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Posted: 3/26/2015 10:20:58 PM EDT



If anyone is in the market for a "budget" gaming PC and would prefer to game from your couch on a TV I would highly recommend looking into one of the Alienware Alphas. I have owned a PS4 since launch and it was my living room gaming machine (I have a multi monitor multi gpu gaming rig in my office) but this little Alpha exceeded my expectations and I find myself using it now more than the PS4.

I've owned the Alpha for a little bit now, I purchased from BestBuy (I had them price match NewEgg's $449.99 price.) I went with the base model w/Intel i3, 4GB memory and 500GB (5400) HD. IMO the memory needs to be upgraded (you can add another 4GB stick of DDR3L for $30-40 and I would HIGHLY recommend upgrading to an SSD unless you like very long boot and load times.) I added 16GB (2x8) Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz DDR3L( $134.99 price matched to NewEgg @ BestBuy) and a Samsung 850 EVO SSD ($209 @MicroCenter).

This little box will play all my games at high settings with acceptable frame rates (30-60) but with better detail than the PS4 or XboxOne. There are several videos on YouTube to demonstrate FPS for a variety of games. After 4 hours of Far Cry 4 with the GPU overclocked to 1232 MHz and Memory to 6110 MHz GPU temps do not exceed 78c (room is 70F) this Alpha is less audiable than the PS4 during game play (100% GPU load).

The CPU can be upgraded to a socket 1150 desktop i3/i5/i7; I wouldn't bother with the i7 and it would be cheaper to just purchase the i5 unit if you intend to upgrade from the i3. The GPU is an Nvidia GTX 860m (desktop equivalent would be the 750Ti) - this is the only component that cannot be upgraded and it is the same GPU on all models. You have two memory slots for DDR3L and one caddy to house a 2.5" drive (this is located on the bottom of the unit).

You could build a budget gaming rig that would be faster with the option to upgrade graphics later but it will not be anywhere close to the size of the Alpha - the reason I purchased it.

Here are some of my benchmarks if anyone's interested..

Passmark Burn-In Test. Ran for 15 minutes; GPU/CPU/MEM set to 100% (stock clocks)





PassMark performance test: http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=38680665530










3D Mark Skydiver test(stock clock): http://www.3dmark.com/sd/2908029
3D Mark Skydiver test(+135 GPU/+550MEM): http://www.3dmark.com/sd/2908063

3D Mark Skydiver - stock 10043 : oc 10791
Max GPU temp of 78c

Would I purchase the Alpha for a gaming machine hooked up at a desk? No I would build a unit but for the living room I think the Alpha is great, this is a nice option for someone in the market for a PS4/Xbox1. You have a lot more games to choose from : Steam, Origin (and they're usually cheaper; purchased all 3 Metro's on a Steam sale the other night for $10), you can play at higher detail setting than the two consoles (all of my games run fine at high detail settings) drop the res down to PS4/Xbox1 and you can crank everything up (really no need when gaming from the couch IMO). Check youtube plenty of game play videos if you're interested. I'm happy with my Alpha, exceeded my expectations.  If you have any questions about the Alpha feel free to ask.
Link Posted: 3/26/2015 11:09:52 PM EDT
That's pretty damn cool.
Link Posted: 3/27/2015 11:17:59 PM EDT
My wife wants something to play SWTOR on- you think this would fit the bill?
Doesn't need to be a powerhouse machine.
Link Posted: 3/28/2015 12:16:45 AM EDT
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My wife wants something to play SWTOR on- you think this would fit the bill?
Doesn't need to be a powerhouse machine.
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Looks like it
Link Posted: 3/28/2015 2:58:02 PM EDT
Alpha vs X51?

I was looking at the X51's for the same thing, the Alpha is certainty cheaper.

What's lost?

Can I use my keyboard and mouse and just use it as a pc?
Link Posted: 3/28/2015 4:21:04 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Alpha vs X51?

I was looking at the X51's for the same thing, the Alpha is certainty cheaper.

What's lost?

