not the manufacturer.

Wont be an issue going down to windows 7.

Out of interest, why Alienware? Don't get me wrong, they are built like tanks and the quality isn't an issue, just wondered if you considered alternatives or are the prices comparable?
 
Dell do not and I doubt will ever, make their own hardware :laugh: X79 is the Intel Chipset not the manufacturer.

Wont be an issue going down to windows 7.

Out of interest, why Alienware? Don't get me wrong, they are built like tanks and the quality isn't an issue, just wondered if you considered alternatives or are the prices comparable?
I was going to build another gaming PC,but money is tight & so was going to just take finance.
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
I was going to build another gaming PC,but money is tight & so was going to just take finance.
Makes sense mate :)

One of my mates bought one in January from Dell and I'm sure he said the option for Windows 7 was on the configuration screen.

From what I remember when he was telling me, the upgrade prices and the machine price seemed reasonable for the quality.

I presume its the 3820 Rig you're going for? He got that one with a 660.
 
This is what I'm looking at & have changed it to Windows 7.

Included in your system:
English Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
Intel® Core™ i7-3820 (Four Core, 10MB Cache 3.60GHz)
1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660
8192MB (4x2GB) 1600MHz DDR3 Quad Channel
1TB SATA 6Gb/s (7200RPM) 32MB Cache
DVD+/-RW (Read/Write) 24x
Integrated HDA 7.1 Dolby Digital capability
No Security/Anti-Virus Protection
1 yr Next Day In-Home Hardware Support
CPU Liquid Cooling
Alienware Aurora Matte Black 875W Chassis
Accessories
Alienware Glow Avatar
Astral Aqua
Display Not Included
Alienware Optical Mouse
Alienware Multimedia Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
Logitech® Z506 5.1 Surround Speakers - 75W Total
Steam® Factory Installed and Steam Extra Content
Also Includes
No Accidental Damage Protection
UK 250V Power Cord
English Documentation
D00AMW01
1 year Next Business Day Hardware Support included with your PC
Alienware Aurora Order
Alienware Aurora Resource DVD
Dell Backup and Recovery Not Included
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
Identical to the one my mate bought by the looks of it and he was over the moon with it, the quality is nice :)
 

dacads

Active Member
I would avoid Alienware altogether, any reason in particular you've opted for them? Please don't tell me because of the case :p

You'll be far better off building one yourself where you actually know the make of the Motherboard, RAM & PSU ;)

Still it's up to you I'm just sharing my opinion ;)
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
I would avoid Alienware altogether, any reason in particular you've opted for them? Please don't tell me because of the case :p

You'll be far better off building one yourself where you actually know the make of the Motherboard, RAM & PSU ;)

Still it's up to you I'm just sharing my opinion ;)
Any particular reason you would avoid them?

IMO Dells support and RMA service is second to none, seeing my friends Alienware I can say the quality is very good.

You'll be hard pushed to find a comparable system in the same price bracket :)
 

dacads

Active Member
Well it's better building your own computer because you actually know what's inside it and the reward of satisfaction you get after you assemble everything and boot it up for the first time.

Personally I have no problem with alienware but I wouldn't buy a pre-built as I've mentioned before due to the cheap and non-branded memory and PSUs they use. Although saying that we did have two family computers both of which were Dell which I used before building my own and I've never looked back ;) The 2nd Dell was very reliable though as it's still running from what must now be over 6+ years since we've had it. CPU is a P4 HT and I recently upgraded RAM from 1GB to 3GB :p

How much will the alienware cost?
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
I know what you mean mate, I've been building my own for over 15 years but for individuals who want the finance and/or peace of mind of after sales I don't think Alienware (dell) can be faulted.

The system is £1099 and to find one prebuilt from another firm or build it yourself for that money, it'd be close I would imagine as the X79 platform is the enthusiast platform and still king o' the hill for now.
 
Sorry guys have been at work all day.
I've had in the past the the M18 Alienware with 2x4870 on Sli & loved the laptop with no problems at all.
I've since built 3 PC's from scratch & so would be better going down that road again as I'm not happy that dell throw in a poor PSU that if it goes pop I'll have big problems.
The only reason as said earlier is that money is tight just now & so looking at taken out finance with them.
The motherboard is the 2011 so happy with that & the GPU does the job very well,but again it does not give you a brand name for the GPU.
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
It'll be a reference GPU, I've never seen any branded GPU in a dell machine.

The Delta PSU's are not poor :)
 

skinnywhippet

Active Member
Have you considered finance with overclockers. I've just done that and they've despatched the Goods within one day of purchase and the finance was agreed straight away
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
@Dcads,

Not a bad effort and a nice little build, but thought I would point out..


The GPU is good but check the comparison here AnandTech | Bench - GPU12
at higher resolutions they're practically the same and the His card you've chosen albeit with free games still only comes with a reference cooler, the same as dell.

Seasonic is a top tier PSU manufacturer, as is Delta ;)



OCUK customer service can't come close to that of Dells IMO and if it was me, I would stick with the Alienware build for the cool case :D
 

dacads

Active Member
7950 is still clearly better and it has a better memory bus that will help with higher resolutions and in future games. Not to forget it can also be OCed to near GTX 670 level ;) Also let's not forget the GTX 660 only has 1.5GB of memory which is poor for today's standards as 2GB is really the optimum

As for CS it doesn't help Dell have a customer service line in India (last time I checked), OCUK is up there for sure maybe even better especially since they have staff on the forum who are on hand very quickly :)

As for cases I think Alienware cases are hideous, but then again that's my opinion I eventually got over its blindingly good looks and I'm sure others will too eventually ;)
 
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Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
The 7950 is £100 more than the GTX660, so I would expect the card to perform better, the charts speak for themselves at 1080p and 1.5Gb VRAM isn't a big issue for that resolution, if you are gaming at higher resolutions then pay the extra IMO.

