HOT! Alienware Spawns A Newly Designed Area 51 Desktop, Haswell-E On Board [Updated] - HotHardware
HOT! Alienware Spawns A Newly Designed Area 51 Desktop, Haswell-E On Board [Updated]

HOT! Alienware Spawns A Newly Designed Area 51 Desktop, Haswell-E On Board [Updated]

Today is a pretty big day in technology. Not only did Intel's long-anticipated Haswell-E finally roll into town (check out review of the burly Intel Core i7 5960X CPU), but we also get a sneak peek at a completely redesigned Alienware Area 51 desktop system. This refreshed system is unlike any previous Alienware rig you've seen -- heck, it's unlike any PC you've ever seen, period.

Dell's enthusiast Alienware brand has always stood out for its unique, other-worldly looks, though if there's such a thing as taking things to the next level, this is it. However, there's more to this refresh than just shock value -- it's a futuristic aesthetic with a purposeful design behind it.
Alienware Area-51 Gaming PC
Alienware Area 51 thermals

You'll notice the angled corners and somewhat of a triangular shape (with twice as many sides). According to Dell, you can place the Alienware Area 51 against the wall and not have to worry about thermals getting out of the control. That's because there's a controlled gap and a sharp angle that ensures only a small part of the system actually rests against the wall, whereas there's still plenty of room for hot air to escape up and away.

This design also offers users easy access to rear ports, though if you need more room, you can rotate the chassis like a ball so that the rear is facing upward instead of an at angle. Another advantage to all those angles is it makes the occasional transportation chore easier -- there are more places to grab hold of compared to a traditional desktop.

As to physical specs, the case system measures 25.16 inches (D) by 10.74 inches (W) by 22.41 inches (H) / 638.96mm (D) by 272.71mm (W) by 569.25mm (H) and weighs about 45 pounds.

Alienware Area 51 Inside

Despite the unique design, there's plenty of room for high end components inside. The retooled chassis can swallow up to three 300W double-wide full-length graphics cards. It also brings to the table Intel's latest and greatest Haswell-E in six-core or eight-core options, liquid cooled and nestled into Intel's X99 chipset.

After all that, there's still room for up to five storage drives with support for HDD and SSD options. Rounding out the feature-set you'll find built-in Killer GbE LAN, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2x2), DDR4 memory, and of course 9 programmable lighting zones (it wouldn't be an Alienware rig if you couldn't play with the lighting.

Alienware X51 Features

Dell says its new Alienware Area 51 is designed for upgrades, though beyond the physical attributes, the advantages lie in the hardware. Imagine configuring one of these with an 8-core Haswell-E processor, three graphics card in SLI or CrossFire powered by a 1.5kW PSU, 32GB or DDR4 memory, and four SSDs in RAID 0 with a large capacity hard drive for storing data. Fully loaded, the Alienware X51 can drive three 4K displays with a combined 11520x2160 resolution.

Alienware Area 51

Update: 8/29 - 11:40PM: Here's Dell's video tease on this new bad boy....


Waiting is the hard part, though look for the Alienware Area 51 to start shipping in October. No word from Dell on the price, but why go and ruin a good fantasy with the reality of a high price tag, anyway?
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I really like the concept of the idea, their ultimate goal, and the risks in design they are willing to take! I don't find this design even remotely aesthetically pleasing. I would rather have an efficient system than an attractive one though and would consider a case design like this for a purchase.

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Really? I think it looks pretty sweet personally. I also like how everything is angled up at you from where you're probably going to sit in front of it.

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I agree with sevags. Not digging the design either.

I'd have to drink a whole bottle of vodka before I hit the "purchase" button on this one...

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Think I'm going to have to side with Dave on this one. If that picture of it by that monitor is anything to go by, then this is a pretty compact design for what will fit inside. The older Area 51s were mammoth!

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Why doesn't alienware fix their power issues with all their laptop models rather than come out with crappy designs.

Stay away from this one boys...substance over superficial bullshit.

A disappointed alienware owner

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I like it, but 32GB Memory is not good at all,

I'm using a Thermaltake Level 10 GT case with 64GB of Memory and GTX 780 6GB Mem. AsRock X79 extreme 11 Motherboard

I'm looking to upgrade to the new Intel 5th generation i7-5960x Processor with a AsRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer motherboard that supports 128 GB Memory, and new a new Case, the Thermaltake are too big.

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It will be expensive. That design may work well, but I'm not sure about it. It may get old looking at it after a while.

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I for one can't wait to get a review unit in for testing.... so I can open it up for an alien autopsy. :)

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Dave_HH:
I for one can't wait to get a review unit in for testing.... so I can open it up for an alien autopsy. :)

Not really sure what to make of this design at this time,  seems a bit too cramped  to me and maybe not enough airflow?  I dunno,  have to wait and see when you gents test this alien puppy out, and 'shake n bake'  it a little bit under some heavy duty loads.

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Guess I'm on the fence. It's a cool design and the ability to rotate it to get various angles for exhaust is pretty innovative. I'd be curious to see some kind of wind-tunnel tests INSIDE the case to see how this sort of layout effects circulation. I'd also be nervous having all of my component inputs pointing up at all.

Do any of alienware's parts stand on their own in custom builds? I had to look up what their motherboard looked like in this case just out of curiosity, thinking it wouldn't be available anywhere but in a pre-build like this, but I was wrong.  Though they have no inventory, so maybe it isn't?

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I'm with Dave, that desktop is supposed to look out of this world and they nailed it in my opinion. A roundup of Haswell E based systems from the boutiques would be amazing Dave.

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I like it, and I imagine that this will encourage other case manufacturers to engineer their own designs. More affordable design comp for the Apple trash can is a good thing. But I also imagine that it will require significant cooperation among case manufacturers and board manufacturers to come up with quasi-standard system layouts, like special shapes and configurations of ATX rather than the current standard rectangular shape. Hmm... in that case, it probably won't happen the way I would like it to, but I could see motherboard manufacturers subcontracting with case manufacturers for unique motherboard branded cases that fit with their unique motherboard/system designs. Of course, such systems will come at a premium for that reason, until maybe the second or third generation of systems built around the motherboard shape, drive and cooling configuration. For example, with this Dell system, I could see a partially spherical case design while the inner configuration remains the same through generations.

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