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Any of you guys have an Alienware?


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33 replies to this topic

#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Derrik Draven

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Posted September 16 2003 - 07:13 AM

After 7 long years, I'm finally on the doorstep of moving up from my venerable Dell Pentium II 300mhz, 3DFX machine.

I'll admit that I was sucked in by Alienware's awesome "looking" machine. I can afford to spend about $2000 so, I can get a decent setup. Not a killer but, decent. No monitor needed.

So...I config my Alienware the way I want it, get ready to hit the purchase button and, something stops my left clicking finger.

Head over the Cnet and Epinions and, hole-e-shit! There is some SERIOUSLY bad reviews of Alienware. Not really about their hardware as most, even complainers, say it's a kick ass computer but, if you dare have any problems, God help you when dealing with their support.

Supposedly it's among the worst. Everything from their support being manned by foreigners that hardly speak english to ridiculous wait times for replacement parts to the wrong system components being installed and the purchasers being out of luck.

All the good reviews were pretty much from people that seemed to have gotten lucky and didn't need any customer support.

So, I figure maybe I'll just stick Dell since I had really good luck with the one I have. The company is huge, they don't chage your card until the system ships, unlike Alienware that sucks you dry of your cash the moment they get authorization, whether your system is done or not, the few time I've used Dell's customer support in the past, it was decent, and their new XPS series is a pretty damn decent gaming machine.

So I check out their reviews. Same damn thing as Alienware except Dell's bad reviews seemed to be more problems with the PC than with customer support.

Anyhoo...not being an idiot, for the most part , I sat back and tried to use my noggin' to sort through the mess because, after reading all this, I'm terrified to buy ANY computer.

So...Alienware...they once were a very small, boutique pc maker, that probably had killer quality service and a killer machine. But, I think they've probably grown too big, too fast and as a result, quality is WAY down, the people there are overworked and, there probably isn't enough support to go around. Reason I figure this is true is due to a couple of posts I read while surfing. Someone mentioned that Best Buy has dropped Alienware from their stores. 2 ways to look at it. One, Alienware definitely had it's work cut out for it when the went to such a large retail store as BB. They probably got swamped with orders. Alienware couldn't deliver worth a shit due to it's overambitious plans. Which lead me to point 2, BB dropped them. I know personally I haven't seen one of their machines at BB in a while. I get the feeling that BB did, in fact, drop them due to all the static BB was probably getting due to people not receiving their orders. So, if BB dropped them, it certainly give real weight to my belief the Alienware is overextended.

Dell, on the other hand, while not a maker of such custom work as the small guys, ie Alienware, VoodooPC, ViciousPC, FalconNW, they do make a nice computer and, they have won awards for their customer support. I haven't read that of Alienware anywhere. They only win for their hardware.

On a last note, I realize that most satisfied customers don't go online to post their praises of a particular company. Some take the time; most don't. However, if you're pissed off, YOU WILL POST IT!!! Anger is one hell of a motivator. But, when you read some of the horror stories, some of them very detailed and very well written, it's pretty frickin hard to believe they're lying about their experience. All the while I just sit there, mouth open, wondering how the hell any company could treat it's customers so badly...and what if I'm one of the unlucky bastards that get a lemon?

I guess I'd like to hear from you guys that have been into pc gaming all these years. I've dropped out and I'm just now returning and it's kind of overwhelming trying to educate myself quickly! Damn near every single custom pc maker, and even Dell, had a virtual plethora of bad reviews.

...I'm now too scared to buy jack shit...maybe I'll just stick with my Xbox.
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#2 of 34 OFFLINE   LDfan

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Posted September 16 2003 - 08:17 AM

I'd like to have one. The nice thing about their computers is that nothing inside is proprietary. If you want to change the graphics card, sound card, processor nothing is stopping you.
Dell, Compaq/HP, Gateway all tend to use proprietary stuff that is difficult if not impossible to upgrade.

