Alienware Area-51 R5 (2018) Review: Liquid Cooled GPUs, Skylake-X Firepower

Area-51 R5: 3DMark and Unigine Benchmarks

Most users considering the Area-51 will have gaming on the brain, so let’s step into some 3D benchmarks to see how the SLI’d 1080s stack up against competing systems.

Futuremark’s graphically intense 3DMark Fire Strike is designed specifically for Gaming PCs. It has both Normal and Extreme modes: Normal runs at 1920x1080, while Extreme runs at 2560x1440 and is intended for high end gaming PCs.

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme

The benchmark uses tessellation, ambient occlusion, volume illumination, and a high-quality depth of field filter. We tested the Alienware Area-51 on the Extreme preset and compared it to an array of systems on our database.

Alienware Area 51 R5 Bench Fire Strike

Alienware Area 51 R5 Bench Fire Strike FPS

The Area-51 performs as expected here with strong scores. CPU overclocking makes little difference because the test is strongly GPU-bound. It does trail the Cybertron CLX Ra which also sports dual 1080s, but keep in mind that those are MSI Gaming X editions which pack a factory overclock. The Area-51 is running at reference GPU speeds.

Unigine Heaven and Valley

Unigine's Heaven 4.0 is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. It features hardware tessellation with DirectX 11 and focuses solely on the GPU with real-time global illumination, screen space ambient occlusion, volumetric clouds, and adjustable settings. Valley offers a similar evaluation, and like Heaven it can be used both as a benchmark and a stress testing tool.

Unigine Heaven

Alienware Area 51 R5 Bench Heaven
Alienware Area 51 R5 Bench Heaven Score
Alienware Area 51 R5 Bench Valley

The tables turn in our Heaven and Valley benchmarks. These tests are better able to utilize the massive core count of the i9-7980XE which allows the Area-51 to pull ahead of the CLX Ra. In Valley, the overclocked Area-51 even manages to overtake the Xidax system with SLI’d GTX 1080 Ti’s.

Next we will run the Area-51 through some real-world gaming titles…

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