Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Quad-core Mobile Laptop

Alienware, Dell’s extreme-high performance computing arm, has announced the arrival of its M17 laptop, one of the first such machines powered by the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 (2.53 GHz, 12MB cache, 1066MHz FSB), the world’s first mobile quad-core processor.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Alienware M17 (back)

Alienware M17 (front)Typical of the company’s products, the machine is a barnburner: For one, the 17-inch notebook is the company’s first with ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU technology, featuring dual ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 cards. (That means solid HD video playback, full DirectX 10.1 support and frame rates up to 80 percent higher than single GPU setups.) You’ll have up to 4GB of DDR3 memory at your disposal, achieving speedy transfer rates, data retrieval, load times and multitasking.

Of course, and that devilishly-fast QX9300 processor, too, which also appeared in Lenovo’s ThinkPad W700 earlier this year. (About; benchmarks)

On the storage front, dual 500GB hard drives linked in a RAID 0 configuration offer a massive 1TB storage capacity. Your Blu-ray and HD video will enjoy the 17-inch “Extreme High-Definition” 1920 x 1200 resolution display.

Alienware M17 (rear)Plus, all the typical Alienware amenities, including the Alienware Command Center control panel, which includes the AlienFusion power management system, AlienSense facial recognition software and AlienTouch touchpad controls.

What color does that Skullcap case come in? Matte black. As if you even had to ask.

The company notes that power users and gamers on a budget can even get in on the action: The M17 starts at $1,399, and a configuration with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, ATI CrossFireX technology, 3GB of DDR3 memory and a 1920 x 1200 Extreme High-Definition LCD can be had for under $2,000.

Alienware M17 (detail)On the other hand, a fully loaded machine with all the trimmings will run you a cool $4,199. Anyone want to donate to the Toybox gift fund?

The M17 is available today in the U.S. and Europe.

(Posted By: Andrew J. Nusca is an assistant editor for

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