ALIENWARE ALPHA – Full System Disassembly

Sun, Feb 22, 2015

Computers, Customize, Desktop Support

ALIENWARE ALPHA – Full System Disassembly

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Alienware started shipping the Alpha late last year for $549 (the high-end version with a faster CPU, more RAM, and an SSD costs $849), but it recently cut that price down to $499. The Alpha is still more expensive than consoles, but also fairly cheap as far as gaming PCs go. Obviously it’s not as powerful as the quintessential PC gaming tower, but it may give Sony and Microsoft’s latest consoles a run for their money.

With a slightly overclocked 860M GPU based on Nvidia’s GM107 chip (the same one that’s found in Nvidia’s 750 Ti desktop GPU), 4GB of RAM, and Intel’s Core i3, the Alpha has all the makings of a good, entry level gaming PC. The 5400 RPM hard drive is a slight disappointment, and it’s likely the source of the Alpha’s occasionally long loading times. Otherwise, the rest of the components make for a surprisingly capable gaming PC given the Alpha’s relatively low cost.

Performance

Game Alienware Alpha Xbox One PlayStation 4
Tomb Raider 1080p, 45-70 FPS 1080p, 30 FPS 1080p, 30-60 FPS
Titanfall 1080p, 45-60 FPS 792p, 40-60 FPS n/a
Watch Dogs 1080p, 35-50 FPS 792p, 30 FPS 900p, 30 FPS
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 1080p, 34-45 FPS 900p, 30 FPS 1080p, 30 FPS

 

Is it a PC or a console?

Although some people refer to the Alpha as a console, it’s driven by Microsoft Windows, a PC operating system, and with that the Alpha exhibits the same general capabilities and limitations as any other Windows gaming PC. What is unique about the Alpha, and why some consider it to be a console, is Alienware’s custom user interface, which boots up on top of Windows and is 100% controller friendly.

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