Alienware Alpha, $550 steam machine to release this holiday

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#1 Edited by NoodleFighter (8746 posts) -

Interesting it won't ship with a mouse and keyboard as they built a console UI on it but instead a wireless xbox 360 controller

Good thing microsoft dropped the Xbox One to $400

link

What the flip is an Alpha Console? Well, it's a cleverly named system that's essentially a Steam Machine running on Windows instead of the Linux-based Steam OS. Alienware tells Maximum PC that it designed its own 10-foot UI upon boot that will allow you to access your music and movies like a console. It will also be integrated with Steam's Big Picture mode and come with an Xbox 360 controller.

In addition to the controller, the $549 configuration includes an unspecified Intel Core i3 Haswell-based processor, 4GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, custom-built Nvidia GPU based on Maxwell and with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 500GB hard drive, dual-band Wireless-AC 1x1 with Bluetooth 4.0, GbE, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI input (direct HDMI pass-through), HDMI output (uncompressed 8-channel audio and support for 4K content), and Windows 8.1 64-bit.

Users with a bigger budget can configure an Alpha Console with Intel Core i5 and i7 processor options, 8GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, 2x2 Wi-Fi, and 1TB or 2TB HDD options.

Valve undoubtedly caught its OEM hardware partners off-guard when it decided to continue tweaking its Steam Controller into next year, which therefore meant delaying official Steam Machine systems. Rather than let all that R&D into physical design and hardware go to waste, or be put on hold, it look likes Dell has chosen to launch what would have been its Steam Machine, but with a new name (Alpha Console) and with Windows running the show. It will be interesting to see what Alienware's custom UI looks like. Another question that comes to mind is how Alienware plans to differentiate next year's Steam Machine launch with these Alpha Consoles. Some interesting storylines are developing for sure.

Dell's Alienware Alpha Console will begin shipping in time for the 2014 holiday season. In the meantime, check out more pics of the system in our gallery below!

Avatar image for osirisx3
#2 Posted by osirisx3 (2113 posts) -

lol core i3 lol 4gbs ram

Avatar image for lamprey263
#5 Posted by lamprey263 (34415 posts) -

well, it can only get better and cheaper form here, no interest in this myself but it's on the right track toward something more promising

Avatar image for daious
#6 Posted by Daious (2315 posts) -

Come on guys. Its alienware. It is only a pretty case.

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#7 Posted by xhawk27 (9982 posts) -

PS4 and Xbox One both have 8gigs of Ram.

Avatar image for CrownKingArthur
#8 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

bad value

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#9 Posted by lostrib (49999 posts) -

sounds dumb

Avatar image for MonsieurX
#10 Edited by MonsieurX (36744 posts) -

No thanks.

I'll keep my 5 years old laptop to stream games from my PC

Avatar image for UnbiasedPoster
#11 Posted by UnbiasedPoster (1134 posts) -

White PS4 + Destiny >>> that

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#12 Edited by ninjapirate2000 (3347 posts) -

Building a PC isn't that hard.

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#13 Edited by hoosier7 (4166 posts) -

@xhawk27 said:

PS4 and Xbox One both have 8gigs of Ram.

Yup but that might only make a difference in the future. Currently even the most taxing games can run on 4gb of RAM and only one or two games use more than 2GB of VRAM and i'm pretty sure Watchdogs only does that because of memory leaks and piss poor optimisation.

A lot depends on that GPU and with it being Alienware i don't hold much hope that it'll wind up being anything decent or worth the price.

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#14 Posted by glez13 (9749 posts) -

@hoosier7 said:

@xhawk27 said:

PS4 and Xbox One both have 8gigs of Ram.

Yup but that might only make a difference in the future. Currently even the most taxing games can run on 4gb of RAM and only one or two games use more than 2GB of VRAM and i'm pretty sure Watchdogs only does that because of memory leaks and piss poor optimisation.

A lot depends on that GPU and with it being Alienware i don't hold much hope that it'll wind up being anything decent or worth the price.

Well it says Maxwell, so it's either a 750 or 750ti.

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#15 Posted by Speak_Low (2248 posts) -

This might run Witcher 3 on Low Settings. I might be able to recognize Geralt's face with this rig

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#16 Posted by Gaming-Planet (18617 posts) -

Overpriced for the hardware you get.

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#17 Posted by Gaming-Planet (18617 posts) -

@jeager_titan said:

Lol. This console is so much fail.

It's not a console though. It's a prebuilt dell desktop in a mini-itx form factor.

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#18 Posted by NVIDIATI (8351 posts) -

@glez13 said:

Well it says Maxwell, so it's either a 750 or 750ti.

More likely the 750 Ti as it uses 2GB of VRAM, the 750 generally has 1GB of VRAM.

Then again, it could always be something different. According to the link, the GPU is a "Custom-built NVIDIA “Maxwell” based GPU".

