Alienware M11X instead of the MBP13?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stefan1975, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010

    i have been thinking about what to get instead of the 2010 MBP13 for some time now. For some reason I have just been looking at bigger stuff and worrying it wouldn't fit the armrest of my sofa for light gaming and surfing the web (in particular the MBP15 base i5 HR AG at €1884, which is already in my basket at the apple store).

    I just took a good look at the brand new Alienware M11x though and was *really* impressed. it gets unanimously raving reviews and has everything i was hoping for in the MBP13 .... in an even smaller case. even though it is slightly smaller (11.6") it still has a 1366x768 resolution and currently with a free i7 640M ulv upgrade.

    SYSTEM COLOR Alienware M11x, Soft Touch Stealth Black edit
    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i7 640UM
    OPERATING S Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
    MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 800MHZ
    HARD DRIVE 320GB SATAII 7,200RPM edit
    BLUETOOTH Bluetooth Module, 2.1+ Enhanced Data Rate
    WIRLS CARDS Alienware M11x a/b/g/n 2x2 MIMO Wireless
    LCD PANEL 11.6-inch WideHD 1366x768 (720p) WLED
    SOUND OPTION Internal High-Definition Surround Sound Audio (5.1)
    AC ADAPTER Alienware M11x 90W A/C Adapter
    NETWORK CARD Integrated 10/100 Network Interface Card

    for me it is cheaper then the MBP13, should run 7 hours on a charge with optimus and i know it runs M$ .... but Win7 isn't *that* bad.

    it is kinda ugly though but has a nice backlit keyboard. so what is everyones opinion about this system for roughly €1000?

    would the i7 640 be much of an improvement (worth €200) over the i5 520 if i can't get a free processor upgrade here?

    thanks, stefan
  2. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    The Alienware is better in points as graphic resources for gaming, but you should take into account that it's battery lasts 55 minutes against the MBP's almost 10 hours. If you only use it at home, then it's a good choice. But for me at least, there's no going back to Windows.
  3. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    ^^ what he said. Gaming-specific notebooks have #$(*& battery life...they're made for performance first. I'd love to have that M11X, but only as a secondary machine.
  4. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well i am not an intensive gamer (on the pc at least, i have my PS3 for that), but from what i read in the "independent" reviews is that battery life should be up to 7 hours with normal use and 3 hours when gaming. due to the ULV processor and optimus nvidia switching.

    i use win7 at work and it is pretty decent, in some ways surpassed snow leopard i think, or at least made big steps since Vista. I would probably reinstall with Linux though, ubuntu LTS or fedora, so the OS isn't that much of an issue. battery life and screen real estate are.
  5. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    I was basing myself on the LAPTOP magazine review. They must have updated the M11X. But still, the 13 inch 2.66 MBP will run WoW at 120FPS on standard resolution so I think it´s fairly enough if you have a PS3 for heavy gaming. And I see you live in Europe, I bought my MBP in Portugal for €1450 on a fnac store, thought it was a reasonable price for this awesome machine!
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The mac will have better battery life and a better screen. The mac will also be harder to install any other OS on.
  7. Baral macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    The m11x will give you at least 5 to 6 hours easily if you aren't gaming.

    Of course, it's a much more powerful laptop and for a fraction of the price of a MBP. You should get it over the MBP 13" it would seem for your needs.
  8. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    yeah they were just updated in june, i didn't know either. I had written it of before as well until the latest update.

    the highend MBP13 is €1450 (+/-$1900) here, which is almost twice as much as the M11X with specs better then the MBP15. just missing OSX and the 10 hour battery. Those are two big plusses for the MBP, but i couldn't go with price/performance less then the MBP15 ... which is *way* too big for my sofa.

    the 11.6" alienware seems to fit my sofa, is cheaper, higher res, supposed decent battery, and is *totally* ugly :D

    But alienware quality seems to be great (from what i hear) and with screens on par with the XPS line (which is tested way better in gamut and saturation then even the MBP panels).
  9. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    If money and performance are really an issue, I too would go for the Dell Alienware. i just didn´t get one because I fell in love with Mac OS X :rolleyes:

    However, what really matters is that you are satisfied with the computer, and I see the Alienware suits you better for your needs :)
  10. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well that's just it, i would really love to *finally* get my own MBP. i love the slim design, the unibody, OSX (although linux does pretty well as well, i just miss M$ office and CS5 on it), syncing my iphone well you know the whole Apple premium package thingy.

    it's just that the MBP15 is perfect for me in specs but too big (and expensive at €1880) and the MBP13 is perfect in size but a little too "old" for me.

    i have also been looking at the asus u35 and toshiba r700 but they aren't out yet and with supposed lesser screens then the M11x.
  11. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    Well several points:

    One - the i7 640 um is (in my opinion) not a great device. You have low power consumption going but is 1.2GHz and performance (GeekBench) in the area of Core 2 Duo at apx 3300.

