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Unreleased Alienware M17x spotted running next-gen Intel Sandy Bridge chip

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Intel's full unveil of the next-gen Sandy Bridge processor line isn't due until January, but the products are already starting to leak out. The M17x is our second 17-incher (HP's dv7 being the first), and this time we've got in-the-wild shots and benchmarks to chew on. In 3DMark06 a 2GHz Core i7-2630QM machine running Intel's integrated graphics scored 15,940, while a 2.2GHz i7-2720QM with AMD Radeon HD 6900M graphics nailed a 20,155 mark, and a 2.3GHz i7-2820QM chip paired with a GeForce GTX 460M GPU did 16,957. Of course, these numbers are supremely preliminary, but it sounds like Intel's integrated graphics are (finally) starting to pull their weight, just like Intel keeps promising. Otherwise, the M17x looks to be mostly unchanged, which is probably good news for gamers, bad news for anyone hoping Alienware would pursue some new sort of "understated" design language in 2011.

[Thanks, vikingrinn]

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