updated 09:20 am EDT, Wed September 23, 2009
Alienware Core i7 notebook and new Area/Aurora
(Updated with more specs and links) Alienware this morning touted a symbolic milestone as the first company to ship a notebook with Intel's mobile Core i7 processor. The 15-inch m15x can be equipped with a 2GHz Core i7 920XM that not only gives it a quad-core processor but should support Hyperthreading for as many as eight effective cores. Despite the clock speed, the system should outrun the Core 2 Extreme and many higher clocked dual- and quad-core older systems.
The system achieves the feat through its thick 1.9-inch chassis, which allows for both added cooling and a larger battery that give it a 9-pound weight. Intel's mobile Core i7 currently uses 55W of power in the 2GHz version and rules out thin-and-light notebooks whose processors often use 35W or less. Truly portable systems aren't expected until the dual-core Arrandale line of Core i5 and i7 systems ships near the end of 2009 or in early 2010.
Alienware's PC also comes with up to a 1GB GeForce GTX 260M for video and can be outfitted with up to 8GB of memory, a 500GB rotating hard drive or a 256GB solid-state drive for permanent storage and a Blu-ray drive. Pricing starts at $1,499 for a system with a 1.6GHz Core i7, 3GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a GeForce GT 240M. A 2GHz model costs $2,449.
The Dell-owned company has also given its full-size Area-51 and mini-tower Aurora desktops major redesigns with more angular casing that centers around lighting trim on its bottom. The Aurora is the current technology flagship as it becomes the fastest MicroATX-based desktop in the world: options on the ALX model give it up to an overclocked 3.6GHz Core i7 975 as well as up to two of AMD's new ATI Radeon HD 5870 in CrossFire mode. It can also handle up to 12GB of memory and 2TB of pre-installed hard drive space. Prices for the regular Aurora will begin at $1,299.
The Area-51 and its ALX guise are technically the fastest and can have up to a 3.86GHz Core i7, two dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 cards and more storage options that include 10,000RPM hard dirves and RAID configurations. Stock models should also be more expensive and begin at about $1,999.
Only the m15x notebook should be available immediately, but the updated destkops will only reach the company store within the next few weeks.