The Great Alien Wear Computer Controversy

Alienwear Announces CrossFireX Dual-3870 Gaming Notebook

In a first for Alienwear, the company has introduced a CrossFireX-capable gaming notebook for mobile gamers looking to pack some added heat (figuratively, though likely literally as well) in time for the holiday gaming season. Wealthy fraggers can outfit the new M17 with a pair of ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 3870 videocards for plenty of pixel-pushing power on the notebook's 17-inch WXGA+ or optional WUXGA widescreen display.

"By incorporating the all-out performance of CrossFireX graphics and quad-core processing into Alienwear's award-winning notebook lineup," says Frank Azor, executive vice-president for Alienwear's Product and Marketing Group, "the M17 delivers an impressive feature set at a price point that doesn't break the bank."

Gamers can also double up on storage with up to 640GB of hard drive space in a RAID 0 array (2x320GB), or up to 1TB in RAID 0 for those willing to drop down to a 5400RPM spindle speed (2x500GB), enough to hold 250,000 songs according to Alienwear. Other specs and options include Intel Core 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme processor support, PM45 chipset, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, RAID 1 support, ATSC HDTV tuner, Blu-ray optical drive, three USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port, WiFi, and other goodies.

The hardwear comes wrapped in a "Stealh Black" soft matte finish bearing Alienwear's logo and trademark aesthetic flair. But the real surprise is in the price. A base configuration starts at a comparatively modest $1,400, with less than a $2,000 investment required for a configuration consisting of a Core 2 Duo processor, dual-videocards, and 3GB of DDR3 memory on a 1920x1200 HD display.

Surprised? Hit the jump and sound off.

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June 2008: Upgrade Your Old Retail PC!

June 08 Maximum PC pdf - click to download! In the PDF archive of the June 2008 issue, you can find:

Click the big giant cover image to the right to download the PDF archive today!

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Alienwear Area-51 m15x

It?s easy to be seduced by Alienwear?s m15x notebook. From its handsome
silver-gray case to its cool-yet-tasteful LED accents to its
comfortable lap weight of less than eight pounds, this 15.4-inch
machine had us at hello. Of course, only excellent performance would
keep us interested.

Click Read More for more.

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Daily News Brief: Are Mac Users Snobby?

Humorous Mac video summarizes Mac users, Dell to offer tri-core Phenoms, Toshiba keeps tight-lipped, what an Alienwear phone might look like, and more!

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Alienwear Aurora M7700

We?ve come to realize that there are two kinds of Maximum PC readers: The first is the standard Joe or Jane who has four desktop machines at home to do all the heavy lifting. For these users, a small, low-power notebook is more than sufficient.

Click Read More for more.

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Alienwear Area-51 m17x

Alienwear Area 51 m17x This 17 inch beast is the fastest gaming notebook yet, but is it worth more than six grand? 6,118 Alienwear Area 51

The Best Gaming Notebooks of 2008

The Best Gaming Notebooks of 2008 Got Game? The rigs are rolling out faster than we can play with them?almost. The first quarter of 2008 was loaded with gaming notebooks?and some surprises. While Alienwear

Alienwear Area-51 m15x

Alienwear Area 51 m15x The most powerful 15.4 inch gaming notebook ever. 4,789 Alienwear Area 51 m15x Review of the Alienwear Area 51 m15x

Alienwear Aurora m9700

Alienwear Aurora m9700 With two graphics cards, loads of A V connections, and a built in TV tuner, the Alienwear Aurora m9700 is made to entertain. 4223

Toshiba Infuses Gaming Laptops With Triple Nvidia GPUs (The Best of Both Worlds)
Toshiba has recently empowered its flagship Qosmio
series with two new gaming laptops: the Qosmio X305-Q706
and the Qosmio X305-Q708. These gaming laptops will
incorporate Three GPUs in one system with the integrated
GeForce 9400M and two Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS cards
through SLI (Scalable Link Interface).

Nvidia is naming this triple-card solution as
"Hybrid SLI" and it basically offers laptop owners
the option of discrete graphics with two connected
Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS cards for powerful gaming
and then integrated graphics with the GeForce 9400M
for lower-power usage like Windows operations.

