Introduction and Specifications

Alienware has made a name for itself by building high-end gaming PCs for years now. They are not new to the mobile market either and their products are aimed at someone that loves to game, but needs to take that power with them. Enter the m9750 notebook!
There are really just three types of notebook users in the world: those that want the most battery life, those that want a mix of battery life and performance and those that want portable computing powerhouses.  Alienware has been an expert on the third type of system, even though they have attempted to offer some mid-range products as well.  But let’s not kid ourselves – Alienware’s name is all about the niche market, for the user that has money and isn’t afraid to spend it. 

Today we are looking at the Alienware m9750 notebook; a 17″ screen beast that boasts more than a few features that your desktop probably doesn’t have.  A dual-core Core 2 Duo processor, SLI graphics and RAID 0 SATA hard drives are the stand outs. 

Let’s take a quick look at the system specifications, from the Alienware website:

Technical Specifications

Operating Systems
  • Windows® XP Media Center
  • Windows® XP Professional
  • Windows Vista® Home Premium
  • Windows Vista® Ultimate
Processors, Chipset & Memory
  • Intel® Core™2 Duo Processors (4MB Cache, 667MHz FSB)
  • Intel 945PM + ICH7M-DH Chipset
  • Up to 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
  • 2 dedicated SO-DIMM slots for Dual Channel DDR2 Memory
Graphics & Video
  • DirectX 9 Enabled Graphics
    • Dual Graphics Cards
      512MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX GDDR3
      NVIDIA nForce 100 with NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
  • DirectX 10 Enabled Graphics
    • Single Graphics Card
      512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT GDDR3
    • Dual Graphics Cards
      512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT GDDR3
      NVIDIA nForce 100 with NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
  • Easily-removable Slot Loading Hard Drives
  • Single Hard Drive
    • 5400 RPM – Up to 320GB SATA with NCQ
    • 7200 RPM – Up to 200GB SATA with NCQ
    • Solid State – Up to 64GB SATA
  • Dual Hard Drives in RAID 0
    • 5400 RPM – Up to 640GB (2 x 320GB)
    • 7200 RPM – Up to 400GB (2 x 200GB)
    • Solid State – Up to 128GB (2 x 64GB)
  • Optical Drives
    • 24x DVD-ROM/CD-RW
    • 8x Dual Layer CD-RW/DVD±RW
    • 8x Dual Layer CD-RW/DVD±RW w/ LightScribe Technology
    • Dual Layer Blu-Ray/DVD±R/W/CD-RW Burner
  • Wireless Connectivity
    • Internal Intel PRO Wireless 3945 a/b/g Mini-Card
    • Internal Intel PRO Wireless 4965 b/g/n Mini-Card
    • Integrated Bluetooth 2.0
  • Wired Connectivity
    • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
    • Integrated 56K V.92 modem RJ-11
  • 7.1 Digital High-Definition Audio
  • Two Speakers with SubWoofer
  • Connectivity
    • 1 headphone jack
    • 1 microphone jack
    • 1 Front Speakers jack
    • 1 Surround Speakers jack
    • 1 Center Speaker jack
    • 1 TOSlink Optical Audio
Peripheral Connections
  • 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports
  • Express Card Slot /54mm
  • IEEE 1394a (4-pin) port
  • 4-in-1 Memory Card Reader
    (SD / MS / MSPRO / MMC)
LCD Panel
  • 17” Wide Screen WUXGA 1920 x 1200 with Clearview
  • 17” Wide Screen WXGA+ 1440 x 900
Keyboard & Touchpad
  • Full Size Keyboard with Separate Numeric Keypad
  • Full Size Touchpad with Scroll Functionality
  • Instant Access Buttons include:
    • Internet
    • E-mail
    • Windows Media Player
    • Power DVD 7
    • Windows Media Center*
    • Play/Pause
    • Skip Forward
    • Skip Backward
Case & Chassis
  • Height: 1.5”
  • Width: 15.65”
  • Depth: 11.75”
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs
  • 1 Kensington Lock slot

On the inside, the Alienware m9750 is built on the Intel 945PM chipset paired with the ICH7M south bridge – an aging but potent chipset for notebook computers.  It runs on DDR2 memory, speeds of 667 MHz only, but it does have two accessible memory slots.  Both the DX9-based GeForce 7950 and the DX10-based GeForce 8700M GPUs are available in SLI configurations.

Two SATA bays allow for a single or dual hard drive configuration and even the faster 7200 RPM 2.5” drives are an option for an upgraded price.  Networking is powered by an Intel PRO Wireless 802.11 a/b/g card, includes Bluetooth support and has an integrated Gigabit networking connection. 

The LCD itself, which we’ll see on the next page, is available in either a 1920×1200 or 1440×1900 resolutions, but only the high end option comes with the high contrast “Clearview” technology that I have come to enjoy.

Next Page – Exterior and Features

« PreviousNext »