Crysis on the Alienware m9750

Crysis on the Alienware m9750

Summary: A few people have e-mailed in to ask me how the m9750 I have on loan from the kind folks at Alienware handles Crysis. Given that I'm on a bit of a gaming bender as of late, I'm happy to oblige.


A few people have e-mailed in to ask me how the m9750 I have on loan from the kind folks at Alienware handles Crysis.  Given that I'm on a bit of a gaming bender as of late, I'm happy to oblige.

Crysis on the Alienware m9750Check out the complete screenshot gallery here.

I don't have a full copy of Crysis (and to be honest I don't want it before Christmas because I won't get anything done ... but it is on my wish list and if I'm good I hope that Santa will bring it for me) but I do have the download of the demo.  Bear this in mind as you read this post as there could well be differences between the demo and the final release.

Anyway, last night I loaded the Crysis demo onto the m9750 and my quad-core Vista 64-bit rig and compared the difference. 

WindCrysis on the Alienware m9750ows Experience Index

Here's the Windows Experience Index (WEI) score for both systems:

Alienware m9750

  • Processor: 5.2
  • Memory (RAM): 4.7
  • Graphics: 5.9
  • Gaming graphics: 5.8
  • Primary hard disk: 5.4

My quad-core system:

  • Processor: 5.9
  • Memory (RAM): 5.6
  • Graphics: 5.9
  • Gaming graphics: 5.5
  • Primary hard disk: 5.9

Crysis on the Alienware m9750Both systems exceed the game's requirements of a base requirement WEI score of 3.0 and a recommended score of 5.0.

Of significance here is that the m9750 scores 0.3 higher than my system when it comes to gaming graphics.  Will this make a difference to the outcome of this test?


OK, let the gaming begin!

Within minutes of starting to play Crysis, two differences became apparent.  First, the m9750 might have met its match with Crysis because both the gameplay and in-game video playback wasn't anywhere near as smooth as what my quad-core system could deliver.  This was backed up by data I gathered using Fraps.  The high, low and average frames per second score for a 10 minute gaming session with both systems set to identical settings (1024 x 768, medium quality graphics running fullscreen) is shown below:

High Low Average
m9750 24 8 17
Quad-core 38 22 32
The ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT powered quad-core system whips the dual 512MB nVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX cards in the m9750 (both systems are running the absolute latest drivers).  This surprised me given that the m9750 should be more powerful and able to handle the graphics workload easier.  I'm also surprised because of the prominent "nVIDIA: The way it's meant to be played" ad that features at the beginning of the game. 

The second thing that became quite clear was that Crysis was far more stable and reliable on my quad-core system than it was on the Alienware rig.  In fact, it was hard to get 10 minutes of gameplay on the m9750 without having a crash (and yes, I was rebooting between each crash). 

I also noticed an odd but on the Alienware rig; that shadows weren't being rendered correctly.  The image below shows this clearly - where's the gun in the shadow? 

Crysis on the Alienware m9750

All shadows seemed to be rendered correctly on my ATI-powered quad-core system.


Maybe having dual 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8700M cards in the m9750 would come in handy to play Crysis, especially given that they support DirectX 10.


Topics: Processors, Hardware, Mobility

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  • Question about your WEI score

    [i]Primary hard disk: 5.9[/i]

    What hard drive and configuration are you using to get a 5.9? My hard drive is the only measure below 5.9.
    • RaptorX

      150GB WD RaptorX. No RAID.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • Crysis Indeed

    At $400 the PS3 is the most expensive console you can buy. It comes with a
    broadband cpu that is capable of outperforming most computers. It comes with a
    blue ray player and a 60 Gb hard drive. It works with the large high definition
    display you own already for movies an TV. It is subsidized by Sony, and runs the
    huge library of PS2 titles and new PS3 titles. It has a symbiotic relationship with the

    This isn't a argument for a given console, or even for console vs PC. This is a
    illustration of "cost per kill". PC jockies that need to have bragging rights are
    paying a $3000-$5000 premium to do it. It still can't provide a consistent or
    exemplary experience. When is crashing every 10 minutes ever acceptable?

    I'm interested to know exactly where the line in the sand gets drawn. I don't doubt
    that entertainment has value, but if it does, when does it stop being excessive? The
    male ego has been wrapped up in counterstrike matches. Virility gets mapped to
    frame rate. As a result, you apparently just can't put too high a price on satiating
    modern man's primordial hunting impulse. God bless ya!

    Is it valuable? Depends on who you talk to. To a researcher trying to cure cancer,
    no, not really, to a 14 year old on XBox live, "course it is ya fragtard".

    What you get is a herd of suckers. The same guys who call Mac users snobs for
    spending $300 more on a girls computer, spend 3k for dedicated electronic viagra.
    What does one say but "I'm sorry you have small units, but I'm glad you've found an ostensibly nonviolent, if expensive, way of working it out.
    Harry Bardal
    • ok think of it this way....

      First I am quite the console person myself, but your viewing PC gaming all wrong with your claim of needing $3000 worth of hardware.

