View Full Version : Alienware ALX Questions

01-31-05, 09:25 PM
read in CPU Magazine a few months ago that Alienware had its own SLI setup (didnt need the bridge connection) in a new system called the ALX. it was completely watercooled and featured dual pentium xeon processors.

just wondering if anyone has seen/dealt/heard of these machines and was hopin to get some insight to the type of framerates and benchmarks they get. i mean, they should perform better than the ones here in the forums (assuming the same vid cards) because of the dual cpu's.


01-31-05, 09:29 PM
When Alienware introduced their idea, they had it so that ANY graphics card would be able to work together. SLI has to be the exact same model. If it was possible, you could have the IQ of ATi and performance of Nvidia running the one game...

01-31-05, 09:31 PM
yes, i read that any two pci-e vid cards (of same brand) regardless of nvidia and ati could be used, however i didnt think it was possible to use two diff types of vid cards.

anyone have any benchmark/fps info or experience with these myths of machines?

01-31-05, 09:36 PM
The ALX machines used an Intel Xeon-based chipset. That meant registered DDR400 memory and not an SLI implementation as NVIDIA designed. A pair of 6800 GT cards running in an nForce4 motherboard will be faster because of the overall quicker nature of the Athlon 64 CPU as well as the lack of registered memory to further bottleneck the system. Not to mention that an nForce4 SLI setup will cost you a heck of a lot less.

01-31-05, 09:40 PM
Also the point that not all games support dual processors. Xeon's and Opteron's were designed to crunch numbers and provide stability, where P4's and Athlon's were designed for higher bandwith, speed, and cost effectiveness. Very few end users in the world have dual CPU computers, so games designers/producers have them designed to run better on sinlge CPU's. Because of the ALX system requires Dual CPU's to effectively run both video cards, SLI will always come out on top, because it only requires a single CPU.

01-31-05, 11:59 PM
If you go look up Alienware's "technology", you will see that it's nothing more than nVIDIA's SLI technology implemented onto a Dual Xeon board. It's nothing more. When I see Alienware offering to BUY set ups with dual ATI cards, or dual non-SLI capable nVIDIA cards I will believe them.

A64 system (has SLI, obviously nForce4)
Dual-GPU Technology
Hardcore PC enthusiasts have long sought new ways to maximize graphics and system performance. Now, Alienware unveils the breakthrough approach of combining dual graphics cards in a single system, enabling unimaginable performance increases with the Area-51 ALX featuring NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology. SLI, or Scalable Link Interface, is a next-generation innovation utilizing dual graphics cards that work together to draw a single image. This process provides up to a 100% increase in graphics performance.

Hardcore Hardware
SLI technology fully exploits the drastically improved bandwidth speeds provided by cutting-edge PCI Express™ architecture when communicating between GPUs and processors. Providing 60 times the bandwidth of PCI, PCI Express eliminates the bottlenecks caused by previous technologies to deliver maximum system performance

SLI-Ready System Board
The foundation of the Area-51 ALX with SLI technology is Alienware's exclusive X2 motherboard. X2 is a high-powered system board that enables dual PCI Express graphics cards by featuring two PCI-e x16 connectors.

NVIDIA SLI-Ready Graphics Card
SLI-ready graphics cards are designed around validated NVIDIA PCI-Express GPUs, such as the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra.

SLI-based GPUs are embedded with high-speed communication capabilities that allow them to easily interact with one another and efficiently share the graphics workload, delivering unbelievable performance.

SLI Connector
A high-bandwidth SLI bridge connects two SLI-ready, NVIDIA-based PCI Express graphics cards. This bridge delivers the high-speed data path required for the graphics cards to operate in tandem, providing up to a 100% increase in graphics performance.

Intel system
6800 Ultra 256MB DDR3
One card, not two on the Intel system. All they're doing is taking the technology of nVIDIA/nForce4 and putting their label on it. As you can see, the Dual 6800U's is only available on the A64, not on the P4 as well as they would've had you believe since it is "their brand new technology". :thumbdwn:

02-01-05, 12:21 AM
oh, that CPU Mag article was misleading then, heh. it mentioned that nvidia owned the rights to SLI but never mentioned using only nvidia cards (maybe it was implied).

nonetheless, anyone able to find benchmarks on the system? i dont want to buy one, just curious ;)

02-01-05, 01:10 AM
Its vaporware

Alienware promised to have it since late last year, its rumored it won't come out at all.

02-01-05, 01:11 AM
I also remember distinctly that it was a technology developed by them and it wasn't Nvidia's SLI. Here's what they claim themselves:


Alienware's Video Array offers many advantages over Nvidia®'s SLI™ Technology. Click the link below to compare Video Array to SLI.

Is Alienware’s Video Array based on NVidia’s SLI technology?

No. Alienware’s Video Array was designed from the ground up by Alienware’s R&D department. Alienware’s Video Array works with Video cards from NVidia, ATI, and any other Video Card manufacturer.

There's even a comparison to Nvidia's SLI. :)

02-01-05, 01:17 AM
Apparently, their Video Array is still being developed and has nothing to do with Nvidia's SLI.

Why was SLI launched before Video Array?
Alienware has been working on Video Array for several years now. As such, most of the enabling components are already complete, including Alienware’s own X2 motherboard, power and cooling systems, etc. Alienware is committed to always offering our customers the latest technology as soon as it is available. While Alienware’s Video Array technology continues to be finalized, SLI technology is now available for use in the SLI-compatible Area-51 ALX system. Alienware is the first system manufacturer to offer the dual-GPU capabilities of SLI, which can deliver up to a 100% increase in graphics performance.

Is Alienware still developing Video Array?
Yes, Alienware is continuing to develop and optimize Video Array. Because Video Array is designed to be independent of graphics chipsets, it can be utilized for all non-NVIDIA graphics solutions that are not compatible with SLI technology, such as those from ATI, 3D Labs, Matrox, and any other manufacturers.

When will Video Array be launched?
Alienware’s Video Array technology is anticipated to launch in Q4 of 2004 and will be available on ALX systems.

02-01-05, 04:15 AM
If you go look up Alienware's "technology", you will see that it's nothing more than nVIDIA's SLI technology implemented onto a Dual Xeon board. It's nothing more. When I see Alienware offering to BUY set ups with dual ATI cards, or dual non-SLI capable nVIDIA cards I will believe them.

This technologoy has nothing to do with nvidias SLI.
The question is if it will come out or not since it shoud've benn a while ago already.
Most likely it's too expensive to be of any use.

02-01-05, 11:15 AM
i heard they are goin to start selling their motherboards (barebones) with their video array technology.

only weird thing is (from the site above), why would you use QIII as a demo/showcase for that kind of technology? use farcry or Doom3 to showcase that kind of performance. unless, the performace really isnt that far up to par. :cool: