Today we unboxed an Alienware M9750 laptop with dual 32GB SSD from Sandisk. The laptop was provided to us by Alienware, via Samsung Semiconductor Group. This will give us a chance to bench mark the Samsung versus Sandisk solid state drive.
An Alienware computer is a mythical beast. Ever since Alienware started making computers in 1996, gamers and power hungry PC addicts have drooled over their speed, processing power, and overall design. This is the first time I've ever spent more than a couple hours with an Alienware machine, so I wasn't truly privy to the finer points of an Alienware. All I can really say is that I've never been so impressed with the performance of a notebook computer.
Alienware continue their quest to be the first manufacturer with any new high-end graphics card or processor with the news that the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3600M GPU with 512MB RAM will make its 15.4-inch notebook debut on their Area-51 m15x. Intended for heavy-duty graphics processing, the GPU has support for Open GL 2.1, Shader Model 4.0 and DirectX 10 with the ability to dynamically allocate geometry, shading and pixel processing.
Earlier this month Samsung sent over their new 64GB solid-state drive for us to play with, and Vincent promptly slapped it into his MacBook Pro to see whether it made much of a difference in access speed. Well, we've finally dragged it away from him, extracted the SSD and put it through some benchmark testing.
As a test machine we used Alienware's m9750 laptop running Windows Vista 32-bit (as we reviewed here), comparing the Samsung 64GB SSD with Sandisk's 32GB SSD in both single and dual-drive RAID-0 configurations. After each hardware change we reinstalled the laptop's OS using Alienware's supplied restore disk, then ran HD-Tach and HD-Tune to test burst and transfer rates.
So, this week we decided to try something new, every week, at the end of the week, we are going to do a Week In Review where we take a quick glance back to all products we covered and any and all other especially interesting news. its kind of like a "what you might have missed" for the end of the week, a summary if you will. So, please, leave us a comment and let us know if you like it, or if there is something you think we should add or remove from it, thanks again for reading.
From Guitar Hero III to the LG Venus, we covered a lot of ground this past week. With the holidays fast approaching, the gadget news seems to be overflowing. We covered plenty of cool gifts for your Mom, Dad, Son or Daughter. Whether your looking to buy a modest stocking stuffer such as the Mood beams, or truly splurge on luxury. Lets not forget one of the biggest announcements of the week, with the launch of the Android SDK and platform, the potential future of the mobile world, don't forget to check out AndroidCommunity.com, you could be one of the lucky recipients of a portion of that $10 million in developer cash Google is ponying up.
If Gateway's or Alienware's gaming laptops don't meet with your approval, how about MSI's offering? The GX600X is an evolution of the GX600, packed with an Intel Centrino Duo CPU, 3GB of DDR2 RAM, a 15.4-inch widescreen display driven by NVIDIA's 8600M GT, HDMI and an e-SATA connector. It also has the curious 'Turbo' button, which claims to boost performance by 20-percent when pushed. TweakTown have been reviewing the GX600X, and seem to be impressed: they've awarded the notebook 89 out of 100.
The latest pin-up in the storage world is the Solid-State Drive (SSD), a flash-based drive with no moving parts that can be used in place of a traditional hard disk drive. SSDs are beginning to show up in high-end laptops and - albeit in smaller capacities - in portable media devices, where their low power requirements, resistace to shaking and movement and high data transfer rates make them ideal for high-portability gadgets. SlashGear has been lucky enough to get our hands on one of Samsung's latest 2.5-inch 64GB NAND drives, currently featuring in high-end models from Dell's XPS range and Alienware's Area-51 m9750 notebook as a 128GB RAID array, and thought we'd put the OEM device to the test.
On paper, the flash drive certainly stands out. Samsung quote read speeds of 57MB/s and write speeds of 32MB/s, which would peg it at more than twice the rate of a traditional, platter-based hard drive, as well as sub-1ms access times (compared to 10 to 30ms for hard disk drives). Moreover, battery life is increased through the lack of moving parts, with Samsung estimating usage times of 10 to 15-percent longer.