Alienware X51 R2 Small Form Factor Game PC, Haswell-Infused

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Power Consumption & Noise

Since this is a system designed primarily for the living room, noise output is more important than it perhaps normally would be in other rooms. The good news is that the system stays fairly quiet most of the time, especially when performing low level tasks or watching movies. During high stress situations, however, the cooling fans kick on and they're definitely audible, though the noise is comparable to an Xbox or PlayStation console.

At idle, the X51 R2 hovers around 40W, the lowest in the entire group of systems we compared it with. During our stress test, which involved running Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously, power consumption peaked at 260W, a good 70W below the AC adapter's rated wattage.

In theory, this means there's some headroom to upgrade the GPU in the X51 R2, though you'd want to be careful if going that route. At present, the GeForce GTX 670 is the fastest card Dell offers in this system.

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