Can I use my keyboard and mouse and just use it as a pc?
View Quote


The Alpha is a PC, it comes with Windows 8.1. During setup you can choose to boot directly to the Alienware Alpha UI or desktop. There is a Beta UI available that addes Origin game support (amoung other features) So yes you can use a BT or USB keyboard and mouse or opt for the included wireless Xbox 360 controller.

Looking at the Alienware site where you can configure your X51, the base model for $699.99 comes with an i3 4150 (Alpha has an i3 4130) you would see no difference in performance between these two, the GPU however is slower in the $700 X51 than the $450 Alpha, you would need to step up to the second tier X51 ($1118.99) to receive the same GPU performance as the $450 Alpha (an 860m in the Alpha is the desktop equivalent as the 750 Ti) this model X51 does bump you up to an i5 but that will not show much benefit in MOST games, some games "require" a quad core GPU but there are work-arounds. I have been using my Alpha for the last few days playing FarCry4 using the ExtremeInjector fix (fix )

I would personally buy the Alpha, upgrade to 8GB of memory, throw in an SSD and call it a day, you can always upgrade the CPU later.

Here is a nice video showing stock i3 vs i3 w/GPU oc vs i5 w/GPU oc.


Link Posted: 3/28/2015 5:02:17 PM EDT
Nice writeup OP.




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Quoted:


My wife wants something to play SWTOR on- you think this would fit the bill?

Doesn't need to be a powerhouse machine.
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You're going to need a keyboard and mouse for that one, but it should run fine on this.



 
Link Posted: 3/28/2015 7:16:34 PM EDT
I got one a couple months ago . wife likes playing dragon age on it to do mods.  I like how you can upgrade the processor, memory and hard drive.  Dragon age origins on it looks alot better than on the xbox 360.  Not sure how ps4-xbox1 games look or compare on the alpha.
Link Posted: 3/31/2015 12:16:20 AM EDT
Are you gonna look into the Steam Controller once it's released? Really interested in these Steam Machines, thinking about getting one for my nephew to get him into PC with me.

Maybe one for myself to bring along on trips.
Link Posted: 3/31/2015 8:32:01 AM EDT
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Are you gonna look into the Steam Controller once it's released? Really interested in these Steam Machines, thinking about getting one for my nephew to get him into PC with me.

Maybe one for myself to bring along on trips.
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I'll check it out, that's the controller Alienware intended you to use with the Alpha. There is a removable cover on the bottom of the console with a usb port inside; I'm told this is for the steam controller dongle.
Link Posted: 3/31/2015 11:39:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2015 5:19:26 PM EDT
If anyone is interested I modified Nvidia's 347.88 driver to work with our Alphas. Before you install this driver just double check you have the same hardware ID as my base model Alpha. Go to control panel, hardware and sound, device manager, display adapters, right click on your gpu and select properties. Details tab then select Hardware IDs. If you see "PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1392&SUBSYS_066A1028" then this driver will work. If you have a different ID let me know and I can modify the Drivers for your ID.

D/L the driver directly from Nvidia ( 347.88 )

Extract the driver and go to /347.88/Win8_WinVista_Win7_64/International/Display.Driver and copy the modified nvdmi.inf file ( nvdmi.inf )to this folder. replace the existing file.

now download display driver uninstaller ( DDU ), it will pop up telling you to run in safe mode. select ok and your computer will reboot in safe mode. select nvidia driver and let it remove. reboot once completed and go back to your desktop.

now we need to disable driver signage enforcement ( how to disable driver signature verification )

once your system reboots get back to the desktop and go to the  /347.88/Win8_WinVista_Win7_64/International/ folder and double click Setup. It will now install 347.88 display driver. Once complete you need to reboot.

I received a slight bump in performance with this update.

3DMark Skydiver (10884) w/347.88 (http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6469656 )
3DMark Skydiver (10791) w/344.75 (http://www.3dmark.com/sd/2908063 )

If anyone needs any help or has any questions let me know.
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 8:51:56 AM EDT
Are these compatable with XB1 or PS4 controllers?
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 10:26:58 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Are these compatable with XB1 or PS4 controllers?
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How to use Xbox One controller on PC

How to use PS4 controller on PC
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 10:42:49 AM EDT
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Are these compatable with XB1 or PS4 controllers?


