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post #1 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all!

I just picked up one of these surprisingly rocking little PCs and I thought I'd get a user group going for it on the forums!

I'll be posting photos and benchmarks shortly tonight, but feel free to chime in if you have an Alpha or are curious about them!

Alex




[Photos]

[Internal Photos]

--[Benchmarks on i3]--

Average Framerate; all on Base Alpha, except COD:AW needed 8GB of Ram to operate smoothly.



[Benchmarks on i5]

[Benchmarks on i7]

--[Dis-assembly Instructions]--

Here is a video on Upgrading the Alpha including showing the basically 5 screws for taking it apart.

Remeber; you can change the CPU, RAM, and HDD/SSD yourself in less than a couple of minutes. It is really quick to do.

Skip to 0:45 for the steps


--[Known Working CPU Upgrades]--

This PC ships with a standard 1150 socket, so anything should technically work if you swap it in. Alienware says this does NOT void warranty in their coverage of the unit, so mod away!

- i7 4790K (Current load and wattage limits on PSU normally restrict to ~2.65ghz under 100% load on all 8 threads; I will get a larger laptop style PSU and test again)

- i5 4590

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post #2 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 08:18 AM
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Hey Alex,

Just joined the forum as I'm interested in hearing about the Alpha from an owner!

We can't get in the UK till mid December so I should be able to get some good info from users before deciding whether and what version to buy.

I've been pretty happy with the optimistic noises coming from first impressions reports, although there doesn't seem to be that many unfortunately. A guy over at Forbes is doing a good roundup on the base model.

I'm curious to see how the base model compares to the i5 version, and also how the base model with 8GB compares to the i5. Will you be doing those comparisons?

At the moment I'm leaning towards base mode and just add another 4GB stick, but a hundred pounds to upgrade to an i5 and get that RAM upgrade isn't terrible value, it's certainly cheaper than me buying the base and upgrading both myself. Can you confirm the base has one 4GB stick of RAM?

Any plans to try an SSD and see if it has a noticeable affect on gaming performance?

Cheers,

Owen
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post #4 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MuthaBuffer View Post

Hey Alex,

Just joined the forum as I'm interested in hearing about the Alpha from an owner!

We can't get in the UK till mid December so I should be able to get some good info from users before deciding whether and what version to buy.

I've been pretty happy with the optimistic noises coming from first impressions reports, although there doesn't seem to be that many unfortunately. A guy over at Forbes is doing a good roundup on the base model.

I'm curious to see how the base model compares to the i5 version, and also how the base model with 8GB compares to the i5. Will you be doing those comparisons?

At the moment I'm leaning towards base mode and just add another 4GB stick, but a hundred pounds to upgrade to an i5 and get that RAM upgrade isn't terrible value, it's certainly cheaper than me buying the base and upgrading both myself. Can you confirm the base has one 4GB stick of RAM?

Any plans to try an SSD and see if it has a noticeable affect on gaming performance?

Cheers,

Owen

I'll be doing side by side performance benchmarking on the i3-i5-i7 in the next few days

Also, the base does include a single 4GB stick.. Really I think it needs an extra 4GB DIMM.

I will say, from initial testing it seems that there isn't a large gaming performance difference from the i3 to the i7, since really at that point you would also be looking for bigger GPUs... The only reason I really would see in getting the i5 or i7 is if you plan to use it as a desktop PC for other tasks (adobe, etc). Then the i7 really comes into play.

I also am flashing the whole 500gb internal to an SSD to I can post side-by-sides of that difference as well.

Thanks!
Alex

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post #5 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 03:24 PM
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Look forward to seeing the results, thanks for getting back to me.

I literally intend to use it to play games and maybe as a streaming box so not for other tasks, so only interested in its gaming performance and upgrades that will cause notable improvement to that.

I'm still heavily leaning towards base model and chucking in another 4GB. Very interested in how the SSD will affect it, especially booting.

Cheers!

Owen
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post #6 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MuthaBuffer View Post

Look forward to seeing the results, thanks for getting back to me.

I literally intend to use it to play games and maybe as a streaming box so not for other tasks, so only interested in its gaming performance and upgrades that will cause notable improvement to that.

I'm still heavily leaning towards base model and chucking in another 4GB. Very interested in how the SSD will affect it, especially booting.

Cheers!

Owen

I'm hoping to have more bencmarks etc tomorrow for posting; honestly I think the best configuration of this system for gaming/streaming is going to be the base model with another 4GB DIMM.... maybe an SSD, but the HDD load times for the OS etc aren't as bad as I thought they would be.

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post #7 of 2168 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 02:25 AM
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alpha uses a T series CPU that is much lower wattage, a K series would just generate too much heat. i dont think upgrading the CPU is a good idea unless you got the basic i3 model and want a quad and even so IMO get nothing more power intensive then the S series

what i be interested in would be a means of attaching an external GPU because however i see it is just bottled necked by the 860m aka 750ti for gaming application

this IMO is a better video on upgrading the alpha

if possible i'd like 4k benchmarks on maximum playable settings say to achieve around 30fps+ by lowering settings to medium settings without AA etc

still IMO the alienware 13 would be a better choice over this, CPU and graphics performance would be similar in stock form but you do get a keyboard and screen for the extra buck but more importantly is it has a external GPU option

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post #8 of 2168 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 09:19 PM
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I am thinking of upgrading the CPU from the i3 to the i5-4690 Processor.

Does anyone know if this will work OK? It's an 85W chip as apposed to the 35W currently installed.

Sounds like the 85W will work ok? maybe just limit the CPU slightly?
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post #9 of 2168 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 02:23 AM
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IMO no, it only has a 130w PSU that needs to also power a 750ti class graphics. no matter how little the 750ti consumes its still a significant amount out of 130w of available power.

IMO go no more then a S suffix if not a T, those are 45w (T) and 65w (S) chips for the i5/i7

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post #10 of 2168 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 02:56 AM
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Well from what Alex is saying, the cpu will be limited in performance due to the PSU W, so it should still work fine, waiting on him to reply.

On the i7 4790K he tested the power supply limited the CPU on heavy load. Just need confirmation that this is the case.
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