Alienware

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Alienware Corporation
Subsidiary of Dell
Industry Computer hardware
Founded 1996; 20 years ago (1996)
Founders Nelson Gonzalez
Alex Aguila
Frank Azor
Headquarters 14591 SW 120th ST
Miami, Florida
Key people
Michael Dell (CEO),
Frank Azor (General Manager),
Arthur Lewis (former CEO General Manager)
Products Desktops
Notebooks
Peripherals
Number of employees
490[1]
Parent Dell
Website alienware.com

Alienware is an American computer hardware subsidiary of Dell, Inc. Their products are designed for gaming and can be identified by their alien-themed designs.[2] Alienware was founded in 1996 by Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila. The company's corporate headquarters is located in The Hammocks, in Miami, Florida.[3]

History[edit]

Overview[edit]

Established in 1996 by Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, Alienware assembles desktops, notebooks, workstations, and PC gaming consoles.[4][5][6] According to employees, the name "Alienware" was chosen because of the founders' fondness for the hit television series The X-Files, which also inspired the science-fiction themed names of product lines such as Area-51, Hangar 18, and Aurora.[7]

Acquisition and current status[edit]

Dell had considered buying the Alienware company since 2002, but did not agree to purchase the company until March 22, 2006.[8][9] The new subsidiary retains control of its design and marketing while benefiting from Dell's purchasing power, economies of scale, and supply chain, which lowered its operating costs.[9]

Initially, Dell maintained its competing XPS line of gaming PCs, often selling computers with similar specifications, which may have hurt Alienware's market share within its market segment.[10][11] Due to corporate restructuring in the spring of 2008, the XPS brand was scaled down, and the Desktop line was eliminated leaving only the XPS Notebooks.[11] Product development of gaming PCs was consolidated with Dell's gaming division, with Alienware becoming Dell's premier gaming brand.[12][13] On June 2, 2009, The M17x was introduced as the first Alienware/Dell branded system. This launch also expanded Alienware’s global reach from 6 to 35 countries while supporting 17 different languages.[14]

Computer systems models (after acquisition by Dell)[edit]

Windows OS-based consoles[edit]

Alienware announced that it will be releasing a series of video game consoles starting in 2014, aiming to compete with the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii U, and the Microsoft Xbox.[15] The first version in this series, the Alpha, will run Windows 8.1.[16] The operating system and ability to play PC games is what separates the Alpha from the eighth generation of video game consoles. At E3 2016, Alienware announced the second rendition of the Alpha, the Alpha R2. The R2 adds 6th generation Intel processors, a choice of either the AMD Radeon R9 M470X or Nvidia GeForce 960 graphics cards, and support for Alienware's proprietary Graphics Amplifier. It also ships with Windows 10.[17]

Graphics Amplifier[edit]

The Graphics Amplifier allows an Alienware laptop to run most full length (or smaller, non-hybrid) desktop GPUs.[18]

Laptops[edit]

18 Inch

  • M18x (Discontinued) - Introduced in 2011, it is considered a replacement for the original M17x design, but with a bigger chassis, a screen up to 18.4 inches, dual MXM 3.0B GPU support, special keyboard macros, and up to 32 GB of DDR3-1600 MHz RAM. Shipped with Intel Sandy Bridge processors and the option of single or dual AMD Radeon 6870M/6970M/6990M Radeon HD 6000 Series GPU(s), single or dual Nvidia GeForce 500 Series GPU(s). Factory CPU overclocking was also an available option.
  • M18x-R2 (Discontinued) - 2012 revision of the M18x; originally shipped with Intel Sandy Bridge processors, later shipped with updated with Intel Ivy Bridge Processors, single or dual Nvidia GeForce 600 Series GPU(s), single or dual AMD Radeon HD 7970M Radeon HD 7000 Series GPU(s), up to 32 GB of DDR3-1600 MHz, and optional factory overclock.
  • Alienware 18 (Discontinued) - 2013 refresh of the M18x; updated with Intel Haswell Processors, single or dual Nvidia GeForce 700 Series GPU(s), single or dual AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU(s), and up to 32 GB of DDR3L-1600 MHz RAM, and 1TB Raid0 configured SSD along with facelift with new design. Marketed as "Alienware 18" but listed in some countries as "M18XR3 Viking".[19]
  • Alienware 18 (2014) (Discontinued) - 2014 Updated version of the Alienware 18 or "M18x R3"; updated with Intel Haswell micro architecture processors, single or dual Nvidia GeForce 800 Series GPU(s), up to 32 GB of DDR3-1600 MHz, and optional overclock.
  • Alienware 18 (2015) (Discontinued) - 2015 version was a limited re-release of the previous Alienware 18, with updated dual Nvidia GeForce 900 Series GPUs and up to 32 GB of DDR3L-1600 MHz.

