View Full Version : AlienWare Area-51m™....

Karl Hansson
11-11-2003, 03:56 AM
I'm interested in the Alienware Area-51m™ Laptop. I'm just wondering what do you guys think of it. Anyone tried it? How is Alienware quality? Isn't a 3.2 ghz processor to hot for a laptop? What's Good - Bad?

11-11-2003, 04:21 AM
I purchased an Acer 1705smi Aspire a while ago now, and it's a 3.06gHz processor with goGeForce5600FX and I must say I am very pleased with it. I used to use desktops pre this purchase and it is soo nice to sit in my comfy chair and do whatever...

My machine does chuck out quite alot of warm air, I don't think this is a problem as long as there is quite a lot of ventilation, on top of that I am using a GFX card which also gets very warm, but having said all this I can quite happily use the machine for 7hrs on end without any hitches...

I'm sure it'll be a fine purchase, you will have 30 days or whatever to decide if you are happy or not with the product...

11-11-2003, 04:39 AM
I'm still toying with the idea of buying an AlienWare desktop, I was attracted by the (perceived) quality of their products, their whole presentation (website included) makes me think they take pride in what they do.

All the reviews I've ever seen praise them.

You do pay a little extra for the name though.

However I don't own one so I can't say from actual experience, these are just my thoughts.

11-11-2003, 06:56 AM
If you want to buy a complete system, Alienware or Boxx are the way to go, but if you are capable, you can build a similar machine for much less. Actually, I guess that's a little off topic since the original question was about laptops... Wouldn't know about that, no way I'd buy a laptop.

11-11-2003, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Karl Hansson
I'm interested in the Alienware Area-51m™ Laptop. I'm just wondering what do you guys think of it. Anyone tried it? How is Alienware quality? Isn't a 3.2 ghz processor to hot for a laptop? What's Good - Bad?

Hi Karl,

I have the 51m with a 3GHz processor and it runs great. Mine has the 15.4" screen (I wanted the 4 speakers) and I like the 'wide screen' format. The machine itself runs as fast as a simalar speed desktop. Lightwave and all my other graphics/multimedia software runs fine as well as games like Medal of Honor and Max Payne 2 (with graphics all set to high). If I am rendering and the laptop is actually on my lap, my leg gets a bit warm but I haven't seen it have any issues with heat. There are multiple fans and heaksinks to help the cooling.

The build quality is what you would expect for a higher-end machine. Mine came with a free backpack and even that is really nice.

Alienware themselves are responsive and provide great service. If an application crashes it will even ask you if you would like to send a report to Alienware Service, including a screenshot.

I would highly recommend them.

11-11-2003, 05:31 PM
The Alienware Area-51m is a great system, however you can get a mobile system of the same specs and pay less of a premium price.

I use the predecessor to this system
and love it.

The service from PCtorque/Sager is through the roof in my opinion. Adam at PCT went way above and beyond what I ever expected.

If you want to find out more about this system or the Area-51m there is a bunch of good info here:

In particular this side by side review may help you

Do a search for the Area-51m and you'll find lots of opinions.

Good luck on your purchase


11-11-2003, 05:38 PM
Boxx has their GameBoxx out now.


Karl Hansson
11-12-2003, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the input guys. How loud is the cooling system on the alienware laptop?

11-12-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Karl Hansson
Thanks for the input guys. How loud is the cooling system on the alienware laptop?

It doesn't seem that loud to me at all. They have copper radiators in front of the intakes and exhaust holes in multiple places so I think that helps keep the noise down.

Karl Hansson
11-12-2003, 12:20 PM
OK Cool. I might buy one after christmas.

11-13-2003, 08:55 PM
Hi jds580s,

I'm thinking about getting a sager 5680 like you and I was wondering how is it with lightwave 7.5 . Any open gl issues , how does layout/modeler look like at 1600x1200 ? Are the font's too small to read? I really want to buy this notebook . The price is great.

pat e.

11-14-2003, 08:41 AM
Rolman, I've had my Sager for a little over a year now. The 5680 is a very new model, but from looks alone you couldn't tell the difference between my 5660 and the 5680.

Important Specs on my 5660
P4 2.4 533 fsb
ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64 MB
UXGA Screen

The 5680 updates the FSB to 800 MHz (200 quad pumped)
It now supports Hyper Threading
has the newer ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro 128 MB
Gigabit Ethernet
The UXGA screen is now a Wide Angle View screen, and from the reviews I've read, it looks excellent.

