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Alienware Chooses Airgo chipsets for new laptops 33

Julios Lanza writes "Alienware has chosen chipsets made by Airgo Networks to power two game-focused laptops. Alienware's 17-inch Aurora m9700 and 19-inch Aurora mALX notebooks are equipped with the Airgo's Gen3 True MIMO (multiple input, multiple output). Airgo's chips are designed to connect a computer with Wi-Fi systems at speeds fast enough to make high-performance gaming possible, Airgo executives said."
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Alienware Chooses Airgo chipsets for new laptops

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  • I haven't heard of airgo & had no idea what their MIMO technology was, but a quick perusal of tfa:

    Airgo, which already sells its earlier-generation chips through the Linksys unit of Cisco Systems and others, has pioneered a technology known as multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) that improves data speeds by sending radio signals from three antennas simultaneously.

    Ergh, they're just linksys chipsets with three antennas.

    Anyway, next I headed over to Airgo's webiste [airgomimo.org] to have a look. Zouch! Follow any lin

    • I would imagine that the stream of errors may stems from the following error, which while displayed on the main page is not visible because of the background color Notice: Undefined index: DOCUMENT_ROOT in C:\AirgoMIMO\includes\varsinit.php on line 12
      .
    • Any company, any company, that uses flash on its main page site is bad news. Flash on the main page is essentially a symptom, a rising ulcer betraying an underlying sickness.

      Exaggeration? Flash on the front page means one thing. Bad Management. No competent manager, doing their job, would allow such a thing to occur. Throwing up flash betrays a level of fecklessness, a simple inability, unwillingness, or ignorance in management's ability to get the job done. Competently.

      So remember, the next time you buy an
    • Um, WRONG. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
      NOT rebranded Linksys.

      Linksys does not make their own silicon. Neither, I believe, does Cisco. (As evidenced by one of the major reasons for Lucent spinning off their microelectronics business as Agere - Despite being a Cisco competitor, Lucent was selling a lot of silicon to Cisco and Agere stood to sell even more as a non-competitor of Cisco.)

      Airgo (along with Broadcom and many other companies) are SUPPLIERS of Linksys. Note that this does not make Linksys "rebranded Airgo", as Linksys just buys the IC
  • So... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JanneM ( 7445 )
    So the "Alienware" line of Dell laptops gets the same chipset as other Dell laptops.

    Or, in other words, "alienware" have already become normal Dell machines, only with garish colors and a higher price tag.
    • by Tx ( 96709 )
      Where do you get that Dell is using the Airgo products elsewhere? I can't find any reference to that, so what you said makes no sense.
      • And even if they are, one little chipset = full laptop does it.

        You might as well day that Macs are just Dells with white cases since they both have Intel CPUs and that would actually be more relevent.
    • Um, all of Dell's current laptop products use Intel WLAN chipsets.

      Personally in that regard I'd prefer the Dell. The Intel PRO/Wireless silicon is designed for rock-solid performance within the 802.11g standard, not a bunch of flashy compatibility-breaking extensions that will rarely work as advertised. Their chipsets also (unlike Airgo's) work extremely well under Linux.
      • Um, all of Dell's current laptop products use Intel WLAN chipsets.

        Mea culpa. I read that Dell has taken a board position with Airgo and jumped to conclusions.

        Also, I completely agree about the chipset of choice; reliability and compatibility trumps extra flash any day of the week.

    • Neither of these systems are of Dell design. The Dellienware deal only just went through its final approval on Monday as it is.
  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @08:16AM (#15299983) Homepage
    And we care because?

    If I want a serious gaming rig it'll be a desktop where I can upgrade parts without paying a serious fortune or having to mail my rig back to Dell for upgrades.

    Laptops are for work. Work involves travel. Lighter is better. Screw having a 250W laptop capable of playing Oblivion at 2560x1280 at 60fps if I can't lug it around to some random meeting half way around the world.

    Oh, this is written on a Fujitsu Lifebook. A laptop that gets 7 hours of battery life, runs both linux and windows, weighs about 4 lbs and fits easily in my knapsack. I like my Insprion Dell laptop [630m] but compared to the lifebook it's a monster. Weighs nearly 8lbs and while it fits in my bag as well it's a bit more cumbersome to lug around.

    Tom
    • I did check up on the specs of these two machines, 8.5lbs and 15lbs with batteries for the 17" and 19" machines. Fact is, its obvious that these are not aimed at business users and as such should not be judged by those standards. They make no claim to "laptop style portability", they are desktop replacements. The have "portability" that a lot of gamers, who again are the market, want.

      LAN parties are fun, whats not fun is lugging the stuff you need. Getting "portables" to that same level of performance i
      • What you want is a PSP. :-)

        Seriously. You may be rolling in the dough but for me I have to justify the cost. My laptop (my dell == personal, fujitsu == work) is meant to go with me when I do contract work. I use it to earn money and hence the purchase. If all I wanted to do was gaming I'd buy a PSP [and I did] and bring that over. It can do Wifi gaming, is much lighter and cheaper.

        That and a 15lbs laptop is stupid. That's really heavy to carry around (I suggest you put that, your adapter and a few boo
        • Yeah, but that 15lb laptop is smaller and lighter than my 50lb desktop (and signifigantly more powerful, but mines 2 years old) with seperate keyboard and 20" monitor that i have to lug to lan partys and move every 4 months (college student).
          • 1. Get an LCD monitor. They weigh much less and are easier to lug around.

            2. Grow some muscles. Carrying a 50lbs computer from a taxi or car to the table is not exactly labour intensive.

            3. LAN parties are dorky anyways. Usually sausagefests and in desperate need of face-to-face interaction. :-)

            When I go out to a friends place I'd rather play a console where instead of being buried behind a monitor you're able to see their face and the reaction as you head shot them in Halo 2 :-)

            Tom
            • "1. Get an LCD monitor. They weigh much less and are easier to lug around.

