If the bottom model, with a Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard disk drive, sounds skimpy for you, it did if you ask me as well. The machine actually performed well when games were set to medium/low detail settings, but bettering each of these specs would without doubt make for a far more versatile, zippier system. Unfortunately, upgrades feel expensive and doled out within an unintuitive way. If you want to get huge discount then this black friday will give you amazing discount right here.

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as of January 6, 2022 1:38 pm
Last updated on January 6, 2022 1:38 pm

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In US dollars, adding $150 gets you double the RAM and hard-drive space, but yet another $100 in addition is required to trade up to standard Core i5 CPU. From there, another $100 gets you a 2TB HDD and a Core i7, but at that time you have a whole lot of gaming PC options for about $900. That top configuration is AU$1,299 in Australia and £699 in the united kingdom. Each configuration includes the same Nvidia GPU, and there are no upgrades designed for that component.

Testing the nongaming application performance of the bottom model, using its Core i3 CPU, it fell well behind other recent gaming PCs, from midrange to expensive. Of course, those systems have Core i7 CPUs, and at least double the RAM, so that’s to be likely. On the positive side, we could actually demand Windows 8 desktop and install and run Photoshop, iTunes and our other benchmark software without a problem, therefore the Alpha can be utilised as a day to day PC in a pinch, regardless if the performance is weak.

Sarah Tew/CNET
The custom Nvidia GPU inside Alpha is purportedly predicated on the GeForce GTX 860M, a favorite mainstream notebook computer GPU within the Lenovo Y50 , Razer Blade 14, HP Omen and others. It’s already a generation behind, as Nvidia is up to the 900-series in both desktop and mobile parts.

Still, the Alpha and its own low-end Core i3 and midrange, last-gen GPU somehow manages to play almost all of the games we tested at higher-than-expected frame rates. BioShock: Infinite ran at 54.9 fps at 1,920×1,080 resolution and high detail settings, which is related to the 49.7 fps from Lenovo’s Y50 mainstream gaming laptop. The challenging Metro: Last Light test ran at 1080p/high at 18.6 fps, exactly like the Y50. Our highest-end gaming laptop, the Asus G751, with the brand new Nvidia 980M, ran BioShock at 115 fps and Metro at 45.6 fps.

We unofficially tested a great many other games, both new and old. Far Cry 4 looked great at medium settings, as did another very challenging recent game, Lords of the Fallen. Shadow of Mordor, another popular game on both PCs and consoles, ran at 49.2 fps at medium detail settings, and a still-decent 39.5 fps at high settings.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Some games, including Call of Duty: Ghosts, warned us about having only 4GB of RAM (the officially supported minimum is 8GB), but that game also ran fairly well at normal/medium settings.

More pleasurable was playing PC-only games, including the Stanley Parable, the Talos Principle or Broken Age. None of the will tax the hardware, but it’s great in order to easily play them on the silver screen with a radio controller.

Unlike recent gaming PCs including the Asus G751 or the foundation PC Millennium (or other things with a current-gen Nvidia 900-series GPU), you will not be outputting games at 4K resolution to your UHD TV or monitor. That is a machine that’s made to output at 1080p, and tweaked to play games smoothly at that resolution.

If you visit the Windows 8 desktop and install Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software, used to tweak game settings and update GPU drivers, the iphone app can’t recognize or update the graphics card in the Alpha. I’ve asked Alienware about procedures for keeping drivers up-to-date, but have not received a remedy yet. I’d hate to believe we were heading back to the bad days of the past of mobile graphics, where gamers had to hold back for PC makers release a approved GPU drivers, instead of being able to have them directly from Nvidia or AMD.

Sarah Tew/CNET
This really does feel just like an alpha-level product in a whole lot of ways. The custom interface is bound and clunky, load times are slow and nongame performance is underwhelming. The specs for the bottom model are pushing the limits of exactly what will play current-gen PC games. There’s an important little bit of price/spec balancing that feels off.

But, if the stars are properly aligned and everything installs, boots and works correctly, the Alienware Alpha largely gives on its promise of PC gaming in a console-like package. A big portion of the fun is being in a position to see the near-endless stock of economical games on Steam, and get access to better graphics and advanced setup and detail level options that console players lose out on.