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Games Entertainment Hardware

Alienware Reveals 4GHz desktop 363

keeleysam writes "c|net is reporting that Alienware is going to ship a 4GHz desktop. The new Area-51 ALX, introduced on Friday, uses overclocking, or the practice of pushing a processor past its factory speed setting, to elevate a standard Intel Pentium 4 chip to 4GHz. Because overclocking a processor can cause it to overheat, the desktop also includes a special liquid-cooling system devised by Alienware. Purchasing the 4GHz Area-51 ALX desktop is an expensive proposition for most consumers, as the machine starts at about $4,200, according to pricing on Alienware's ALX Web site."
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Alienware Reveals 4GHz desktop

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  • $4,200 ! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:37AM (#10168588)
    Most people know Alienware is quite overpriced, but $4,200! I know you're paying for the aesthetics more than anything but still, if you want that power then buy two 2GHZ boxes and save yourself $2000, I can't imagine Alienware would have many people 'in the know' purchasing their hardware.

    I think this is more of a gimmick for advertising (seen by the fact it's on /. and now about 100 other news sites) than anything else.
  • Why why why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:40AM (#10168612)
    Would anyone please tell me why it is necessary to spend 5 grand on a PC?

    Okay okay -- especially when XBOX and many other consoles approach PC graphics? This is overkill -- the amount of money spent on this one machine could be used to build a small cluster of less powerful machines.

    It is a shame that XBOX, a $300 dollar system can get amazing games -- but if you want amazing graphics and sound on the PC you must spend 5 g's.
  • erm ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fadir ( 522518 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:41AM (#10168625)
    Wouldn't it be alot cheaper and better to purchase a 2 processor system instead of a extremely high-priced overclocked 1 processor system?
    Seriously, except the "coolness" I fail to see the sense in this system.
  • by davidoff404 ( 764733 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:49AM (#10168672)
    an article or study showing that the integrity of the cooling system remains after traveling with it would go a long way towards me taking the plunge, as it were.

    That's a pretty dumb idea, and it's not going to happen for the same reason that other manufacturers don't advertise the portability of *desktop* systems. Why should they widen their product guarantees just because you want to lug it around in the back of a pickup? If you're smart enough to network surely you're smart enough not to f$ck up your new alienware box while travelling.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:50AM (#10168674)
    When you buy an el cheapo knockoff for a lot less, you get cheaper (read slower/less reliable) peripheral hardware such as disk controllers, disks, video cards, RAM, cheap keyboards and mice that last one month if you're lucky, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:55AM (#10168706)
    Dude, you're just digging yourself in deeper. Anyone who read your first post can tell that you thought it was a laptop. Just admit to being wrong instead of trying to talk your way out of it.
  • Re:Why why why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:04AM (#10168763)
    "Okay okay -- especially when XBOX and many other consoles approach PC graphics?"

    Approach PC graphics? At 640x480 with 32MB of RAM? Huh?
  • by Grym ( 725290 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:07AM (#10168784)

    Don't equate intelligence or technical adeptness with common sense. They're not the same thing. I've seen a guy who made a 1600 on his SATs pour hot coffee in his lap when asked the time.

    Besides, if the person were so smart--why would he buy a ridiculously overpriced computer to begin with?


  • by ch3 ( 701440 ) < minus painter> on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:13AM (#10168822) Homepage
    Funny, I was just thinking that...
    My G5 costed me "only" about 3000 for a dual 2Ghz, is probably better designed inside and doesn't run out-of-specs (and the case doesn't look like plastic!)
  • Re:Fixed link (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the unbeliever ( 201915 ) <{chris+slashdot} {at} {}> on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:13AM (#10168823) Homepage
    the case, tech support, performance tweaking, etc etc.

    it's the price you pay for getting an OEM box.
  • Re:Microsoft Tax (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhoenixFlare ( 319467 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:14AM (#10168838) Journal
    So would you buy one if you weren't forced to get it with Windows installed?

    Assuming you use Linux and nothing else, do you game a lot, since that is (usually) the primary purpose of buying an Alienware machine?

    Somehow I get the feeling you're posting just so you can get in a jab at Microsoft - if you genuinely support the views you claim to, you shouldn't need to post just to basically say "Lookit me! I'm fighting The Man!"
  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:19AM (#10168872)
    Go ahead, throw your money away.

    How much time before you can buy something similar for half the money? 3 months? 4? I can understand you're willing to pay more for the fastest available, but eehh.. to do what? Gaming? Get a quality motherboard, fast memory and one of the latest videocards. Much cheaper. Scientific calculations? Get a small blade server or mini-cluster, that'll better suit the job. Just to impress your friends? Get a nice looking case, do some modding, add some cool looking lights. Much more fun.

  • by David Horn ( 772985 ) <david.pocketgamer@org> on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:40AM (#10169032) Homepage
    Has anyone know about the power (electrical) requirements of this? It's not much good if you're electricity bill is higher than your credit card bill after purchasing it!
  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:48AM (#10169090)
    I am curious why other systems manufacturers like Dell, Compaq, or Hewlett Packard, do not overclock their products

    Because many of those maufacturers thrive by the "low prices, high volumes" concept.

