Alienware's X51 Lands at HH, Autopsy and Benchmarks Ensue

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News Posted: Wed, Feb 1 2012 11:33 AM
On the test track, Alienware notebooks have racked up some of the best performance numbers we've seen and the company's desktops rank right up there as well.  One shape the Aliens have never assumed previously, however, is the small form-factor desktop.  And let's be honest, systems in this weight class generally aren't known for their gaming prowess but usually serve as home theater or mainstream PCs.  The folks at Alienware have a different sort of vision for their next alien life form and if you weren't paying attention, you'd almost mistake it for a game console rather than a PC. But you're here at HH, so you're obviously paying attention. And so are we.

You could say the Alienware X51 gaming PC system got our attention when it hacked into our news channel not long ago.  So we decided to send a peaceful return transmission and allow it to touch down on a test pod in our lab.

Dell Alienware X51, Small Form Factor PC Gaming Refined

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realneil replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 12:08 PM

Nice little box,.......I think  that the price is livable for the performance that you're getting with it. For those that buy fully built PC's, it's a good deal.

Many people still complain about Alienware being so much different since Dell bought them out. But I just don't see how they could have remained the same dialed-in enthusiast's resource when they came under corporate control. Considering their circumstances, they still put out great PC's.

As always, building your own PC is cheaper, but this little PC is a good deal for a store bought unit. It looks pretty good too.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 12:48 PM

Hey Neil, you trying to take my job? ;) Agreed though! :)

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Dave_HH:
Hey Neil, you trying to take my job? ;) Agreed though! :)

There is no replacing you Dave. Smile

(or any of you HH Mooks)

 

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Everything good but i don't like the price, i can build a better onewith the same amount of $$$ and get that case :) nice review thoughhehehhee

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 1:27 PM

awww, thanks Neil. :)

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More like "PC gamming destroyed"

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It certainly is nice looking like most AW systems. It is pretty amazing what they were able to cram into that small case of course it means there is not much room to upgrade either.

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omegadraco:
It certainly is nice looking like most AW systems. It is pretty amazing what they were able to cram into that small case of course it means there is not much room to upgrade either.

You may be able to replace the RAM with faster, or higher capacity sticks,......and it looks like there is room for a larger Video Card, but can the power brick handle the extra load? The hard drive looks like a standard size, so that's not a problem to change.

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If I read the spec's correctly the GTX 560 TI has a slightly higher power consumption requirements (170W, vs. 150W), and would appear the size would fit in that case. Just wonder if this is a reasonable assumption as an optional card, given the 330W brick PS.

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CDeeter replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 5:54 PM

Very nice job of balancing power, performance and size! Congrats Alienware.

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Mars1956:

If I read the spec's correctly the GTX 560 TI has a slightly higher power consumption requirements (170W, vs. 150W), and would appear the size would fit in that case. Just wonder if this is a reasonable assumption as an optional card, given the 330W brick PS.

Seems like a safe assumption to me. Go to their website and see what options they offer for it. That's the best card that they're offering on their website. You can get an i7-2600k in it though,......

 

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man such awesome system in a very compact size case... I like that a lot. Carry it around to LAN party for example :) PWNAGE

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You're right, Dave. You get what you pay for: A small size PC with great gaming performance. It's still a little pricey for my tastes. I wonder how well it performs against similarly priced gaming laptops, which begs the question... Will my money be better spent getting a gaming laptop or an X51?

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RDing replied on Thu, Feb 2 2012 8:58 AM

What I am most interested in finding out, is how future-proof this machine/chipset, the HM 61 is?

Since Ivy Bridge is coming out around next quarter, we could see 1) drop in price for current SB based systems 2) better power consumption in CPU and GPUs, which will make more use out of the 330W power block, and 3) Perhaps Dell and AW will update their M18x with a bigger power block which can be used with the X51?

15-30% performance increase is a lot, it is almost one third! (1/3). So, suppose the $999 system with Ivy Bridge will see a 30% performance increase, and as a trade-off you'll have to wait for 3 or 4 months, is it worth waiting for?

