Alienware is one of the most well-respected brands in gaming, with a long-standing reputation for pro-quality computers. We take a close look at which models are top performers.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Alienware Computers

When shopping for a new Alienware computer, there are many factors to consider. From its intended use to the type of processor and graphics card, here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the best Alienware computer for your needs.

Intended Use

Alienware offers several different categories of computers based on use. The smallest and least expensive is the Pocket PC line, which includes the sub-notebook category. These devices can be lightweight and slim, but their small size means they may not have as much storage or memory as other models.

Next up is the Laptop series, which ranges from ultra-portable to full-size. This series uses either an Intel or AMD processor, depending on whether it is a desktop or laptop.

The Workstation series features both AMD and Intel processors, with the latter being more common. This mid-range series is designed to handle general purpose computing tasks.

Processor Type

Like many hardware manufacturers, Alienware mixes and matches processor types. While all of their workstations use Intel processors, some of their laptops feature AMD chips. In fact, the only Alienware product that exclusively uses an AMD chip is the FX-9590 5-Series notebook.

For those who want the most performance possible, an AMD processor might be just the ticket. However, if portability is more important than raw power, then an Intel chip will likely provide higher availability and greater support.

Memory Capacity

Most Alienware computers come equipped with at least 1 gigabyte of memory, which should be enough for most users. A few products offer 2 gigabytes, while others go as high as 4 gigabytes. Of course, the pricier models will also include larger capacities.

Note that memory capacity is measured in bits, and 1 gigabyte equals 1,000,000,000 bits (1 billion). For comparison, a standard DVD has about 700,000 bits of storage space.

Hard Drive Space

Again, like many other brands, Alienware makes hard drives available in different sizes. The smallest comes as small as 30 gigabytes, which is equal to about 300 songs. More commonly, the hard drive space ranges from 40 to 150 gigabytes. This huge difference in size translates into a major difference in price, with the larger capacities costing considerably more.

However, even at the lower end, a hard drive this large will fill up fairly quickly. Fortunately, most Alienware computers offer a second hard drive for storage, typically in the form of a solid state drive (SSD). These drives are faster and more reliable than traditional hard drives, but they cost more.

Graphics Card

As mentioned earlier, the majority of Alienware computers come equipped with NVIDIA graphics cards. However, there are a few AMD-based products, and these run either FirePro or Radeon graphics cards.

The inclusion of a dedicated graphics card is one of the hallmarks of a professional gaming computer. These cards can deliver a substantial performance boost over a standard CPU, and they can also help with image quality if the computer is equipped with a monitor that supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals.

Operating System

All Alienware computers run Windows 7, 8, or 10. However, the version of Windows does vary between products. For example, an Alienware M15x notebook might run Windows 10, whereas an Alienware X51 desktop could run Windows 7.

The choice of operating system is often a matter of personal preference, but there are benefits to each.

  • Windows 10 is usually considered a relatively stable platform, making it a good choice for those who want a computer for gaming and other productivity applications.
  • Windows 7 and 8 are better suited to portable devices since they lack some of the more advanced features found in Windows 10 (such as DirectX 12), though they still offer a great deal of stability.

Screen Size

The vast majority of Alienware computers are designed to fit within the 15-inch range, which is generally considered a comfortable size for most people. There are, however, a few larger models in the 20-inch range, and a couple smaller ones down to 13 inches.

While screen size is obviously relevant to physical comfort, it also relates to the amount of space available for additional accessories, such as a keyboard, controller, or mouse.

Additional Features

There are a number of additional features that shoppers might want to look for in an Alienware computer. These include built-in speakers, a headphone hook, USB ports, and even a warranty.

  • Built-in speakers are a common feature on gaming desks, but they’re also available as part of the main unit, which helps reduce desk space.
  • A headphone hook allows users to hang their headphones off the side of the unit without taping them to the side of the desk.
  • USB ports are another useful addition, allowing users to charge their mobile devices while also providing a data transfer path.
  • Some warranties cover damage caused by electrical discharge, which can happen if a device is exposed to lightning strikes. This is a particularly important safety feature if the computer is located in an outdoor setting.