UPDATED October 2012: Dell’s latest deal on the brand new M17x R4 / M17x R4 3D is an extra $50 off plus free shipping!
- Click here to configure your M17x R4
- Use the following coupon code: BHW1L0MX0D?MCX [expired]
The base configuration consists of a quad-core Intel Core i7 3630QM 2.4 GHz (3.4 GHz w/ Turbo boost active) with Hyperthreading enabled, which effectively makes it an 8-core processor for practical purposes). Furthermore it comes with a minimum of 8 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM (upgradeable to 32 GB) and up to dual 7200rpm hard drives or solid state drives in RAID 0 for almost twice the performance over a single drive. A blazing fast SSD RAID 0 option is also available (512 GB + 5 12 GB for 1 full terabyte of flash-based storage). A new feature in the M17x R4 is that it now has an option for installing an mSATA cache drive that speeds up startup and load times without the cost associated with 100% SSD storage.
All M17x panels are now sporting Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080)–either a regular 60Hz variety or a 3D capable 120Hz panel that includes a 3D Vision bundle (requires Nvidia GPU). The WirelessHD streaming technology is no longer available with the M17x R4, but there is still an option for a faster wireless card if you need some extra range and bandwidth, or lower latency for online games.
The most important part for gamers is as always the graphics card. In this case, the base model includes an AMD Radeon HD 7970M, which is AMD’s latest and fastest GPUs utilizing the 28nm GCN architecture, but Nvidia’s even faster counterpart the GTX 680M is also available as an optional upgrade. Alternatively, there’s also an option for the older GTX 675M, which is the slowest card of the three.
However, there’s a catch if you want the 3D version. In this case you are limited to the Nvidia options including the GTX 680M or a GTX 675M, since Alienware has opted for Nvidia’s 3D solution 3D Vision. This is a tried and tested 3D kit that works great, but it’s too bad that you can’t combine it with the fastest graphics card (although the difference is marginal).
Black or red versions are available and you also get the laser-etched name plate, multi-colored backlghting and all the other Alienware extras.