How to use Xbox One controller on PC

How to use PS4 controller on PC


Thanks for the info, I'm PC retarded since all my devices are iOS/Mac and have never been a computer gamer

With my current disgust for my XB1 I'm looking to buy a gaming PC so I can get away from console exclusives and utilize Steam.  I have no knowledge of building computers so this Alpha is very appealing since its "plug and play", and I'm tired of being a console peasant

Link Posted: 4/2/2015 10:48:12 AM EDT
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Thanks for the info, I'm PC retarded since all my devices are iOS/Mac and have never been a computer gamer

With my current disgust for my XB1 I'm looking to buy a gaming PC so I can get away from console exclusives and utilize Steam.  I have no knowledge of building computers so this Alpha is very appealing since its "plug and play", and I'm tired of being a console peasant

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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Are these compatable with XB1 or PS4 controllers?


How to use Xbox One controller on PC

How to use PS4 controller on PC


Thanks for the info, I'm PC retarded since all my devices are iOS/Mac and have never been a computer gamer

With my current disgust for my XB1 I'm looking to buy a gaming PC so I can get away from console exclusives and utilize Steam.  I have no knowledge of building computers so this Alpha is very appealing since its "plug and play", and I'm tired of being a console peasant



no problem, looks like WalMart is the cheapest right now at $449.99 (should have no issues with a price match at your local BestBuy if you prefer to use them). I'd highly recommend bumping the memory up to 8GB (just pick up another 4GB DDR3L stick) and swapping the factory HDD for at least a 7200RPM unit; SSD would be even better
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 1:26:01 PM EDT
Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 1:29:24 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Thanks for the info, I'm PC retarded since all my devices are iOS/Mac and have never been a computer gamer

With my current disgust for my XB1 I'm looking to buy a gaming PC so I can get away from console exclusives and utilize Steam.  I have no knowledge of building computers so this Alpha is very appealing since its "plug and play", and I'm tired of being a console peasant

View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Are these compatable with XB1 or PS4 controllers?


How to use Xbox One controller on PC

How to use PS4 controller on PC


Thanks for the info, I'm PC retarded since all my devices are iOS/Mac and have never been a computer gamer

With my current disgust for my XB1 I'm looking to buy a gaming PC so I can get away from console exclusives and utilize Steam.  I have no knowledge of building computers so this Alpha is very appealing since its "plug and play", and I'm tired of being a console peasant



Yeah, you could also just use it as a holdover machine to use while you compile your parts for your next build.
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 4:19:50 PM EDT
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.
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Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.
Link Posted: 4/2/2015 4:43:25 PM EDT
Can get the Alpha from Dell for $439 shipped with promo code CZVNPH5T$PR2F$ if anyone's interested.
Link Posted: 4/3/2015 4:51:51 PM EDT
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Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Do you use a normal kb/mouse or have you found a better combo for couch gaming?
Link Posted: 4/4/2015 8:52:13 AM EDT
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Quoted:


Do you use a normal kb/mouse or have you found a better combo for couch gaming?
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Do you use a normal kb/mouse or have you found a better combo for couch gaming?


I use the controller for gaming, I use a Logitech tk820 to use the alpha as a pc from the couch.
Link Posted: 4/5/2015 12:26:21 PM EDT
I got the alpha on sale at best buy for $400. Didn't realize it was on sale until checkout.
Link Posted: 4/5/2015 12:33:30 PM EDT
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I got the alpha on sale at best buy for $400. Didn't realize it was on sale until checkout.
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Nice! Website still shows $499, hell of a deal at $400.. leaves you extra $ for the SSD and memory upgrade
Link Posted: 4/6/2015 2:10:52 PM EDT
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I use the controller for gaming, I use a Logitech tk820 to use the alpha as a pc from the couch.
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Do you use a normal kb/mouse or have you found a better combo for couch gaming?


I use the controller for gaming, I use a Logitech tk820 to use the alpha as a pc from the couch.


