Dell's 6-Core Infused Alienware Area-51 Gaming PC Monster Invades HH Labs

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News Posted: Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:01 PM
This weekend the weather has been acting up here in the Northeast.  We've had some torrential rains causing localized flooding and the wind has been fierce, giving us the feeling that Mother Earth has decided to kick up her wrath a bit, forcing us all to seek shelter indoors.  Or, perhaps, the change in atmosphere has nothing to do with dear ol' Mother Earth and more to do with what landed on the HotHardware.com loading dock last week.  Perhaps the atmospheric disturbance we're dealing with is a result something extra-terrestrial that has invaded the test area now at HH. See, this little company by the name of Intel, they have a new chip.  It has six processor cores in it and it's pretty fast actually.  So, this guy Michael... last name begins with a "D"... oh, yeah, Dell, that's it.

Well, see ol' Mike decided he'd build himself a gaming PC with this new chip and he asked a few of the good folks at his Alienware division, that he acquired not long ago, to build it for him.  And those Alienware folk... Well, let's just say they have a knack for bringing it...

Alienware Area-51 ALX Gaming System - The Aliens are looking these days...


Hot-Swap Drive Cage - Wall of Storage, Motorized, Illuminated Vent System - Low Rider Option Available


2xRadeon HD 5970 In CrossFire X, Water-Cooled Gulftown - All Badass (click for full res)

Though the interior shot above is well lit by a few strategically positioned LEDs, we can tell you that the system was actually not plugged in to a power source when we held our little impromptu photo-shoot.  In fact, the machine comes equipped with some sort of battery back-up that we're still looking into.  So, when you open the side panel, even if the system is powered down and unplugged, you're still able to admire its build quality with a little mood lighting to warm you up like Barry White.  Of course those dual Radeon HD 5970s (yes, that 4 GPUs folks) will keep the home fires toasty as well.



Fear not though, if you're the type that likes to keep cool under pressure.  The new Alienware Area-51 ALX has a self-contained water cooler to keep its Core i7-980 X chilled out nicely.  Also, the vent louvers at the top of the machine automatically flex open, to let a little cool breeze in, if things get too hot in this love shack of technological wonder.


Stay tuned because we plan to break a hard sweat with the new Intel Gulftown-infused Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX.  Benchmarking ought to take just a few minutes... literally.
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ClemSnide replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:15 PM

I'm sure the numbers will be great, but why does Alienware build such butt-ugly cases? My guess is that the louvers will be cool to show off to friends, but annoying after the first week. And that frontplate looks like a Soviet tractor. Makes me miss their "greenish blob" case design of old.


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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:20 PM

Clem, Clem, CLEM! I couldn't DISAGREE with you more. This case, in my opinion is gorgeous when you see it up close and in person. It actually looks a little like a Muscle Car but with the little alien head on there letting you know it's something different. The louvers on the top look great too in my opinion. There will be more shots on the full review/launch so stay tuned!

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Inspector replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:23 PM

Aww clem! its not ugly it looks very nice!

Looking forward to seeing those number!

 

Edit: SEE i agree with Dave on this one! i wish i could afford that computer or if they would sell the case separately!

Hey Dave what do you guys do with the systems after HH has tested them? *HINT*

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:23 PM

Wow, Alienware assembled a beast. A 6 core processor, 4 gpu's, I would imagine 12gig's of ram, probably one of those NIC's with it's own little linux build and CPU fpr some smooth networking all on a 1200 watt PSU. That hard drive setup is pretty sweet as well. I would say some gpu's like that not being included in the liquid cooling might be a mistake, especially with all that hard drive damage in place.

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:25 PM

I'm in-between on this: Not as radical and cool as their earlier cases... but still pretty tough looking.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:27 PM

Sorry Clem I have to go with Dave and Inspector on this one as well. This case looks nice to me, it is also nice to see something truly different from a big box outfit like Dell/Alienware. Hey Dave is that case made by an outside vendor or is it alienware only? I have to also admit I have never seen a hard drive setup like that in anything retail.

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Inspector replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:29 PM

O wow i just took a closer look and those Hard drives look like they are very comfy! :P

 

Im positive that those cases are alienware only :(

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I love the case. It has a sleek sporty look to it, and the hardware it protects gives it a kick of muscle. Like...for instance, a 2010 Chevy Camaro. (my love)

And the hardware itself is just...