      Everyone already has a computer, you I assume have one if you posting. What I am trying to get at is even Crysis which is one of the best looking games out there, easily beating anything consoles have, runs beautifully on my PC. My pretty standard PC at around $1200 can't run it, no. But all I added was a $350 Nvidia 8800GTS and now Crysis runs beautifully. So in some respects you can think you use your exsisting PC and add a graphics adapter that is the same price as a console and your set. Most PC games besides Crysis will run on much less than what I have and mine is no where near $3000.
      • i am suprised though...

        that the alienware had that much trouble running it. I would be pretty disappointed with that laptop if thats the case. The performance of SLI hasn't been that great however, and in the laptop I assume the clock speed of the graphics cards is way less than that of a desktop due to heat issues.
      • Games for Windows

        $3000 was not my claim?this was just the topic (Alienware) as offered up by the
        blog. My issue is not with the choice, but the hypocrisy. Even if it's only $350 for
        gaming eye candy, it is reflective of your position. I'd trust your opinion would
        remain consistent. Others have not.

        Adrian has been very quick to dismiss Apple users as silver spoons, cultists, and
        the "stupid rich". Like, Non Zealot, who's famous for his open mindedness, Adrian
        seems happy to pony up to a 2k surcharge for what can only be described as
        frivolous. I'm not judging?I like games too?but this is a fact. These are not the
        people qualified to lecture Apple users on their choice to pay more for refined
        hardware/software integration and forgo a cesspool of mediocre choices. They are
        surely not the arbiters of "frugal". I don't expect them to behave like champions of
        the working class anymore.

        If, for you, this is all about "real men have 8800GTS's" god bless, you've now had an
        opportunity to beat your chest and let us in on the fact you roll with the best. That
        wasn't my subject. What I'm saying is, those who spent inordinate amounts of time
        and cash shooting polygon puppets, shouldn't be casting aspersions on people
        who make other choices for their dollars.
        Harry Bardal
        • If you could play games on Apple

          Then maybe they wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Apple users. The problem is you can pay $$$ for a Mac and STILL can't play these games. While you can pay the $$$, do everything a Mac does (essentially) AND play games. For a gamer - the choice is clear. Pay the $$$ and you can play games (top of the line games). What do they get for the $$$ Mac.
        • Poor Harry

          Feeling a bit picked on? lol!
      • Very true

        My quad-core rig cost nowhere near $3000.
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Once again, you fail the test

      Wake me when you are [b]forced[/b], by your OS manufacturer, to buy a $3,000 Alienware laptop. Until then, your attempt to portray the existence of a $3,000 Alienware laptop as somehow analogous to Apple selling overpriced hardware is not going to convince anyone.

      I'll repeat: until Microsoft [b]forces[/b] you to run Windows on a $3,000 Alienware laptop, no comparison can be made to Apple.

      [i]Is it valuable? Depends on who you talk to. To a researcher trying to cure cancer, no, not really, to a 14 year old on XBox live, "course it is ya fragtard".[/i]

      This is what MS understands and Apple doesn't care about. To Apple, there is no such thing as "depends on who you talk to", Steve Jobs is the only person who counts. To MS, you are an individual who is able to decide what hardware will bring you most value, whether it is a $3,000 laptop or a $399 desktop. To Apple, you are an idiot.
      • Apple Starting Price Range is $600-$2200

        The Mac Mini starts at $600
        The iMac at $1200
        The MacBook at $1100
        The MacBook Pro at $2000
        The Mac Pro at $2200

        Those are retail prices (you can find discounts) and the slowest processor in any of them is the 1.83Ghz Core2 Duo. All of those systems have alternate configurations where you can add features if you choose to. You can decide which configuration works best for you.

        That being said, I disagree with Harry (albeit in a more rational, less zealotrous manner) because the PC gaming experience is different than the console gaming experience. Anyone who is a gamer knows that consoles have their strengths and weaknesses and PCs have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, I would never play Madden (or any other sports game) on a PC, and I would never play Elder Scrolls on a console. The gaming experiences are completely different.
        • @t_mohajir ...

          "For example, I would never play Madden (or any other sports game) on a PC, and I would never play Elder Scrolls on a console. The gaming experiences are completely different."

          You got it. I've got a Wii and a PS2 and the gaming experience is totally different and each platform is better suited to specific games.
          Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Apple Alien ware pretty much the same thing

        I can put Vista on both. Apple just another over priced OEM to me.
        • Not really

          Let's say that computers and operating systems are like cars.

          Apple is like a Ferrari - finely tuned and very stylish.

          Alienware is like an Muscle Car - built up with the most power possible, because
          horsepower can overcome it's cumbersome size.

          HPs, Dells, Compaqs, Emachines, and anything else with a Celeron - well, call them
          a Kia, a Hyundai, even a Yugo if you please.
      • Microsoft doesn't make the hardware...

        Microsoft doesn't make the hardware, and when they do, it's Windows/Microsoft only.
        Zune, XBox, etc.

        Microsoft does everything they can to make sure that when you buy that $3,000 Dell
        laptop that you [i]are[/i] running Windows.

        They got sued over it, remember? OEM contracts that prohibit selling alternative
        OSes, kickbacks and incentives to only sell Windows, etc.
    • Well, that was certainly...

      ...a waste of 45 seconds of my life I'll never get back.
      Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: Crysis on the Alienware m9750

    I haven't heard of anyone being able to play crysis on any laptop, so this doesn't surprise me at all. I have around a grand in my rig and it plays well on high.

    Using the crysis benchmark tool I am getting a high of 42fps on the first map, at 1280x768.

    This is with a 8800gt, and a x2 6400. = less than $500

    Have a nice day :)
  • Crysis on DX9 cards

    I've played this on a friend's home-built quad-core
    system, and his dual 7900 GTX cards choked on it (using
    both XP Pro and Vista Ultimate).

    I just think that Microsoft needs to do some reworking fo
    DX10 so it plays better with DX9 cards.