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Alienware M17x R4 Review (i7 3610QM/ AMD HD7970M)

Rating: 9.0.

Today we are looking at the latest, 4th revision of the ever popular M17X laptop from market leader, Alienware. The M17X R4 features a quad core Ivy Bridge processor and AMD’s Radeon HD7970M discrete mobile graphics solution for enhanced gaming performance. If you have a couple of grand spare is this the best way to blow it ?

The M17x R4 is a desktop replacement with cutting edge components and a large 17 inch full high definition screen to enjoy the latest Direct X 11 games and bluray movies.

The machine is designed like the previous version, with high quality onboard lighting easily controlled via the software. Rest assured, if you are a businessman on the move then you will be looking elsewhere, this is no ultraportable, weighing in at a back breaking 4.3kg.

The system we are reviewing today features the latest Core i7 3610QM with 8GB of 1,600mhz DDR3, SSD boot drive and AMD HD7970M graphics. The M17X R4 Dell sent us for review today costs £1,769.01 inc vat, although you can increase the system price to around £4,000 if you maximise all the upgrades.

Specifications available:


  • Intel® Core™ i7-3610QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.3GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
  • Intel® Core™ i7-3720QM (6MB Cache, up to 3.6GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)
  • Intel® Core™ i7-3820QM (8MB Cache, up to 3.7GHz w/ Turbo Boost 2.0)

Operating System

  • English Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
  • English Genuine Windows® 7 Professional (64 BIT)
  • English Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate (64 BIT)


  • 6144MB (1x2GB + 1x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
  • 8192MB (2x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
  • 12288MB 1600MHz Dual Channel DDR3 (2x2GB + 2x4GB )
  • 16384MB (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
  • 24576MB 1600MHz Dual Channel DDR3 (2x4GB, 2x8GB)
  • 32768MB 1600MHz Dual Channel DDR3 (4x8GB)

Video Card

  • 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660M
  • 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 675M
  • 2GB GDDR5 AMD® Radeon™ HD 7970M


  • 17.3″ WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD
  • 17.3″ 120Hz w/ 3D Bundle WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD
  • 17.3″ WideHD+ (1600 x 900 ) WLED LCD

Audio and Speakers

  • Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di High-Definition 5.1 Audio with THX TruStudio Pro Software (Standard)
  • 2.0 Speaker configuration
  • Audio Powered by Klipsch®
  • 7.1 Digital Audio out using HDMI out connection or S/PDIF Optical port .

Networking and Wi-Fi Options

  • Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet NIC (Standard)
  • Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2230 With Bluetooth 4.0 (Standard)

Hard Drive

  • Up to 2048GB4 hard drive (5400RPM)
  • Up to 1224GB4 Solid State hard drive
  • Up to 1024GB4 hard drive (7200RPM)

Optical Drive

  • Slot-Loading 8x SuperMulti Drive (DVD±R/RW) (Standard)
  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW)


  • High Capacity 9-cell Lithium Ion (90whr)


  • 2.1 Megapixel Full HD Camera with dual digital microphones

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  • Davis

    Well I never thought I would say it, but £1,700 is actually pretty good value for that machine. must be their best priced laptop in a long time. I might end up going for a 128GB SSD though as 64GB is borderline.

  • Brian

    Thats a nice looking system. good pictures of the keyboard, is that the Star Trek font they use? lol.

  • Slash

    What a spec, my dream laptop. The ivy bridge mobile processors look good, but not really such a huge advancement for Intel.

    Shame they didnt use an AMD processor, but I suppose it wouldnt be popular.

  • WarrenUK

    Dell confuse me, some of their pricing upgrades are decent, like the HD7970 but the memory options can be excessive. the fact that this is easy to open makes me want to spec the memory as LOW as possible, then get some from amazon, like the corsair veageance (16gb for £100 on amazon for 1600mhz! 2x8gb!).

    Can this computer take 8GB memory sticks?

  • Hi Warren, yes it can take 8gb memory sticks. go for it !

  • Seth

    I dont mind dell machines. (its basically dell) – but I think id opt for a precision with Quadro for work. The only concern i have is dell batteries, ive had three other machines now and all the batteries fail after a year.

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  • WarrenUK

    I ordered one, now to deal with my wife 🙁

  • Alen

    You are mad buying one of these ! you could build one for much less ! alienware are a ripoff.

  • WarrenUK

    Dont talk nonsense, this isn’t a desktop system. you can’t make a laptop. half the parts aren’t widely available for a start.

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  • Andrew I

    Yes there are cheaper options like the vortex 3 from pcspecialist but they look cheap compared to Alienware. This is also cheaper than an apple too and has better spec. I’m sold on it