Review: Alienware Area 51 (2014) gaming PC
4.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $2999 starting from; Review model was closer to $6000
Manufacturer: Alienware

PC gamers that don’t mind sitting at their desks generally have three options when it comes to buying a computer these days: gaming laptop, build your own rig, or buy something built by the experts. In that last category, Alienware is pushing a new breed of rig, and boy, is it interesting.

Features

The desktop may be dying, but there’s still a place for the taller computers, and if you need power, nothing beats a full-sized rig.

Gamers know this better than anyone, and those who don’t need to take their rig anywhere will have a big computer built to handle the games that are made for these systems. The computers are often packed with storage, memory, and feature large graphic cards to render their games in the best resolutions possible.

Sometimes they even have lighting and water cooling and all sorts of bits and bobs to make them stand out, which you might not think would matter at home, and you’re right, but the moment you want to take them out to a LAN party and play games against your friends, well, that’s where it starts to become a thing.

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So PC gamers have different needs, and often have different styles of computers to the rest of us, with the desktop still existing for their needs, as well as schools, libraries, offices, production houses, and all sorts of places that would prefer a machine that isn’t going anywhere and can take larger than normal components for heavy processor lifting.

Alienware is a company that knows a thing or two about what gamers want, and pretty much exists to cater for that category, with gaming equipment made to perform and still made to look good.

Better, it’s also usually tweakable by the person purchasing the system, with an inside you can easily get at provided you can work your way around an open case, hard drives, video card, cables, and a motherboard.

This review is of the computer on the right, not the monitor on the left.

This review is of the computer on the right, not the monitor on the left.

For its latest desktop, the Area 51, Alienware hasn’t taken a typical stab at building a tower, throwing out the old design and coming up with something new.

Gone is the tall rectangular block, replaced by a triangular shape and a different style of design, with hard drives installed on the ride side of the case just behind the removable right side, while the left side lets you open the computer to reveal the insides just like a normal computer.

Everything in here appears to be user maintainable, and you’ll find all manner of components available to be installed here from the get go, with the only thing being constant appearing to be the motherboard.

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From a processor point of view, you’ll find fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processors (“Haswell”), all Core i7 variants, starting with the six-core 5820K processor, and ranging up to the eight-core 5960X processor.

Memory on these computers starts with 8GB RAM, but can be configured to include either 16 or 32GB, and Windows 8.1 arrives with the computer out of the box, the very, very big box.