I’ve had a few people ask about the Alienware laptop in the strip. Some people want to know if I have one and if so, do I like it. A couple have even asked if I am getting some kind of payment for putting it in there. It’s probably worth mentioning that advertisers can not purchase space in the comic strip. That’s just not something we offer. The truth is I do have a couple Alienware machines and as far as my experience with them, it’s been sort of mixed.
I purchased an Alienware M17x laptop about a year ago because I knew eventually the Old Republic would be a real thing and I’d need something to play it on. That’s no joke, either. I remember seeing the game on the floor at PAX back in 2009 and thinking “holy shit I need a PC!” I haven’t had a PC around for years and so there was a certain amount of novelty in setting up a Steam account and checking out what was available. Almost immediately I remembered why I had quit playing PC games.
The first game I tried was Rift which eventually ran decent but getting it to that point was a chore. I spent multiple nights searching forums and fiddling with drivers. Apparently my laptop has two video cards configured in a “crossfire” configuration but it was only actually seeing one of the cards. Eventually I got it working but I realized that once again I had not purchased a gaming machine, I had purchased a hobby.
Next I tried Brink which suffered from what people were calling “The Grid” making it unplayable. That bug got worked out but by that time I’d picked it up for my 360. I tried the Witcher 2 but it wouldn’t run in full screen. League of Legends has the same problem. I can play it in a window but if I switch to full screen I can only play one game before my machine freezes up. It has seriously been one frustration after another. I’ve had people tell me “that’s what you get for buying a machine with a Radeon in it.” or “You should have built the machine yourself.” These are nice thoughts but I’m not a computer guy. I don’t know any of this stuff. So I brought the machine in for Tycho to take a look at. He spent two days working on it and I’m still playing LOL in a window.
When it came time to get Kara a PC I did some homework. The new Alienware M14x got a lot of great reviews but I was hesitant about getting another Alienware. Eventually I gave in and I have to admit it’s an incredible laptop. Compared to my M17x from just one year ago it’s like Hal from the movie 2001. Honestly it’s like it wasn’t even made by the same fucking company. Her sleek little machine sports a much cooler design, it didn’t come bogged down with bullshit software like mine, and it plays every game she tries without a hitch. I guess it is indicative of their new line of machines. If that’s the case, I can highly recommend them.
Meanwhile, I’m sick of trying old versions of drivers or new versions or fucking experimental versions. I don’t want to edit command lines or create .cfg files full of custom tweaks. I just want to play games. I guess I just bought the wrong machine or bought it at the wrong time… or maybe both.