Cramming a 45nm Core 2 Extreme processor and an 8800M GTX into a 15.4in body. Hardly a trivial accomplishment.
We’ve already had a decent taster of crazily specced notebooks this year, with the current leader being the Rock Xtreme XL8. Now Alienware is ready to step up and be counted with its Area-51 m51x, managing to somehow cram a Core 2 Extreme Penryn chip and an 8800M GTX into a 15.4in chassis, possibly making it the only gaming notebook on par with desktop system performance but without desktop level portability.
Alienware isn’t skimping on features either, offering a choice of either a reasonable 1,440 x 900 or more desirable 1,920 x 1200 resolution panel. Backing up the latter is the option to add a Blu-ray drive, obviously made all the more worthwhile with a Full HD compatible screen.
Venturing further inside, the Extreme processor in question is the newly released X9000, a dual core affair running at 2.8GHz on an 800MHz FSB and sporting 6MB of L2-cache. If that option (a £390-odd upgrade) appears a tad excessive, then you can opt for either a 2.5GHz T9300 or 2.6GHz T9500, itself a further £168 for 100MHz extra speed – a case of diminishing returns for excessive premiums if ever there was one.
Swivelling our focus back to the 8800M GTX embedded into the m51x, there is also the addition of a switch allowing users to choose between using the onboard nVidia graphics or Intel integrated, with a quick reboot in between. Given the huge power draw of the 8800M, this could prove a useful feature should you wish to use the m51x for anything other than gaming.
Price wise the Area-51 m51x ranges from as little (ahem) as £1,500 with the base spec, rapidly spiralling up to nearer £3,500 as you increase the specifications. A quick check of Alienware’s site indicates a prospective 26th of March shipping date, but you can place your pre-order now and rest assured you’ll get your system as soon as available.
Alienware Area-51 m51x.