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Looking to buy an ALX, need input from owners!

PineappleFloat

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May 14, 2013
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Firstly, thanks for taking to time to read and help!

So here's the deal... I have a 6+ year old XPS laptop that can't really run anything anymore on anything but the lowest settings... It also lags to hell if I start doing intensive photoshopping or video encoding which I do professionally.. photoshop more than video. It's got Nvidia 8800 ultras in SLI, and a core 2 duo extreme x9000. Oh it also has a problem with the Raid and forgets half my harddrive is there recently.. can't seem to fix via formatting, think the HD is just bad... something rattles inside, lol.. it travels everywhere with me in my backpack...

I am amazed it's lasted soooo long, only had 2 problems, had to get the video cards replaced once and a new keyboard popped in, broke some keys after wear and tear. Yea, dealing with India is a hassle, but things got fixed without tooo much effort, and relatively fast!

Now when I ask for help on building an ALX, I get soooo much hate about how it sucks, and service is a nightmare, and how it breaks and doesn't perform.. I don't buy into that.. my XPS has chugged along fairly well.. So I'd like to hear from ya'll?? Everywhere it's just "Build your own, its cheaper, better"... to be fair.. Idk how to do much more than swap video cards and add ram, or change drives... and when I price parts from new egg to build my own its like 2-300 cheaper.. like big whoop.. I get no support, and still have to pay someone to build it for me..

My biggest concern is upgradability... Dell doesn't list the mobo or the power supply it comes with? I wanna know if I get 1 GTX 680, will I be able to buy and add another in SLI down the road as needed? Or should I just get 660's in SLI now? Does it have the power for it? What about mobo, or chip upgrades? I've received criticism on the i7-3820 chipset... for people in favor of a z77 and an i5 3570? It's my understanding that the ports or w/e on this are old and going out of style and won't work in the future with new architecture?


Here's what I have.. opinions, criticism??

PROCESSOR: 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3820 (10M Cache, Overclocked up to 4.1 GHz
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
MEMORY:16GB (4 X 4GB) Quad Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 680 2GB GDDR5
HARD DRIVE: 256GB SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive
MEDIA CARD READER: 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
SOUND CARD: Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
OPTICAL DRIVE:Single Drive: Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
 
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MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Welcome to our little family! It will always be cheaper to build your own machine but that's beside the point. It's cheaper to make your own dinner too but people still go to expensive restaurants all the time.

I have an ALX with the i7-3820 and it does the job very nicely. I would have loved a 6 core CPU but I wouldn't really notice the difference. The motherboards are made by Alienware so you won't find much info around on them. There is no problems switching the mobo later on anyway. Every part on these machines is upgradable.

You will be able to fit another 680 in there later on as long as you get a reference Nvidia card (like what comes with the machine from Dell) or the EVGA 680. Some of the other brands use larger fans which make the card too big do do SLI in an Alienware. I found that out when I bought a Palit GTX 670 and there was no chance of getting another card in there so I bought 2 x EVGA 670's which fit perfectly.

Anyway, good luck with your decision. You can build your own rig but there's nothing like having a big ALX lit up sitting on you desk! :D
 

Commy1

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Feb 25, 2012
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Looks like a very nice build. I'd add at least a 1TB HDD, but you could do that aftermarket for about 1238012983102938309 cheaper.
 

PineappleFloat

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May 14, 2013
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Thanks Matty!

It's my understanding that 6 core is useless, and perhaps worse for gaming because they only use 2-4 processors, and the 6 cores have lower speeds individually. Though they're better for high threading tasks.. which I do a lot of when photoshopping and chopping together video.. but my old laptop can manage through it with some lag.. I assume a new quad core will handle it no probs.

Interesting about the cards though, will keep that in mind! I just wasnt sure if the stock power supply would have enough for future SLI.

Thanks Commy, I will probably add one down the road... I'm only using 300gigs on my laptop and that's with all my photography stored on it... I have an external 1tb that I can use for that though...
 

Commy1

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Feb 25, 2012
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Just a suggestion, I find I only install important programs on my SSD and everything else, even steam games I play infrequently on the HDD.
 

PineappleFloat

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May 14, 2013
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Yea? Personal preference or? I figured you'd see a performance game if they were run off the SSD, or maybe some noise reduction by not having the drive go. Neglible, or just too many games at once for the SSD?
 

MattyB

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I just noticed that the Aurora in the US starts at $1399! You guys over there think that that is overpriced?! Try $2699 down here for the base model. That's crazy stuff!

I say buy as many as you can and bring them down here to sell! :p

The only extra performance you see with games on an SSD is that levels and maps load quicker. Gameplay isn't really affected at all. I usually keep my top games on my SSD though.
 

PineappleFloat

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May 14, 2013
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Nevermind this post...

Was wondering if it came with a DVI-I cable.. bought a new monitor that only came with a VGA cable, and I see the gtx 680 doesnt have vga only dvi/hdmi. soo I'll have to get a DVI cable off amazon
 
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sunhillow

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May 23, 2013
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I just noticed that the Aurora in the US starts at $1399! You guys over there think that that is overpriced?! Try $2699 down here for the base model. That's crazy stuff!

I say buy as many as you can and bring them down here to sell! :p

The only extra performance you see with games on an SSD is that levels and maps load quicker. Gameplay isn't really affected at all. I usually keep my top games on my SSD though.


Yeah but you are from Australia, so your PC is instantly cooler than any others! Ok that might not be worth the price increase but still ...

No seriously I know what you mean. There is a lot of Alienware hate for some reason. I had one and loved it (not sure what the model was, but it had the top vents and came with a 480 gtx when that was considered top of the line). I loved it. Never had any problems and ran all of my games perfectly. I lost it in a flood last year (along with everything else I owned - ugh) but I will be oredering another one in about 30 days, when my new house is built.

I guess it just comes down to personal experience. If your laptop has treated you right for all this time there is no reason to think a new Alienware desktop won't. I for one trust the brand because the last one I had was perfect. Yeah you could "build your own!!!" for less but I think the peace of mind from having an Alienware adds value. Oh lord I sound like a fanboy ...
 
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