Jeff

#3 of 34 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted September 16 2003 - 08:42 AM

My friend runs an internet gaming store. When he opened it two years ago, he purchased 25 Alienware systems, and then 5 more a few months later. At first, they were really great systems. But eventually a harddrive died here, a mouse broke there, a video card died, etc... normal stuff when dealing with 30 systems that get used 24/7. Dealing with Alienware was an absolute nightmare. I think at one point they needed him to pay UPS to ship a system to them for a hard drive replacement. Something that they could've easily sent him the part for. Replacement mice took months to arrive, costing my friend money since he couldn't have a system out of service for that long. Alienware was truly horrible.

Since then, he's moved to buying dell hardware for servers, and building his own gaming PCs for customer use. At least the parts are cheaper that way, since Alienware's support cost him more money than he would've spent otherwise (figuring the cost of the support into the initial cost of the machine).

Dell's personal PCs aren't so bad anymore when it comes to proprietary parts. You should be able to upgrade almost everything inside the machine, except for maybe the motherboard. Dell also has some fantastic deals, and their support is really good. I can't recommend dell enough, if you're going to buy a windows system. Of course, Apple rocks too, but you won't be gaming much on a Mac.
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#4 of 34 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 16 2003 - 09:24 AM

With the huge number of sales Dell makes, it normal there are going to be disgruntled people.

I bought a 486 from Dell way back when, and have used them ever since. My current computer is my third from Dell, my wife has bought two for her business, and we recently bought one for my son. All our purchases were to upgrade, not to replace broken machines.

Six computers total, spread over I don't know how many years, and we had only one problem. A monitor went bad after about 10 months. I called, and had a brand new monitor at my doorstep in less than 48 hours. Not only was it new, it was also an upgrade. No charge, no hassle.

The only minor complaint I do have about Dell is that if you want to upgrade memory, you have to buy the gold plated modules which are more expensive and generally not available at the big retailers.

For whatever it's worth, my son is big into gaming and he's very happy with his Dell, though he does say that Micron makes better machines for gaming which are somewhere between Dell and Alienware on cost. Might be worth looking at...
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#5 of 34 OFFLINE   MikeAlletto

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Posted September 16 2003 - 10:08 AM

For 2 grand you can get an absolute state of the art machine through dell or building it yourself. No use paying some company for their overpriced machines when you can get the exact same elsewhere for cheaper.
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#6 of 34 OFFLINE   JamesHl

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Posted September 16 2003 - 10:17 AM

If you get an expensive dell, it shouldn't give you any problems, and their support is... okay. Better than most.

That's the case with most manufacturers. Even if someone has notoriously crappy systems (compaq, hp) it's generally because people only have experience with the $500 presarios or pavilions or whatever.

#7 of 34 OFFLINE   Brian Ruth

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Posted September 16 2003 - 12:10 PM

Quoth the Derrick:

Quote:
So...Alienware...they once were a very small, boutique pc maker, that probably had killer quality service and a killer machine. But, I think they've probably grown too big, too fast and as a result, quality is WAY down, the people there are overworked and, there probably isn't enough support to go around. Reason I figure this is true is due to a couple of posts I read while surfing. Someone mentioned that Best Buy has dropped Alienware from their stores. 2 ways to look at it. One, Alienware definitely had it's work cut out for it when the went to such a large retail store as BB. They probably got swamped with orders. Alienware couldn't deliver worth a shit due to it's overambitious plans. Which lead me to point 2, BB dropped them. I know personally I haven't seen one of their machines at BB in a while. I get the feeling that BB did, in fact, drop them due to all the static BB was probably getting due to people not receiving their orders. So, if BB dropped them, it certainly give real weight to my belief the Alienware is overextended.

My guess is that the tech support problems you read about on C|net are indeed due to them expanding too quickly. They DO make great computers from what I hear, but you pay a hefty premium for what you get. Alienware now has a few startup competitors out there (ABS and Falcon Northwest spring immediately to mind) that likely can give you about the same thing, plus Dell has released its XPC (XPS?) which aims squarely at the market that Alienware aims for.