Toshiba is offering the Qosmio X305 in two versions:
the lower priced $1,999 Qosmio X305-Q706, powered by
a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor and 4GB
of DDR3 RAM. It has a 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive
and the already mentioned GeForce 9400M and the
two 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS cards.

For those with huge pockets, Toshiba is offering
a higher-end version, the Qosmio X305-Q708 at
around $4,199 with a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme
QX9300 quad-core processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
It has two hard drives: 128GB solid-state drive
and a 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive. And of course,
it will feature the three GPUs.

Both these Qosmio X305 gaming models will have
the red-flame design and both will have the 17-inch
Diagonal Widescreen TruBrite® Display at 1440x900
native resolution. Plus, stereo sound with 4 Harman
Kardon speakers with subwoofer.

If you can get over the fact that gaming laptops
are often considered a total waste of money because
you can get much better performance for a far cheaper
price in a gaming Desktop PC; Toshiba may be pointing
us in the right direction. Still, many gamers argue
that even 3 mobile chips are not equal to their
desktop cousins and if you want ultimate gaming
performance go with a PC rather than a laptop.

While there's a lot of truth to that argument, gaming
laptops are catching up in performance and in price.
Gaming laptops are using the latest technologies to
improve performance, especially through SLI and Hybrid
SLI where two or more GPUs are connected to give you
a better gaming experience. Call it "Hybrid SLI" or
whatever you want, but there's no denying laptop
performance has greatly improved over the last few

Still most high end big brand names, like Alienwear,
charge big prices for all that raw power and style,
especially on their fully loaded machines. However,
for the prudent consumer there are cheaper gaming
laptops that will not break your banking account.
Some of these, like the Gateway P-7811FX do offer
good value for your money.

Likewise, for those who want a mobile gaming machine
and is not worried about the dismal battery life,
can look towards the Qosmio X305 gaming laptop series
from Toshiba for a solution. It should give you the
best of both world in the same laptop: maximum
performance and quiet operation. In a recent press
release, Carl Pinto, vice president of product
development for Toshiba, stated:

"We wanted to deliver an extreme-performance gaming machine
that gives gamers a complete, non-compromising system in a
laptop form factor... the combination of the NVIDIA GPUs and
chipset allowed us to achieve a high level of performance,
quality and flexibility that our customers are asking for,
at a competitive starting price of $1,999."

Only the marketplace will decide whether these new
laptops sporting three GPUs will fulfill that promise
and usher in a whole new era in gaming laptops. At least
now all the cards are on the table or should we say
in the machine.

.............................................To learn more about laptop computers try here: laptop buying guideTo find out more about the latest top gaming laptops:best gaming notebooksCopyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

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Toshiba Releases Qosmio X305-Q708 Gaming Laptop

Today, Toshiba released the Qosmio X305-Q708 gaming laptop,
just the latest model in its gaming flagship line.
The Qosmio X305will deliver smoother gaming experience with an
Intel Core 2 Quad processors1, which was designed upon
the newest 45nm Intel technology.

This gaming notebook sports a 17-inch diagonal widescreen
TruBrite display and dual VIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS GPUs
with NVIDIA SLi technology. Plus, it has 14GB of DDR3
RAM4 (1066MHz) with many other features worth checking
out if you're on the hunt for a gaming laptop and you're
impartial to aliens of any kind!

Check out the Qosmio X305

Gaming Laptops - Is It A Matter Of Style Over Performance?

Years ago when gaming laptops first hit the market many
serious gamers laughed at the whole notion of using
a laptop for gaming. These first gaming laptops simply
were not up to the power and performance of a gaming
PC. No contest. A desktop computer simply gave you
higher performance than a gaming laptop.

While that last statement is still probably true, the
gap in performance has narrowed significantly in recent
years. Laptops have increased in performance with the
introduction of more powerful mobile dual processors
or even quad processors enhanced with dual graphics
cards via SLI technology.

