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Dell Offers Ubuntu Option With Alienware Gaming Desktop 135

Posted by timothy
from the year-of-the-linux-sorta-console-looking-thing dept.
dartttt writes "Dell has launched a new Ubuntu gaming desktop (first ever?) . Alienware customers can now choose either Windows or Ubuntu when buying a new X51. Ubuntu option is initially available to U.S. customers only and the price starts from $599." Also in Ubuntu news: Canonical announced on Friday the final beta release of Ubuntu 13.04, aka Raring Ringtail (the main release, as well as the growing flock of other *buntus).
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Dell Offers Ubuntu Option With Alienware Gaming Desktop

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  • where are the Linux games ?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06, 2013 @07:06AM (#43377537)

      http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/

    • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday April 06, 2013 @09:10AM (#43377975) Homepage Journal

      Nearly every game for NES, Super NES, or Sega Genesis works in emulation on Linux. If you have a Retrode, you can turn your Super NES or Genesis cartridges into ROM files and play them that way, or you can use a Kazzo to dump NES cartridges.

      And if you're not into emulation, you can try Wine, which is not an emulator. Plenty of PC games made for Windows work in Linux through Wine. Or you can try a load of amateur games made with SDL or Pygame.

      • by Sigg3.net (886486)

        I play L4D2 almost exclusively now, and I haven't had a Win box for several years.

        But instagib in Nexuiz or Zotonic and CTF in AssaultCube is still fun. The latter could probably run on a Raspberry Pi. Really love Vendetta Online but it takes too much time.
        Just bought the FPS humble bundle and the GF is away all week so I hope to expand my horizon.

        Coming from the open geek culture of F/OSS beware of rude gamers though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/
      duh?

    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @09:59AM (#43378227) Homepage

      This machine will run Tux Racer like you wouldn't believe!

    • by LRAD (1822746)
      https://www.humblebundle.com/ [humblebundle.com] Most Humble Bundle stuff works on Linux too, and comes with a steam key to boot.
  • That's weird. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Seumas (6865) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @07:03AM (#43377525)

    You have the inquisitiveness and good taste to use linux, but you have a low bar for standards, shitty taste, and willingness to overpay for Alienware?!

    I mean, I'm glad to see linux anywhere it can get to, but that's such a bizarre pairing.

    • Correct if I'm wrong, but isn't Alienware that company that charges twice the price of a normal laptop for one that's in a slightly customised case?

      • Re:That's weird. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Verunks (1000826) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @07:23AM (#43377599)

        if you want a gaming laptop there aren't many other choices, and they are all priced around the same

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Seumas (6865)

          Though, if you want a gaming laptop, someone will hopefully intervene and nudge you away from it as the name is kind of oxymoronic. Even in 2013, I believe people need to be disabused of the idea that (short of spending $5,000 on an insane system every year for a 12lb crazy ass laptop) there is really such a thing as a "gaming" laptop.

          Except maybe for linux, because on linux the majority of ported games tend to be . . . a little more trivial (sorry, I tried to come up with a less dismissive word).

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I bought an alienware abut 4 years ago. Cost me about 3,000 and will still play everything that comes out just fine (though no longer at max settings). At the time I was working as a merchant marine so it was great to have something to take on the ship with me. Even now I use it as a backup/lan party machine rather than taking my whole desktop setup. However little sense these machines may make for most people they do serve a useful purpose in the market.

            • by PopeRatzo (965947)

              At the time I was working as a merchant marine..

              Damn, I wish I was younger. I'd be one one a them boats so fast it's make my wife's head spin.

              And now you're telling me I can play Borderlands 2 in the downtime? Hell yes.

          • Even in 2013, I believe people need to be disabused of the idea that (short of spending $5,000 on an insane system every year for a 12lb crazy ass laptop) there is really such a thing as a "gaming" laptop.

            You might not be able to get PS4- or Durango-class gaming on a laptop, but PS3-class gaming is certainly attainable. In the past, Intel's "GMA" integrated graphics processor has been nicknamed "Graphics My Ass" compared to even a low-end AMD or NVIDIA GPU. But a year ago, a PC with an Ivy Bridge CPU was seen to run Skyrim at over 40 fps [anandtech.com]. If a PS3-class game runs that well on Intel graphics, think of how much better AMD's laptop GPUs will handle it.

