Hello, ive followed TBG for quite a while now and have been fortunate enough to build the "Supreme Dream Machine" twice and i love it. I am now in the market for a laptop and i was curious as to your thoughts on the Alienware 17R3. I like the way the laptop feels. Size and weight arent an issue with me. I like the option of the 4k display although the 4gb 980m wont be able to power most games at that res. I have never seen you recommend one and generally your opinion and my own seems to be rather similar. Just curious as to out side of price if there is a major downside to that machine. Thanks in advance
Welcome to The TBG Forum, cwedgeworth! Wow, you have built up two Supreme Dream Machines? I'd love to hear more about them - maybe you'd like me to feature them in The Gallery
Now, as to your question on the 17R3, here's my personal opinion: 4K displays don't belong on laptops. The resolution is just far too high to make any sense on a 17" screen. 2560x1440 would most definitely be enough on that size screen, and it requires just 1/2 the GPU power, based on my testing. Unfortunately, 1440p is not a common resolution on laptops, and most manufacturers have made the leap from 1080p directly to 4K. The truth is that 4K displays are a huge buzzword in the industry, because they offer four times the resolution of 1080p screens, and this helps sell products to a reluctant consumer audience that is buying fewer and fewer PCs. What they aren't disclosing, however, is how 4K screens eat up battery power, and while you're probably going to run a 17R3 plugged in most of the time, when a component sucks down power without producing any tangible benefits, I can't get behind it.
This really all started with Apple's "Retina Display" mumbo-jumbo, and in time I think we'll look back and realize the race to ultra-high resolutions on small screens made about as much sense as the megapixel wars in the digital camera industry, which is now collapsing in on itself. Consumers realized lots of megapixels weren't giving them better photos, and they stopped buying cameras all together, instead using smartphones for their photography needs.