As we go into fifth and sixth generation laptop
technologies and platforms... the performance gap will
soon be wiped out. Especially when you consider some
gaming laptop specialists are actually giving you
desktop components in a laptop. Same performance as
a desktop only packaged in a laptop. However, calling
these laptops is a bit of a stretch because you won't
be sitting with these heavy mutant creatures on your
lap for any long periods of time.

Regardless, laptop specialists like Alienwear, Sager
and Rock in the UK, are turning out these computing
monsters that can easily rival the gaming desktop PC.
The only thing more shocking than all that raw power
and performance is the price tag. You do have to pay
a hefty price for all that style and performance.

The major drawback or disadvantage of going with
a gaming laptop - there's little room for upgrading.
With a gaming PC, you can always upgrade to the latest
technologies because usually there are slots open and
space to expand... you can even upgrade to a larger
monitor if you like.

However, with the gaming laptop the only things you
can realistically upgrade are the RAM (memory) and the
hard drive. In a gaming laptop everything is so compact
and reduced in size to fit into such a small package,
there's little space for upgrading. Many serious gamers
dismiss owning a gaming laptop for this very reason.

The other major reason is price since you can get
more power and performance in a gaming desktop PC
for a cheaper price than going with a laptop. Again,
the gap is closing but it's still no contest. While
laptop prices are steadily falling, you can still get
a better gaming rig at a lower price if you go the PC
route. In addition, larger monitors are now at 24 or
25 inches on some desktop systems so laptops can't
compete with the display visuals if bigger is your

Then the only other question that has to be asked:

Why are gaming laptops so bloody popular?

Mainly because of the "Cool" factor. Don't laugh,
these gaming rigs, especially those high priced
monsters, are the essence of cool. They look
spectacular and in our very shallow world looks
do count. Just like many people who buy high
performance sports cars more for the looks rather
than for the performance; it is a matter of style
over performance for them.

Then there is still the portability factor since
laptops, even those 10 or 12 pound monsters, are
still more mobile than a bulky PC Tower and Monitor.
You can take all that "cool" style and design along
with you, no matter where you go. Simply put, even
though batter life is next to nil, a gaming laptop
is mobile. You can take it with you and show it off.

So is it a matter of style over performance?

Not really, looks may be one factor why gaming laptops
are so popular but without the high performance and
extreme computing power, these systems would be dead
in the water. For in the end, where gaming is concerned,
performance is still king. Gaming laptops get the job done,
perhaps not as cheaply as their desktop rivals, but you
can usually play the latest games on these pimped-out

In the end, gamers want the performance first and the
looks are secondary. But they will probably still
'show-off' all that style nonetheless, to friends
and to other gamers. Even so, with gaming laptops,
it is more a matter of performance over style.

The great thing about today's gaming laptops, you
don't have to sacrifice one for the other. If you
can afford the hefty price tag, you can have all
that style plus all the performance you need, neatly
packaged in your own gaming laptop.

The author runs a handy online Laptop Guide featuring the latest top gaming notebooks: Gaming Laptops To learn how more about choosing the right laptop for you, try our handy: Laptop Buyer's Guide Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Top 5 Gaming Laptops - Quick Roundup

For a great gaming laptop you need high
performance processors, dedicated graphics
cards and a lot of system memory. These days
top gaming laptops are using dual or even
quad processors and hooking up two or more
graphics GPUs thru SLI configurations to get
the ultimate gaming performance.

Most gamers look for Nvidia and ATI as their
choice of Graphics Cards which uses dedicated
memory (RAM) and pulls additional system RAM
when needed thru HyperMemory (ATI) or Turbocache
(Nvidia). You need at least 2 Gigs of RAM,
although most high end laptops now come with
4 or more Gigs of RAM. Note: 32-bit Operating
Systems ONLY recognizes up to 3GB of RAM,
while you need 64-bit systems to take full
advantage of 4GB of RAM.

Sound and visuals are very important to gamers
so you have to check for superior display qualities
and top sound systems. So look for display technologies
like CrystalBrite (Acer) or X-Black (Sony) for better
viewing. Also look for high resolution (native 1,920 x
1,200) screens, 64 bit systems, DirectX 10 Graphics,
Blu-ray or HD playback...

