Alienware Area-51 m17x Performance and Benchmarks

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Alienware Area-51 m17x Benchmarks & Gaming Performance

Our Alienware Area-51 m17x has the following specifications:

  • 17-inch WUXGA (1920×1200) glossy display
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 (2.8GHz/ 4MB L2/ 800MHz FSB) processor
  • Dual Nvidia GeForce 9800M-GT 512MB graphics cards in SLI
  • 4GB DDR2-667 RAM
  • 500GB RAID 0 (2x 250GB 7200RPM Samsung) hard drive
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
  • AlienFX lighting and backlit keyboard
  • Internal TV tuner & remote control
  • Alienware Orion messenger bag

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System Performance Benchmarks

Windows Experience Index

WEI rates a system based on the lowest-scoring component, which in the case of the m17x is the memory. All other numbers are extremely high for a notebook.

Overall System Performance using PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage is a Vista-only benchmark. The m17x does incredibly well in all categories, no doubt thanks to the Intel Extreme Edition processor and fast 500GB RAID 0 hard drive array.

Processor Performance Benchmarks


wPrime is a multi-threaded CPU test – it is similar to SuperPi but has a few more features. It is a much more accurate benchmark for dual-core CPUs. Please see our big comparison thread here.

Rendering Performance using Cinebench 10

Cinebench Release 10 is the latest version of Maxon’s rendering benchmark, based on the Maxon CINEMA 4D animation software. It is designed to measure the performance of the processor and graphics card under real world circumstances. More information can be found at

Hard Drive Performance: HDTune 2.55

A RAID 0 array “stripes” data across two hard drives, resulting in high data transfer rates as shown here by the nearly 100MB/s result. The real-world performance gain from running hard drives in RAID 0 is less than synthetic benchmarks suggest.

Gaming Benchmarks

Synthetic Performance using 3DMark06

12,672 is an incredible score for a portable system. Put in perspective, a modern mainstream 15.4-inch gaming notebook with an Nvidia GeForce 9600M-GT scores around 3,000 – 4,000 points.

Synthetic Performance using 3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is a Vista-exclusive benchmark since it uses Microsoft DirectX 10 technology. The dual 9800M-GTs make a nice showing here. For comparison, this score is nearly seven times what a mainstream GeForce 9600M-GT gets.

Real-life Games

I ran three of the latest game titles on the m17x to test its performance. All FPS benchmarking with the exception of Crysis was done with FRAPS.


This benchmark reflects the performance of the game run at all High settings at two different resolutions. I installed the v1.2.1 patch prior to testing, and benchmarked Crysis using the Crysis Benchmark Tool 1.05 Final from

Benchmark results:

The m17x is one of less than a handful of systems that can run Crysis maxed out.

Unreal Tournament III

I benchmarked UT3 with FRAPS on two different levels. I installed the v1.1 patch prior to benchmarking. All graphical settings were set at the maximum.

Settings used:

Benchmark results:

This game has a framerate cap of 62 FPS, which the m17x and its dual video cards has no trouble reaching and maintaining.

Call of Duty 4

I also benchmarked Call of Duty 4 with FRAPS on two different levels at maximum settings. I updated the game to v1.7 prior to benchmarking.

Settings used:

Benchmark results:

Call of Duty 4 is supposed to be demanding, but the m17x thinks otherwise.

The Alienware Area-51 m17x is a gaming powerhouse and definitely one of the fastest we have tested here at NotebookReview.

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