/wipes away drool

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Xylem replied on Sun, Mar 14 2010 11:58 PM

Absolute teaser.. Really awesome luking case and its functional too.

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Dave,

I have to say I both agree and disagree with you. On one hand I like the "tough" and angular look (you're right, almost like a muscle car), but the only thing that really bugs me is the top-angled faceplate; I prefer my cases to be either flat, or jut out at the bottom. And the transition from the side panels to the front plate isn't very nicely done; the metal underneath makes them look like poorly fitted parts.

Of course, this is all from looking at the pics; I'm sure the real thing looks SO much better...maybe a lucky HH contributor might find out in person some time, hmm? :P

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 12:37 AM

That's actually a bad angle looking up at the machine. There are other lines/components on the tpp that blend it much better... More shots in the full review!

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 12:46 AM

Dropped another picture in to give you all a better view of the full chassis side view. :)

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Great pic...makes you really notice how HUGE this thing is. And I thought my Thermaltake Armor was big...

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Super Dave replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 12:53 AM

Dave_HH:

Dropped another picture in to give you all a better view of the full chassis side view. :)

^LOL!

 

 SPAM-posters beware! ®

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One more thing (and sorry for the triple post, I'm not trying to raise my post count), is that I just went on the Alienware website and this thing isn't even on there! I've got the other Auroras there, sure, but none of them have a hexacore processor option. You guys are really ahead of the curve here, to be getting such awesome stuff, sometimes before the official release it seems.

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Devhux replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 1:44 AM

As for the interior LED lighting, Dell used that on some of their older XPS 700-series desktops. I wouldn't be surprised if there's an AA or AAA cell somewhere in there (or a CR2032 coin cell battery). Really handy should you have to do a system upgrade at some point.

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Kasel23 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 2:54 AM

Pretty sweet system. Dell can obviously still pack quite a punch in the PC gaming market. Personally not a fan of huge silver cases, would much prefer that beast in a charcoal/black color, but nonetheless a very solid case. That thing is massive, must weigh quite a bit packed with hardware. Anxious to see the marks!

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ClemSnide replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 6:17 AM

Despite the slings and arrows, I maintain my original opinion. You want the macho industrial look, go with a case like the HAF 932, Thermaltake's V3, the Cooler Master Storm Scout (shout out to Realneil), the Azza Solano, or just about anything from Lian Li. Sure they look like Ford F-150s (back when they looked like real trucks instead of SUVs with truck beds), but there are those of us who prefer that tough look.

By way of making peace, I'll say that I do like the HD mounting system. But I really hate cases with front doors. What, you're ashamed of your DVD drive?

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Schmich replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 7:37 AM

I love the wall of storage. Are there ANY other cases that have this?

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realneil replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 8:20 AM

Dave,

It's an impressive box and will probably knock your socks off once you start the review process. With 2 5970's in there it may be able to keep up. What do you think the damage will be to those of us just waiting to run out and BUY one?

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aybabtu replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 8:27 AM

Well, all I need is a second mortgage on the house and I could pick one of these up! (I think it would be almost worth it though.)

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I could go either way on the exterior...but really, who cares with a i7 980x and dual 5970s?! It's like saying Usain Bolt sucks because his ears stick out too much. Sure, you may not want to put him on cereal boxes, but he's still the fastest man in the world!

@realneil Going by the Origin PC, Maingear, Falcon NW configs, I'd say around $5,500 - 6,500.

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Can't say that I would like my case glowing 24:7.  However, they did a nice job, especially with those interesting accents on the interior.  Are those some kind of smoke colored acrylic, with the spirals?

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Zestia replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 11:07 AM

That is one sweet puppy. The torrential rains you speak of in the intro caused enough floods in my area that it took me an extra hour to get to work this morning. But if this is what torrential rains gets us, I say bring on the monsoons! I can't wait to see the benchmarks.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 11:46 AM

gibbersome and aybabtu those are some good as well as very valid comments, in fact I am still laughing. This one to me is awesome not just because it has a 980/six core or even 2 5970's, it is the whole package. The tower is awesome (although I a a bit scared of auto opening and closing anything), the HD setup is awesome, the cooling looks awesome. I wonder what they will charge for a puppy like this 5k maybe + a locked 3 year service contract or something.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 12:04 PM

OK I went and configured one as close as I can get to this (the 6 core CPU is not available yet, nor can I find 1600 DDR3) is about 5,834k with no monitor. So I am thinking 6-7k for one of these beauties minimum with a Monitor, maybe more unless they intro it at a special price (with a vital organ, I'm thinking I can spare a kidney JK). Oh and for those saying the don't like Silver there are case options (Black I know for sure on this same case), 5-6 colors for the fan lighting to.