This has been a great machine for me. LW runs very smooth even on the older ATI 9000. The UXGA screen is totally a personal preference thing. Sure that is a lot of screen stuffed into only 15", but it's so much sharper than any CRT I've worked on. It took me a short while to adjust to the look, but now I wouldn't want it any other way. Windows XP offers some assistance; you can use ClearType for LCD's this I highly recommend. It sharpens text so it doesn't look jagged. And you can use larger font's and Icons to the point where it practically looks like a 1024x768 display but about twice as sharp. The font/icon size only works with system fonts, so software like LW won't change. For me it's not a problem at all, and I never think about it. For others who are not used to it, the first two comments they make are "Wow that's a good screen" ...pause... "Why is every thing so small" :) at least the non-tech people do.

The system isn't for everyone so here are a few Cons to consider:
The desktop P4's are just plain power hungry and run hotter than the mobile chips.
Don't expect much as far as battery life goes, but if your like me and are rarely more than an hour or two away from an outlet you'll be good. I opted for the dual battery setup, and can get a little over 3 hours.
The screen is a personal preference thing, I would highly suggest going to a local computer super store and spending 15 min on one of their higher end UXGA models.
When rendering for more than 60 seconds the fans will usually kick on full. I wouldn't call it loud, but it is more than noticeable. Still quieter than most comparable desktops.
The keyboard is like most laptop keyboards in that there is no dedicated number pad. (you can use number lock and there is a pseudo-number pad using alpha keys) If this is a big issue the 8890 has a full number pad, but it's larger and heavier.
Speaking of heavy, this isn't a laptop that you would want to be carrying around all day. The base model is about 9.5 lbs and with a second battery perhaps 1 - 1.5 more. Sure doesn't sound like much, but next to a 3 lb ultra-portable it's a brick.


11-14-2003, 12:45 PM
Justin, thank you for your complete response .

I think I will get the Sager.

One question is the which OS to get ,does Hyper Threading mean I should get XP pro instead of XP home?


11-14-2003, 12:49 PM
No problem at all,

I believe that HT requires

Win Server 2003
XP Pro
Win 2000 Pro

It should work just fine under XP Home, you just loose the HT features as I understand it.


11-14-2003, 06:16 PM
Actually Win 2000 is not Optimized for HT.

Ripped from Intel's Website

Hyper-Threading Technology†
Operating Systems that Include Optimizations for Hyper-Threading Technology

Note: Information on Hyper-Threading Technology † for Intel® Xeon™ processors [ripped from Microsoft website: Xeon Info for HT (http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/hyperthreading.doc)]

And of course Windows XP Pro and Home Edition [But why use home with Xeon?]

[Continuing on with the Intel site Rip]

Microsoft* Windows* Operating System Desktop Based PCs
The following desktop operating systems include optimizations for HT Technology and are currently eligible to carry the new Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology logo:

Microsoft* Windows* XP Professional Edition
Microsoft* Windows* XP Home Edition

The following desktop operating systems are not recommended for use with Hyper-Threading Technology. If you are using one of the following desktop operating systems, it is advised that you should disable Hyper-Threading Technology in the system BIOS Setup program:

Microsoft Windows 2000 (all versions)
Microsoft Windows NT* 4.0
Microsoft Windows Me
Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 SE

Linux* Operating System Desktop Based PCs
The following Linux operating systems include optimizations for HT Technology and are currently eligible to carry the Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology logo:
Red Hat Linux* 9 (Professional and Personal versions)
SuSE Linux* 8.2 (Professional and Personal versions)
Red Flag Linux* Desktop 4.0
COSIX* Linux* 4.0

Note that while other Linux operating systems may have HT Technology enabled, only the distributions above are currently eligible to carry the Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology logo. If purchasing a PC based on a different Linux operating system, check with your PC vendor to determine if the PC includes the necessary system ingredients for HT Technology and has HT Technology enabled.

† Hyper-Threading Technology requires a computer system with an Intel® Pentium® 4 processor supporting HT Technology and a Hyper-Threading Technology enabled chipset, BIOS and operating system. Performance will vary depending on the specific hardware and software you use. See http://www.intel.com/info/hyperthreading/ for more information including details on which processors support HT Technology.

11-17-2003, 08:04 PM
this fujitsu is one i saw at fry's, and it has the best screen i've ever seen!

check it out: