ALX Promises a Gaming Utopia

ALX Promises a Gaming Utopia

Alienware has announced details of its new ALX systems, launched last week during E3. The unique aspect of these computers is that they will utilize two graphics boards using Alienware's proprietary Video Array method.

Video Array, Alienware's patent-pending innovation, enables two high-performance PCI-Express video cards, (exact cards from the same manufacturer) to process graphics commands in parallel, thus significantly increasing the graphics performance. It includes proprietary software and hardware, including a video merger hub which ultimately merges the individual signals into one image.

ALX systems will become available from June this year but the Video Array versions will be released in Q4, 2004. Those systems will use a special Alienware motherboard, based on Intel's Tumwater chipset, including two PCI-Express graphics slots, and developed specifically by Alienware to support Video Array. The motherboard will also feature 2 sockets for CPUs, dual-channel DDR2 memory, Serial ATA ports with RAID capability, PCI-X support, Gigabit Ethernet and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio.

The company has been very carefull to distance itself from speculation that the method used is related to 3dfx's SLI and stresses that this is a completely new way of combining two video cards. Alienware reports that preliminary tests have produced a 50 per cent performance increase to single graphics cards systems and claims that as graphics demands increase so does the performance gain.

Alienware have been careful not to mention a price range for these systems but you can be certain that they will not be cheap.