Sunday 2 November 2014

Hello, Alienware!

   My computer has never been the fastest, but it's been able to run things well enough, most importantly GIMP and World of Warcraft. But it's slowed down over the past few years, as computers do, and filled up with all kinds of pictures and music files despite my attempts to keep it clean and avoid installing what's not necessary, and I think it's held up well. But after the last World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, didn't run as smoothly as I'd have liked it and anything above the lowest graphical settings just wouldn't work, and even then my FPS was at about 15, I decided that I would finally save up for a gaming PC. I've wanted to play Skyrim on the computer so that I can run mods which really help to keep the game alive, but my PC could never have handled that, so it was off limits. It was struggling with World of Warcraft enough - in fact it's been struggling with GIMP over the last few months, and in the last two weeks the fan's decided to start making lots of noise.
   Cleaning the PC itself can help to speed things up because dust interferes with the air circulation, gets stuck on things and it just generally doesn't work as well as it should, so Seeg has cleaned it for me many times since I've had it, but there was nothing obviously wrong with the fan. Nothing was stuck in it, nothing was loose, but it would whir like crazy either the moment I turned it on, or only once it had set up and loaded the desktop. I would turn it off and, more often than not, turning it on a second time would fix it. It's been going much slower since then.

   However, luck was on my side, and when all the whirring started happening I had almost finished, and finally, after 8 months of saving, I have it!
   I got the Alienware X51 desktop, R2, the middle of that range, with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 745 video card, Intel core i5 processor and 1TB hard drive, and I'm running World of Warcraft on ultra - the highest settings - with 80 FPS. The PC is new, of course, and not filled with nonsense yet, and I know that it will slow in time, but it's so smooth and so quiet, I'm over the moon. As soon as Skyrim goes on sale on the Steam Winter Sale - and it will - I'm going to get it and play it all over again.
   I'd have loved one of the Alienware Aurora desktops, but I didn't think it was right because I play very few games, even if I do play them often, and they're not the most demanding, especially when you consider that graphics isn't as important to me as the games running smoothly. But Seeg is the real gamer, and I didn't think it was right to jump ahead of him and spend goodness only knows how much money on a computer that, frankly, I don't deserve.

   I'm so very pleased with this PC, my only problem is that Windows 7 was no longer available to downgrade to when I bought it because Microsoft are pulling them from new machines, so I was stuck with Windows 8. I've arranged everything on my task bar as it was on my old PC with 7, but it knocks me sideways every time I go to the start menu and I have to think for a moment about how to get off of the menu, and when I shut it down...well, simply put, on every other PC in the world the shut down would be on the bottom left, but on Windows 8 it's in the top right. And rather than the usual start menu list, you're given a stupid Xbox-style menu screen instead. It boggles my mind why they had to make this change. Boggles it, I tell you! But I rarely have to use it but to shut down so I think I can work around it. Well, I have no choice!

   World of Warcraft releases a new expansion in 2 weeks which I am more than ready for, and with the release of new character models after 10 years of the originals first being introduced, the game feels so shiny and new now! So, while my mum, my book and my shop comes first (usually in that order, though at this time of the year by shop overtakes my book), I've got everything I need to return to WoW. And don't worry, I won't be blogging about the game very often on here at all. I have another blog for that! Consider yourselves lucky that I decided to spare you all from it and spam you instead with workouts, exercise and fitness product reviews and posts about my book 'almost' being finished.

NaBloPoMo November 2014


  1. I love Windows 8 on my phone, but Izzy's computer has Windows 8 and it totally freaks me out! I suppose it just takes getting used to.

  2. my son was very excited when he saw alienware as he says apparently they are oneo f the most powerful computers. Are you a bit of a gamer then? I used to play second life but thats it. I am on wordpress and doing the challenge, so nice to meet you x

    1. It is one of the best gaming brands, certainly. I do game, but I don't play a wide variety - though the ones I do play aren't games that die very quickly. World of Warcraft gets a new expansion every year or so, which revives the game, and many other games on the PC use mods which also keep games like Skyrim - a game I've already put 400 hours into on the Xbox 360 - alive. I'm a fantasy nut, so fantasy games are a big deal for me, especially games with free roam and a huge world!

      And it's so nice to meet you, too! :D


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