Oh here is a link mind you it has a quad core i7 975, not a six core 985.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=19&kc&l=en&oc=DPDOPZ1&s=dhs&fb=1

This is also minus a sound card, and a TV tuner because it kept telling me I was out of PCI-X slots, so this MB seems to be a 2 PCI-X slot board which may be different form the beauty pictured here as well.

 

 

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la_guy_10 replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 2:53 PM

That's what I'm talking about right there two 5970's!!!!!!!! Man, if that does not excite you you need to check your pulse. I am grinning ear to ear bro can't wait to see what numbers she puts up.

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JRS200x replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 4:18 PM

My father actually recently purchased a new Alienware computer and this is the case that came with it although his is black in color.

It really is an excellent case, VERY solid build quality, but ridiculously heavy. The top vents are fully motorized and open and close as needed on their own although you can set that manually yourself if you prefer they always stay closed or always open.

I suppose it's a matter of personal preference as well but the case really is good looking in person, it has unbelievable presence and the first time you turn the thing on, watching the vents open etc is just plain cool. I wish they sold this case seperately as I would purchase one ASAP.

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Its a cool looking case except for the blue lights on the outside of it.

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realneil replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 7:08 PM

mentaldisorder:
Can't say that I would like my case glowing 24:7

Agreed, the less-sparkly look is what I prefer. Both of my boxes have blue lights but they're behind screens and not wildly apparent.

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realneil Indifferent [:|] replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 7:13 PM

gibbersome:
@realneil Going by the Origin PC, Maingear, Falcon NW configs, I'd say around $5,500 - 6,500.

It's gonna be a mighty healthy price tag on it, I'm sure,..........

It will be what some people buy for bragging rights, some buy because they always buy the very best of everything, and some because they need the power and speed and either they or their bosses can afford to splurge on it.

Sleep Hail to the new Pinnacle! Sleep

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serious96 replied on Sat, Mar 20 2010 5:39 AM

Six core and DX11 gpu, what a future proof pc :P

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realneil replied on Sat, Mar 20 2010 9:58 AM

serious96:
Six core and DX11 gpu, what a future proof pc :P

Close as you can come these days to being future proof, I'd say,.....

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Inspector replied on Sat, Mar 20 2010 10:04 PM

LOL so true, with all these new advance technology coming out day after day nothings future proof anymore! :) your probably going to be falling behind in a few months :P lol

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This thing is so Freaking cool!

I wonder if you can program the vents ti simulate breathing? I love the water cooling and all the venting it has. Load it up with RAM and change the crossfire to two FirePros and this would be the ultimate system.  As always though, I am sure it is pricey!

As far as the color goes, it just needs some TLC. The design itself, is very stylish and sleek looking. Can you imagine this system with an airbrushed case, that looks like the Predator! Or maybe an alien on one side and the Predator on the other, and a little predator mask painted over the Alienware guy in the front with the glowing eyes :)

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Inspector replied on Tue, Mar 23 2010 6:28 PM

Did you check out the review yet? if not you should! its freaking HUGE and AWESOME! :)

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ClemSnide:

I'm sure the numbers will be great, but why does Alienware build such butt-ugly cases? My guess is that the louvers will be cool to show off to friends, but annoying after the first week. And that frontplate looks like a Soviet tractor. Makes me miss their "greenish blob" case design of old.

I love Alienware's cases, whether they be on their laptops, or their desktop computers. Black cases, with red/green/blue lightning inside the case, I think it looks pretty badass..

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hedgyman replied on Wed, Mar 24 2010 10:25 AM

Although I'm not a huge fan of Dell computers I have to say I love how Dell has maximized the room on the inside of this case by having easy access behind the mounting plate for the HD's.  It does make the rest of the case look neater and allows for better airflow.

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I want one so badly.. looked at some earlier pictures of it.. But THESE pictures really want to get it... Got to love the design of the beast.. And look at the fins!!

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