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Need opinions on system before Christmas

Wade

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
14
Let me start off by saying that I purchased this laptop as a Christmas present for my 11-year-old son. He is very bright and is into computers, but currently only has a 3-4 year old NetBook of unknown configuration. He mainly plays Mindcraft and another version called techit (sp?). He wanted an Alienware laptop to bring back and forth from his mother's house to our house, but his Christmas budget was $500 between me and his grandparents ($250 each). Anyway, I found this Alienware M14x on the Dell Outlet site for $780 including a 30% off coupon, so I bought it and thought I would make it a combined Christmas and birthday gift. However, my son is talking about CPU speeds of 2.5 tp 3 ghz, and this one is only 2.0 ghz. Did I make a mistake? If so, I need to figure it out soon so I can return it and get him something else before Christmas. I went way over his Christmas budget, so I want him to be really happy with it or else i should probably return it and get him something within his $500 budget. Any help is appreciated.


1 PTGMD Base,Notebook,STCH-BLK,Retail,Alienware,M14X
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1 3E476 Information,Equipment
1 375-6061 Thank you, Dell Outlet
 

AeonSoul

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
1,367
I can't seem to figure out what kind of graphic card is in there, but overall it doesn't seem like a bad machine.
I'm not too savvy when it comes down to CPUs, but with the turbo boost technolody that CPU should be able to handle almost everything you throw at, and your son won't notice any real world difference.
Wait for some more expert opinion, but I think you should be fine.
 

Wade

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
14
Thanks. The graphics card part number seems to match up to this:

NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 1.5 GB graphics with Optimus 27N99
 

AeonSoul

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Feb 21, 2012
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1,367
Thanks. The graphics card part number seems to match up to this:

NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 1.5 GB graphics with Optimus 27N99

That's most likely it, since if I recall correctly in the m14x r1 you can put up to the GTX555.
I'm also pretty sure someone else hare has a machine with the same specs of yours, or at least pretty much similar, maybe you can ask them.
Good luck anyway.
 

jacobberke

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
205
I have basicly the same as the one you are asking about. Your's is a i7 so when it's in turbo mode it'll goto 2.9GHz. But it'll be 2.0GHz when it's do small things, but when multitasking it'll goto 2.9GHz. This system will be pefect for him. It'll blow away his expatations, it did for me. If he really wants high CPU GHz he needs a desktop, Like the X51. The GHz gets over 3.0GHz, but to be honest your son won't need that high. The CPU is only for multitasking really. Playing games is the GPU's job and it'll allow him to play on the highest settings possible for minecraft.
 

Wade

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Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
14
Ok. Thanks for the info. Do you need to change any settings in order to put the CPU into turbo mode?
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Nope. It will do that all by itself when it senses it needs the extra juice.
 

Wade

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Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
14
Nope. It will do that all by itself when it senses it needs the extra juice.

Thanks for the info. The computer came today via FedEx and I played with it a little. It does seem pretty cool and I think he's going to love it.
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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You may want to look into updating all the drivers for it. Especially the Nvidia driver. I'm not sure if Dell would have done that for you in the Outlet store.
 

Wade

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Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
14
You may want to look into updating all the drivers for it. Especially the Nvidia driver. I'm not sure if Dell would have done that for you in the Outlet store.

I'll have to do some research on how to update the drivers. When I first booted the laptop, I had 32 MS windows 7 updates to download and install. Thanks for the tip. I want to make sure it is all ready to go for Christmas.
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Head to Dell.com and click on Drivers and Downloads down the bottom under the Support section. Then go into Drivers and Downloads Home. It should then ask you to enter your Service Tag number which you will find on the bottom of your machine. A list of Drivers will come up for your machine. Go through the list and download any that have a resonably recent date on them (probably within the last 4 months or so)

Don't update the Nvidia video driver from Dell. They are always months and months behind.

Then head to www.nvidia.com and follow instructions on how to get the latest GeForce driver for your card. Nvidia is really simple. If you follow the instructions there you shouldn't have any dramas.

You can also go to http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect/graphics and you can check some of your intel drivers.

That should pretty much get you through it.

P.s. Good Luck!
 

Wade

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
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Head to Dell.com and click on Drivers and Downloads down the bottom under the Support section. Then go into Drivers and Downloads Home. It should then ask you to enter your Service Tag number which you will find on the bottom of your machine. A list of Drivers will come up for your machine. Go through the list and download any that have a resonably recent date on them (probably within the last 4 months or so)

Don't update the Nvidia video driver from Dell. They are always months and months behind.

Then head to www.nvidia.com and follow instructions on how to get the latest GeForce driver for your card. Nvidia is really simple. If you follow the instructions there you shouldn't have any dramas.

You can also go to http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect/graphics and you can check some of your intel drivers.

That should pretty much get you through it.

P.s. Good Luck!

Thanks! You made my research....well much easier than I thought ;-)
 

Wade

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Nov 28, 2012
Messages
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We'd love to see a picture of your son happy face! :D

Lol. I can't wait to see his face when he figures out there is an Alienware computer inside that plain Dell Outlet box. When we were talking about it, he said he wanted an Alienware if we won the lottery or something, but he just wanted something reasonable fast with at least 6g's of RAM. I think he's going to be completely satisfied after reading these posts. Dad's don't get to make their kids happy all the time, so I'm looking forward to it. Unfortunately, he has Christmas with his mom this year, so I won't see him until after the holidays.
 

MattyB

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Happy to help out. I bought my GF an M14x from the Dell Outlet here in Australia and she loves it! It came in all the AW packaging though which was awesome!

Good luck with it all. I almost wish I was there to see his face too. I must have looked like an 11 year old at Christmas too when I opened my first one! :D :D
 

jacobberke

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Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
205
Congratz, yeah after you download SP1 (Service Pack 1) of Windows 7 you'll mostly be set. Here's some things you might want to do:
Update to Nvidia latest Beta since many people have problems with the non beta version.

Well that's it auctually, good luck.
 

AeonSoul

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Feb 21, 2012
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As a piece of advice, I'd reccoment you to stick with the NVIDIA drivers provided by DELL (should be version 306.something), since I myself and another guy here on the forums which had an m14x had troubles with the latest drivers. The ones on DELL website are, as of now, reasonably up to date.
 

Wade

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Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
14
Thanks for all the tips. I did update windows 7 and I tried to update the drivers on dells website. Once I download the three recommended drivers and then go back to the drivers section, it continues to tell me that they need to be updated. I'm confused??
 

MattyB

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Thanks for all the tips. I did update windows 7 and I tried to update the drivers on dells website. Once I download the three recommended drivers and then go back to the drivers section, it continues to tell me that they need to be updated. I'm confused??

It won't actually tell you on the Dell site that they have been downloaded and installed. You really just have to remember which ones you have done. It would be a nice feature though if it did.
 
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