Thursday, March 6, 2008

Alienware Introduces ATI CrossFireX Technology

Yesterday ATI released it's driver enabling CrossFireX technology. With CrossFireX enabled graphics your system can have more than 2 GPUs enabled to power the graphics on your screen for PC gaming or any graphics dependent software. Thats dual ati video cards with dual graphics processing units on each card. 2 + 2 = 4 !

Previously ATI had what was called CrossFire (without the X) where you could have up to two GPUs working in tandem. CrossFireX elevates that to three or even four GPUs which is exactly what Alienware is selling shown on the picture above. The technology is featured on their Area-51 ALX CFX gaming desktop which has all the attributes of any gamer's dream system like:

  • liquid cooling
  • overclocked Intel Core 2 Extreme CPU (to 4.0GHz!)
    • 45nm Penryn class processor
  • overclockable DDR3 memory - Patriot brand
  • built-in wireless-N technology
  • up to 4x GPUs and 2GB of GDDR3 graphics memory
  • Solid State Drives in RAID0
  • Dual eSata ports
  • 1000 Watt power supply
It also carries a bunch of Alienware exclusive goodies like AlienFX system lighting technology, card keeper technology to protect the graphics cards, excellent internal wire management, their typical predator chassis (which needs a serious upgrade, sorry Alienware). It's also packaged very safely and nicely with extra stuff like a special black leather binder, the world's best mousepad, a mesh cap, key chain, and the usual new PC junk. This of course is for the fancy tuxedo gamer.

Priced at $5,149 you're really paying for the special brand, support, warranty, build quality and bragging rights. It's also really nice to see a bloatware free system which really sets Alienware apart from most PC manufacturers that just pack all the software they can from third parties. On the other hand, Alienware has some very unique software packages that don't consume performance-hurting resources like AlienGUIse which changes the skin of your desktop and overall theme of the OS with several options. There's also Alien Command center which can control your AlienFX and other power-related options. An equivalent performing PC can be self-built at around $3K (plus shipping) but of course it would be packaged in a regular clone case and you would be on your own when it comes to reliability, support, and some possible limitations on how far your knowledge of building and integrating a system goes. Good luck!

Regardless, I would love to get my hands on one of these, with that much processing and graphics power I bet you wouldn't need an upgrade for at least 3 years to play the latest games and possibly 8 years before you need to consider purchasing some upgrades. Thats a lot of deathmatches and raids! For now, considering it's configuration, it must indeed be the fastest gaming PC money can buy.

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