At our briefing, Azor said the Alienware 14 can be upgraded at time of purchase with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M. The Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 can be upgraded at time of purchase to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770 or GeForce GTX 780 GPU, according to Azor, and the CPU upgrades on those models go as high as Intel's Core i7-4930MX Extreme Edition mobile processor. Slot-feed Blu-ray drives are an available option on all three models.
Alienware allows its customers to open up and upgrade their notebook, and they can overclock the CPU—both without fear of violating the manufacturer's warranty. The notebook's GPUs, however, are overclocked at the factory and cannot be pushed further, according to Azor.
Azor said that people often ask why Alienware's notebooks are so thick. "It's because we don't share performance among components," he said. "Every part can run at its full TDP (thermal design power). A lot of manufacturers will throttle down the GPU when the CPU ramps up, and vice versa, thinking only one component needs to run full out at once. Our notebooks can run everything full tilt without anything needing to back off."
All three Alienware models have HDMI outputs, but the 17- and 18-inch notebooks also have an HDMI input, so you can connect a game console or a smartphone and use the notebook's larger display. Alienware enlarged the keycaps on all three models, and added a metal backing plate beneath the keyboard to provide solid tactile feedback and to prevent bowing. Alienware's engineers collaborated with Klipsch on the speaker design, and each of the three models ships with Dolby Home Theater Audio v 4.
All three models will also come with a new dynamic performance optimizer—dubbed Accelerator—that can turn off Windows services that aren't essential to gameplay, freeing up system resources for the game. Once you exit the game, Accelerator automatically turns these services back on. A second utility, AlienAdrenaline, can record your gameplay in the background—perfect for instant replays of particularly gratifying kills, spectacular wipeouts, and other boast-worthy action sequences.
All three Alienware models are available now.
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