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Tino11
1 Copper

Help with Alienware Alpha Purchase

Hello all, I am new so be gentle!


Although I am from the UK I have been inspired by this thread http://www.overclock.net/t/1526246/alienware-alpha-owners-club to get back in to gaming and so want to wet my feet with an Alienware Alpha.


The main thing I picked up from that very long thread was that actually the base i3 version is pretty good, you just need to upgrade the RAM to 8, 12 or 16GB and change the HD for a faster SSD, both of these things speeds it up considerably.

I have three posts on that thread (1083, 1085 and 1088) all on page 109. Anybody wanting to be really helpful could read all three posts, but I mainly need help with what I wrote in post 1088, which is;

"I am still really confused by this RAM thing, especially as the base spec for the UK and USA Alpha's seem to be different.

Can somebody please help!



Here is a link to the UK site, http://www.dell.com/uk/p/alienware-alpha/pd

under Memory for the base model you can select the following;

4GB Single Channel DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM (1X4GB) - Included in Price
or
4G DDR3 SODIMM Memory - +£23.40



Here is a link to the USA site, http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-alpha/pd

under Memory for the base model it says "4GB DDR3L 1600MHz Memory" and does not give you any other options.




I will be ordering from the UK site and want to upgrade the RAM to 12GB or 16GB. Which one of;

4GB Single Channel DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM (1X4GB) - Included in Price
or
4G DDR3 SODIMM Memory - +£23.40

do I need to select, is one easier to upgrade than the other? What would you upgrade to (with links if possible)?

Finally, is it worth upgrading the wireless from;

Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 1x1 + Bluetooth 4.0 to Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.0 for £15 extra as it also gives you this option on the UK site?"


So can anybody help me with this so I order the right version?


Thanks in advance for any help [:D]

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5 Replies
beamermt79
4 Germanium

RE: Help with Alienware Alpha Purchase

So with the memory I saw what you were looking at and I am not sure I understand what Dell is trying to sell you.  It looks like either a single channel or dual channel config but they do not specify.  You should just get the 4GB single channel and then buy another 4GB stick, or get the 8GB i3 version as 8GB will be better performance wise.  Also in terms of the wireless card, the 2x2 is going to be better then the 1x1 as it gives you 2 'paths' of traffic from the router vs just the one.  I have teh i5 with 8GB ram and 2x2 wireless and its a beast for what its worth.  Yes you will need to save your pennies for an SSD as the HDD installed is horrid.  

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Tino11
1 Copper

RE: Help with Alienware Alpha Purchase

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beamermt79
4 Germanium

RE: Help with Alienware Alpha Purchase

Hey no problem.  this is generally a user to user forum but sometimes an Alienware associate will pop in and out.  My reply will bump up this thread to the top so hopefully that helps.  I would definitely upgrade the wireless card to a 2x2 just for better throughput.  As for the RAM, 8GB should be plenty for gaming etc., unless you are going to be doing heavy movie or photo editing?  If thats the case, I would think about something else outside of an alpha imho.  Either way get the most you can afford and upgrade the RAM via a vendor like Crucial or whomever you prefer. 

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Tino11
1 Copper

RE: Help with Alienware Alpha Purchase

I'm hoping Alienware-Rodrigo or one of the other technical support staff will be able to help answer my question.

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wenlezcn
1 Copper

RE: Help with Alienware Alpha Purchase

You certainly would want to select the "4GB Single Channel DDR3".    Since there is only 2 SODIMM slots, there are only two option to achieve 4GB:  1x 4GB, or 2x 2GB.   I believe the latter option is 2x2GB. Yes, that gives you dual channel on the memory bus, but the performance gain is negligible.  Plus, you'll add more RAM, so say you buy a 8GB stick, that gives you 12GB of RAM in total. 

"4GB Single Channel DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM (1X4GB) - Included in Price
or
4G DDR3 SODIMM Memory - +£23.40"

 


Regard to the Wifi card, unless your router support multiple stream ( MIMO, 3x3 ), you may not see a big gain in performance compare to a 1x1. I personally have a 2x2 AC7260 with a Netgear AC1750 class router, the downlink max out at 26mb/s.  I just use the LAN wire. 

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