Reborn Alienware Area-51 looks more out of this world than ever
By Paul Ridden
September 1, 2014
For almost 20 years, Alienware has been churning out benchmark-setting performance beasts for desk-bound and mobile gamers, and the new 2014 Alienware Area-51 desktop gaming system is no exception. Dell says that the new flagship gaming system has been designed for state-of-the-art performance, scalability and ease of use. It features a brand new chassis design that's sure to be a talking point for some time to come, is built around Intel's latest Extreme Edition Core i7 processors and is capable of supporting three full-sized video cards for 4K gaming visuals.
The new chassis design, which Dell is calling the Triad, is not only eye-catching, it's also been developed for efficient thermal management and to make for easy access to the interior for system upgrades (though given the top specs below, you're unlikely to be heading down the upgrade road for some time). Internal fans pull in cool ambient air at the front bottom, and warm air is expelled diagonally and out of the rear top. This means that even if the machine is placed right up against the wall, there should be enough venting out for effective heat dissipation.
The front port panel can be easily seen from the sitting position, while the rear panel of the new Area-51 is angled away from the wall so that users can get a better look at what's available when cable stabbing (with a standard tower box, accessing the rear I/O panels can involve quite a bit of under desk gymnastics), though you might still need to tilt the chassis a little to get full access.
The Area-51 will be available with 6- or 8-core options of the all-new Intel Haswell-E Core i7 processors on the Intel X99 Express chipset. Each configuration will ship factory overclocked, there's support for up to 32 GB of 2,133 MHz DDR4 RAM and solid state and HDD hybrid storage options are available, with support for up to five drives.
Up to three Nvidia or AMD graphics cards can be installed to drive multiple monitor setups at UHD resolutions and beyond. Wireless connectivity comes in the shape of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, and players can opt for up to a 1.5 kW power supply to run the gaming monster.
Alienware has also updated its Command Center suite to version 4.0, which includes utilities for overclocking tweaks, fine-tuning of performance, hardware monitoring, auto performance profiles for specific games and applications, and personalized control of nine chassis lighting zones.
Dell has simultaneously revealed a 34-inch curved display for more immersive gaming that's claimed to require less in-game eye movement than a traditional flat panel. The 60 Hz, 3,440 x 1,440 resolution UltraSharp monitor benefits from an ultra-thin bezel, comes with integrated 9-watt stereo speakers and boasts HDMI 2.0, MHL, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort connectivity.
The Alienware Area-51 will be available from next month. The UltraSharp monitor is expected to be released globally in December. Pricing is yet to be announced.
Have a look at the video below for a brief overview of the new system.