            • by Seumas (6865)

              I wouldn't consider a laptop that is capable of playing games at a level comparable to a 2005 video game console to be particularly appealing nor considered a "gaming laptop". I would assert that for something to truly be a "gaming laptop", it should be able to play modern games recently released with only minor acceptable sacrifices (obviously, not running with maximum eye-candy cranked up, for example). I think this is an especially fair demand framed in the context of how expensive they are.

              • by tepples (727027)

                it should be able to play modern games recently released with only minor acceptable sacrifices (obviously, not running with maximum eye-candy cranked up, for example).

                That depends on what you mean by "recently released" and "acceptable sacrifices". Skyrim was first published in the fourth quarter of 2011 (source: Wikipedia), and Ivy Bridge graphics pulled 40+ fps on Medium settings (source: Anandtech). And as I said earlier, there are laptop GPUs more powerful than the one in Ivy Bridge. My point is that any laptop with an NV or AMD GPU is probably a "gaming laptop" by now.

            • I can tell the instance the framerate drops below 60. 40 fps looks laggy as shit.

              PS3-class game? You mean one that runs only at 480p, 720p & 1080i ? Ewww. No thanks.

              If I'm going to pay $#,### dollars on a laptop I want a GPU that doesn't suck ass; Intel's GMAs have always sucked for performance as you point out.

              I'll keep waiting until shitty mobile GPUs can run 120+ Hz in 2 yr old games. I'm in no rush to blow money on something that will be obsolete in a few years. Hell, I just picked up a GTX Tita

          • by thoth (7907)

            I bought a Sager Midern gaming notebook 3 years ago, for right about $2000. It is heavy, but more like 9 lbs not 12.

            Yeah, it was pricier than a regular notebook, and I could have gotten a more awesome desktop for that much, but overall, I'm really happy with the gaming notebook.It has decent stats for me (core i7, 6 GB, 500 GB HD originally but I swapped out for a 250 GB SSD, 17" 1920x1200 screen, GeForce 285M, wireless). I'm not into FPS games so I don't need every graphics setting maxed out. This thing pl

          • by Entropius (188861)

            Not so much.

            I'm typing on a machine I bought a week ago -- an Asus G46. It's a 14" machine that is a bit overbuilt (important to me because I want something durable), but still clocks in at about 5 pounds. The CPU is a 3GHz dual-core i5, which is really not so bad; the GPU is a GTX660M, which runs anything I have thrown at it at very high FPS. (I actually don't have games installed yet that will really stress it, but people's reviews rate it very highly.) It runs quite cool; the cooling system on the thing

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          What actually is a "gaming laptop"? One with an i7 processor and a non-Intel video card? That's not that difficult to buy. A quick search of Amazon shows me 96 results for just that. 31 of them have a 17" or greater screen size too. Pretty much every PC manufacturer is represented there.

          No judgement on price though; the ones I can see look fair enough at £500-£700.

          • by Seumas (6865)

            I'd consider a gaming laptop to be a laptop that can play current releases just fine at reasonable frame rate and only sacrificing the graphic fidelity a little bit (meaning, not dropping everything to minimum). Being able to play a game that was released five years ago shouldn't really qualify it as a "gaming laptop". Also, you have to factor in the price of a laptop that can meet this requirement and then consider how quickly it will become obsolete for that function. Unless you sleep on piles of money ev

          • by mwvdlee (775178)

            To me, a "gaming laptop" is a laptop that is too big or heavy to comfortably carry around or sit on top of your lap and has hardware (CPU/GPU) that emphezises processing power over energy consumption.
            Basically, it's a gaming desktop that is convenient for dragging along to a LAN party but not very convenient for typical laptop use.

            • by Entropius (188861)

              They've not been that way for a long time, if you get ones that have x60-class (560, 660, etc.,) GPU's rather than the 580/680 class ones. They may not run all your games on ultra at 1920x1080 with FSAA on, but is that really that big of a deal?

              I'm sitting here with one in my lap right now, actually. It's barely warm, not that heavy, not that big (it's small enough that I plug it into a real monitor when I'm at home), the battery lasts a long time, and it still runs games quite well. No, it's not a beast wi

        • I've been looking at replacing my MacBook Pro with a non-Mac. The reason for this is that MacBooks are weak in the Video RAM (VRAM) department (the thing that actually makes a difference in gaming these days) and I'm like more than 1 GB of RAM. A Retina Display with high pixel count also makes the limited VRAM of the Mac even worse. I also *loathe* glossy screens.