Would the logitech work for something like Civilization?   Sorry for the questions, but I am PC stupid when it comes to gaming.  
Link Posted: 4/6/2015 5:53:26 PM EDT
How hard would it be to upgrade it yourself?
Link Posted: 4/6/2015 6:55:59 PM EDT
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Nice! Website still shows $499, hell of a deal at $400.. leaves you extra $ for the SSD and memory upgrade
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I got the alpha on sale at best buy for $400. Didn't realize it was on sale until checkout.


Nice! Website still shows $499, hell of a deal at $400.. leaves you extra $ for the SSD and memory upgrade

The price on the shelf instore was 450 or 460 i bougjt it in march.  

So is the steam controller available now?  Wonder if it will be better than the xbox one that came with it.  Steam controller looks like it got touch pads instead of analog sticks.
Link Posted: 4/7/2015 11:18:52 AM EDT
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How hard would it be to upgrade it yourself?
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It's very easy.. all you need is a Phillips screw driver.. take the four screws out from the bottom and..



HDD is on the bottom (held in a caddy by 4 screws, caddy is held in place by a single screw). Memory and CPU are on the top side, need to remove the fans to see them.. they just pop out with two clips.
Link Posted: 4/8/2015 3:53:10 AM EDT
I'm assuming it works with steam?
Link Posted: 4/8/2015 4:38:10 AM EDT
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Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Curious as to what your settings and FPS were in 2033.  Did you check with FRAPS or Steam's built in FPS display?  Or from the metro benchmark, I suppose.  I am always leery of synthetic benchmarks like 3D mark; I prefer the in-game "real world" tests.  I would love to get something that size that would push Metro in the 50ish FPS range at highish settings while hitting the $450 mark, but I think that might be a pipe dream still.

This might interest me as a living room machine to complement my desktop rig.  I'm trying to decide whether I should get or build something like this to have the benefits of a full computer in the living room, or whether it would be simpler to just get that little $50 Steam Link streaming box that's supposed to be coming out in the fall.
Link Posted: 4/8/2015 5:20:28 AM EDT
nice
Link Posted: 4/8/2015 8:55:03 AM EDT
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I'm assuming it works with steam?
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It's a computer so it works with Steam, Origin, etc.. If you use the Alienware Alpha UI, it has  a new skin to load Steam and Origin in big picture mode. This is the biggest advantage it has over the xbox one/ps4 imo.. the number of games are deep in to the millions.. Have to love the Steam sales
Link Posted: 4/8/2015 8:58:34 AM EDT
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Curious as to what your settings and FPS were in 2033.  Did you check with FRAPS or Steam's built in FPS display?  Or from the metro benchmark, I suppose.  I am always leery of synthetic benchmarks like 3D mark; I prefer the in-game "real world" tests.  I would love to get something that size that would push Metro in the 50ish FPS range at highish settings while hitting the $450 mark, but I think that might be a pipe dream still.

This might interest me as a living room machine to complement my desktop rig.  I'm trying to decide whether I should get or build something like this to have the benefits of a full computer in the living room, or whether it would be simpler to just get that little $50 Steam Link streaming box that's supposed to be coming out in the fall.
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Curious as to what your settings and FPS were in 2033.  Did you check with FRAPS or Steam's built in FPS display?  Or from the metro benchmark, I suppose.  I am always leery of synthetic benchmarks like 3D mark; I prefer the in-game "real world" tests.  I would love to get something that size that would push Metro in the 50ish FPS range at highish settings while hitting the $450 mark, but I think that might be a pipe dream still.

This might interest me as a living room machine to complement my desktop rig.  I'm trying to decide whether I should get or build something like this to have the benefits of a full computer in the living room, or whether it would be simpler to just get that little $50 Steam Link streaming box that's supposed to be coming out in the fall.