17 Inch

  • M17x (Discontinued) - Introduced in 2009, it is the first laptop released by Alienware after the company was bought by Dell. The name and some of the design is based on the Alienware 17 inch laptop, the Alienware M17.
  • M17x-R2 (Discontinued) - 2010 Revision of the M17x, adding support for Intel i5 and i7 processors, dual MXM 3.0B graphic cards.
  • M17x-R3 (Discontinued) - 2011 Revision of the M17x, changes from aluminium chassis to a simplified plastic design, 3D Ready through a 120 Hz screen. Removes Dual-GPU capability.
  • M17x-R4 (Discontinued) - 2012 Revision of the M17x, updated with Intel Ivybridge Processors and Nvidia GeForce 600 Series or the AMD Radeon HD 7970M.
  • Alienware 17 (Discontinued) - 2013 refresh of the M17x, updated with Intel Haswell Processors and Nvidia GeForce 700 Series GPUs or the AMD R9 M290X with new facelift and body design. Marketed as "Alienware 17" but listed in some countries and order details as "M17XR5 Ranger". Updated with Nvidia GeForce 800 Series in 2014
  • Alienware 17 R2 - 2015 revision of the Alienware 17, updated with Nvidia GeForce 900 Series. Features FHD matte display or FHD touch display. A port on the rear for Graphics Amplifier. This model introduced BGA mounted CPU and GPU, removing the ability to replace the CPU or GPU without changing the entire motherboard.
  • Alienware 17 R3 - 2015 refresh of the Alienware 17, Windows 10 available. Features FHD overclocking display. Ultra HD IGZO Display also available, as well as a Nvidia GeForce 900 Series with 4GB GDDR5.

15 Inch

  • M15x (Discontinued) - Introduced in 2009
  • M15x-R2 (Discontinued) - 2010 revision of the M15x, with Nvidia GeForce 200 Series and adding support for Intel i5 and i7 processors.
  • Alienware 15 - 2015 revision of the M15x, updated with Intel Haswell Processors and Nvidia GeForce 900 Series. Features FHD matte display or UHD touch display. Features a port on the rear for Graphics Amplifier.
  • Alienware 15 R2 - 2015 refresh of the Alienware 15, updated with Intel Skylake processors and using the same NVIDIA graphics chipsets. Uses same FHD and UHD screens and Graphics Amplifier port on the rear.

14 Inch

  • M14x (Discontinued) - Introduced in 2011 as a replacement for the M15x, with Nvidia GeForce 500 Series and support for Intel i5 and i7 processors.
  • M14x-R2 (Discontinued) - 2012 revision of the M14x, updated with Intel Ivybridge Processors and Nvidia GeForce 600 Series and Blu-ray slot drive.
  • Alienware 14 (Discontinued) - 2013 refresh of the M14x, updated with Intel Haswell Processors and Nvidia GeForce 700 Series and Blu-ray slot drive with new facelift and body design. It also features an IPS display. Marketed as "Alienware 14" but listed in some countries and order details as "M14XR3".

13 Inch

  • Alienware 13 - Introduced in 2014 as a replacement for the M11x, with Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M and ULV Intel i5 or i7 processors. Features HD or FHD matte display's or QHD touch display. Alienware's thinnest gaming laptop to date. Updated with Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M in 2015. A port on the rear for Graphics Amplifier.