          The Alienware machines are ok. The big problem for me is the fact that the ones I can buy online are either 14 inch or 17 inch form factors. No

      • by Seumas (6865)

        I haven't followed them much, since the brand was acquired by Dell, but yes - they're one of those Northwest Falcon / Doghouse Systems type of companies that build you a gaming rig for a lot more than you could build one yourself (between 150% and 200% of what you could put it together yourself for). That isn't to say it's a total rip off, but you could reasonably also find someone to build it to your specs for you if you don't want to do the dirty work and still come out a lot cheaper than paying the "ther

    • $599 in the US. Base model is $1299 in Australia, for a PC spec which could be bought for $800 without the glowing Alien head.

      Yeah, I can see that working out well for them...
      • by prowler1 (458133)

        I saw this article on gamingonlinux.com last night. I was interested in one when I first saw the article. The casing was OK and you could get some decent hardware configurations, on top of that the pricing listed (for the American market) made the product a reasonable option. So I decided to see what was available for the Australian market and the price was one of the two points I made on why I would pass. The other was the fact that on the Australian Dell Alien page, there was no option for Ubuntu when I l

  • A struggling computer manufacturer has the brilliant idea of combining two struggling brands in the hope of saving itself. Ubuntu has been "meh" for a while now, and Alienware has earned a reputation for being overpriced crap. Who knows, maybe this will work for Dell. But I doubt it. The kiddies and the people attracted to shiny are all about smart-phones and tablets. They don't want a lap/desktop anymore. That means the market has shifted, and those of us still left in the computer market are a hell of a l
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not comical. Revealing desperate for any traction at all, sure. Dell clearly thinks that branch of product can't do well enough on Win alone, and "linux gaming" has been making headlines lately, so what the heck.

      Ubuntu itself doesn't matter per se. They'd go with Ubuntu because they'd want the closest to 'safe well-supported mainstream brand' they could find. But it's no turn-off to anyone who'd prefer another distro because they'll load it easy enough, and the 'ubuntu inside' assures them it's a high end l

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @08:00AM (#43377709)

    http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/pd [dell.com]

    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=DPDOXP4u&model_id=alienware-x51&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19 [dell.com]

    Ubuntu box gets lower spec' and fewer accessories:

    Smaller hard drive 1 vs 2; no mouse or keyboard, ...

    They're both 1049?

    • Sort of. If you look closely, you see that the Ubuntu is $100 cheaper list-price but has a $100 discount there. The Windows one has a $200 discount. So the final price comes to the same for each, $1049. The only hardware difference I see is the hard drive: Windows has 2TB, Ubuntu has 1TB. Which explains why the latter is $100 cheaper: Not license fee difference, but just that it has a cheaper drive. I'm not sure why this is, but perhaps Microsoft specifies 2TB as a minimum for a Windows 8 desktop. Just to s

      • by johnkoer (163434) <johnkoer@nospAM.yahoo.com> on Saturday April 06, 2013 @08:23AM (#43377807) Homepage Journal

        Or Dell, like any other company, is trying to make a profit and sees an opportunity to get some additional markup. You could also speculate that if they make the Ubuntu boxes cheaper, more people would buy them not knowing what Ubuntu is. Then when they try and install their copy of The Sims they will call Dell and complain. This raises their support costs for the computers and thus has to be included in the base sale price.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Sort of. If you look closely, you see that the Ubuntu is $100 cheaper list-price but has a $100 discount there. The Windows one has a $200 discount. So the final price comes to the same for each, $1049. The only hardware difference I see is the hard drive: Windows has 2TB, Ubuntu has 1TB. Which explains why the latter is $100 cheaper: Not license fee difference, but just that it has a cheaper drive. I'm not sure why this is, but perhaps Microsoft specifies 2TB as a minimum for a Windows 8 desktop. Just to s

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/pd [dell.com]

      http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=DPDOXP4u&model_id=alienware-x51&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19 [dell.com]

      Ubuntu box gets lower spec' and fewer accessories:

      Smaller hard drive 1 vs 2; no mouse or keyboard, ...

      They're both 1049?

      I read somewhere that the average cost of a single customer care call to Dell is higher than what they pay MS for their Windows license. So if Dell (for some reason only they can answer) expect to get more customer care calls when selling a Linux-PC (fx driver/compatibility questions, etc., and the odd user not knowing what s/he bought) then yes, it can be a more expensive machine to Dell even if the OS is free.

    • Until you have Linux software publishers willing to pay an OEM to load their trialware on the system and a Linux distro decides to help pay for Linux-based system advertising Windows-based systems will always be less.