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#19 Posted by ChubbyGuy40 (26428 posts) -

I actually like the look of the case. It'd make a pretty good stream machine for Steam and media center at least.

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#20 Posted by deactivated-58b6232955e4a (15594 posts) -

I suppose the Alpha name is fitting since Valve won't officially be releasing Steam Machines until next year.

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#21 Posted by KHAndAnime (17565 posts) -

I hope someone buys this garbage so Valve gets their third party on board with their Steam Machine Alphas and the official machines are much cheaper and better.

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#22 Posted by CrashNBurn281 (1480 posts) -
@CrownKingArthur said:

bad value

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#23 Posted by Scipio8 (927 posts) -

Isn't Core i3 dual core? This will be garbage

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#24 Posted by m3dude1 (2244 posts) -

lol failbox

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#25 Edited by lamprey263 (34415 posts) -

Well, what are your friends playing on or likely to get down the line? Get that. If you're not gaming with friends you're not doing it right. If you don't have any friends, I suggest a 3DS, to get you out of the house more.

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#26 Posted by osirisx3 (2113 posts) -

@farrell2k said:
@osirisx3 said:

lol core i3 lol 4gbs ram

You realize that any i3 on the market would literally destroy the cpu in the PS4 or XB1, right?

please don't defend this trash.

2 cores in 2014?! lol i've had a 2 core pc since like 2005ish! My freaking tablet has 4 cores in it for god sakes.

only new console i have is wii u

plus it only has 4gbs ram even chrome books have that much these days.

Avatar image for DefconRave
#27 Posted by DefconRave (806 posts) -

lol pathetic specs. But its Alienware so no surprise.

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#30 Posted by osirisx3 (2113 posts) -

@farrell2k said:

@osirisx3 said:

@farrell2k said:
@osirisx3 said:

lol core i3 lol 4gbs ram

You realize that any i3 on the market would literally destroy the cpu in the PS4 or XB1, right?

please don't defend this trash.

2 cores in 2014?! lol i've had a 2 core pc since like 2005ish! My freaking tablet has 4 cores in it for god sakes.

only new console i have is wii u

plus it only has 4gbs ram even chrome books have that much these days.

Your tablet cpu is much, much weaker than a 2005 dual core. You obviously know nothing of cpu architecture. The number of cores is irrelevant. The ps4 cpu is a weak ass amd laptop chip @1.6ghz. A dual core i3-3220 @3.3ghz will outperform the 3.5ghz 6 core amd fx6300. The amd fx6300 will obliterate the ps4 cpu. You think that little laptop ps4 chip with 8 cores @1.6 ghz has a chance against an i3-3220??? Not a chance in hell, friend.

never said ps4 has a better cpu. You assume way to much in your reply. We are talking about a 550 dollar pc with awful specs for the price.

AS for cpus on consoles they take advantage of gpu power and not waste time with cpu. The gpu does most of the work these days. Also 8 threads can be used rather then just 2-4 which could in some way give them an advantage.

2 cores for a gaming pc is a joke no pc gamer would want an i3 unless they have a tiny budget.

ps im not your friend buddy

Avatar image for osirisx3
#32 Edited by osirisx3 (2113 posts) -

@farrell2k said:

@osirisx3 said:

never said ps4 has a better cpu. You assume way to much in your reply. We are talking about a 550 dollar pc with awful specs for the price.

AS for cpus on consoles they take advantage of gpu power and not waste time with cpu. The gpu does most of the work these days. Also 8 threads can be used rather then just 2-4 which could in some way give them an advantage.

2 cores for a gaming pc is a joke no pc gamer would want an i3 unless they have a tiny budget.

ps im not your friend buddy

God, you are stupid...

dont be an ass sir

everything i said is true

i3 is shit for pc gaming sorry get over it

intel fanboy go home

Avatar image for bezza2011
#33 Posted by bezza2011 (2729 posts) -

is it me or is this Valve steam machine just becoming a huge mess for Valve I mean Alienware have took away the name of it now and just marketing as their own, no one even truly understands what a steam machine is, and it just has no market what so ever, it's easier to just build yourself your own machine.

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#34 Posted by silversix_ (26347 posts) -

@daious said:

Come on guys. Its alienware. It is only a pretty case.

more like made of some cheap made in china plastic

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#35 Posted by adamosmaki (10557 posts) -

Oh alienware you never seize to amaze me. All this crying about this been their least profitable system i was expecting something in the lines of i5/R9 270 for $500-600 yet they got an i3 and i bet a gtx 750 ( and if they feel generous is gonna be the Ti version otherwise most likely will be the underwhelming non Ti )

Avatar image for NoodleFighter
#36 Edited by NoodleFighter (8746 posts) -

@adamosmaki said:

Oh alienware you never seize to amaze me. All this crying about this been their least profitable system i was expecting something in the lines of i5/R9 270 for $500-600 yet they got an i3 and i bet a gtx 750 ( and if they feel generous is gonna be the Ti version otherwise most likely will be the underwhelming non Ti )

an i5 and R9 270 alone would cost $400, The Xbox 360 controller with receiver would cost about $45, this isn't even factoring in all the other parts and features.

