Extra Fox – A blog by Christopher Taylor

Alienware Area-51 m5500 laptop

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on November 13, 2005

I just bought a new Alienware Area-51 m5500 laptop. I spent quite a while combing through different manufacturer’s websites and configuring systems online. I finally settled on the m5500 because it was the one system that had a great form factor and gave me the ability to optimize for my needs. What were my needs? Well, performance, price and portability would just about describe it .

The specs:

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional with Service Pack 2
LCD Display: Alienware® m5500 15.4″ WideXGA 1400 x 900 LCD – Xeno Grey
Processor: Intel® Pentium® M 760 2.0GHz 2MB L2 Cache 533MHz FSB
Motherboard: Alienware® Intel® 915GM + ICH6 Chipset
Wireless Network: Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915 a/b/g Wireless Card
Memory: 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 533MHz – 2 x 512MB
Hard Drive: 100GB 7200 RPM ATA100
Video Card: Intel® GMA 900 Extreme Graphics
Sound Card: Intel® High-Definition Audio
Optical Drive: 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo w/Software
Ethernet NIC: Integrated 10/100Mb Ethernet NIC
Modem: 56K Modem with V.90 Technology

There were a few upgrades that I passed on (RAM, resolution, CPU and GPU). There was definitely a diminishing returns. As it is, the resolution that I selected is still better than most other LCDs on the market. Plus, I just can’t read text that small. RAM is something I can always upgrade later. For the CPU, I chose the best value. I could have spent $400 more for a 0.23 GHz bump, but that seemed like a bad idea. Lastly, the hardest decision was not to go with the more powerful NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with 256MB DDR. That sounds like a sweet card, but th $200+ just isn’t justifiable for me, since I don’t play too many PC games anymore

I’ll tell you how the machine stacks up after it gets built and shipped to me. But, I’m pretty excited and I think it will kick some major ass.

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