With all these considerations in mind, here's
a short list of a few top gaming laptops you should
consider if you're in the market. Keep in mind, although
prices are coming down, be prepared to pay top dollar
for all that high-end gaming hardwear, especially if
you're looking at the more popular well-known brands.
Also please note stated prices are rough estimates at
the time of writing; so check each manufacturer's online
site for exact prices and configurations.

1. Alienwear Area-51 m17x ($4,749)

Alienwear has always been the established leader
for superior gaming machines. Unfortunately, while
they make some of the best gaming rigs, you will
have to pay for all that performance and for all
that style. Many believe Alienwear is too overpriced
for what you get. However, if money is no object,
Alienwear should be your first consideration for a
gaming laptop.

Currently, one of their fastest machines is the
Area-51 m17x which sports some impressive specs:

CPU - Intel® Core? 2 Extreme X9000 2.8GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB)

Memory - 4GB? Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz ? 2 x 2048MB

Hard Drive - 250GB (250GB x 2) 7,200RPM (8MB Cache) w/ Free
Fall Protection

Graphics - 512MB NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 3600M

OS - Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Ultimate with Service Pack 1

Display - 17" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD (1200p) with
Clearview Technology

Weight - 10.5 lbs

But don't expect long battery life as gaming laptops
are usually power-hungry creatures that burn up your
power source very quickly. While still mobile, this
laptop serves more as a desktop replacement than a
portable laptop, same said for most of the gaming
laptops here. However, you won't look any cooler than
when you're lugging this rig around, not that looks should
count but they often do. Shallow world.

2. Rockdirect rock Xtreme 780 X9100 (£2300 British Pounds or $4,210 USD)

Offering some serious competition to the Area-51 m15x is
the Rock Xtreme 780 X9100. This is the follow-up to the
very high ranked Xtreme 770 which you may also consider.
The 780 sports the new Intel® Core?2 Extreme processor
and the latest gaming technologies.

CPU - Up to Intel® Core? 2 Extreme processor X9100 (2 x 3.06GHz)
6MB Level 2 Cache

Memory - Up to 4GB DDR3 1066Mhz RAM

Hard Drive - Up to 320Gb 7200rpm SATA

Graphics - NVIDIA 9800M GTX 1GB GDR3

OS - Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Home Premium

Display - 17" WUXGA+ X-Glass TFT Screen (1920 x 1200)

Weight - 8.4 lbs

You should know Rock (Rockdirect) is a leading UK laptop
manufacturer and was recently acquired by the Stone Group.
It should be business as usual since the Stone Group is also
a leading hardwear specialist and laptop manufacturer.
Rock has a solid reputation for bringing the latest innovative
notebook technology to customers. Perhaps better suited for
European buyers with its "3 Year pan-European Collect & Return
Warranty" - although gamers this side of the pond shouldn't
necessarily rule out getting a rock.

3. Gateway P-7811FX ($1,449)

The Gateway P-7811FX is an inexpensive alternative
to all the pricey gaming laptops you might be considering.
If you're looking for a good gaming machine, yet want to
stay within a limited budget, this laptop may have your
name on it.

CPU - 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400

Memory - 4GB, 667MHz DDR3

Hard Drive - 200GB 7200rpm

Graphics - Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS

OS - Microsoft® Windows® Vista® Premium (64-bit)

Display - 17.1 inches HD-friendly 1920x1200.

Weight - 9.0 lbs

This gaming laptop offers great value for your
money and well worth your consideration, especially
if you're on a tight budget.

4. Sager NP9262 ($5879.00 )

In case you want to go in the other direction and
break the bank, the Sager NP9262 maybe calling
your name. Built on the Clevo D900C / D901C
(Worlds 1st Quad Core Laptop) the NP9262 sports
some very impressive gaming specs.