      For every enthusiastic Linux supporter there are several (I suspect) burned Linux netbook purchasers that vowed never again to buy a Linux system... The market share for Linux systems is very, very small & uncertain. Many Linux advocates like to talk about how Linux runs great on last gener

      • Until you have Linux software publishers willing to pay an OEM to load their trialware on the system

        Then try this: Install Wine. Download the trialware yourself onto a fresh Linux box. Try installing it. Make a report on Wine's AppDB. Tell the publisher whether it worked. Tell the publisher that PC makers are starting to sell PCs with GNU/Linux, and the company could get a few bucks from selling registered versions to people who buy these PCs.

        Many Linux advocates like to talk about how Linux runs great on last generation hardware

        Windows Vista failed because it ran poorly on machines that ran XP well, such as anything with less than 1 GB of RAM. So after the perceived failure of Windows Vista

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > Many Linux advocates like to talk about how Linux runs great on last generation hardware, which does not encourage OEMs to race out and offer high-end (expensive) systems

        No. Linux users are smart and demanding. That makes them harder marks for fraud and nonsense.

        They understand the math and are less likely to pay a lot more for marginal improvements of little value. This can be paying too much for the CPU or the video card or paying the extra premium for a compact form factor when you don't really need

    • by Zimluura (2543412)

      maybe they're rolling into the price what they think will be an increased tech support cost. but they probably won't offer tech support for ubuntu anyway. wait a sec, i haven't bought a whole system since 99, is tech support still a thing?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not interested in purchasing a "gaming desktop" or any other type of desktop, but I certainly am willing to pay more for Linux bundled on a machine. Yes, not paying the "Microsoft tax" is so important to me that I'm willing to pay extra money to ensure that my dollars are not going to Redmond.

  • Why so negative? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 06, 2013 @08:18AM (#43377783)

    I'm constantly surprised at how some people can only see the bad side to any news.

    Finally we're seeing mainstream acceptance of Linux as an alternative to Windows and yet people still complain. This is a great first step, a major manufacturer is putting Linux onto machines designed to be sold to the home in a competitive way. It can only lead to good things, more game manufacturers taking notice and developing their games for the platform, which in turn will make the hardware vendors made decent drivers.

    And yet all some people can focus on is the fact that this machine doesn't suit their own personal special snowflake situation. the mind boggles!

    • by UPZ (947916)

      I'm constantly surprised at how some people can only see the bad side to any news.

      Finally we're seeing mainstream acceptance of Linux as an alternative to Windows and yet people still complain. This is a great first step, a major manufacturer is putting Linux onto machines designed to be sold to the home in a competitive way. It can only lead to good things, more game manufacturers taking notice and developing their games for the platform, which in turn will make the hardware vendors made decent drivers.

      And yet all some people can focus on is the fact that this machine doesn't suit their own personal special snowflake situation. the mind boggles!

      Some people are unwilling to appreciate a "better" situation because it's not the "best" situation. An adult version of throwing temper tantrums.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      finally? where have you been, dell picks one token machine to offer ubuntu with every fucking year, then no one buys it, then they stop doing it 8 months later

      finally, phht linux in the household has had more chances than a windows tablet, and for some odd reason, not many people want an OS thats a pain in the ass to use with none of the software they want.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @08:28AM (#43377829)

    Why is Dell making stupid Linux offerings?
    Either they're providing Linux on shit hardware or on gaming hardware. Neither is the right target.

    People want Linux on good hardware, but not for games, they want it for work.
    And they want it to be part of the main offerings, not hidden on some special section of the website.

    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      Marketing is playing buzzword bingo again.
    • More specifically, they should offer it on their business computers. My school has a whole lab full of OptiPlex desktops with Windows 7 Pro CAs running CentOS.

      They also have another lab full of OptiPlex desktops with Windows 7 Pro CAs running Windows 7 Enterprise.

      Either way, making it easier to buy business computers without Windows licenses would save organizations a lot of money.

    • by BenJury (977929)

      You might, but I'd like it on a decent gaming machine which would force the hardware companies to provide decent drivers. And guess what, all the kids who buy a Linux gaming machine will grow up using Linux along with things like Open Office, so when they get to the work place the Microsoft stranglehold will be loosened.

      Though you're right, I'd like the offering to be more prominent (and available in the UK!) but its still a good start and not to be scoffed at.

