Inside the M14x our review sample has a Core i7-2630QM CPU which is a quad core model with hyperthreading that runs at 2.0GHz as standard, turbo-ing up to 2.9GHz when required. Alienware also offer i7-2720M and 2820QM CPUs as an alternative (2.2GHz>3.3GHz and 2.3>3.4GHz ) as well as the 2.3GHz i5-2410M. These CPUs sit on a HM67 chipset based board and also connected to this is dual channel DDR3, our sample contained 2x 2GB of Hynix sticks however 8GB configurations are also offered.
As with many laptops based on 2nd Gen Core CPUs the M14x takes advantage of the ability to use two GPUs. The first is built on to the CPU and is Intel’s HD GPU which provides us with our operating system and productivity experience, supporting DirectX 10.1 and Blu-Ray acceleration. It is also able to assist the CPU when combined with appropriate software such as Cyberlink Media Expresso where the GPU can speed up conversion times as well as reduce CPU use, freeing it up for other tasks.
In addition to this Intel GPU we have a 40nm NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M, a DirectX 11 capable product which is set to 590MHz core and 900MHz memory (Up to 3GB DDR3). This NVIDIA card becomes active, seamlessly via NVIDIA Optimus, when we run a game and gives us far better performance (and features) than is possible on the Intel GPU in that area.