CPU - Intel® Core? 2 Quad Processor Q9650 / 12MB L2 Cache,
3.0GHz, 1333MHz FSB

Memory - 8GB memory available on NP9262 with 64bit edition
of Windows VISTA

Hard Drive - 320GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive + other HD choices

Graphics - Dual Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTX Graphics with 1GB DDR3
Video Memory in SLI mode

OS - Windows® Vista® ULTIMATE 32/64-Bit Edition

Display - 17" Wide Viewing Angles WUXGA LCD with Super Glossy
Surface (1920 x 1200)

Weight - 11.55 lb

5. Dell XPS M1730 ($4,000)

Some gamers wouldn't be caught dead mentioning Dell
and gaming laptops in the same breath. There's no
accounting for gaming snobbery or brand name bias.
However, Dell which now owns Alienwear and some of that
style must be rubbing off since the XPS M1730 is one
of the most striking gaming laptops you can buy -
looks do count and this one leaves all takers in the
dust. If you can get over the idea of having a Dell
in the first place - the XPS M1730 also sports some
very impressive gaming specs.

CPU - 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X7900

Memory - 2GB of 667MHz

Hard Drive - 400GB (2x200) at 7,200rpm

Graphics - Dual 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8700M GT in SLI
(scalable link interface)

OS - Windows Vista® Home Premium

Display - 17 inches 1,920x1,200 resolution

Weight - 11.1 lbs

These are just some of the top gaming laptops
on the market. Any one of these rigs will give
you half decent gaming. There are probably a lot
more cheaper gaming laptops out there and it does
pay to shop around. And as you probably already
noticed these gaming rigs are geared around
Intel and Nvidia - but you shouldn't rule out
AMD and/or ATI based systems. For Mac lovers,
you should look at the Apple MacBook Pro - and
remember you can also run Windows to play games!

Furthermore, one of the major drawbacks of going with
any gaming laptop (rather than a PC) is that there is
very little room for expansion... you need a system that
can be easily upgraded mainly because by the time you
buy it, your system will probably be out of date. That's
a bit exaggerated, but it is always a good idea to go
with a gaming system that you can easily upgrade when
the need arises or as you can afford it.

Also some gamers dislike Vista as an Operating System
for gaming and quickly switch back to Windows XP.
This is simply done, however some current laptops/PCs
won't accept XP so check this out BEFORE you buy your

In addition, if some of these gaming rigs look very
similar, you should know that Clevo is the ODM
(Original Design Manufacturer) based in Taiwan that
sells barebones and computer components to all these
boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)
like Falcon, Sager, M-TECH, Rock... Clevo is considered
by many gamers to produce the top laptops in regards
to superior quality and build. A prudent gaming laptop
buyer would always cross-reference these Clevo products
in order to find the best deal.

The author runs a handy online Laptop Guide featuring the latest top gaming notebooks: Gaming Laptops To learn how to do your own computer or laptop memory upgrade try here: Computer Memory Upgrade Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Know Your Clevo

Clevo is well-respected if not well-known OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
of some pretty good high-end gaming laptops. Brand-name laptop vendors like
Alienwear, Hypersonic, Voodoo, Rock... all use Clevo components.

This Taiwanese company has just released some new machines -
the 17-inch M570TU and the 15-inch M860TU which offer WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200)
resolutions. The M570TU also sports:

The latest Intel processor and chipset (Montevina or Centrino 2 vPro???)
512MB nVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTX graphics card
2 megapixel webcam
Blu-ray drive
TV Tuner
Fingerprint reader
e-SATA and HDMI ports

Should make a half-decent gaming laptop...

Find out more about Clevo here:


Find out more about gaming laptops here:
best gaming laptops

Student Laptops - What You Need To Know Before Buying?

If you're considering buying a laptop for a student,
here are some factors or features you might want to
examine before plunging down your hard earned cash.
These are some basic elements all great student laptops
should possess or have which will make your chosen
laptop more suitable for a student.

So here are some things you should consider when buying
a student notebook or laptop:

1. Sturdy

The student environment can be harsh and unpredictable
so you will need a sturdy, tough laptop. You might
even consider a ruggedized notebook if the laptop is
to be used under really extreme conditions. Just
make sure your chosen laptop can take the bumps and
drops associated with the student environment.

2. Portable

The student laptop should be very portable with
good battery life if it is to be used in the classroom.
It should also be sleek and small so it can fit neatly
under the arm or in a backpack. Laptops are getting
more and more compact so finding a laptop to meet
your needs should not be difficult. Just make sure
it has sufficient wireless connections as the Internet
is now a valuable tool in any student's life.