I only played Metro 2033 for about 45min before I started on Far Cry4.. I'll have to fire up Metro and check it out. I've been using the Riva Tuner that comes with MSI Afterburner. I'll try to run the metro benchmark today and post the results.
Link Posted: 4/9/2015 10:14:18 AM EDT
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I only played Metro 2033 for about 45min before I started on Far Cry4.. I'll have to fire up Metro and check it out. I've been using the Riva Tuner that comes with MSI Afterburner. I'll try to run the metro benchmark today and post the results.
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Curious as to what your settings and FPS were in 2033.  Did you check with FRAPS or Steam's built in FPS display?  Or from the metro benchmark, I suppose.  I am always leery of synthetic benchmarks like 3D mark; I prefer the in-game "real world" tests.  I would love to get something that size that would push Metro in the 50ish FPS range at highish settings while hitting the $450 mark, but I think that might be a pipe dream still.

This might interest me as a living room machine to complement my desktop rig.  I'm trying to decide whether I should get or build something like this to have the benefits of a full computer in the living room, or whether it would be simpler to just get that little $50 Steam Link streaming box that's supposed to be coming out in the fall.


I only played Metro 2033 for about 45min before I started on Far Cry4.. I'll have to fire up Metro and check it out. I've been using the Riva Tuner that comes with MSI Afterburner. I'll try to run the metro benchmark today and post the results.


I was incorrect, it was Metro Last Light (comes free with the Alpha) not 2033. Here are the results of the Metro LL benchmark.

Res: 1920x1080; DirectX: DirectX11; Quality: High; Texture filtering: AF 4x; Advance PhysX: Disabled; Tesselation: Off; Motion Blur: Normal; SSAA: Off


Link Posted: 4/9/2015 3:34:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/9/2015 8:44:48 PM EDT
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I just ordered one for my kids.  It will be fine for them and make the wife happy b/c of its small size.

The graphics card seems to benchmark pretty well.

We will run SWTOR, LOTRO, WOT and WOWs on it, as well as using it for a school computer.  Should be great for that.
Link Posted: 4/9/2015 8:46:28 PM EDT
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I was incorrect, it was Metro Last Light (comes free with the Alpha) not 2033. Here are the results of the Metro LL benchmark.

Res: 1920x1080; DirectX: DirectX11; Quality: High; Texture filtering: AF 4x; Advance PhysX: Disabled; Tesselation: Off; Motion Blur: Normal; SSAA: Off
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/MikeNestor/metro0_zpss7aud06p.jpg
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/MikeNestor/metro1_zps7qgbsls4.jpg
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/MikeNestor/metro3_zpswisrqdgn.jpg
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Can I assume all the games you've tried work well with the controller?  FPS, RPG or turn based games.


Yes they're all setup to use the Xbox controller it will tell you in the steam store if the game is controller compatible or requires a kb/mouse. I've run titanfall, metro, far cry 4, bf3 and bf4, cod advance warfare, skyrim, borderlands 2, crysis 3 to name a few.. All with Xbox controller.


Curious as to what your settings and FPS were in 2033.  Did you check with FRAPS or Steam's built in FPS display?  Or from the metro benchmark, I suppose.  I am always leery of synthetic benchmarks like 3D mark; I prefer the in-game "real world" tests.  I would love to get something that size that would push Metro in the 50ish FPS range at highish settings while hitting the $450 mark, but I think that might be a pipe dream still.

This might interest me as a living room machine to complement my desktop rig.  I'm trying to decide whether I should get or build something like this to have the benefits of a full computer in the living room, or whether it would be simpler to just get that little $50 Steam Link streaming box that's supposed to be coming out in the fall.


I only played Metro 2033 for about 45min before I started on Far Cry4.. I'll have to fire up Metro and check it out. I've been using the Riva Tuner that comes with MSI Afterburner. I'll try to run the metro benchmark today and post the results.


I was incorrect, it was Metro Last Light (comes free with the Alpha) not 2033. Here are the results of the Metro LL benchmark.

