Here’s the Deal
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The MacBook Pro offers great performance both for day-to-day stuff and more niche graphic-related activities. The latest model also has had an update in hardware specs where both the CPU and GPU have been upgraded to their respective latest generations. The 16GB to 32GB help with performance as well and the SSD speeds are unmatched in the laptop market which also helps with general performance. See More
The MacBook Pro has an all-aluminum body that looks great and is sturdy enough that worries of accidentally damaging are mostly alleviated. It has a robust lid, well-spaced back-lit keyboard with speakers on each side of the keyboard and an excellent button-less trackpad. See More
OSX is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's certified Unix and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on OS X. There's a large selection of great development tools available for OSX. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing OSX and iOS software, for free. See More
AlienFX tool, accessed from the accompanying Command Center software, allows setting own keyboard and touchpad illumination colors. Colors can be set on a per predefined zone basis and even configured to morph between variations or pulse at a set tempo. See More
Alienware 17 comes with 2 GPU options - GeForce GTX 980M and GeForce GTX 970M with 3DMark's 1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Graphics benchmarks showing scores of 9774 and 7440 respectively and as of March, 2015 are the top two mobile graphics cards on the market. Still, it should be noted that the 980M is 20 to 30 percent faster than the 970M. In the real world, GTX 980M allows running Evolve, Shadow of Mordor, Battlefield 4, on ultra at 62, 66, 72 fps on average respectively while GTX 970M allows running same games on ultra at 51, 52, 55 fps on average respectively. There are also 2 CPU options - i7-4710HQ and i7-4980HQ with PassMark's scores of 7,956 and 10,087 respectively. As of March, 2015 the i7-4980HQ has the top PassMark score for a laptop CPU. And while the i7-4710HQ is still a good choice, it should be noted that it is about 20% less performant than the i7-4980HQ. 8GB and 16GB RAM configurations are available. Just enough to handle most gaming without any hiccups. The laptop has 1TB of HDD and 128GB or 256GB or 512GB of SSD can be added on top of that. Files read from SSD will load quicker so it's recommended for the operating system and software or games that are run regularly or can take advantage of the quicker load times. See More
The Alienware Graphics Amplifier is essentially an external GPU that can be used to handle graphics intensive games. It includes 350-watt PSU and 16 x PCI-E slots so most cards can fitted within it. To use it, boot the laptop with the amplifier attached. See More