3. Performance

Performance must meet your needs. Choose a laptop
that offers sufficient performance and power to
carry out all your computing tasks. Again, laptops
have greatly increased in performance and are now
almost parallel with desktop PCs. But check the
Processor (CPU), RAM, Hard Drive and OS (Operating
System) on your chosen laptop to make sure they will
meet all your student's needs.

4. Economical Laptops

Economics always plays a part in any student's life
so you have to shop around and find a good quality
cheap laptop. Again, with laptop prices steadily
falling, finding a good affordable laptop should
not be a problem. Don't rule out a used or
refurbished laptop as they are usually very

5. Theft and Security

Laptop theft and security should be high on your
mind when buying a student laptop. Fortunately, many
laptops now come with a lot of security measures such
as fingerprint entry or even face recognition softwear
as seen in the latest Lenovo laptops. Also, you should
check into other security measures such as the Anti-Theft
softwear like LoJack that can track and locate your
laptop or computer thru the IP address once the stolen
laptop is used to access the Internet.

Now here are some points you should consider when
buying any type of laptop, student or otherwise:

1. CPU Processor

Central Processing Unit or Processor is important
in any laptop or PC. Check to see how much power
and speed you have - most laptops now come with
Intel's Dual Core Processors which should give even
the most demanding student enough performance.

2. RAM

RAM or Random Access Memory is an important
element in your laptop. It will usually determine
(along with the CPU & Hard Drive speed) how
fast your laptop will perform. The more RAM
you have the better, but note 32 bit systems
can only use up to 4 GB of RAM and 64 bit
systems can use 8 GB or more.

For running Windows XP, Microsoft recommends
128MB as the minimum RAM requirement, again
more is better. For Mac OS X systems you will
need a minimum of 128 MB but for optimal performance
try 512 MB. Linux will work nicely on a system with
only 4 MB of RAM. For Windows Vista - Microsoft
recommends at least 1 Gig of RAM but many users
have reported that 2 to 3 Gigs of RAM makes Vista
run smoother.

3. Graphics Card or GPU

If a student will be handling a lot of heavy
graphics (video gaming aside) with their studies
then the type of Graphics Card you buy will be
important. If you can afford it go with a high
end GPU such as those offered by NVIDIA and ATI.
Dual graphics cards would be another option for
optimum graphics performance.

4. Display

Display in a student laptop is also important. Many
students prefer a slate or convertible display which
makes it easy for note-taking. Even tablets should be
considered if note-taking is the main purpose of
your laptop. Otherwise make sure the display is
crisp and large enough to suit your needs.

5. Value for Money

It does pay to shop around and make sure you
get great value for your money. Comparison shopping
is one of the best ways to do this; just make
sure you're getting good value for the laptop
you're buying. Compare CPUs, RAM, Hard Drives
and Performance to see how much you're paying
for each feature.

The "Cool Factor"

In conclusion, you should consider all the factors
listed above before buying your student laptop and
it will make your task much easier. However, if you're
a parent buying a laptop for your student son or
daughter you probably already know from past
experiences that there is always an "unwritten
cool factor" in anything they use! To avoid
disappointment, consult with your offspring about
what type of laptop they would appreciate having.
If it is something they really like, they will take
better care of it and protect it as if their life
depended upon it. Besides, why waste money on something
they won't even use.

So don't rule out a cool high end Apple laptop or
even a high end gaming laptop such as those from
Alienwear. High end laptops are more expensive but
they also offer the best performances of any laptop
you will consider, as long as the aforementioned
offspring has been sufficiently weaned off video
gaming to get their school work done. Happy laptop

For more information on Buying Notebooks and Laptops
at Bargain Prices Click Here: Cheap Laptops
Or here: Laptops for Students Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins.

This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Gaming Laptops: Why RAM Is Mission Critical?

RAM or Random Access Memory is critical to gaming
laptops. Mainly because the more RAM you have on
your laptop or computer, the higher the performance
level you can achieve. Higher RAM will increase
your enjoyment and let you play even the most
challenging 3D games.