    Overclocking enough to notice, and without losing to much stability, requires quality components, careful tweaking of hardware, BIOS and software configuration. The first thing a normal user would do, is install some stupid proggie that interferes with that careful tweaked system, and cause helpdesk headaches for the company that sold them the box. Simply put, overclocking has the opposite effect from what's needed for this low prices, high volume market. And warranty issues make things worse. That's why overclockers are generally a different crowd than average home users.

  • Re:The Links (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcostantino ( 585892 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @11:54AM (#10169123) Homepage
    The $5458 price tag includes a $29 network cable, among other things. I believe that in itself is indicitave of the amount of profit margin that exists on this machine.
  • Re:G5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:35PM (#10169389) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention that the Dual G5's are slower than the Alienware box.

    Even if it was so, is it worth the extra $2300 to get Alienware?

    I think a single 2.5GHz G5 should almost keep up, maybe it does keep up with a 4GHz P4 because it is the slightly less IPC efficient Prescott core. With Northwoods, 3GHz P4 was about as good as G5 GHz or Athlon64 clocked at 2GHz. that is a 1.5 IPC ratio. 2.5 GHz * 1.5 the IPC gets 3.75 GHz equivalent.

    Granted, there aren't many games available for G5 systems, and Alienware is marketed for gaming, I think it shows that Alienware is overpriced even when compared to a dual 2.5GHz G5, computers from the company that gets complaints from slashdotters and others about being overpriced. And I think Alienware's cases are ugly too. Why pay a premium for ugly?
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:48PM (#10169478)
    A $4,200 WinXP machine that's been overclocked and tuned for gaming isn't going to be used for anything serious, so obviously when it comes to serious tasks it'd get it's ass handed to it. Of course, I wouldn't want to run Doom3 on a 2 way enterprise server either...
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by billybob ( 18401 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:07PM (#10169611)
    Your processor speed it not the biggest bottleneck. I say high quality RAM and a high end graphics card will get you a lot more than a 4Ghz machine. This just seems like a waste of money. Seriously it's more expensive than any of Apple's computers, and that's saying something :)
  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:13PM (#10169651)
    I would not jump to the conclusion that the 3.8GHz with 2mb cache is faster than the 4GHz P4 with 1mb of cache.

    Yeah I'm aware of the "MHz myth," but look at the benchmarks [] please. At 3.4GHz, the "Extreme" edition bests the 3.4GHz 1MB cache version by a whopping 1.4%. Meanwhile the Non-Extreme 3.4 beats the Extreme 3.2 by over double that amount! Both are marginal differences if you ask me, but price difference is truly "extreme."

  • Re:$4,200 ! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeoSkandranon ( 515696 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:45PM (#10169845)
    You can't build a ferrari yourself for half the price.

    You can build an alienware PC from parts perhaps even down to the wierd looking case (I know you can get the style they used a while back) for a fraction of the price.
  • Wow. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by juuri ( 7678 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @02:42PM (#10170220) Homepage
    You have incredibly low standards as a consumer. They basically gave you the run around multiple times, lied to you about a rebate, refused fast shipping for some bogus reason and you sat there and accepted it instead of canceling your order and giving money to a company that would treat you well.

    You deserve more when spending so much money.
  • Re:wow, thanks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @10:37PM (#10173542)
    Maybe because when you call in 2 years for a technical problem on your paid tech support contract, you want to talk to the company who you purchased the machine from, not from some yahoo who's getting paid to handle support from the liquidator who bought the company's assets.

    Stability is important. AW's been around a long time in this business, they're carried at major retailers, they've got a decent support department, and the last time I thought about building my own box I spec'd up all the components I wanted to stick insided - then looked at what AW was using... it was the same components, and could be bought for less than I'd have paid individually, and unlike the individual components, the AW came with a warranty and a support contract.

    Full Disclaimer: I don't work for AW, I don't own an AW, I merely started forwarding people who wanted me to build whiteboxes their way after I noticed the component matchup. I was tired of supporting whitebox people who wanted free support for life and were annoyed that they couldn't upgrade their 6-year old system to a current proc for the cost of the proc ("you said it'd be upgradeable!").

    I get to sleep at night AND the morons can still harangue someone at 3am when they install malware. Win-win.
  • Re:Microsoft Tax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PhoenixFlare ( 319467 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:12AM (#10176154) Journal
    Whether he likes it or not? Knowing the buggy and insecure nature of Windows, what sensible person would be happy with what you describe?

    You'd be suprised. Though i'm sure you'd never believe it, it's quite possible to get a Windows box secured and plenty stable for normal use. The XP Pro box i'm typing this on now (for example) has been up for about a few months straight, with the last reboot being because Winamp was having some odd issues. If you get all the security patches, run regular virus/adware scans, don't open strange attachments like a dumbass, and use a firewall, you'll be pretty well off.

    The vast majority simply buy what's put in front of them without question.

    Yeah, I guess the fact that like 99% of all commercial games are Windows-only couldn't possibly have something to do with that, eh?

    You seem to have been looking for a chance to spout off about how evil Windows is, but let's remember that we're considering gamers in particular here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @01:44PM (#10179141)
    Is it really that hard to comprehend that for some people, $5000 isn't a lot of money. Also for some people, the time it would take them to learn how to build a computer is more valuable than the money they would save.

    Seriously, the next time you go out to eat, take a minute to figure out how many packets of ramen or boxes of mac and cheese you could by with that money. Think of the hundreds of millions of people on the planet that would love to have that much food secured.

VMS must die!