Buying ALIENWARE. Big PENTIUM decision...please help!

Max Leung

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At a starting rumoured guideline price of $1500 US per AMD dual-core Opteron chip, I'm not sure if you want one.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Max,

Yeah, gonna forget about AMD.

I priced the new ALIENWARE system with the
dual-cofre Intel 840 chip and it's not much
(if any) more expensive than the former highest
class Pentium system.

Probably going to order it later today.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Bought the system today. Here it is....


[1] Area-51® 5500

Warranty: 3-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service Bundle with AlienAutopsy and Respawn
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional with Service Pack 2
Chassis: Alienware® Full-Tower Case - Space Black
Cable Management: Alienware® Cable Management System
Power Supply: Alienware® 550 Watt Max Power Supply
Processor: Intel® Pentium® Processor 840 w/ HT Technology Extreme Edition 800MHz FSB 2MB Cache
Motherboard: Alienware® PCI Express Motherboard with Intel® 955X Chipset
Memory: 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
Graphics Processor: NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 w/Digital and S-Video Out
Chassis Upgrades: AlienIce™ 2.0 Video Cooling System - Astral Blue
System Drive: Extreme Performance - Serial ATA RAID 0 - 320GB (160GB x 2) Serial ATA 7,200 RPM w/16MB Cache
Optical Drive One: Lite-On® 16x DVD / 52x32x52x CD-RW Drive
Optical Drive Two: NEC® ND-3520 16x Dual Layer DVD±R/W Drive
Floppy Drive: 3.5" 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive - Black
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® 4 Pro High Definition 7.1 Surround Sound with Dual Firewire (IEEE® 1394)
Network Connection: Integrated High Performance Gigabit Ethernet
Portable Storage : Alienware® 10-in-1 Digital Media Reader / Writer
Display One: No Monitor
Display Two: No Monitor
Biometrics: Targus DEFCON Authenticator™
Alienware Exclusive Offers: Gamespot Complete - Free 90-day Trial (a $20.85 value)
Alienware Exclusive Offers: 10% off your next EB Games online purchase
Free Alienware T-Shirt: Free Alienware® T-Shirt - Black
Free Alienware Mousepad: Free Alienware® Mousepad
Desktop Enhancements: Exclusive AlienGUIse Theme Manager
AlienInspection: AlienInspection - Exclusive Integration and Inspection - $99.99 Value - FREE!
AlienWiring: AlienWiring - Exclusive Internal Wire Management - $99.99 Value - FREE!
 

PeterTHX

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Niiice. VERY nice.

Um, where do you live again?


No Plextor drives available? (DVD+-RW)
 

Max Leung

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I wonder if it will sound like a vacuum cleaner...
 

PeterTHX

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Actually newer systems are very quiet.

The "dustbuster" Geforce FX is long gone. I have a 6800GT myself. Pretty darn quiet and runs cool. Have it hooked up to my Sony KD-34XBR960 via DVI->HDMI cable. Sweetness.
 

Chris

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I don't think he's thinking about the Geforce
The new Dual Core Intels run -very- hot, and therefore, even out of the box ship with a fast moving fan and have airflow recommendations.

Ron- Configuration looks really solid. In about 2 weeks, Intel is going to issue a major change to their driver base, so if you get your PC before then, just know it'll be out there


But I think this is much closer to matching what your end goal is
 

Ronald Epstein

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Chris,

I appreciate your support throughout
these few weeks. Your knowledge and
input certainly was a major factor in
my final buying decision. I thank you
for that.

Now that I have bought my first Alienware
I am a little worried....

With as much research that I did before
my purchase what I am finding out afterwards
is sort of scary. I am finding dozens of
complaints posted across the Internet pertaining
to customers receiving shoddy computers and/or
having to deal with problematic customer service.

There are stories from people that work or
have worked for Alienware about computers
being built in large warehouses by teenagers
who don't care about what is being put together.
There are even stories about used parts being
put in these things -- some with bad soldering
jobs attached.

