I remember several years ago I asked legendary Taiwanese overclocker HiCookie a pretty dumb question. “Why did you choose an Alienware notebook?” He replied with an obvious shrug,…”you can overclock it”. This was the first time that it had actually occurred to me that Overclocking was possible on a notebook PC. Today there are quite a few models from several major brands trying to entice enthusiasts to drop a bundle on a notebook worthy of overlocking. Let’s take a quick look at who is succeeding in this space.
If we take a step back and look instead at the BGA1364 mobile socket from Intel, the Haswell era, we get a pretty clear picture about which brand was winning among enthusiasts and overclockers. We can do this by looking at XTU submission numbers for the platform to see which brands are most popular.
In terms of XTU submission share, ASUS grabs an enormous 36% of all submissions. The Core i7 4700HQ based ROG G750JW in fact accounts for 9.75% of all XTU mobile Haswell submissions. MSI is represented with only 2.68% of submissions while Alienware (a Dell subsidiary) has a mere 2.57%. Clearly ASUS’s investment in the ROG brand was paying off in this space in the Haswell era.
If we do the same with mobile Skylake chips that use the BGA1440 socket, we see a quite different picture emerging. If we consider Alienware and Dell to be the same company, they are actually leading the way with 26% of all XTU submissions. Alienware accounts for most it with 17.7%. The bigger surprise is that MSI has 19.5% of Skylake submissions, beating ASUS with a share of only 9.33%. Clevo also make a good showing with their P65_P67RGRERA taking 9.87%.
The machine with by far the biggest share of the mobile Skylake submissions is the Alienware 17 R3 with 14.11%. This is probably not too surprising as it supports an unlocked mobile CPU, the Intel Core i7 6820HK.
Clearly both MSI and Alienware/Dell have done a great deal to gain the hearts and minds of the enthusiast, largely at the expense of ASUS. The emergence of an unlocked mobile Core i7 may well have helped, indeed the fact that the most submissions come from machines that use the i76820HK supports that notion.
I leave you with this video from Hong Kong overclocker and HWBOT member cr4p who demonstrates how to overclock an Alienware 17 R3. In XTU cr4p is 6th in the i7 6820HK rankings with a score of 1,374 marks. This was achieved by pushing the chip to a tasty 4,170MHz (+15.83%). In terms of pure frequency cr4p is in third place on 4,490.1MHz (+24.73%). Long live notebook overclocking.