I've never spoken to a CS in India but I have been banned from Overclockers forum for not agreeing with an RMA process, things change I guess :)
 

dacads

Active Member
Exactly so I would be investing in the better card in terms of value and that for me has to be the 7950 as it really is the sweet spot at the moment ;)
 

Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
I agree Dacads, the card for the long term would be better but I'm just mindful of what BigBaws has said as regards to funds and don't want him to think 'real world' performance will be poor.

If I was BigBaws and if OCUK was a possibility, with the budget in mind, I would drop the system to an i5 3570k and put more into the GPU but that's just me :)

Something like this setup:

 
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Fallout3

Active Member
AFAIK Foxconn have been and still are the manufacturer of Dell Motherboards and aren't off the shelf boards, i.e. specifically designed for Dell with chipset changes and a specific BIOS for the machine.
That's not true. Near on every board in the Aurora are made by MSI.

If you look at the board closely and take note of the serial number it uses MS to start with and uses the same font every other MSI board make.



I would avoid Alienware altogether, any reason in particular you've opted for them? Please don't tell me because of the case :p

You'll be far better off building one yourself where you actually know the make of the Motherboard, RAM & PSU ;)

Still it's up to you I'm just sharing my opinion ;)
Dell use among the best parts possible for their machines. The boards are made by MSI, power supplies taken care of by Newton Labs and the cases are built like the typical Dell machine -nuclear bunker.

You also get among the best warranty and service possible. Building your own you get part warranties and if one part doesn't work properly you then have a huge headache of trying to find out which one it is so that you don't end up returning working parts and being charged testing fees.

Whilst I agree that building your own PC in general is usually a sound idea because it works out cheaper there ARE benefits to ordering a built system from Dell/Alienware that are undeniable.

I've been running Alienwares for about eight years and have loved every single one. I haven't bought a single one from Dell I've always sourced the chassis myself and have never had any problems with any of them, even the fully built ones running the Dell hardware.
 
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Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
That's why I said AFAIK :smashin:

Edit: Actually now I'm on my machine I'd like you to link me to the article that shows
Near on every board in the Aurora are made by MSI.
an image of your board or A board doesn't mean that's the board in every machine, nor does that prove it's an MSI board due to the font used :)

Furthermore, I have never heard of Newton Labs in regards to PSU's, got a link?

Cheers
 
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Fallout3

Active Member
That's why I said AFAIK :smashin:
Yeah NP. Dell have used MSI ever since the dawn of the "Dellienware". Good call tbh as Foxconn boards are utter pants. They used them in a few of their takeover machines and the bioses were horrendous.

OP - A little information for you...

As you now know the boards are made by MSI. The power supply in the Aurora is made by a company called Newton Labs. Alienware have been using them for years now. The PSU I had in my Aurora was a 875w 80+ silver unit. I've ran Quad SLI (dual 295s) from it with an I7 950 and it never even broke a sweat (pics in a minute).

So what do you get for the boutique pricetag? quite a lot tbh. Firstly there's the lighting which can be customised to near on any colour combo you wish. It's all controlled in the command center as follows.



The best part however is the cooling. The system uses closed ducts like this.



And the cooling is broken down into zones. There is a Delta fan loaded into the GPU bay that is fully active and controlled in Windows, again using the command center. The command center on the thermal side is basically Afterburner for your case. See pic.



Noting that fans can be set to auto where the software will adjust the speeds as needed, or, you can set them all manually and create profiles (which I recommend tbh).

I have mine (Area 51 for me now wanted the space) set to 25% for idle (inaudible over the ambient system) and 45% for gaming. I simply hit my gaming profile and they speed up.

No other case offers this tbh. Many say that it's pointless but I can tell you now it isn't. Sitting there twiddling with 6 fan control knobs on a standard controller is a PITA.

One thing I do recommend is basically looking on the outlet for a returned/reboxed machine as it will save you a packet. You can also look on Ebay for Dell partners who sell refurbed machines too :)

Here is the quad SLI rig I ran.



As you can see, SLI and CFX are not the best of ideas in the Aurora as you have to butt the GPUs right next to each other. However the PSU was more than capable of running the rig easily with an overclocked I7 950.

That's why I said AFAIK :smashin:

Edit: Actually now I'm on my machine I'd like you to link me to the article that shows an image of your board or A board doesn't mean that's the board in every machine, nor does that prove it's an MSI board due to the font used :)

Furthermore, I have never heard of Newton Labs in regards to PSU's, got a link?

Cheers
I can tell you for 100% certain that MSI make every board that's ever gone into the Aurora. As I said, the tell tale sign is look at the font used for the model number, it's the exact same one that they use on their own retail boards. Also, digging around on the Alienware site for drivers will find you an MSI app for the SATA controller.

MSI also make all of the boards in Acer's Predator machines.

As for Newton Labs? they're not a retail outfit. They make PSUs for OEMs like Dell and others.

http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/newton-power-supplies.php

Is a list of OEM models they make. Again I've been using them for years and they are very strong units.

This is the 750w model that used to be found in the Predator 2. I'm running Quadfire 3870x2 from it with a 400w slave supply for the 8800 Ultra (for Physx).

 
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Chuck Norris

Distinguished Member
Don't get me wrong Fallout, I don't disbelieve you, I would merely like to know for my own benefit as the information I found indicate dell use multiple OEMS, including Foxconn and the list of PSU's used in the Dell Alienware was provided by a Dell rep and Newton wasn't mentioned.

I understand Newton aren't sold retail, I just hadn't heard of that OEM before and isn't on the list I refer to for PSU manufacturers.
 

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