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Editor: Julio Franco

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Test system specs

Anticipating what could be a controversial topic on how we tested and compared the Alienware Area-51 m15x, the fact is there are only a handful of products that come close to the specs offered by this notebook.

Having the most powerful mobile CPU and GPU on-board is quite the statement, and given the price range for this product, our reasoning was that the benchmark is no longer to beat other lesser and less expensive notebooks, but see how it compares to desktop PCs carrying up to date processors and a powerful enough graphics cards.

We built three desktop systems for comparison. The first one basically resembles our PC Buying Guide's recommendation for a budget PC costing ~$800 (Core 2 Duo E7200 & GeForce 9600 GT), while the other two are more powerful quad-core systems that use a GeForce 9800 GTX, and still cost a fraction of the Area-51.

You can see fully detailed specs below, including those of the Alienware system...


Alienware Area-51 m15x Notebook PC
- Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 (2.80GHz) LGA775
- 4GB Dual-Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz
- Intel Turbo Memory (1GB)
- 15.4" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD (1200p)
- Dual Layer Blu-ray Disc Reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
- Samsung 250GB 7,200RPM (8MB Cache)
- Samsung 320GB 7200 RPM (16MB Cache) Smart Bay
- Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX (512MB)
- AlienFX Illuminated Keyboard – Exclusive Design
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 (32-bit)
- Nvidia Forceware (174.74)
- Intel System Drivers (9.0.0.1)


Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Desktop PC
- Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (2.53GHz) LGA775
- x2 Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-8500 Module(s)
- Asus P5Q Deluxe (Intel P45)
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA II)
- Asus GeForce 9600 GT (512MB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
- Nvidia Forceware (174.74)
- Intel System Drivers (9.0.0.1)


Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Desktop PC
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 (2.66GHz) LGA775
- x2 Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-8500 Module(s)
- Asus P5Q Deluxe (Intel P45)
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA II)
- Asus GeForce 9800 GTX (512MB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
- Nvidia Forceware (174.74)
- Intel System Drivers (9.0.0.1)


AMD Phenom X4 9850 Desktop PC
- AMD Phenom X4 9850 (2.50GHz) AM2+
- x2 Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-8500 Module(s)
- Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe (AMD 790FX)
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA II)
- Asus GeForce 9800 GTX (512MB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
- Nvidia Forceware (174.74)