Alienware is not the most famous laptop brand, but it’s actually just a subsidiary of more popular company, Dell. These computers are meant for heavy duty use, especially gaming, as you can realize after taking a look at their specifications (and price). In this review, we’ll concentrate on Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV and figure out if it’s fast enough to keep your games running smooth and clean!
Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV is powered by a set of very, very powerful components. Its processor is the Core i7-4710HQ, a quad-core chip with 2.5GHz clock speed and 3.5GHz turbo frequency. It’s a “real” i7, not a power efficient one (with U suffix) so it packs a lot of power, reaching around 8000 CPU Mark points. That high score means the processor is one of the fastest ones available as of mid-2015. Every program, be it basic or advanced, is smooth sail with the i7-4710HQ. Bad things include high energy use, showing as some heat buildup.
The notebook has 16GB DDR3L 1600Mhz memory installed. As there are two slots in the machine, the current sixteen gigabytes is the maximum this system can take. The storage solution is a 1TB 7200RPM 2.5″ hard drive and 128GB m.2 solid-state drive. Both are replaceable, in fact there are in total four m2 slots which you can use to add extra SSDs.
Comments about gaming
Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV is first and foremost a gaming laptop. So graphics performance is essential. In this machine, the graphics are handled by a dedicated GeForce GTX 980M (4GB GDDR5) card that can be characterized as a high end chip. Indeed, G3D Mark gives it 6300 points while 500 dollar notebooks without decent graphics receive only around 500 points. In real life, the GTX 980M can run any single game as of 2015 with all eye candy turned on. For example, the popular GTA 5 gives a smooth +50FPS on maxed settings and 1920×1080. Another AAA title, The Witcher 3, runs at ~40FPS with maximum details.
The screen of Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV should be a quality one. It has 17.3″ diagonal, a proper size for players. The resolution is 1920×1080 – indeed, not Ultra HD a.k.a 3840×2160 but good enough I’d dare to say. The panel type is professional IPS, nits (luminance unit) is 300. The screen is coated with anti-glare material.
Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV has a lot of connections to hook up your peripherals. To begin with, there are four USB ports, all version 3.0. HDMI is likewise there to allow you to play through bigger external display, like HDTV.
Connecting to network shouldn’t become a problem, you can use the Gigabit LAN port or 2×2 802.11ac WiFi adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported as well.
Even though the Alienware is a big notebook there’s no DVD drive in it. Perhaps the manufacturer thought you will download all the games from Internet. That might be true, but you can always get an external optical drive and enjoy discs that way.
The built-in 2MP webcam should be great for keeping in touch with your player buddies.
SD card slot is provided too, although gamers might not find not it very useful anyway.
Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV has an internal 8-cell 92W battery. It’s a beefy one, some people have been getting ~6 hours battery life when not playing. But when you’re gaming, don’t expect to get more than two hours.
The unit weighs a whopping 8.33 pounds and has a height of 1.35 inches. This kind of monster is not meant for traveling, use the laptop on your desk without moving it and you’ll be happy.
The keyboard includes backlit keys and a numeric pad on the right.
Alienware 17 ANW17-6429SLV is a notebook of ridiculous price and performance. You’ll get a high end i7 processor, 16GB RAM, hard drive + SSD combo and GTX980M card – things that should make even the most avid gamers happy. Indeed, this unit runs any game with high to ultra settings and 1920×1080 resolution. In addition, any software – be it some heavy stuff from Adobe family or virtual machines – work flawlessly here. I can’t find too much to complain about, but I wouldn’t recommend getting this kind of special laptop unless absolute, serious gaming was your hobby number one.