Before the unveiling of the new Alienware Aurora and Aurora ALX systems at the Tokyo Game Show, we were told that the upcoming announcements would shake the very foundation of PC gaming. Did the announcements live up to the hype? Folks at Engadget, Joystiq and Crunchgear seem to think the new Alienware systems are as bada$$ as they come, certainly live up to the hype, and I’m here to tell you why.
My reasons rest on one particular piece of hardware only available on the two new Alienware desktop systems: the ATI 5870 graphics card. The card is getting all kinds of praise from sites like Tom's hardware for good reason. The new Alienwares’ bada$$itude centers upon this piece of hardware. Besides offering some of the best gaming performance ever, the card brings awesome technology forward with EyeFinity and DirectX 11.
EyeFinity is absolutely an astounding advancement. This technology allows a single GPU to support six independent displays simultaneously, and supports them in a variety of different physical configurations. Some examples taken from ATI’s website:
These configurations and others can be supported with the new Alienware desktop systems, and all of them require just a single graphics card. If that doesn’t knock your socks off, I really don’t know what will. For a good overview of what it's all about, I recommend this article at Anandtech.
Note from Lionel: Here's a demo of EyeFinity for those who want to see it in action:
Add to EyeFinity full DirectX 11 support, and you’ve got a showstopper. DirectX 11 is Microsoft’s latest DirectX API that showcases several features, including full tessellation support, support for multithreaded rendering, and compute shaders (read: general purpose processing on your GPU). Simply put, this technology makes your games look better and run faster at the same time. Here’s a video of same developers’ thoughts on the latest API:
Along with the new Alienware desktop announcements (as if they weren’t enough on their own), the most powerful 15 inch gaming laptop in the universe was also unveiled, the Alienware M15x. This little beauty can be configured with the most powerful mobile graphics card available, the NVIDIA GeForce GTC 260M, and like its desktop brethren, also features the latest Intel Core i7 technology.
For those of us that aren't lucky enough to be in Japan for the Tokyo Game Show, Chris Sutphen from the Alienware team gives the Gamespot crew a tour of our booth. It's a good time to be a gamer, indeed.
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The Alienware box is no where near the design of the XPS 730/730X and no matter how much Dell hypes Alienware it will not replace the Dell XPS in the hearts and minds of the devout gaming community.
Dell has truly squandered its name and reputation in this move.
Oh well, those of us who have the XPS 730/730X will continue to be proud of our rigs and hope that someone somewhere in Round Rock comes out of the cloud of smoke and wakes up.