11.6 Inch

  • M11x (Discontinued) - First introduced in early 2010, it is the smallest-size gaming laptop from Alienware. It came equipped with two Penryn-core processors, a Pentium SU4100 at the entry-level and a Core 2 Duo SU7300 at the high-end. Driving the 11.6 inch screen are two video processors, a GMA 4500MHD integrated and NVIDIA's discrete GeForce GT 335M with its own 1GB of DDR3 RAM.
  • M11x-R2 (Discontinued) - Late 2010 revision of the M11x; the first to use Intel's ultra-low-voltage Arrandale Core i5 and i7 processors. The revision also added a rubberized "soft-touch" exterior to the design. The same GT 335M is used for video; however, NVIDIA's Optimus technology has been added to automatically switch between it and the still-used GMA 4500MHD.
  • M11x-R3 (Discontinued) - 2011 revision of the M11x; added support for the second generation of Intel's Mobility series Core i5 and i7 processors and was the first to include an i3 in its lineup. It also received a standardized 500GB 7200rpm hard drive as well as the standard-for-M11x-line dual-GPU setup combining NVIDIA's discrete GeForce GT 540M for higher-end gaming and Intel's integrated HD Graphics 3000 for older gaming and application use. By the end of 2011, a second revision of the motherboard design used on the R3 series was made available on a limited amount of laptops. This second version used the more powerful Nvidia GF108 chipset, the Nvidia GeForce GT 550M with 1GB video memory.

In 2012, Alienware announced that the M11x model would be discontinued due to decreasing consumer interest in small form factor gaming laptops.[20] The company went on to offer refreshed models for the rest of their laptop range: the M14x, M17x, and M18x.[21]

Desktops[edit]

Aurora

  • The Aurora R1 (Discontinued) - This model was based on the Intel's X58 platform (LGA 1366 Socket). It shared identical hardware with the Aurora ALX R1. Processors included Core i7 only (first generation Nehelam quad core and hexacore). In order of model number: 920, 930, 940, 950, 960, 965, 975 (quad core), 980X (six core), 990X (six core). Sealed liquid cooling units for the processors came factory installed. The X58 platform also uses Intel Xeon Processors, but none were used in the Aurora. The R1 used triple channel Memory and had Dedicated Graphics Card options from AMD's HD 5000 series line as well as Nvidia GeForce 400 Series and Nvidia GeForce 500 Series line. Power Supply options included a 525 watt Power Supply Unit, 875 watt Power Supply Unit and a 1000W Power Supply Unit. Power Supply and Motherboard supports both SLI and CrossfireX.
  • The Aurora R2 (Discontinued) - This was the second revision of the Aurora, and the first Alienware Desktop to be sold in retail chains such as Best Buy. It was based on Intel's P55 platform (LGA 1156 Socket). Processors included Core i5 and i7(first generation Lynnfield quad core only). In order of model number: i5 750, i5 760, i7 860, i7 870, i7 875 and i7 880. Sealed liquid cooling units for the processors came factory installed. The R2 used dual channel Memory and had Dedicated Graphics Card options from AMD's HD 5000 series line as well as Nvidia GeForce 400 Series and Nvidia GeForce 500 Series line. Power Supply options included a 525 watt Power Supply Unit and an 875 watt Power Supply Unit. Power Supply and Motherboard supports both SLI and CrossfireX.
  • The Aurora R3 (Discontinued) - This was the third revision of the Aurora. It was based on Intel's P67 platform (LGA 1155 Socket). Processors included Core i5 and i7 processors only(second Generation quad core Sandy Bridge). In order of model number: i5 2300, i5 2400, i5 2500, i5 2500K, i7 2600, i7 2600K. Sealed liquid cooling units for the processors came factory installed. The R3 used Dual Channel Memory and had Dedicated Graphics Card options from AMD's HD 5000 series and HD 6000 series line as well as Nvidia GeForce 400 Series and Nvidia GeForce 500 Series line. Power Supply options included a 525 watt Power Supply Unit and an 875 watt Power Supply Unit. Power Supply and Motherboard supports both SLI and CrossfireX.
  • The Aurora R4 (Discontinued) - This is the fourth revision of the Aurora. It is based on Intel's X79 platform (LGA 2011 socket). This model shares identical hardware with the Aurora ALX (R4). Processors include Core i7 processors only (third generation quad core and hexacore Sandy Bridge Extreme). In order of model number: i7 3820, i7 3930K (six core) and i7 3960X (six core). Sealed liquid cooling units for the processors came factory installed. The R4 is the first to use Quad Channel Memory and has Dedicated Graphics Card options from AMD's HD 6000 series and HD 7000 series line as well as Nvidia GeForce 500 Series line. Nvidia GeForce 600 Series line will be added later this year. Power Supply options included a 525 watt Power Supply Unit and an 875 watt Power Supply Unit. Power Supply and Motherboard supports both SLI and CrossFireX. -Note: The optional ALX chassis offers Thermal Controlled Venting, tool-less/wireless Hard Drive Bays, internal Theater lighting and an extra array of external LEDs. Coupled with the TactX Keyboard and Mouse it offered up to 25 billion lighting color combinations.
  • The Aurora R5 - The fifth revision of the Aurora was announced on the 13th of June, 2016 and was available to purchase June 14, 2016. The updated Aurora was given a brand new facelift and ergonomical handle on the top of the case and is the first of its kind to offer tool-less upgrades to graphics cards, hard drives, and memory. The Aurora was being marketed as being VR ready out of the box, even so far as being HTC Vive Optimized and Oculus Certified . The base model was released with an MSRP of $799.99(US) and adding all the extra hardware can cost the consumer up to $4,189.99(US). The processor choices this revision are Intel based; i3 6100, i5 6400, i7 6600K, i7 6700, & i7 6700K. The Aurora R5 was released during the transitioning phase between the GeForce 900 series and GeForce 10 series graphics cards, and the list was extensive; GTX 950 with 2GB GDDR5, GTX 960 with 2GB GDDR5, GTX 970 with 4GB GDDR5, GTX 980 with 4GB GDDR5, and the GTX 980 Ti with 6GB GDDR5, all of which could also be put in SLI. Alienware, however, would only allow one GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5 or one GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X to be installed at launch. Consumers were also allowed to purchase but one GPU from AMD, the Radeon R9 370 with 4GB GDDR5 (CrossFire of the R9 370 was also an option). PSU choices were in the tune of 460 Watts or 850 Watts, the consumer also had the choice of having a liquid cooled 850 Watt PSU as well. Hard-drive and SSD options ranged from 1TB and 256GB, respectively to 2TB and 1TB, respectively. RAM was available at launch between 8-64GB of DDR4 all clocked at 2133 MHz.[22]

