Saturday, May 7, 2011

Alienware - Pictures

 Man, that's some cool packaging. I can't help but wonder how much they could shave off the cost by using generic boxes, though.
 Inside the Alienware Aurora R3. I like the little alien head on the liquid CPU cooling block.
All hooked up to my 27" Dell Ultrasharp. Notice the lack of bloatware on the desktop.

Alienware - Grand Theft Auto IV

This is a game I picked up a couple of weeks ago when it was on sale on Steam. I was bored, it was cheap, I figured what the hell, at the worst I'll get a few hours of enjoyment out of it while I am waiting for other games to release.
Yeah, I really should have checked into it before buying it.

GTA4 runs like crap on the PC. No matter what settings I chose, the game jerked so bad when I was driving that it literally made me dizzy. I gave up after an hour of trying to fix it because I was about to throw up. It turns out, lots of people have complained about how bad this runs on the PC.

Well, tonight I thought I would try it out again on the new Alienware and see if it was any better.

Holy. Shit.

I can actually play this game now. It looks good, it is completely smooth, and the graphic settings are turned all the way up. Color me impressed. As long as this system doesn't crap out on me during the magic money-back window, I'm sold.

Alienware - Fallout New Vegas

Had a chance to put Fallout New Vegas through its paces with my new Alienware Aurora R3. All I can say is wow. My last PC was no slouch, but the thing that always killed New Vegas for me was the load times between areas, and the jerky frame rate that occurred for the first 20 or 30 seconds you were in a new area.

The Aurora gets rid of that. The longest load time I have experienced was about three seconds. Most areas transition so fast now that I don't even see the load screen pop up. There's no jerkiness as the textures load in a new area, and the animations on things like fire are much smoother. The lighting effects seem to stand out a bit better as well.

So far I'm impressed. Hopefully this Alienware will perform just as well in my other games. (Especially Brink!)

My Alienware Experience - Part 2

Let's start off with the good:

  •  My PC shipped 2 business days early. That means I got it on Friday, May 6th instead of Tuesday, May 10th. Nice. Time to set up before Brink releases.
  • The system looks amazing. Ah. Maze. Ing!
  • Install was very clean for a pre-built. No bloatware at all. 
Now the not so good:

  • The system shipped with a GeForce 590 GTX card with 3 DVI connections and 1 mini-Display Port connection. Alienware sent me a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter. I have an HDMI cable with a mini on one end and a full size on the other that I have been using for years. I have no DVI cables left. I have a full size Display Port cable. This means that I had to run out and get an adapter for $25 just to be able to turn the thing on. Grrr. Small oversight on their part, but giant pain in my ass.
  • The system shipped with NVidia drivers installed that don't support the GeForce 590 GTX card. The card laughed at me when I tried to play World of Warcraft.
  • The pre-installed version of WoW is still Wrath of the Lich King. Great. Good thing I have all my stuff on a hard drive in my old PC that is separate from the OS drive. Just popped that out and plugged it into my Alienware. (Which worked flawlessly.) 
  • The Dell monitor that came with the system: Ugh. I guess I am spoiled by my 27" Dell Ultrasharp, but this new monitor is washed out looking and just not anywhere near as nice. I had hoped to use it as a second display (I mean, what the hell, I got the graphics power to burn now) but I think I may just end up selling it.
It may look there are a lot of negatives compared to the positives, but keep in mind that I just spent 10 hours setting up the system, transferring files, updating drivers, and playing with settings. I haven't really had a chance to drive it all that much, and for the most part the negatives are minor. (Getting that part really annoyed me, though.) The monitor was always just a bonus in this deal, as it came with the best system deal. So no biggy if it has to go.

I have a lot more programs to install on the new system, but hopefully I will be able to take a break and put it through its paces in some games. Then we'll see what it can really do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alienware Aurora R3 specs


Alienware Aurora-R3
Intel Core i7-2600 (8MB Cache) Overclocked Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz
8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
Alienware MM Keyboard, US
Dell 23 Inch Wide ST2320L
Single Nvidia GTX 590
1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
Matte Stealth Black Alienware Aurora w/ 875W Multi-GPU Approved PSU
PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
DataSafe Local BackUp
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Dell Resource DVD with Application Backup
Accessory Kit, Aurora 3, Eng
Alienware Optical Mouse, MG100
AlienFX Color Astral Aqua
Single Drive: Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD+/-RW, CD-RW)
1Power DVD 9.6, 3D
Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
Automatic Updates: On
Alienhead Glow
Dell Hardware Limited Warranty, Extended Year
Dell Hardware Limited Warranty, Initial Year
Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis, 1 Year Extended

Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Plus In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis, Initial Year
2 Year Limited Warranty
Accidental Damage Service, 2 Years
Warranty Support, 1 Year Extended
Warranty Support, Initial Year
Soft Contracts Consumer Accidental Damage Agreement for Alienware
Soft Contracts Dell In-Home Hardware Agreement for Alienware
Software, DataSafe Online 2.0 2GB
To activate your online backupaccount, go to Start, Programs, DataSafe Online
DataSafe Online 2.0 2GB
Steam and Portal Factory Installed
World of Warcraft Preinstall Edition
Alienhead 3D
Thank you for choosing Dell
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling