Alienware M11x

AlienwareM11x

Alienware has fallen a bit off the radar after my last experience with them but I have to say that the new M11x does seem a bit enticing, and they have upgraded the hardware recently. And all this packed into an 11inch screen, pretty impressive overall and the starting price for the Core i7 is around $999.

Specs:

  • Core i7
  • 8 GB
  • 256 SSD
  • Windows 7 Ultimate – 64 Bit
  • HDMI & Lots of USB

Adding Up to $2400, with all the ridiculous options available

Crappy Alienware Battery

I do enjoy lugging a laptop around but the main problem I have with it is the battery. This is specifically with my Alienware laptop, and this has been the case with all of them, and I have been through 3 Alienware laptops over the past 6 years. And this one has reached its crappy limit, the laptop performs well and handles multiple applications without issues, and the best part about these laptops is the lack of what is called Bloatware (Preinstalled Applications). But at this point if I take the laptop off I only have 20 to 30 minutes of battery life which is insane, and even with a spare its down a lot, the problem now is getting a spare or new battery. They have excellent performing machine but the battery life always suck over some time and it cripples the mobility of the machine, thats its only downfall.

No More Gaming for Dell XPS

Dell bought out Alienware in 2006 but nothing really changed with the Dell line up or the Alienware line up. Dell XPS gaming line was somewhat in direct competition with Alienware desktop PCs over the past two years, but now Dell has cut their Dell XPS gaming line up, it will continue as a high end line but they will dedicate for the first time the Dell R&D to work with Alienware to make better machines. The result of this work will most probably be showing up next year, it will be interesting for sure.

Link: Crave

Windows Home Server – Stage 3

Due to complications with the setup we had to change the server case from the Alienware case to the Thermaltake Kandalf which is large full tower case that handle all the drives I was looking to install. The main issue of the Alienware case was that we weren’t able to install the Silverstone 1200 Watt PSU and the Athena Backplane, they were pushing against each other without allowing any of them to fit in.

The Athena Backplane was holing 5 Sata Drives 3.5″ in the place of 3 5.25″ Drives, so basically 3 CD-Roms for 5 Hard Drives. The PSU fit in the Alienware, and the Athena Backplane fit in the in Alienware case but just not together.

The Thermaltake was the only highquality full tower case available in Hawally at the time that we picked up for 75 KD, and even though it is overpriced the case was worth it and needed to continue our work. So we transplanted everything in the Alienware case to the Thermaltake case. I was dismantling while K was putting it together which was going smoothly.

It took us sometime to take off a few pieces from the Thermaltake since they weren’t needed. The hardware wiring was cleaned up, we removed the extra USB/Firewire/Sound connections of the case to fit the 1200 PSU, its a large one so it takes up space. It fits vertically rather then horizontally which makes things very accessible when connecting all the items for power. We fit the Athena Backplane, and everything was going very smoothly. We removed the LED fans and installed quiet fans on this case, these fans would provide ample cooling by pulling cool air from the front and the back to would pull out of the case. Even though there were four fans (1×120 mm & 3x92mm) running, the machine is extremely quiet, this isn’t even including the fan of the PSU.

Then the wiring came into play, we had a total of 7 SATA connections, and one IDE. Then there was the Addonics SATA controller for more SATA connections at a later point. This will help support a total of 15 hard drives if I wanted to fit them in the machine. Right now I have a total of 7 Hard drives in the machine which are enough to start off with.

After all the hardware configuration we started it up, it started which was good without shorting so everything seemed to be connected correctly. We started the Windows Home Server installation but we were too tired to continue except the next day. When we did continue it was only about mounting the new hard drives on Windows Home Server Share pool. It is going to take some time to tweak everything but overall everything is very straight forward in this machine, can’t wait to fully utilize it. There are still some steps to take.

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Windows Home Server – Stage 2

So most of the hardware came in and K had the other half of the solution for this beast of a machine. I had all the 1 TB Drives but not all of them are going into this machine. I spent a good part of the day trying to rewire some of the items, but I did a horrible job so K redid it again.

The Hardware:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Dou 3.0 Ghz/4MB/1333MHz
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
  • Ram: Kingstong Hyper-X 2 GB/PC800/
  • Graphics Card: XFX NVidia PCX 7200GS/256MB DDR2
  • Main Drive: Seagate 750 GB

After all the work that was done, it turns out that he case is too short. The Silverstone 1200 Watt PSU was too long in the case to fit with the Athena Backplane for the hot-swappable Hard Drives. At this point we went to Hawally to see what our options were for a big PC case with ample space. Other then that the Gigabyte mother board is fantastic for server needs with 8 Sata ports, 8 USB ports, it doesn’t have a graphics card so I picked up a decent graphics card. It didn’t matter much since this will be automatically connected to the system through remote access. This is turning into a monster of job, but I’m loving it and it keeps looking better.

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