Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: While the Alienware Area-51 7500 performs well, we were left wanting a little more from the system. In our testing, the Area-51 7500 came up a bit short of our expectations, as many of our comparison systems, despite being configured with similar hardware, outpaced it repeatedly. This was especially true in the gaming benchmarks. The differences in performance were likely due to variations in the drivers, BIOS settings, and software installed on the systems, and could possibly be minimized with some updating and tweaking. In its "out of box" configuration, however, the Alienware Area-51 7500 fell just a bit short of our similarly configured reference systems.
We recommend that users opt for at least a 24" LCD if they are buying a high-end system like the Area-51 7500. You won't really get your money's worth out of a system like this if you don't play at least some games above 1600x1200. The Area-51 7500 we reviewed is designed for high-res gaming. The system will push high resolution and high levels of eye candy on any game out there right now.
Overall, the quality of the Area-51 7500 is quite good. The one thing that concerned us about the system is the fact that the AlienFX lighting system stopped working in one of the zones (the zone that lights up the 5.25" external drive bays). All of the zones worked properly when we first received the system from Alienware, but then after shipping a second time, one zone no longer worked. While it is atypical that you'd ship a system after receiving it from Alienware, we still think the AlienFX lighting should be able to survive two shipments, especially considering the extra money you pay to get it. Other than that, we didn't have any major issues with the Area-51 7500. We were also pleasantly surprised by the system's low noise level when it powered up. For the amount of horsepower under the hood, the system's noise level is easy to live with. Additionally, the chassis' unique theme and color make for an eye-catching PC that many people will envy.
Despite some gripes, the Area-51 7500 has been easy and fun to work with and played all the games we threw at it flawlessly. If you are a gamer who wants a unique experience and good customer service after buying a flagship, high-end gaming rig, then Alienware's Area-51 7500 is worth a look.