Res: 1920x1080; DirectX: DirectX11; Quality: High; Texture filtering: AF 4x; Advance PhysX: Disabled; Tesselation: Off; Motion Blur: Normal; SSAA: Off
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/MikeNestor/metro0_zpss7aud06p.jpg
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/MikeNestor/metro1_zps7qgbsls4.jpg
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv310/MikeNestor/metro3_zpswisrqdgn.jpg



That's...surprisingly ok, actually.  Not terribly stable,  but it generally stays over 30.  For the form factor and price,  not bad at all.
Link Posted: 4/14/2015 7:16:06 PM EDT
So my alpha just got in today.  Took about 25 min to set up.  Just a standard win 8.1 setup.  I got the basic one.  My other computer runs an I7 3.4 and seems a bit slower.

One issue right off - there is no 3.5mm jack for my headphones or speakers.  I can get a USB soundcard, but would that be as good as the sound card that is built in?  It has Nvidia and Realtek sound drivers loaded.  

I don't mind running USB speakers, but they don't seem that common.  Most have a USB port for power, but then go to a 3.5mm jack for sound, that or are bluetooth.   Maybe I'm just behind the times.

Otherwise the computer seems great.  Takes up a whole lot less space than my other desktop, wifey likes that.

Any suggestions regarding the sound issue?
Link Posted: 4/15/2015 9:07:34 AM EDT
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So my alpha just got in today.  Took about 25 min to set up.  Just a standard win 8.1 setup.  I got the basic one.  My other computer runs an I7 3.4 and seems a bit slower.

One issue right off - there is no 3.5mm jack for my headphones or speakers.  I can get a USB soundcard, but would that be as good as the sound card that is built in?  It has Nvidia and Realtek sound drivers loaded.  

I don't mind running USB speakers, but they don't seem that common.  Most have a USB port for power, but then go to a 3.5mm jack for sound, that or are bluetooth.   Maybe I'm just behind the times.

Otherwise the computer seems great.  Takes up a whole lot less space than my other desktop, wifey likes that.

Any suggestions regarding the sound issue?
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What are you using for a display, does it have a headphone jack? Mine is plugged in to my receiver so I can use my surround sound or plug headphones in to the receiver. My son has a usb head set he uses on the PS4 that you could use on the Alpha (they also make Bluetooth ones) it's made by Turtle Beach
Link Posted: 4/15/2015 10:57:01 AM EDT
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What are you using for a display, does it have a headphone jack? Mine is plugged in to my receiver so I can use my surround sound or plug headphones in to the receiver. My son has a usb head set he uses on the PS4 that you could use on the Alpha (they also make Bluetooth ones) it's made by Turtle Beach
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Quoted:
So my alpha just got in today.  Took about 25 min to set up.  Just a standard win 8.1 setup.  I got the basic one.  My other computer runs an I7 3.4 and seems a bit slower.

One issue right off - there is no 3.5mm jack for my headphones or speakers.  I can get a USB soundcard, but would that be as good as the sound card that is built in?  It has Nvidia and Realtek sound drivers loaded.  

I don't mind running USB speakers, but they don't seem that common.  Most have a USB port for power, but then go to a 3.5mm jack for sound, that or are bluetooth.   Maybe I'm just behind the times.

Otherwise the computer seems great.  Takes up a whole lot less space than my other desktop, wifey likes that.

Any suggestions regarding the sound issue?


What are you using for a display, does it have a headphone jack? Mine is plugged in to my receiver so I can use my surround sound or plug headphones in to the receiver. My son has a usb head set he uses on the PS4 that you could use on the Alpha (they also make Bluetooth ones) it's made by Turtle Beach


Ahhhh thanks.   My monitor does have a 3.5mm jack on the back.  I guess the sound is coming in from the HDMI to the monitor, so I plugged my speakers in there and they work fine.   Thanks much.  

I guess I'll see if I can get a USB headset to use skype or have audio input.

Thanks again.

Otherwise, the Alpha is working great.  I loaded up the X-box controller and let the kids play the Lego Hobbit game in console mode.  Works pretty well.  Steam indicates which games have controller support, and while it is not alot, they seem to work well when they do.  

Getting ready to try some hi-res games, and see how they run.


Link Posted: 4/15/2015 1:22:07 PM EDT
Mine came in yesterday as well.  I am digging it so far.  Messed around with GTA-V for a little while and played some Civilization V for longer than I wanted to.  This keyboard works really well for couch gaming.  It took some time getting used to it, but it works really well, and it's back lit.

