If you are a regular here at HotHardware.com, you have most likely heard of Alienware, one of the companies that helped establish the market for high-performance, gaming PCs. Since hitting the scene in 1996, Alienware has become a leader not only in gaming PCs but also in high-performance desktop, notebook, media center, and professional systems. Alienware's refreshing philosophy emphasizes building a system "as if it were your own."
As most of you probably know, Dell acquired Alienware about a year ago in order to leverage Alienware's edgy brand. Some may fear that this means the worst for Alienware, but for now, Alienware still operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dell and basically continues with business as usual. Alienware is still Alienware and not a watered down version of what it used to be. The company has the ability to maintain its image of a high-performance system builder, which means it technically competes with Dell's own XPS line. We are anxious to see how this plays out over the next couple of years, and we seriously doubt that Dell will do anything to harm Alienware's excellent brand name and market presence.
That's enough about Alienware itself; let's talk about the hardware for a moment. Today in the labs, we have the Alienware Area-51 7500, which features Alienware's signature, unique aesthetics and some of the most powerful hardware available today.
Like other Alienware systems, the Area-51 7500 has many configurable options, such as processor, operating system, memory, chassis color, hard drive, and much more. You can spend anywhere from $2,199 for the default options which don't include a monitor, to over $10,000 if you max everything out. At the time it was shipped to us, our test system could be purchased for just over $5,800 without a monitor. The table below outlines the specifications and some of the features of the Area-51 7500 that we have in the labs today.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz 8MB Cache 1066MHz FSB|
|Operating System||Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005|
|Chassis||Alienware P2 Chassis - Cyborg Green|
|Chassis Upgrades||Alienware AlienIce 3.0 Video Cooling + AlienFX System Lighting + High-Performance Liquid Cooling|
|Motherboard||Alienware Approved NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard|
2GB DDR2 Performance SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 x 1024MB
Integrated High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio
|System Drive||Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 300GB (2 x 150GB) SATA 1.5Gb/s 10,000 RPM w/ 2 x 16MB Cache|
|Primary CD/DVD ROM||16x Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive w/ LightScribe Technology|
|Graphics Processor||Dual 768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX - SLI Enabled|
|Power Supply||Alienware 1000 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply|
|Warranty||1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support w/ Onsite Service|
Alienware AlienFX: An Alienware innovation that allows you to choose from the full spectrum of colors and decide which colors are illuminated in 5 different areas of the chassis, simultaneously.
Expandability: The Alienware P2 Chassis gives you some breathing room with extra slots, inputs and space that allow you to upgrade even our most robust desktops. We give you room to grow even if you don't need it.
Evolution: Improved chassis thermals keep your rig cool and quiet while you game or multi-task.
|Price||$5,839 (MSRP) - as configured (pricing starts at $2,199)|
As you can see from the specs, the Area-51 7500 can be configured to be one hell of a gaming system, one that most of us can only dream about. The Cyborg Green-colored monster (this system is BIG and HEAVY) that we received was shipped in a black box with Alienware logos on it.
The system shipped with a Microsoft IntelliMouse 4.0, an Alienware USB keyboard, four VGA-to-DVI adapters, an owner's manual bound in a nice Alienware branded, black binder, and the Alienware Respawn CD/DVD.