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

Shogun 2 is set in 16th-century feudal Japan, in the aftermath of the Ōnin War. The country is fractured into rival clans led by local warlords, each fighting for control. The player takes on the role of one of these warlords, with the goal of dominating other factions and claiming his rule over Japan. The standard edition of the game will feature a total of eight factions (plus a ninth faction for the tutorial), each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths.


We tested first with the built in benchmark via the STEAM client. 720p was perfectly smooth – averaging over 90 frames per second. The 1080p test failed with the error message above. We double checked that the Catalyst Control Center was highlighting the ‘performance mode’ for Shogun 2 (HD7970M, not Intel 4000), and it was configured properly.

We decided to load the game directly, rather than rely on the built in benchmark.

Even though the above screenshot shows the Intel HD Graphics 4000 as active, we were getting 60+ frames per second in game at the above ‘high’ settings @ 1080p, which is impressive. We would imagine that a future driver revision from AMD will fix this minor bug.

Great performance overall from the M17X system.

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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