20 April, 2011

Alienware M11x R3 Gaming Notebook

It´s about time. It was only a question of time before Alienware created a Sandy-Bridge refresh of its 11.6 inch mini powerhouse for release. At this opportunity the graphics card has also been updated, replacing the GT 335M with the GT 540M. What the cooling system of the M11x R3 has to say about it can be discovered in this review. The gaming specialist Alienware, primarily known for large-format high-end notebooks, is offering a small subnotebook M11x which is already available in its third revision in the mean time. While the first version opted for a Core 2 Duo, and the second variant was equipped with Intel's original Core i generation, the M11x R3 has the fully up-to-date Sandy-Bridge CPU included. An energy efficient CPU of course, since a 'normal' processor would likely over-exert the cooling system.

Specifications :

* Processor : Intel Core i7 2657M 1.6 GHz
* Mainboard : Intel QS67 Express Chipset
* Memory : 4096 MB, 2x 2048 MByte DDR3 (1333 MHz), zwei Slots, max. 16 GByte
* Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M - 2048 MB, Core: 672 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Shadertakt: 1344 MHz, DDR3-VRAM, ForceWare 267.21
* Display : 11.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO305C, glossy: yes
* Harddisk : Samsung SSD PM800 2, 256GB
* Soundcard : Realtek ALC665 @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
* Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 Firewire, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 2x Ausgang, 1x Eingang, Card Reader: SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO,
* Networking : Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (), 3.0 Bluetooth
* Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 33 x 286 x 233
* Weight : 1.95 kg Power Supply: 0.35 kg
* Battery : 62 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.8 V, 8 Zellen
* Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
* Additional features : Webcam: 2.0 Megapixel, Netzteil: 90 Watt, Samtschutzh├╝lle, Command Center (AlienFX, AlienFusion, AlienTouch), 12-48 Months Warranty.

In time for the release date there should be two different Sandy-Bridge CPUs available for a start. The entry level model of these two is represented by the Core i5-2537M, which has a clock speed of 1.4 - 2.3 GHz, and an L3 cache of 3 MBytes. The other is the faster Core i7-2617M, which has a clock speed of 1.5 - 2.6 GHz, and an L3 cache of 4 MBytes. Our tested device is powered by the Core i7-2657M, a two core processor with 4 MBytes of L3 cache, and a clock speed of between 1.6 - 2.7 GHz. Whether Alienware will offer the Core i7-2657M to retail customers at some point is not certain at present.

Meanwhile Alienware leaves a lot of freedom to its customers when it comes to the hard drive, whereby HDDs with a capacity from 250 GBytes to 750 GBytes are available, as well as a 256 GByte SSD. The amount of RAM in comparison lies at between 2 GBytes, up to a maximum of 16 GBytes. As far as the colors are concerned buyers will have to choose between red or black. Buyers will not have any influence on the choice of graphics card, with the exception of the amount of video memory - Nvidia's GeForce GT 540M is a DirectX 11 capable mid-range model.

Important Note: Our model was not a final series model. Especially as far as temperatures, cooling fan characteristics, and software (drivers, BIOS, etc.) are concerned, there can still be variations. Most likely there will still be a review update of the series device to come.

Processor: Intel Core i7-2657M
When it comes to the CPU, Alienware has opted for an energy efficient ULV model (Ultra Low Voltage). Although the tool CPU-Z described the processor as Core i7-2630UM, this description is no longer accurate since Intel has changed the naming scheme, and the processor is called Core i7-2657M meanwhile. As with the other CPUs available for the M11x R3, this is dual-core.

The meager base clock speed of 1.6 GHz will unlikely knock anyones socks off, but overclocking up to 2.7 GHz (over 1000 MHz) does command some respect in comparison. The cache availability also doesn't need to be shy opposed to more powerful models with four MBytes of L3 cache, which is even bigger than some of the faster clocked Core i3 and i5 CPUs. Along with the automatically overclocking Turbo-Boost, there is of course also Hyper-Threading technology on board as well. This shows itself responsible for the simulation of two virtual cores, whereby the Core i7-2657M can process four threads simultaneously. A big advantage of the 32 nm manufactured CPU is also the low power consumption of 17 Watts maximum, which is only half as much as the 'normal' dual-core Core i3 and i5 series.

referensi : notebookcheck.com

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