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Alienware Alpha on a modded Skyrim setup



Hello again everyone. I wanted to get the opinion of the STEP community about the latest PC console that came out at the end of last year. The Alienware Alpha. Released in 3 versions. I didn't know about it until my co-worker mentioned it. He's trying to sell it for 350USD. He said he wants to go back to console gaming. I believe he bought the low end AA console and upgraded the RAM and SSD. Here are the specs:
Alienware Alpha
Intel Core i3 4130T @ 2.9ghz
2 x 4GB DDR3 1600 @ CAS 11
180GB Intel Cherryville SSD (OS)
500GB Seagate HDD (Steam and Origin)
Alienware Custom Modified Nvidia GTX 860m w/ 2GB DDR5 @ 1155mhz core 3106mhz DDR4 memory (stable)


From a little research I've done, this is what I got: its got Windows 8(I'll downgrade to W7 if I could) GPU cannot be upgraded, and CPU could be upgraded to a quad-core, an intel core i7 4790s for little improvement. GPU is what matters, as I said that can't be switched out unfortunately. Maybe Alienware can release a GPU upgrade specificaly for AA down the road, which would improve relations with customers, but who knows...


I mainly want to know if I could run STEP Core plus the packs and other gameplay stuff like I have right now. I already saw the recommended specs and I'm missing out on Quad-Core as this is only a Dual-Core. Not sure of the difference in what it takes away from me, if anyone can elaberate.


Anyone else running Alienware alpha care to share experiences with a heavily modded Skyrim? Anything that can help me decide whether I should buy this or not is much much appreciated.

Thank you all!



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I've never had anything from Alienware, but I'd say this looks sub par. If you buy this you shouldn't expect to be able to run heavily modded setups very well I'd say.. GPU isn't all that matters, Skyrim also relies on CPU and even RAM power. The processor is just.. decent. Not sure how it will handle Skyrim. I'd say DDR3 1600 RAM at CAS 11 is also sub-par. The performance difference between memory timings most likely isn't that huge but 1600/9 is pretty much the standard and not that expensive. About the graphics card.. again it seems just decent for a laptop card, but the 2GB VRAM and the 128 Bit Memory Bus Width will most likely cripple your performance if you start using a lot of texture replacers.


I wouldn't buy it myself, but that might be because I'm prepared to pay more. I'm not sure about the quality vs price ratio of this deal (you could probably find a site and 'build' a similar system.. then compare prices) and whether or not you will be satisfied by its performance will likely also depend on your current setup. So yeah, browse the internet a bit and compare prices or try to collect some Skyrim benchmark data from people with similar setups before deciding to buy this I'd say. Don't do it if your only reason is "it's Alienware so it must be good" :p

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I dont know what 860m can do but I have a 650m and its only good for light gaming at 1080.

It could probably do okay-ish but mine couldnt even run it.

What framerate do you get with vanilla + hd dlc?


If youre going to invest money is a computer, just get a desktop.

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Incidentally, Alienware is a subsidiary of Dell.

Yep, many people don't know that.


Anyway, here's all the info you need to know about that GPU: https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-860M.107794.0.html


Looks like it can play most games on medium to high settings within a resolution range between 1366x768 to 1920x1080. I would not play very many games on 1920x1080 as most of the average FPS is in the 30s, meaning it likely dropped into the high 20s a few times. So you'll mainly be stuck in 1366x768 when you game.

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@Octopuss The portability is what caught my eye. I always imagined Alienware is nothing more than an overpriced name brand. That's usually how it works. I'd love to be able to take it with me to a friend's house or even bring a friend over to play Skyrim LAN Multiplayer down the road on my current rig and this Alpha. I do have 2 monitors to do this.


@Pretendeavor About the processor, I could probably wait for the Intel Core i7 4790s to go down in price. Do they usually go down a bit or do they become rare finds that go up in price? I know every 6 months, they say all this hardware becomes outdated by newer hardware.


@hishutup and Octopuss For the price, I have no idea if I could build something better. Just watching this newegg tutorial gave me more confidence to build a PC. I'll probably build it around my current rig. Will just need help knowing what kind of hardware I'll need and keep prices low.


@TechAngel85 I was hoping to be able to run most games on 60FPS. I don't mind the low settings, just 60FPS and at 900p or 1080p, I can sacrifice visuals.


I didn't know the Alienware Alpha was supposed to be Steam's console killer, but they ended up delaying the progress and Dell decided to just release it. Here's the site if you're interested in the other models. Kinda makes me wanna stick to a custom built PC since "consoles" tend to stay on the same leveling field to make it easy for developers to make games for the publishers on multi-plats. I also remember the old days when I imagined that Nintendo, Sega, Sony and so forth had a huge tech team to build the next console at HQ in hush hush instead of going to Nvidia and Intel whatever today and just slapping the brand name seal of approval.


Tl;dr version: I may end up waiting for other options instead, but here's the deal I made with my co-worker. he's gonna let me borrow it soon to check things out, after a few days I could return it or buy it. what do you all suggest I do to make sure everything is working right? I'll try Skyrim of course, on high setting + Hires DLC. I don't own any of these "next-gen" games so I couldn't test those. Thanks all.

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Well, I find out it has problems. Something keeps randomly resetting, causing games to CTD, so oh well. It was a nice console for a good price, but I'm gonna upgrade my rig instead. I hope you guys can help me with that please. I'll make the thread soon.

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