The amount of complaints -- if you look for
them -- are pretty high.

It seems I can't do anything right when it
comes to purchasing a computer and I am a bit
concerned about this one.
 

Chris

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Alienware also gets held to a much higher standard then most, Ron. Because they are being bought by people who are tweakers in their own right, every flaw is significantly magnified.

Alienware has had build problems, (as has every manufacturer I know of) but they've done a pretty good job on the warranty front, and that helps.

Alienware's biggest hitch is the same as most: because they ship many units pre-overclocked or overclocked by user specs, and use "bleeding edge" hardware, they tend to ship product in advance of driver specs, etc. which means the end user will have to do some tweaking on their own.. for people who want to buy a tweaker PC but don't want to fiddle with it, that's a bit of a downer.

Example: you're buying a dual core intel chip with a board/chipset without truly finalized drivers. Nothing wrong with that, but it's why really only Alienware and maybe Dell (an Intel development partner) are shipping. This means that if you receive it before May 1, you're probably going to want to update the driver base from Intel. That's not a problem, but it's small things like that that do get people.

Alienware does hire a lot of "kids" to do the work, but having been through a lot of facilities, I'm not sure how negative I'd put that in comparison to anyone else's system (let's face it, line technicians at Dell aren't much better


The joy of the internet, as we all know, is that it is a great place to complain, if you're frustrated about something, you'll post about it, raise hell about it, etc. But if you're largely happy, most of the time you don't feel the pressing need to post a "I'm mostly happy with how this works"


I think you'll be OK.
 

Thomas Newton

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I take it you didn't go with the Cameron/Weaver service plan (Onsite Service Bundle with Facehugger, Chestburster, and HumanAutopsy).
 

Ronald Epstein

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Hey Chris,

Something I think you addressed before....

This is the graphics card I ordered:

Graphics Processor: NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6800 GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 w/Digital and S-Video Out

I have an ATI TV-WONDER PCI card I am going to install.

Will there be compatability issues? Should I have
gone with an ATI Radeon graphics card here?

Also....



I think the computer is due end of May.

Just in case, how difficult is it to find the
drivers I need from the Intel website? What
items specifically need driver updates?

Thanks as always!
 

Chris

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Very easy. But the fact that they'll get it to you end of May is about right.

I hate to say this (and this DOES NOT impact your decision) but intel has largely paper launched this processor, as even very large, nationwide distribution partners -can not, at this point, get either boards or processors-. Which means all anyone has is production samples to develop with. Volume is expected "soon" but not right now. This is why I was pretty stunned with Dell/Alienware announcing they woudl take orders, because I couldn't figure out how they'd get the chips
But a ship of late May is dead on, by then, everyone expects volume, so no problem.

I wouldn't worry about my note above then; so far, all I've seen is production samples and one chip, and drivers are immature. That will change soon, far before they ship your box.

As to your combo videocard/capture card: no problem. You won't have a problem in the world, and combining the ATI card with an ATI Capture card doesn't make a significant difference, as outside of the Theater550 boards (TV Wonder Elite) none of the capture cards ATI makes use an ATI chipset, they are basically phillips tuners/conexent/etc. with different ROMs dependant on model; so there just isn't a giant advantage of ATI/ATI. You'll be fine, and the video card (6800GT) right now is the best bang/buck out there.
 

Michael Ballack

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I wouldn't worry about it Ron. I've done research on the net for both Dell and Alienware. If you search hard enough, you'll find just about every sort of horror story for every company. I've heard nightmare stories about Dell for instance. I've had 5 dells in my life time, not a single problem that wasn't really windows related.

If you go to notebookforum.com, you'll find some bad stories about Alienware, but you'll also find people who will never go back to anyone else but Alienware. Can't wait to hear about yours. I'm sure it will be great. Keep us updated on how it works for you.
 

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