Since the upgradability/performance is limited on the X51 compared to full/mid sized towers like the Aurora, is it wise and advisable to wait for the inevitale X51 R2? (Maybe with a SD card slot and Blu-ray!)

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RDing replied on Thu, Feb 2 2012 9:04 AM

Omegadoom13,

The X51's GTX 555 has about DOUBLE the CUDA cores than Alienware M14x's GT 555M. Which doesn't necessarily translate to double the performance, but close.

Likewise, the desktop i5 is going to be so much more powerful than a mobile i5.

You'd have to get a beefed up M17x R3 or the sort to have comparable performance as the $999 X51. A beefed up M17x R3 is about $1600-$1800.

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I also wonder how they'll sell most folks seem to be in the market for cheap, a few folks want quality but most of those build their own. I kinda wonder how long Alienware will continue to exist as a brand or HP's VooDoo line for the matter.

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For me this slcase and power supply is a copy of xbox :p....an external power supply like the one in the xbox ummmm nice idea, i didn't know you could do that....

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cowboyspace:
For me this slcase and power supply is a copy of xbox

It's nothing like an XBox except for being slim. Dell's been making slim PC's for years.This is a full fledged PC with much better capabilities than XBox has to offer.

The exterior power brick is nothing new either. That idea has been around for a long time.

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I must admit, thats some great engineering by the folks at Alienware. The video showcase by Dave was great, I thought this was bigger but its very compact and looks awesome. Even though I despise Alienware for suckering and over charging people for their *Light Show* ,the X51 is a good option or gift for anyone living in a constrictive home/space or a student, or just about anyone. This model has a lot of Cool Factor and good horse power for its size.

The X51 will sell well in Europe where Alienware is having more and more *presence(suckers) to sell their Light Show. I see them sponsoring lots of Lan Parties and gaming events, so its all good on that side of the world.

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Nice review, by far better then that CNET one that came out first.

Did you gather any more data on temperatures? I am mainly looking for;

CPU temp (idle and full load)

GPU temp (idle , 76C at full load seems ok)

HDD temp (idle and full load)

And is it possible to get any data on noise, i.e. db level at 1m ?

Cheers,

Gareth

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He stated on the video review that it's almost silent at idle. ("you have to lean into it to hear if it's on")

Then he said that at load it's very quiet., ("not loud at all")

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I did watch and read the entire review.

I would just prefer measurements that are a little less anecdotal

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ZTimpson replied on Thu, Apr 26 2012 7:19 PM

OK. heres the big question I have for you gameing experts; is this the best to go with for the money? Is this the biggest bang for my buck?

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realneil replied on Thu, Apr 26 2012 8:21 PM

ZTimpson:
OK. heres the big question I have for you gameing experts; is this the best to go with for the money? Is this the biggest bang for my buck?

Only you can answer that question because it depends on your situation..

If you have any experience building PC's yourself, or you have a good friend that can help you to do it, building your own is the best way to maximize your dollar spent. You'll save a lot of money, or be able to build more capabilities into your PC if you do.

If this isn't so, then buying one from a manufacturer is in order. MainGear has some good choices to consider. iBUYPOWER is another place to consider. Cyberpower PC is my third suggestion and one that I have personal experience with. Their build quality is superb.

And then there is also the Alienware X51 in this article to consider too.

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When I went to buy my first gaming PC Alienware was the first one I thought of, but man they charge a lot for their computers including this one. I considered building it myself, but I found out about Ironside Computers. They have really great prices, and I purchased a custom built computer from for about $65 more then what I would've spend if I built it myself. For $65 I got a professionally built computer, warrantied, and backed by a professional company. So I consider a good deal. It was certainly hundreds of dollars less then what Alienware wanted. :P

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fnitty707 replied on Fri, Jun 15 2012 7:18 PM

I wish I knew you... -___- @cowboyspace

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