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Dell Alienware X51

"Overall, we are blown away by the performance of this desktop."
PC Site score:
 
90
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Performance:
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Overview

Investing in a gaming desktop is a serious commitment, so you’ll want to take all things in to consideration before your purchase.

Alienware have been re-vamping their laptop range with the M11x being an unfortunate casualty. These are well-thought out machines that offer ultimate multimedia performance, so is the X51 desktop worthy of its Alienware peers?

What we like best

We’ll start with the superficial; this is a cool looking desktop with more of a console in its build than other desktops on the market.

It’s comparable in stature to the comparatively light Xbox 360 Elite, and even though you’re unlikely to move a desktop around once you’ve set it up, the X51’s 5.49Kg won’t break your back if you do decide it would work better in another room.

The default model is priced very reasonably. If you’re after intensive and high quality gaming, then you’ll be after one of the more capable processors and it’s likely you’ll have to pay more. You won’t find a more affordable gaming desktop than the base model on the market right now, but while that configuration is suitable for gaming, more demanding games will be slowed down considerably.

This desktop comes with a discrete graphics chipset for unrivalled viewing pleasure (that is, if you’ve got the screen) and you can make the very most of your games with a nVidia GeForce GTX 555 graphics card.

You’ll also be able to 3D game on the Dell Alienware XN1.

One of the X51’s best attributes has got to be the Alienware Command Center. This software lets you customise your gaming experience in three different aspects.

AlienAdrenaline – a Game Mode of sorts which lets you build profiles for your games so you can tailor which applications and even music will run whilst gaming.

AlienFX – a lighting system which integrates in to the games for the most immersive play. This feature is customisable with themes you can attribute to games for an added personal touch.

AlienFusion – power management options so you get the last smidgen of potential out of buying a gaming desktop. This feature will let you crank up graphical processing so your system can run games of the highest quality.

What we like least

There truly isn’t much to fault with this desktop. You are purchasing a premium gaming device, and if you want to push it to the highest level you will end up paying a premium – which is fair enough considering the amount of oomph you get.

It’s not quite as flash as some of the other Alienware desktops – we fondly remember the Area-51 Aurora which had bristling vents that were just awesome. This machine has style but no excess.

The verdict

Overall, we were blown away by this desktop. Were you to fully upgrade the Dell Alienware X51 it would truly be an unstoppable gaming machine. We implore you spare no expense and you will be spared no awesome.

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Specifications

Processor Speed

up to 3.40 GHz

Processor

Intel Core i3-2120
Intel Core i5-2320
Intel Core i7-2600

RAM

8 Gb

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GT 545
Nvidia GeForce GTX 555

Hard Drive Storage

1000 Gb SATA

Multimedia

Internal HD 7.1 Performance Audio with Waves Maxx
Slotload DVD
Optional Blu-ray
Built-in speakers

Ports

6 x USB 2.0
3 x USB 3.0
1 x Mic-in
1 x Headphone jack
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x RJ-45

Weight & Size

(W) 95 mm x (H) 343 mm x (D) 318 mm
5.49 Kg

Connectivity

Integrated Wi-Fi
Ethernet

Operating System

Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium

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