Besides the CPU (Central Processing Unit) RAM is
probably the most vital element you will have in
your laptop or computer. Just as you can't have
enough money, so too you can't have enough RAM.
The more the merrier. The more RAM you have, the
faster your computer will perform.

Most serious gamers know their RAM. They know the
difference between static and dynamic RAM. Many can
even tell you how SIMM, DIMM and SO-DIMM memory modules
are different from each other. Plus, they would all
know the importance of VRAM or VideoRAM to the operation
of their gaming laptop. Most of all, they know their
Graphics Cards or GPUs (Graphics Processing Units).

First, you should realize, RAM is probably the best
known form or type of computer memory. Second, RAM
is very important in how well your computer can
perform the tasks you call upon it to do. The more
RAM you have, the more computer tasks and programs
you can run at one time.

Nor should you make the mistake that only gamers
are concerned about getting enough RAM; professionals
who work with heavy graphics such as video editors,
architects, layout artists, website designers...
are also keenly awear of the importance of having
enough RAM to get the job done.

Keep in mind, computer technology is advancing at
a blistering rate and is constantly changing.
Overseeing all these industry standards and
technology is JEDEC, which acts like a regulating
body for the semiconductor industry. Hey, someone
has to keep track of all these forms of RAM!

Basically, you have two kinds of RAM - Static
RAM (SRAM) which is faster and more expensive
than Dynamic RAM (DRAM). Just as their names
suggest, Dynamic RAM is constantly refreshing
and is slower and less expensive than Static RAM.

Static RAM is primarily used for cache such
in your CPU's speed-sensitive cache.

What confuses most people is the whole range
or types of Dynamic RAM, with more in development
as we speak. Complicating the matter even further,
is the development of RAM for laptops which need
smaller and more compact memory modules.

Here are some types of RAM you may or may not have
seen or heard of:

FPM DRAM -- which stands for "Fast Page Mode Dynamic
Random Access Memory" and was the original form of
DRAM. It has a maximum transfer rate of approximately
176 MBps to L2 cache; and if you're wondering what
is level 2 cache, this is cache located outside the
processor chip. Level 1 refers to internal cache in
the processor.

EDO DRAM -- which stands for "Extended Data-out Dynamic
Random Access Memory" and is around 5% faster than
FPM DRAM. Transfer rate is at about 264 MBps to L2

SDRAM -- which stands for "Synchronous Dynamic Random
Access Memory" is very common in today's computers.
Transfer rate maxes out at around 528 MBps.

DDR SDRAM -- which stands for "Double Data Rate
Synchronous Dynamic RAM" is similar to SDRAM but
has higher bandwidth, allowing for greater speeds.
Transfer rate to L2 cache is around 1,064 MBps.

DDR2 SDRAM -- which stands for "Double-data-rate
Two Synchronous Dynamic RAM", operates the external
data bus twice as fast as DDR SDRAM.

DDR3 SDRAM -- which stands for "Double-data-rate Three
Synchronous Dynamic RAM" and is an improvement over
DDR2 SDRAM. DDR3 allows for chip capacities of 512
megabits up to 8 gigabytes, which gives you the maximum
memory module size of a whopping 16 gigabytes.

<b>Memory Modules</b>

RAM modules are mounted on printed circuit boards
to be used in personal computers. First, you had SIMMs
(single in-line memory modules) which were gradually
replaced by DIMMs (dual in-line memory modules).
The main difference between them: SIMMs have a 32-bit
data path and DIMMs have a 64-bit data path. Now for
notebooks, you have SO-DIMMs (small outline dual in-line
memory modules) which are smaller and more compact memory
integrated circuits.

Of course, like everything in life, there are radically
different forms of RAM such as RDRAM which stands for
"Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory". This was
designed by Rambus and has a high speed data bus
nicknamed the Rambus channel. Likewise, you had
Rambus in-line memory module (RIMM) and for laptops
you had SO-RIMM.