              2. Grow some muscles. Carrying a 50lbs computer from a taxi or car to the table is not exactly labour intensive.

              3. LAN parties are dorky anyways. Usually sausagefests and in desperate need of face-to-face interaction. :-)

              When I go out to a friends place I'd rather play a console where instead of being buried behind a monitor you're able to see their face and the reaction as you head shot them in Halo 2 :-)"

              1) Still not as easily or sa
            • I have an LCD monitor, a good one too, so its not the 2lb 15" ones you see at walmart. 50lb is a conservative estimate for my computer, i've actually never weighed it. Steel case, 2 opticals, 3 hard drives, 2 video cards, 1 with a heavy heatsink, heavy CPU heatsink, quality (heavy!) 550w PSU, plus my mouse, keyboard, headphones, ethernet cables, everything else i need tucked in the lan carrier. So its all of that on a single handle while i have the LCD in the original box, thankfully with a handle, in the o
          • Look into building (or buying) a MicroATX based machine.

            I got mine for apartment living, but the case is small, light, and even has "cool" windows cut into it (with Blue LEDs on the exhaust fan :) )

            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16811144109 [newegg.com]

            Oh, and it also has a handle for easy carrying. Yeah, you still need a monitor and keyboard/mouse to go with it
        • "That and a 15lbs laptop is stupid. That's really heavy to carry around (I suggest you put that, your adapter and a few books in a knapsack and carry that around an airport for 3 hours) and would run off batteries for what, like 30 seconds?"

          "Mobile desktops" are generally meant to be that, larger notebook systems designed to be lugged around but not used away from a power source for very long. From having used both extensively, I by far prefer them to the shuttle+lcd combo.
  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @08:24AM (#15300006)
    "Poserdot" - News For People Stupid Enough To Pay Three Times The Price For A PC In A Colourful Case.
    • These are the people who skateboard around and paint army logos on their keyboards ala "Hackers". :-)

      Personally I got a non-descript Titan 550 case for my 2P setup. It may be one of the fastest workstations on the planet but it sure doesn't look like it :-)

      Tom
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What high performance? I play day of defeat and at the highest load of players on the server I only need about 5-7 k/sec throughput to not lag. You can do that pretty much with one of those old fashioned "modems". It's not like the original multicast multiplayer network-destroying version of DOOM for pete's sake.
    • Good point you AC... too bad though, I had mod points! ;p

      But really, you need MIMO in a laptop for gaming performance how? To see who can download the next map pack the fastest?

      As a laptop gamer, I'd be more concerned with the tiny keyboard with mushy springs. And location of the trackpad so it doesn't get in my way while playing...

      Even more important, LCD performance.
  • Premature garbage (Score:4, Informative)

    by bananaendian ( 928499 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @08:50AM (#15300151) Homepage Journal
    Don't read the TFA - read this: A Peek Ahead at 802.11n: MIMO-OFDM [oreilly.com]

    Airgo's "True MIMO" is a pre-standard interpretation of the future 802.11blah (TGnSync vs. WWiSE) and will most likely not be compatible with the final 802.11n.

    The MIMO concept itself offers to double the throughput at the expense of increasing bandwidth from 20 to 40MHz as well as spreading multipath garbage on the spectrum. If you've had fun with congestion on 802.11b/g channels, this 802.11n will really make your day.

    Ok, so it might have marginally better spectral efficiency per Mbps but really, what we want to see is true beamforming dynamic-arrays that will properly 'point' the RF where it's supposed to go in real-time.

    Meanwhile one of these 'gaming' laptops will just screwup the spectrum and slowdown existing b/g channels.

    • "Ok, so it might have marginally better spectral efficiency per Mbps but really, what we want to see is true beamforming dynamic-arrays that will properly 'point' the RF where it's supposed to go in real-time."

      Actually, to Airgo's credit, this is exactly what they do. Effectively, they form seperate beams for each possible path between units, and send different data on each. When connected to a "vanilla" B/G unit, they fall back to steering all of the power along the path with the least loss.

      OK, yeah, the
  • by S3D ( 745318 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:58AM (#15301028)
    Alienware is not choosing chipsets for their laptops, because it's not in the buisness of designing laptops. Alienware laptops are rebranded laptops of OEM Clevo. The same laptops are also rebranded as Sager, Eurocom, Falcon NW, Voodo PC, and some others.
  • film at 11. (no pun intended).
  • Sure, faster speeds are always better, but they make it sound like online gaming wasn't possible with previous versions of WiFi. I don't know about you, but all the games I've played (ut2004, counter-strike, planetside) have worked fine on my 802.11g connection...
  • For one, they are heavy and probably hot. The heat in particular makes most mobile computers unsuitable for comfortable on-lap use, the weight doesn't help either. Apparently, international standards allow the surfaces to be up to 128 degrees F / 54 C, which is unacceptably hot to me. It won't burn, but it is still incredibly uncomfortable. Even units built around the standard Centrino plaform runs hotter than what I would consider unacceptable.

    One thing you might find is that most or all marketing lite
  • A recent comparative test pitted the Linksys SRX400 against four or five other "pre-N" routers (two Netgear routers, one Belkin, one DLink, if memory serves) and the Linksys one was the only one that worked in test scenario 4 at all, and not only did it work, it still had 30 MBit/s throughput.
    The other ones would not even CONNECT in test scenario 4.
    Upon reading that report, I bought SRX400 equipment just yesterday and set it up in my house.
    Guess what: Where I previously had only marginal connectivity (ro

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