I’ve been using the Alienware 18 for a few months now, and if you’ve missed my initial post on unboxing and first impressions, you can check it out here : http://furryfish.me/alienware-18-unboxing-and-first-impressions/
Before I start, I’d like to clarify what kind of user I am.
I’m a semi-pro gamer, that plays primarily DotA2. I have some games which I play leisurely, and they change according to my mood. They are : Hearthstone, FFXIV, World of WarCraft, Diablo3, SimCity. I’m a little past FPS games, but I do have a few versions of CounterStrike, Halflife and TF on my com too.
For those of you who are curious as to which set up I have, here are the specs.
I’m considering getting an SSD inserted, but not through Dell. Once I do that, my rating should go up!
But currently, it’s really fast anyway, and it doesn’t get me super high to have a quick start up. So I’m pretty happy as is!
Streaming on Twitch is really fun, because I can put in 2 webcams! HAHA… ok I know that’s a little lame, but since there’s an integrated webcam, and I have my own c920 Logitech, I can do 2 angles at once.
other than that, here are my settings, and I’m not even pushing it. I normally stream on 1280×720, and my FPS is consistent, unless I tab out. (I use borderless windowed mode on DotA2)
It’s so powerful, that I can even leave FinalFantasy xiv on at the same time as DotA2, AND stream. Then, I switch between games (depending on whether I hear a FATE around the corner or not!)
http://www.twitch.tv/pmsfurryfish/b/479913586 Here’s a sample, if you would like to take a look!
Unfortunately I don’t really have much time to play other games, like titanfall or battlefield. Maybe IF I am sponsored the game or I get some time, I’ll test it out and add it into my review!
Nothing is perfect, and neither was my Alienware 18. I suddenly had a problem where the whole com would freeze and blue screen, and eventually it just gave up working on me, and I couldn’t use the factory reinstall disk cos some data was missing from it or something.
Whatever it was, I called up the tech support, and they tried to troubleshoot the problem over the phone. It didn’t work and they discovered that my mSATA died on me. Accordingly, they sent down a tech guy to my house to get it fixed up, and it was back to perfect working order within 2 days.
So, I’d like to commend their support, it’s really the best out there, really prompt and hassle free. When shit happens, it’s nice to know that they’ve got your back covered!
(dog and sheep not included)
Keeping everything I’ve said in mind, I’d now like to drop another bomb on you.
I hook up my BenQ monitor to my Alienware 18 and dual screen it, and play 2 games and stream.
What makes me sad about this is that I can’t fully maximise the refresh rate of my BenQ, because the 120/144Hz is only applicable when you connect using the DVI cable. The Alienware 18 only has a HDMI port.
HOWEVER! It’s still great to have dual monitors up, it’s technology’s gift to streamers. =D
(I know you can see my x51 CPU in the background, and yes, when I do use the x51, I use the DVI cable, for my BenQ monitor. )
All in all…
The Alienware 18 is a beautiful work of art. The design is reminiscent of it’s earlier designs, which I absolutely loved. (I loved my Area 51!), and when you use it as a desktop replacement, like I do, it’s perfect. When you’re just doing admin stuff, or surfing, you can detach all the wires and just carry it to your bedside and use it, and when you want some gaming action, just pop the wires back in and you’re good to go!
It is kinda large to carry around overseas, and to be honest, I have not managed to find a carrying case to fit it into. It won’t even fit into my cabin suitcase… So that’s a problem I’m going to have to solve.