I'd say that unless you REALLY want the custom Alienware case, just go ahead and either buy from another company or build it yourself. I'd let Alienware try to settle a bit before trusting them with my business.
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#8 of 34 OFFLINE   JamesHl

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Posted September 16 2003 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
Alienware now has a few startup competitors out there (ABS and Falcon Northwest spring immediately to mind)


Falcon northwest has actually been around a lot longer... unless alienware has been around much longer than I suspect.

#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted September 16 2003 - 01:00 PM

I also have heard good things about custom built machines from Monarch. DUnno about support...

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#10 of 34 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted September 16 2003 - 01:55 PM

Derrik:

Also, if you decide to go with Dell, we have some great deals with them on our Deals Page through GotApex.com. I would check out that page off and on as they have deals that will be good for a day or two and then gone.

Parker

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#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted September 16 2003 - 04:51 PM

Derrick:

One of the systems to look at is here for a killer system.

You can also use code 4F6DDE508031 on check out to get another $100 off.

BTW, if you want to upgrade RAM just go to http://www.crucial.com and you can get add on RAM cheap.

Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#12 of 34 Guest_Chris*Liberti_*

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Posted September 16 2003 - 04:58 PM

Just build your own system. For what it would cost me to buy an alienware I can build 2 comprable systems for myself if I shop around for the parts

#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 16 2003 - 09:21 PM

Considered "Alienware" last year while looking
to buy a new PC.

Went with a top-of-the-line Dell instead. This
was my first Dell, and I never looked back.

One of the great things about Dell is that they
offer 1-2 years IN HOME SERVICE included with the
purchase. That came in handy recently when a fan
inside the PC just decided to die on me.

 

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#14 of 34 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted September 17 2003 - 12:29 AM

Quote:
Dell, Compaq/HP, Gateway all tend to use proprietary stuff that is difficult if not impossible to upgrade.
Where does this notion come from? They have standard PCI, AGP, IDE, USB, serial, and parallel ports. You can change the video card, add memory, add a network card, install new harddrives, change the keyboard and mouse, and change your CPU; you can add external devices like printers and scanners. I've done all that, except change the CPU, with my Dell.

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   LDfan

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Posted September 17 2003 - 01:50 AM

For Compaq/HP I can speak from experience. At least from their business class Deskpro/Evo workstations we use here at work.
God help ya if you need to do anything but expand the memory. Everything is integrated on the motherboard.


Jeff

#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason Merrick

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Posted September 17 2003 - 02:55 AM

Dell only uses proprietary motherboards and power supplies. There are cheap converters available if you want to replace the power supply with a non-dell.

#17 of 34 OFFLINE   JamesHl

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Posted September 17 2003 - 02:57 AM

Yeah, for old compaqs and hps you had to use their own drives and stuff, nothing else would fit in the case. Stupid, really.

Quote:
Dell only uses proprietary motherboards and power supplies

I've heard that in the newer ones they have regular power supplies now, even.

#18 of 34 OFFLINE   John_Bonner

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Posted September 17 2003 - 03:10 AM

You may want to look at these guys iBUYpower

They offer Alienware-looking machines that are very customizable. Prices seem reasonable and their reseller ratings are good also.
JB

#19 of 34 OFFLINE   AllanN

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Posted September 17 2003 - 05:50 AM

I am a strong supporter of Dell, although they have shipped at least part of there home support out of the country. At work we rarely have to call dell for Desktop PC support aside from parts. There corporate support is defiantly #1 in my book though. Working in the field im not worried as much with support for my home PC. If you are looking to learn computers building one is a great way to start. A co worker of mine built a Alienware clone for almost half the price. Aside from the case it was the exact same system.
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#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Derrik Draven

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Posted September 17 2003 - 07:17 AM

Thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to lean towards the Dell. I have an old one and it's been very reliable. For it's time, it played all the games VERY well.

Thanks for the info on the deals page. I've been a member here way back when it was a tiny forum and to this day, I didn't know that there was, in fact, a page like that! Posted Image Shows how attentive I am, huh? Posted Image
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