Ode To The Killer Gaming Rig, Two Weeks With Alienware’s Big Bad Area-51 – Forbes


Over-the-top gaming PCs, the kind built by boutique system builders like Maingear, Falcon Northwest and Dell’s Alienware division, serve a special niche’. These are top-shelf builds with potent components that focus on performance, build quality and bragging rights first, while cost takes a back seat. These are the muscle cars and top gears of the PC world and they don’t make any apology for their light-dimming power consumption, high price tags and ridiculous system configurations, from SSD RAID arrays, to scads of system memory, many core processors and multi-card graphics setups. Typically these types of systems also have stand-out chassis designs with lots of bling, custom lighting, immaculate layouts and pristine build quality. That said, many of these boutique system builders use standard or semi-custom 3rd party cases that, while impressive to see fully configured and done-up to the hilt, are still not so unique to the DIY set that will inevitably be making comparisons, adding up the bill of materials and chiming in that they could build it for much less. Though these types of pre-built high-end desktops offer qualification testing, build quality and stability testing as well, it’s always critical to also try and deliver something unique.

And love them or hate them, Alienware designs are almost always unique. The new for 2014 Alienware Area-51 is so unique it has occasionally been compared to Apple’s Mac Pro. However, I’d caution that this machine is more of an anti-Mac Pro than anything else. Where Apple chose to squeeze function inside form, Alienware decided to maximize function within unique form that not only looks great, to my eye, but has intrinsic benefits that enhance overall performance significantly.

Inside this triangular beast beats a wealth of the latest technology. Though I spent time with a six-core …read more

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