They'd only be able to sell a system like that at a lost and since there is no guaranteed redeemer to make up selling them at such a loss, it's pretty much company suicide.

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#37 Posted by lundy86_4 (48564 posts) -

I'm waiting to see what other companies offer. I want something with slightly beefier specs, though it'll mostly be used as a HTPC. I would like to see their UI.

Avatar image for PurpleMan5000
#38 Posted by PurpleMan5000 (9279 posts) -

Somebody just needs to put out a box that looks nice and is capable of streaming games from my gaming PC to my tv. I would pay $200 for that.

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#39 Posted by nyzma23 (1000 posts) -

LOL it already confirmed that this is windows machine not steam machine because steam takes too long to release steam os and alienware won't wait that long

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#40 Edited by harry_james_pot (11398 posts) -

4GB of RAM right now is just dumb.

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#41 Edited by NEWMAHAY (3824 posts) -

@SAGE_OF_FIRE said:

I suppose the Alpha name is fitting since Valve won't officially be releasing Steam Machines until next year.

Yeah. It is releasing without the steam controller. This might be alienware attempt to get some $$$ before the competition comes around.

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#42 Posted by foxhound_fox (96695 posts) -

@osirisx3 said:

lol core i3 lol 4gbs ram

Indeed.

That kind of money could land you an i5 with 8GBs of RAM and a decently good video card in a traditional computer.

At this point, it might be easier to just make a PC oneself, boot the big picture and buy a Steam machine controller when it comes out. It would be far more cost-effective.

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#43 Posted by sibu_xgamer (340 posts) -

@nyzma23 said:

LOL it already confirmed that this is windows machine not steam machine because steam takes too long to release steam os and alienware won't wait that long

So this is indeed a piece of $hit. The machine is not only weak but it runs windows which is like 10 times less efficient than linux.

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#44 Edited by sam890 (1108 posts) -

I could build something better than this for $550 yuck.

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#45 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (18733 posts) -

@CrownKingArthur said:

bad value

Yeah that kind of sucks.

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#46 Posted by speedfog (4941 posts) -

So a 750 then? Meh. This is pretty bad.

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#47 Posted by BloodyTides (239 posts) -

Why would you buy from Alienware anyways

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#48 Edited by 04dcarraher (22774 posts) -

@osirisx3 said:

@farrell2k said:

@osirisx3 said:

never said ps4 has a better cpu. You assume way to much in your reply. We are talking about a 550 dollar pc with awful specs for the price.

AS for cpus on consoles they take advantage of gpu power and not waste time with cpu. The gpu does most of the work these days. Also 8 threads can be used rather then just 2-4 which could in some way give them an advantage.

2 cores for a gaming pc is a joke no pc gamer would want an i3 unless they have a tiny budget.

ps im not your friend buddy

God, you are stupid...

dont be an ass sir

everything i said is true

i3 is shit for pc gaming sorry get over it

intel fanboy go home

What you said is only partly true.

While the i3 may be a dual core, the processor can handle two threads per core which means that it can handle 4 threads same as any true quad core cpu. Here is the kicker intel haswell architecture's performance is over double clock per clock vs AMD's Phenom 2 and FX architecture. Which means a i3 haswell has more processing power then any AMD quad core cpu at same clockrate. To put it into terms for these console cpu processing power The Athlon 2 architecture clock per clock is around 35% faster then Jaguar architecture. And to the fact that these consoles only have access to six cores of the eight for games. An Athlon 2 X4 at 2.6 ghz can process more data then six cores at 1.6 ghz.. So an i3 at 3ghz still creams console's low clocked low performance cpu's.

While they are and will shift more compute and parallel workloads over to the gpu for certain tasks since those cpu's are so slow and cores are already allocated. The effect of doing so can and will take away potential processing power away from the gpu lowering the maximum rendering abilities. Having more threads means squat if you dont have the processing power to back it up. Which is why i3's and i7 etc outclass AMD's cpu's that have "more cores".

In todays world getting a plain dual core from gaming is dumb and short sighted but intel's i3's have the edge over amd's quads so getting one for a budget isnt too bad.

Avatar image for Kinthalis
#49 Posted by Kinthalis (5502 posts) -

You're basiclaly paying for the logo and the small form factor. $550 could get you into PS4 performance territory easily, but not at that form factor size.

These machines won't be attractive to anyone, really, until about 2 years from now. You can offer something in this form factor that shits all over a PS4 for $500 in 2016.

But not now.

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#50 Posted by Kinthalis (5502 posts) -

I would also agree that an i3 should be enough for gaming at console levels... but again, not now. We need DX12 and Mantle an dOpenGL with extensiosn to eliminate CPU overhead, and THEN these little CPU's will still rock.