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Sibling Rivalry: Dell vs. Alienware

Introduction

The concept seems simple enough: Apply advanced technologies such as Intel’s Core 2 mobile architecture, SLI mode for two graphics processors and Level 0 mode for two fast hard drives using an integrated RAID controller to a lightweight case with large 17" display. Add a large battery and some oversized cooling, and hope that the combination can still fit within a mid-sized, middle-weight, semi-portable package. Such systems don’t have to compete with ultra-mobile lightweights as these are instead designed to be a more practical alternative to a portable desktop.

Using many of the same design concepts, today’s high-powered Dell XPS M1730 gaming notebook takes center stage against its Alienware division’s recent Area 51 m9750. We previously reviewed the Alienware Area-51 m9750.

ManufacturerDellAlienware
ModelXPS M1730Area 51 m9750
Dimensions & Weight
Width x Height x Depth16 x 2 x 12"
39.37 x 5.08 x 27.94cm
15.5 x 2 x 11.5"
39.37 x 5.08 x 29.21cm
Unit & Battery11lb / 4990g9lb 8oz / 4309g
Charger and Power Cord3lb 8oz / 1588g2lb 4oz / 1021g
Total14lb 8oz / 6578g11lb 12oz / 5330g
AC Adapter & Battery
Battery I CapacityLi-Ion 11.1 V, 85WhLi-Ion 14.8 V, 6450mAh
Battery II Capacitynonenone
AC adapter230 W180.5 W
Pointing Device(s)TouchpadTouchpad
Display and Graphics Controller
Display Size17"17"
Display Resolution1920 x 12001920 x 1200
Graphics controllerNvidia GeForce Go 8700M GT SLINvidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX SLI
System
BIOSDell A01 (08/07/07)AMI W8350F02 (05/03/07)
CPUIntel Core 2 Extreme X7900
2.80 GHz, 4 MB L2-Cache, FSB800
Intel Core 2 Duo T7600
2.33 GHz, 4 MB L2-Cache, FSB667
Memory2x 1 GB 667MHz DDR22x 1 GB 667MHz DDR2
Hard Drive
Manufacturer & ModelHitachi HTS72202 x22x Seagate ST9160823AS
Size200 GB160 GB
Performance(SATA / 7200 / 8 MB / 10ms / RAID0)(SATA / 7200.2 / 8 MB / 11ms / RAID0)
Other Drives
Manufacturer & ModelLG HL-DT-ST DVD-RWOptiarc DVD RW AD-5540A
TypeDVD +/- RWDVD +/- RW
Floppy Drivenonenone
Media Baynonenone
Connectors
B=Back, F=Front, L=Left, R=Right
PS2 Mouse/Keyboardnone / nonenone / none
USB 2.01xBack, 1xLeft 2xRight2x Left, 1xBack, 1xRight
IEEE1394/Firewire1x (L)1x (L)
Serial COM Portnonenone
Parallel LPT Portnonenone
MicrophoneYesYes
IR portYesnone
BluetoothYesYes
VGA / DVI outnone / 1x (L)1x (B) / 1x (B)
TV out1xS-Video (L)1xS-Video (B)
TV innone1xS-Video Back
AC PowerYesYes
PC-Card Slots1x (R)1x (L)
Express-Card Slots1x (R)1x (L)
LAN1x (B)1xL (L)
WLANIntel Pro/Wireless 4965AGNIntel Pro/Wireless 4965AGN
Wireless WANDell Wireless 5720 VZW Mobile Broadbandnone
Audio Connectors1xMic, Headphone, SPDIF (L)1xMic, Headphone, Center, Surround, Front SPDIF (R)
Audio ChipSigmaTel STAC9228 @ Intel 82801HBM ICH8MRealtek ALC885 @ Intel 82801 GBM ICH7-M
ModemnoneAgere Systems HDA Modem
Card-Reader/WriterMulti Card Reader (L)1xMulti Card Reader (L)
Fingerprint Security Sensornonenone
Manufacturer’s Docking Socketnonenone
Software
OSWindows Vista Home PremiumWindows XP Pro

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