    Two - the i5 520 m has better performance mostly due the clock speed.

    Check out the GeekBench browser for an idea of relative performance.

    And no matter what anyone says, OS X is a far better OS then Win 7 from a single user/owner standpoint. Again in my opinion, the best place for Windows is running as a VM in VMware Fusion on a MacPro or appropriately configured hackintosh.

  12. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    that alien ware is no where near as fast as the macbook pro cpu wise.
    it has a 1.2 ghz ultra low voltage processor for gods sake.
    and the gpu in it is about the same performance wise.
    the 335m gt is slower than the 330m gt at certain tasks while it is faster at others.
    the macbook pro also has a higher res screen.
    while the alienware m11x is a cool little notebook it has no where near as much power as the macbook pro

    ps. woops thought you were comparing it to the 15" mbp soz
  13. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well being a linux fan since 1998 i am neither an OSX or M$ fanboy (if anyone can be). But running Win7 at work made me change my opinion about it, the aero stuff is pretty sleek the drag windows left, right and top is something OSX doesnt do natively yet, running as a non-admin user with UAC is *almost* as safe as OSX and since it's launch i had 0 (zero, zilch) crashes.

    linux won't run adobe and M$ office though so it has to be either OSX on a MBP core iX or windows.

    i ran windows in a VM under linux for a while but that is really somewhat of a bother and using lots of memory. starting and rebooting the virtual machine all the time became quite annoying after a while, besides i hear the M$ drivers for especially the 320M apple card are pretty crappy.

    i don't want to turn it into a hackingtosh though so the lack of OSX and the horrendous design are some drawbacks.
  14. newbiemacguy128 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    To the OP,

    Horrible place to ask for advice btw. You may want to look at the alienware forums on From what i've heard, battery life is not 55 minutes (actually 6+ Hours) and gaming performance is MUCH better then the 13in MBP. The CPU will only be bottlenecked on a select few games, so if you just want gaming it'll get the job done. Every day use on the other hand, it won't matter if you have an ULV or a core2duo! I can't remember the last time i used more then 10% of my CPU doing schoolwork/browsing.

    If you just play casual games and want long battery life, go for the 13in MBP.
    If you want a better gaming experience, definitely the alienware.
  15. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    I don't recommend windows laptops for hackintoshes as this a very difficult task to generate and a time sink to maintain.

    If you can live with Windows 7 then look at HP or Dell laptops with i7-720M, i7-740M or i7-820M with 8GB memory. Go onto Intel's web site and compare the mobile processors. Needless to say the higher the clock speed and 4 cores with 8 threads is the desired performance but consumes power (meaning shorter time on battery power).

    If you can do a desktop hackintosh, you have complete control of the configuraiton and you can have a Nehalem based system with lots of GHz and memory (and rock stable under SL OS X) at half the cost of a MacPro. And you can run Linux and Windows VMs faster then they run on Core 2 Duo platforms (also in a rock solid mode).

  16. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well asking in the alienware forums would get met just as colored opinions as here i guess :D perhaps more so because the avid gamers would never even consider the MBP in the first place.

    i am a casual gamer and mainly use opera and msn with light adobe and M$ office work. all of which run on both systems.

    for me battery life is important, which a MBP would be better at just like the chiklet keyboard and OSX .... plus design.

    a M11x would be *much* cheaper (1/2 of the MBP15), have >2008 processor, 7200rpm hdd, 1366x768 res, smaller form factor and better specs then the MBP15 as well as the MBP13, supposed better or at least on par screen, true dedicated 1gb GPU ..... but darn it's ugly :)
  17. smelly cat macrumors regular

    smelly cat

    Apr 17, 2010
    To the OP!!