      • by loufoque (1400831)

        You'll need to run Windows to get any serious gaming done anyway, so it is stupid.
        If you're just doing basic gaming, then you don't need an Alienware, you can just buy an Inspiron or something.

        • by BenJury (977929)

          This sort of attitude really annoys me. People have always said crap like this, like "why would anyone need this automobile? there are no petrol stations so where would I be able to go", or "who is ever going to need more than 640k of RAM?" its all just so short sighted.

          In the near term maybe people have to use Wine to get access to the latest games, however the fact that this is being sold might wake games developers up to that they're missing out on a market. And once they start developing, everyone else

          • by loufoque (1400831)

            If you're interested in Linux, then you probably have better things to do with your computer than gaming.

            • by BenJury (977929)
              If you don't know about Linux, buying a Linux gaming machine is a good way to start.
  • This is cool and all being that linux is slowly starting to take off in the world of the gamers. But my bigger concern is, what is dell/alienware doing about the IvyBridge switchable graphics? I have an Alienware M14x R2 with the 3rd gen i5 and a nvidia gtx650. BIOS doesn't let you enable just the video card you must run ivybridge at all times, so how do they plan to implement Bumblebee or maybe their own type of driver? I have ran ArchLinux on my alienware for a few months now, and i have barely been able
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why bother? Linux does not run anything that a 'gamer' or most modern people would want.
    Sure it runs like what 4 new games that this company 'steam' arranged..oh wow.

    Honestly, while nothing against Linux, it's about getting the job done more than romance for pretty much most people. People just want to run tons of random programs and heaps of games and I mean heaps.. they want to just buy a printer or scanner, joystick, heck even an iphone - and want it to just work. Hello it's not 1993 anymore these things

    • > Why bother? Linux does not run anything that a 'gamer' or most modern people would want.

      Unfortunately, the past year, neither does Windows :(

    • And yet, I have things that "just work" on linux which don't work at all on Windows.. Removable drives with more than one partition, for one. I can take any flash drive, partition it with two partitions(say one for work and one for play, one for LiveCDs and one for files). Any Linux will see and use all partitions. Windows 7 will only see one. It's frigging annoying.
      Or, say, booting off USB. With USB3, you could easily use an external USB3 drive to boot, and haul it between three computers so you have all y

  • I would not call this thing a gaming PC. I would call it an upscale low profile PC. It looks like it could be a very respectable HTPC for people who want something more than a $300 ION or $100 Roku.

    It's less lame than a Mac Mini.

    Really, it's just a Dell with a very Linux friendly video card.

  • Well lookie here. Dell offering a high spec Linux laptop. I'm just shocked! Michael Dell who would normally have Steve Balmer's cock farther down his throat than would generally be considered comfortable must have come up for air long enough to allow this laptop to slip past. What is the world coming too? It does show that Microsoft's power is waining. Once people see how far advanced Ubuntu 13 is above Windows 8..... Well it is the preverbal camel's nose under the tent. If you have an M$ stock, I'd be sell

  • Now, we need games written in OpenGL, not DirectX. Will benefit both Linux and OS X. I'm keeping Win7 on my main computer for games. For everything else, it's OS X. No, it's not a Mac. Apple doesn't sell the machine I need (mini-tower)

  • I have Mint/Mate/Linux installed as my third boot option, I'll tinker with Mint a bit then
    boot into a Windows OS to play my games.

    One good game for me and I could make Linux part of my normal setup and always be available.
    I say this in all honesty as Doom brought me to the PC, and away from the AmigA.

    http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/ [steampowered.com]

    The stuff listed at that link is of no interest to me. Dungeon Defenders ($15.00) is a POS that
    comes with the Motorola Xoom (Google Tablet), it might be great for a ve

  • honestly the idea of linux is perfect but how it's done is completely bad... when it comes down to it... really linux is a hack job between everyone who is programing for it. we need a central force to unify all the distro's and get them under one tent... kernal,gnu... all the little peaces of Linux . honestly if i am reading the tea leaves right Valve software is thinking that way... every time we have a fight in the linux world we "tree" off and split the community's to a point now that each group hates
  • I suppose I'd better find out what this steam thing is about ... to see if there's anythin interesting there ...

    As of January 2013, Steam has seen over 6.6 million concurrent players

    As few as that? I thought it was meant to be something big? Like "BitCoin".

    During mid-2011, Valve began to offer free-to-play games,

    What? There are "pay to play" games? Why? (As in, "why do people pay for this?")

    OK ; interest lost. Has anyone brought ou any good games in the last 20 years?

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