Alienware vs Rockdirect vs Dell : Finding the Best Gaming Laptop

So you want to buy a gaming laptop.

But not just any old gaming laptop, you want to buy the best 
gaming machine on the planet, the best gaming machine money can 
buy — the fastest, the most powerful, the ultimate kick-ass, 
take no prisoners, meanest motherboard of all gaming laptops.

Well, there’s some good news for you, things have really changed 
in the laptop world. No doubt you are probably aware there have been 
some major developments in laptop construction and technology 
in the last year or so. Technology that puts the gaming laptop 
on par or near par with its main rival, the desktop PC.

Recent changes in technology have really brought gaming laptops 
into the spotlight with a whole list of new Technologies: 
PCI Express, Sonoma Chipset, SLI, Hyper-Threading, Dual Graphics, 
Better RAM, and now Dual Core gaming laptops. Gaming notebooks are 
just now entering the specs and performance arena which was exclusively 
reserved for the bulky yet much more powerful desktop PC.

Just in case you have had your head buried in term papers and study 
sheets lately — hey, it happens! Here’s a brief rundown of these 
new technologies that will give you the fastest gaming laptop:

Graphics Cards: these are the real heart of any gaming machine. They 
are getting faster and more powerful. We also see the use of dual 
graphics cards and better transfer of data with new pipelines 
and buses.

PCI Express: is a new standard for expansion cards that comes in 
different versions. Presently, we have the x16 and x1 lanes, they 
offer increased bandwidth. For example, x1 lane offers 500MB/sec 
instead of just 133MB/sec for PCI.

NVIDIA SLI: SLI stands for Scalable Link Interface, technology 
that lets you use a couple of GeForce 6800 graphics cards together 
with PCI Express X16. Basically, SLI will speed up graphics on a single 
monitor by deploying two graphics cards. It also lets you combine 
4 GPUs in one system for the fastest graphics yet.

An alternative system would be ATI’s CrossFire which 
is a SLI-like configuration using ‘Master’ and ‘Slave’ 
cards to combine two Radeon GPUs for improved and faster 

Hyper-Threading: Gives processors better performance 
especially when combined with dual-core processors, 
capable of handling four software threads which will put 
a smile on any gamer’s face.

Better RAM: DDR3 SDRAM (Double Data Rate Three Synchronous 
Dynamic Random Access Memory) this new DDR memory standard 
will use 40% less power and run at speeds up to 800 MHz. 
Don’t confuse this with GDDR3 (in Graphics Cards) which is 
a totally different technology.

Dual Core: just as the name says, you put two CPUs into 
a laptop for more power and faster computing. Rockdirect’s 
Xtreme 64 was one of the world’s first dual core notebooks to 
hit the market.

Also be on the lookout for Intel’s Dual Core Notebook 
Chip dubbed Yonah, it will be somewhat different in that 
this notebook chip will not only have two cores but these 
cores will share a 2MB cache which will greatly boost performance.

In most cases, keeping ahead of all these developments and 
improvements can be a pleasurable chore for most gamers but 
it can sure eat into your gaming time. And as the notebook 
technology evolves, the gaming laptop will get even more smaller 
and more powerful, offering a real alternative to the gaming 
desktop PC even for the most die-hard Power Junkies.

Serious gamers will also know laptop or notebook gaming technology 
is constantly evolving and mutating. Therefore, most gamers will 
only purchase a fully upgradeable open architecture notebook, they 
look for a laptop design which can be easily upgraded with the newest 
and latest technology, if at all possible.

Despite this option, as laptop gaming technology steadily improves, 
gamers are still left with the choice of which gaming system to buy. 
Just in case you have be hibernating for last five years — hey, it 
happens. Here’s a quick rundown of the different systems on the market 
…Voodoo, Alienware, Mayhem, Vigor, Sager, ASUS, Rockdirect, 
M-Tech, Dell…

Despite the fancy lapels, serious gamers know that most laptops are 
made by the same two or three companies in Taiwan! The same components 
and mainframes are assembled under different brand names and marketed 
to the public.

Not to get too cynical, but sometimes it’s the laptop with 
the better paint job or the better advertising that will 
win your purchasing dollar. Not that savvy gamers are easily 
fooled, perish the thought, but packaging may rule the day, 
performance may be the same or negligible in gaming 
machines with basically all the same components and specs.

Regardless of this sober reality, gamers are still left with the 
choice of which gaming manufacturer has tweaked these components 
into the best gaming laptop on the market. There are numerous gaming 
specialists that make high quality machines well worth your 
consideration but because of limited space here we will only examine 
three major gaming manufacturers, sometimes for entirely different reasons.

These three are Alienware, Rockdirect and Dell. All produce serious 
contenders for the ultimate gaming laptop. Here’s a brief rundown on 
all three makers and their gaming laptops which may be of some help 
to anyone looking to purchase a high-end gaming monster.

Alienware Laptops

First, we will start with the most distinctive looking gaming 
laptops on the market. Those coming from Alienware, a company 
founded by two avid gamers, Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, in 
1996. It has become one of the leading producers of revolutionary 
gaming PCs and Notebooks. It has also won raves and rewards from such 
top industry publications as CNET, PC Gamer, Computer Games and 
many more.

Their flagship model is the Area-51m 7700. This scary monster 
can be outfitted with an Intel Pentium 4 Processor with 
Hyper-Threading Technology – (2.8GHz – 3.8GHz, 800MHz FSB, 
1MB Cache, Socket 775) Intel 915P + ICH6 chipset with NVIDIA 
GeForce GO 6800 ULTRA with 256MB DDR3. It has a 17 inch WideUXGA 
1920×1200 LCD Display and 4 dedicated SO-DIMM slots for 
Dual-Channel DDR2 Memory. Warranties can be purchased for up 
to 4 years.

The Alienware Area-51m 7700’s base price starts at around 
$2000 but if you want to max out this system, be prepared 
to double that amount. High price for high performance. 
Runs quiet and cool. This one is dressed to kill.

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