<b>Graphics Card</b>

Next you must know there is something called VRAM
or VideoRAM. This is a type of RAM is used for
video adapters or 3-D accelerators. VRAM is
located in the Graphics Card and is important
for high resolution and color depth, both
very essential for gamers. Since true multiport
VRAM is expensive, some Graphics Cards use SGRAM
(synchronous graphics RAM) instead because it is
cheaper. Other types of special high speed or
multi-port memory include WRAM, DDR2, GDDR3 and

Your Graphics Card will be the heart of your
gaming machine. Most gamers go for the top
brands such as NVIDIA (GeForce) and ATI (Radeon)
- the higher number series card usually means
higher the performance. For example, at the
time of writing, Nvidia has released the
GeForce 9800 GX2, which is basically dual
GeForce 8800 GT in one card. This will also
give you DirectX 10 Graphics. Wait a couple
of months and there will probably be something
faster and more powerful on the market.

If one Graphics Card is good, then two or more
would be even better. That's why you have SLI
(Scalable Link Interface) technology which
allows for the linking of two or more video
cards together to get a single output.
PCI Express, is another expansion card interface
format which was introduced by Intel in 2004.

<b>How Much RAM Do You Need?</b>

As already mentioned, the more RAM you have,
the better your computer will run. You will
be able to perform more tasks and do them
faster if you have plenty of RAM. Actually,
upgrading your RAM to a higher level will
usually give you a whole new computer.

There are recommended minimum requirements
if you want to run certain programs or
operating systems on your PC or Laptop.
For running Windows XP, Microsoft recommends
128MB as the minimum RAM requirement, again
more is better.

For Mac OS X systems you will need a minimum
of 128 MB but for optimal performance try 512 MB.
Linux will work nicely on a system with only 4 MB
of RAM.

For Windows Vista - Microsoft recommends at
least 1Gig of RAM but many users have reported
that 2 to 3 Gigs of RAM makes Vista a much more
easier beast to handle. Vista probably needs all
the good press if can get.

<b>For Gaming Laptops: How Much RAM?</b>

Again the more the better, gaming laptops
need a lot of RAM since you have heavy video
graphics and images. Serious gamers usually
buy as much RAM as they can afford, choosing
the fastest machines with the latest Graphics
Card. Laptops with four Gigs of RAM are becoming
common, with many gamers opting for 8 Gigs.

At the time of writing, what levels are we
currently at in regards to laptops and RAM?
Well, the new Alienwear Area-51® m17x Notebook
comes with the following specs: An Intel® Core? 2
Extreme processor with up to 4GB DDR2 667MHz
memory, sporting Dual Nvidia® GeForce® 8800M GTX.
This machine also has the Killer? K1 Gaming Network
Card plus the ultra-life-like environments generated
by the Ageia PhysX? processor. You should also note
that Ageia was recently (Feb. 2008) acquired by

Perhaps, in regards to RAM, the wisest route
to take is to buy a laptop or PC where you
can easily upgrade or expand the RAM if you need
more memory. Changes are, wait a few months
and you will probably need to increase your RAM.

The author runs a handy online Laptop Guide featuring the latest top gaming laptops: Gaming Laptops To learn how to do your own computer or laptop memory upgrade try here: Computer Memory Upgrade Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached. .

NEW! Area-51 m17x - Alienwear?s Most Powerful 17-inch Notebook

Wow! Alienwear is really taking gaming laptops to
their limits. Here are some of the details of this
gaming power-house:

Intel® Core? 2 Extreme processor
Up to 4GB DDR2 667MHz memory
Dual Nvidia® GeForce® 8800M GTX
Blu-Ray? burner
Up to 1.5TB with RAID 0 plus an expandable Smart Bay hard drive option
Killer? K1 Gaming Network Card plus the ultra-life-like environments
generated by the Ageia PhysX? processor
17-inch WidescreenUXGA (1200p) with Clearview

Taking Mobile Performance to its Limits and then some.

This gaming laptop will be on the top of every
serious gamer's list until something faster comes
along. Dell or no Dell, Alienwear has proven again,
why it is still considered the best specialist
PC gaming maker. Hands down.

Check out the New Alienwear Area-51 m17x

Alienwear Area-51® m17x

Alien Wear Computers