    I know this is a mac forum and that this is going to sound biased as hell but please for the love of god do not buy anything from dell. seriously. just don't.
    The official reviews for the M11x R1 and R2 may be raving but that's only because reviewers spend very limited time with the machines themselves.
    It often takes a couple of months for serious problems to crop up with these dell machines (and trust me they will).

    go over to and check out the alienware m11x section. I faced the same choice you are right now a month or two ago and after reading all the user reviews a couple months in I'm VERY happy I went the Apple route. Also realize that this is coming from a former owner of several Dell machines. just look at the first few pages of the M11x forum and you will find threads that are dozens of pages long siting wide spread problems with the M11x.

    To name a few: overheating, borked graphics switching (manual and optimus), fan speed controller does not realize the GPU has switched, breaking hinges, misaligned hinges, and many many more.

    I'm not trying to turn this into a mac versus PC thing either. By all means go and buy a PC. Just pleaaase for the love of god don't buy dell.
  18. itripped macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2010
    Ah, but you will never get the mac earbuds in Team Fortress 2 on the Alienware machine...

    It's always the subtle things that get'cha. Bottom line both are great machines that will do the tasks you are asking of it. I chose the MBP 13" because I wanted the smaller form factor and the M11x hadn't been updated to have optimus and improved (?) intel CPUs yet. I don't regret my decision, and have been able to play the games I want at max resolution without lag. That list includes Borderlands, Left 4 Dead 2, Dead Space, Far Cry 2, Civ IV, Team Fortress 2, etc.

    Instead of worrying if the M11x is faster/slower than the MBP 13, I would recommend you try to actually touch one - to see if you like the keyboard, heft of the machine, etc. Let those soft factors come into the decision process because those are the ones you will deal with daily.
  19. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    unfortunately i dont know anyone with a m11x so i cant try it, they are not in stores here either, just at

    i went to the Apple store twice and i just Love the form factor, design, keyboard and feel of the MBP13.

    The base 15 hr ag is the only model i would consider buying though if only it were smaller, not the "pro" 13 at that price. i just dont know if i can afford $2000 for a laptop too big for couch surfing.
  20. Garrus macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2010
    you can actually couch surf with a big HP 17inches so with a 15 mbp its done easily... :D
  21. Baral macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Yeah, because the first few pages of this forum aren't riddled with almost exaaaactly those problems huh.

    Listen, any computer will have its problems. Only thing is, you aren't paying ridiculous cash for a Dell. And for what it's worth, I have owned three Dell machines since 2002, and they have all worked flawlessly. In fact, all three, including my desktop from 2002, are all currently hooked up and running.

    So yeah, Dells are fine machines and the m11x will be just fine for your needs. Are you willing to pay an extra $1000 to sacrifice hardware and make your laptop pretty? If you are, get the MBP.

    If you're looking more for practicality over luxury, get the m11x. It won't break the bank and it'll be just fine for your needs.
  22. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
  23. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    What Are You Guys Thinking 11" Screen

    I've done work on an old MacBook 13" and I can tell you many times a webpage is too big for the screen as it is only a average resolution screen however a 11" screen no matter the resolution is going to limit you unimaginably. Many netbooks (not all) have 9",10" screens, So your screen will not be much bigger then a netbooks. Windows 7 is great for a while until you realize that you can't do something OSX does or you have many corrupt files seriously do yourself a favour and get either the 13" MBP or the 15" MBP. Oh and like a previous poster said you'll need you warranty with Dell you'll be on the phone to them all the time.
  24. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Many corrupt files? What are you going on about?

    OP: get the alienware if gaming is any ways important to you. The 13" mbp is a poor choice for anything but a casual gamer. I also agree with the few level headed posters here, this is not a good forum for this question. Other message boards may have a bias, but its no where near the legendary macrumors bias :)
  25. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    What Are You Going On About

    If you've Used Windows (any version) then you will have experienced Fragmented drives, over large caches, corrupt files, etc. I wouldn't have a computer without Windows, I do prefer OSX however i am not biased. I simply give my view on your problem ratio compared to a Mac and if you discredit it then go try Using A Windows Computer for 13 years.

    To The Thread Starter Games are going to OSX and a Computer is a combination of both Software and Hardware, find your Combination and enjoy bliss. I simply believe you will not find bliss with the Alienware M11X. A 11" screen is unusable for me and i advice you to try a 13" model, go for apple or go for Origin ( The new Alienware without Dell: Seriously the Founder of Alienware owns Origin, he started it after quiting during the merge of Dell and Alienware)

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