Alienware makes PCs for serious gamers. That’s evident in a demo I saw of the Alienware Area-51 gaming desktop, which ships to retail Tuesday morning.
The first thing you notice about it is its “Triad” triangular design. The shape means it is really easy to access both the front and rear ports, but you won’t want to balance anything more than a cup of coffee on top of it. The triangle also enables the system to vent air upward much more easily than a traditional desktop tower computer does. It pulls fresh air in at the front and spits out warmed air diagonally from the chassis out the rear.
Announced in August, the machine has Intel’s latest eight-core (these are a PC’s computing brain) Core i7 Extreme Edition microprocessor. It comes with an optional 34-inch curved screen monitor that gives you a more immersive gaming experience.
“This is our re-introduction to high-end gaming,” said Ray Watkins, the configuration manager senior analyst at Alienware, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It is a semi-triangle design, or like a triangle that’s been dropped on all its edges.”
The Area-51 can hold up to four graphics cards, and it can display images at 4K UltraHD resolution. It has support for up to 32GB of 2133 DDR4 memory, the first new kind of main memory chip in seven years. That memory has 20 percent more bandwidth and uses 20 percent less power than previous chips.
You can take the side panel off the Area-51 with a single button push. Once you remove it, you can see that it has plenty of room inside for air flow. The graphics cards sit at the bottom, in a diagonal position. It has a monstrous 850-watt multi-GPU power supply and liquid cooling options for the CPU. And you can upgrade the power supply if you wish.
If you open the other side, you’ll see the bays for three 3.5-inch hard disk drives. By separating the system board and graphics from the hard drives, it has a lot fewer wires to manage.
The silver desktop is 22.4 inches high, 25.1 inches deep, and 10.7 inches wide. It weighs 61.7 pounds. It can run Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, or Windows 7 Professional. The computer starts at $1,700 and goes up to $4,000.
The Dell UltraSharp 34 Monitor features an ultra-wide 21:9 screen with WQHD 3,440-by-1,440 resolution. It operates at 60 hertz. It will be available to order in China in November and globally in December of this year.