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Alienware M11x Notebook Review

by Stuart Davidson - 2nd February 2010
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Alienware M11x - Internal

By removing the main panel on the base of the M11x we can see the main components. Starting at the top edge of the system we have two memory slots which on our model were populated by 2 x 2GB of Hynix DDR3-1066, 8GB is the systems maximum capacity. As with many compact systems these were running at 800MHz due to a limitation of the chipset. To the right of the memory is the half height Dell DW1520 mini-PCIe card which is both wireless N and dual band enabled, something few manufacturers provide. Beneath the WLAN is a section for the WWAN (3G) card which is also mini-PCIe based and to the right is the hard drive location. On our review sample this was populated with a 500GB Toshiba 7200rpm drive with 16MB cache. Alienware will also offer lower capacity drives and a 256GB Samsung PB22-J based SSD as configuration options when ordering.

There are two options available for the Socket P CPU in the M11x, the first is the Pentium SU4100 and the second is the Core 2 Duo SU7300 which was present in our review sample. This is a 1.3GHz CPU, using the 45nm Penryn core which runs on a 200MHz Bus. The CPU uses a 6.5x multiplier to achieve its 1300MHz speed and runs at 1.0v. As with other recent processors it is 64-bit capable, runs SSE 4.1 and supports Intel Virtualisation Technology. There are two cores in this CPU and cache levels are set to 2x32KB of L1 Data and Instruction and 1x3MB of L2.

There are TWO GPU’s in the M11x, the first is an integrated Intel GM45 based GPU which is a 65nm part with 10 ROPs and 10 shader units. It runs at 475MHz, shares 64MB of system memory and is ideal for standard desktop use as it is a low power part and supports Windows Aero.

The second GPU, which we can enable by pressing Fn+F6 (no reboot required), is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M. This is the first time we have seen the GT 335M as it is a brand new mobile GPU which is built on a 40nm manufacturing process and features 72 CUDA cores. The 335M uses 1GB of DDR3 on a 128-bit memory bus and supports DirectX 10.1, Shader Model 4.1, CUDA, PhysX and Blu-Ray Acceleration.

On the M11x the GT335M is set to 450MHz core, 790MHz memory and 1080MHz Shader.

The final component of note within the M11x is the battery, this SMP branded model is Li-ion based and has a capacity of 63Wh. Alienware’s product documentation states that it should allow up to 8.5hrs of use on a single charge.
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