Logitech
Link Posted: 4/15/2015 5:07:38 PM EDT
I am really thinking about getting one of these instead of an XB1.  I have a ton of Steam games for PC and I only have a mac.  Also, SWTOR.
Link Posted: 4/15/2015 10:01:13 PM EDT
Yep, I foed... $439 at Best Buy + the Logitech Keyboard was on sale for $29

I love this thing, I really don't have much use for the XB1 now

Link Posted: 4/16/2015 11:25:08 AM EDT
Lol Logitech kb/mouse combo here as well..


Want to say this was on sale at Best Buy for $64. If you guys upgrade the memory and hdd to ssd its a night and day difference it's easy to OC the gpu and pull a nice bump in FPS. I can put together a how to if anyone is interested. I upgraded to 2x8gb memory, have a matching 4gb ddr3l stick that came with my Alpha.. Pm me if interested, was going to throw it up on OC.net I see Nvidia updated the drivers for GTA, I'll edit it for the alpha and update here.
Link Posted: 4/16/2015 12:13:58 PM EDT
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If anyone is interested I modified Nvidia's 347.88 driver to work with our Alphas. Before you install this driver just double check you have the same hardware ID as my base model Alpha. Go to control panel, hardware and sound, device manager, display adapters, right click on your gpu and select properties. Details tab then select Hardware IDs. If you see "PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1392&SUBSYS_066A1028" then this driver will work. If you have a different ID let me know and I can modify the Drivers for your ID.

D/L the driver directly from Nvidia ( 347.88 )

Extract the driver and go to /347.88/Win8_WinVista_Win7_64/International/Display.Driver and copy the modified nvdmi.inf file ( nvdmi.inf )to this folder. replace the existing file.

now download display driver uninstaller ( DDU ), it will pop up telling you to run in safe mode. select ok and your computer will reboot in safe mode. select nvidia driver and let it remove. reboot once completed and go back to your desktop.

now we need to disable driver signage enforcement ( how to disable driver signature verification )

once your system reboots get back to the desktop and go to the  /347.88/Win8_WinVista_Win7_64/International/ folder and double click Setup. It will now install 347.88 display driver. Once complete you need to reboot.

I received a slight bump in performance with this update.

3DMark Skydiver (10884) w/347.88 (http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6469656 )
3DMark Skydiver (10791) w/344.75 (http://www.3dmark.com/sd/2908063 )

If anyone needs any help or has any questions let me know.
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Updated for Nvidia's latest driver (350.12). Same as before, download the driver from Nvidia (select 860m from the drop down menu) and copy over this nvdmi.inf and replace the existing. Dont forget to turn off driver signing or you will receive an error.
Link Posted: 5/4/2015 1:02:59 AM EDT
So far I am digging this. But can it play DayZ?
Link Posted: 5/4/2015 2:19:36 PM EDT
This game is so much fun.  I haven't had any issues running it on the Alpha.  It's a early access right now.

Link Posted: 5/7/2015 9:14:44 AM EDT
If you have not played Max Payne 3 on the PC you owe it to yourself to download it, the graphics and gameplay are light years ahead of the console version and it has game pad support for the 360 controller regardless of what Steam says. You will need a keyboard/mouse to navigate the menus.
Link Posted: 6/28/2015 12:19:25 PM EDT
Bestbuy has these for 399 right now.
 
Link Posted: 6/28/2015 5:11:48 PM EDT
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Bestbuy has these for 399 right now.  
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Not a bad price, this is what I paid for mine.  Definitely worth it.  I added in another 4gig of RAM from Amazon.  Runs every game great.   So much better than my older i7 with a older graphics card.  

Case is so small, and almost noiseless.   The console set up works great with the controller for x-box style games.  My kids love it for the Lego games with the controller.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 12:22:36 AM EDT
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Bestbuy has these for 399 right now.  
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Dang, that is tempting...I'm afraid that if I get one of those, my PS4 will just collect dust
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