Aurora ALX

  • ALX (R1) (Discontinued) - This model is based on the intel's X58 platform (LGA 1366 Socket). This model shared the identical hardware with the Aurora R1. Processors included Core i7 only (first generation Nehalem). In order of model number: 920, 930, 940, 950, 960, 965, 975 (quad core), 980X (six core), 990X (six core). Sealed liquid cooling units for the processors came factory installed. The X58 platform also uses Intel Xeon Processors but none were used in the Aurora. The R1 used triple channel Memory and had Graphics Card options from AMD's HD 5000 series line as well as Nvidia GeForce 400 Series and Nvidia GeForce 500 Series line. Power Supply options included a 525 watt Power Supply Unit and an 875 watt Power Supply Unit. Power Supply and Motherboard supports both SLI and CrossfireX. -Note: The ALX (X58 platform) was offered from the beginning alongside the Aurora R1, R2 and R3. It offered Thermal Controlled Venting, tool-less/wireless Hard Drive Bays, internal Theater lighting and an extra array of external LEDs. Coupled with the TactX Keyboard and Mouse it offered up to 25 billion lighting color combinations.

Area-51

  • Area-51 R1 (Discontinued) - This model is based on the intel x58 platform (LGA 1366 Socket). This model shared identical hardware with the Area 51 ALX. Processors included Core i7 only (first generation Nehalem). In order of model number: 920, 930, 940, 950, 960, 975 (quad core), 980X (six core), 990X (six core). The X58 platform also uses Intel Xeon Processors but none were used in the Area 51. The Area 51 used triple channel Memory and had Graphics Card options from AMD's HD 5000/6000 series line as well as Nvidia GeForce 400 Series and Nvidia GeForce 500 Series line. Power Supply options included a 1000 watt Power Supply Unit and an 1100 watt Power Supply Unit. Power Supply and Motherboard supports both SLI and CrossfireX. -Note: The Area 51 was offered from the beginning alongside the Aurora R1, R2, R3 and the Aurora ALX (R1). It offered Thermal-Controlled Active-Venting, tool-less Hard Drive Bays, internal Theater lighting and an array of external LEDs. Area-51 was offered in either semi-gloss black or lunar shadow (silver) finishes, with a non-motorised front push-panel. Command Center software and AlienFx features are offered via a discrete master i/o daughterboard.
  • Area-51 ALX R1 (Discontinued) - Alienware's most expensive desktop to date ($5000–$7000 US fully equipped), ALX offered every available option as the standard model (see above); ALX is distinguished from the standard model by its matte black anodized aluminum chassis, and motorised front odd panel powered by a dedicated ALX-specific master i/o daughterboard.
  • Area-51 R2 - unveiled late Aug 2014 - available Oct 2014; newly redesigned Triad chassis; Intel x99 Chipset, support for newest Intel Haswell-E cpu's (skt LGA 2011-v3); 2133mhZ DDR4 memory; 1.5 kW power supply; support for tri/quad graphics; liquid cpu cooling and the return of Command Center 4.0 with AlienFx/overclocking features via fi/o daughterboard.

