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.
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"
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.
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.