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

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.

Sandra is a (girl’s) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”. We think that’s quite fitting.

It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.

Native ports for all major operating systems are available:

  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
  • Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
  • Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
  • Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)

All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:

  • SMP – Multi-Processor
  • MC – Multi-Core
  • SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
  • GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
  • NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
  • AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
  • IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit

Initial performance results from the new Ivy Bridge Core i7 3610QM processor is positive, performing at a similar level to the previous 2960XM Extreme Edition. Memory bandwidth is slightly better than any other laptop system we have reviewed recently, over 20GB/s.

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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