X51

  • R1/R2/R3 This model is equipped in 4th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and Nvidia GeForce 700 Series GPUs. The hard drive is 256GB SSD 6Gbit/s MAIN plus 1TB 7200RPM Storage. Updated in 2015 with Nvidia GeForce 900 Series GPUs.

Video game console hybrids[edit]

Alienware Alpha

  • Alienware Alpha (Discontinued) - A PC/console hybrid introduced in 2014. It contains a custom-built Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M; a Core i3, i5, or i7 Intel Processor, depending on what model is purchased, up to 8 gigabytes of RAM; and between 500 gigabytes and 2 terabytes of hard drive space.
  • Alienware Alpha R2 - Alienware's update to the small form factor released on June 13, 2016. It contains (depending on customer choice) a AMD Radeon R9 M470X GPU with 2 GB GDDR5 memory or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX960 GPU with 4GB GDDR5. The processor line chosen this rendition are 6th generation Intel processors; the i3 6100T, i5 6400T, or i7 6700T. The RAM from factory comes in either 1 stick of 8GB or 16GB configurations of DDR4 memory clocked at 2133 MHz, and the system comes with but 1 SoDIMM slot. Hard-drive options have been expanded to include a HDD, SSD, or both. The HDD comes in one size, 1TB at 7200rpm, whilst the SSD is available in the M.2 mini-PCIe standard ranging in sizes between 256GB to 1TB. The new console also has a Graphics Amplifier slot with all models except the Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU. The console ships with Windows 10.[23]

See also[edit]

Competitors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hoovers (retrieved on 3/24/11)
  2. ^ "The History of Alienware | Alienware Arena". na.alienwarearena.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  3. ^ Dahlberg, Nancy (2014-05-04). "Game on! Video gaming industry growing in South Florida". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  4. ^ Chacos, Brad (2014-06-09). "Meet Alienware's Alpha console, a Steam Machine without SteamOS (for now)". PCWorld. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  5. ^ Leather, Antony (2015-08-27). "Alienware Launches Three New Gaming Laptops". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  6. ^ Byford, Sam (2015-08-27). "Alienware's gaming laptops and X51 desktop get faster specs and extra features". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  7. ^ Pain, John (March 13, 2006). "Alienware racks up gamers, and millions". The Associated Press. USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  8. ^ Nguyen, Tuan (2006-03-22). "DailyTech - Dell Buys Alienware". www.dailytech.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  9. ^ a b Hachman, Mark (2006-03-22). "It's Official: Dell Beams Up Alienware". PCMag. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  10. ^ Hruska, Joel (2008-05-13). "Dell XPS phase-out symptomatic of declining PC gaming sector (updated)". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  11. ^ a b Shaun, McGlaun (2008-05-13). "Report: Dell Axes XPS Line in favour of Alienware Gaming PCs". Daily Tech. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  12. ^ Scheck, Justin (2008-05-13). "Dell Tries to Revive Its Game PCs". Wall Street Journal. 
  13. ^ "Desktop Computers & All-in-One PCs". Dell. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  14. ^ Hachman, Mark (2009-03-23). "Alienware Plans Worldwide Expansion; Layoffs, Too". PCMAG. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  15. ^ Broekhuijsen, Niels (2014-06-10). "Alienware's Alpha Gaming Console: What is it?". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  16. ^ Ackerman, Dan (2014-12-04). "The Alienware Alpha is a PC that thinks like a game console". CNET. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  17. ^ Ackerman, Dan (2016-06-13). "A big boost for the pint-sized Alienware Alpha". CNET. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  18. ^ "Alienware Graphics Amplifier | Dell". www.dell.com. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  19. ^ "Product details: Dell Alienware M18XR3 Viking Bærbar (n00aw843)". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  20. ^ Smith, Mat (2012-04-19). "Alienware's M11x is no more, bigger is apparently better". Engadget. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  21. ^ Pinola, Melanie. "Dell Refreshes Alienware Laptop Line, Discontinues M11x". PCWorld. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  22. ^ "New Alienware Aurora Gaming Desktop | Dell". Dell. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  23. ^ "New Alienware Alpha | Dell". Dell. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 

External links[edit]