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My New Alienware M17x R3 w/ NVidia 580M

I sold my last rig and just bought a new one! Here are the specs:

Intel Core i7 (2860QM) 2.5 Ghz

16GB of RAM

NVidia 580M (2 GB RAM)

2 - 500GB SSD Hybrid HDs (RAID 0)

Blu-Ray Player

1920x1080 screen

I decided to go with 2 Seagate Momentus XT hard drives because of cost and space reasons. My previous SSD was constantly running out of space! The biggest thing I've noticed is boot time, the system boots in a respectable 28 seconds, however, the SSD configuration booted in 16 seconds. The video card in this machine ROCKS the house! I get at least 65 FPS with an intense battle in SC2 with all settings cranked up! I average about 80 to 85 most of the time. So far the only game that does not run as well is RAGE. I get 30 to 45 FPS on highest settings when I should be getting 60! I blame the NVidia drivers that Dell publishes. At the time of this writing version 269.03 is the latest driver on thier support site. Of course I tried installing the beta (285.27) drivers to no avail!I The Battlefield 3 beta refused to install. WoW looks awesome on the highest settings with the DX11 advanced settings enabled. Other games such as Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas all perform well with 70 to 80 FPS with highest settings. Arkham Asylum looks and performs fantastic as well.

I also use this laptop for a work LAB and I can usually get at least 10 VMs running with VMware Workstation 7! I plan to upgrade to version 8 soon to try it. Other applications such as Photoshop run well on this system as you might expect. I have not tried any video editing yet but I usually use a Mac for that serious work.

The build quality on this beast is excellent, one of the best in 10+ laptops that I've owned in the past 5 years! I'm very impressed with everything. The laptop travels well with the right case. I have a Briggs and Riley case and it works well. This product is almost a perfect 10! I give it a score of 9 because of the driver issue. Still this is a must buy product for any serious gamer or power user!

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