The Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition kicks off with AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper CPU and amplifies its power with not one, but two of Nvidia‘s top-tier graphics cards. Starting at $2,399 and shooting up to $5,919 in our test model, this gaming rig is not for the faint of heart or light of wallet. Its main focus? Providing a beastly performance in both multimedia tasks and 4K gaming. The machine boasts an atypical design—a triangular tower—that clearly sets it apart as a premium, high-end gaming desktop.
But let’s address the elephant in the room: the cost. It’s hard to ignore how pricey this setup is. While it delivers on many fronts, it’s not the fastest PC on the block in every single metric. Machines like the Velocity Micro Raptor Z95 tend to edge it out in multimedia applications, while the Origin Neuron offers competitive gaming performance at a substantially lower price point.
So, what are we really talking about here? A powerful but costly machine that excels in most areas but doesn’t necessarily sweep the board. Its 4K gaming capabilities are smooth and immersive, but if you’re someone who’s equally invested in multimedia creation, there are alternatives that might offer more bang for your buck. However, if you’re in the market for an eye-catching and robust gaming rig, and you’re willing to pay a premium for that blend of style and substance, then the Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition might just be what you’re looking for.
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Alienware Area51 Threadripper: A Quick Overview of Specs
- Model: Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Desktop
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
- CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, 16-Core/32-Thread, overclocked on all cores (1920X variant also available)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti with 11GB GDDR5X (Lower-end multi-GPU options available, SLI/CrossFire compatible)
- RAM: 32GB Dual-Channel DDR4 at 2667MHz (Upgradable to 64GB, DDR4 XMP 2933MHz options)
- Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD and 2TB 7200RPM SATA with 64MB Cache
Cooling and Power
- Cooling System: Alienware Premium socketTR4 CPU Liquid Cooling
- Power Supply: Alienware 1500W Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply, modular cabling
- Ethernet: Dual Killer™ E2500 Intelligent Networking (Gigabit Ethernet NIC)
- Wireless: Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
Front Panel Ports
- Two SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
- One Headphone 1/8″ Port
- One Microphone 1/8″ Port
- One Media Card Reader
Rear Panel Ports
- Two RJ-45 Killer Networks E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
- Six SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, One USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and One USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
- One SPDIF Digital Output (TOSLINK)
- Multiple Audio Ports for Surround Sound
Pricing and Availability
- Available on Amazon, starting prices approximately $2,000
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Pros and Cons Overview
- Seamless 4K gaming experience.
- Outstanding performance in multi-threaded tasks.
- Chassis designed for easy expansion.
- Quiet and effective cooling system.
- High cost.
- Missing Thunderbolt 3 support in USB-C.
- Falls behind competitors in the majority of benchmark evaluations.
A Design That Commands Attention
The Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition is not your average gaming desktop when it comes to aesthetics. Made from a sturdy metal frame and covered in specially molded plastic panels, its design remains consistent with the 2015 model. The structure defies the conventional rectangular tower, opting instead for an irregular hexagonal shape that has three shorter sides and three elongated sides. Sporting silver panels on the left and right, the front and back panels are made from black plastic and feature cooling slats.
In terms of size, this gaming rig is a behemoth. Its dimensions are 22.4 by 10.75 by 25 inches (HWD), clearly overshadowing other towers like the Origin Neuron, which measures 17.8 by 9 by 15.7 inches, and the Velocity Micro Raptor Z95, which stands at 17.5 by 7.25 by 20.5 inches. The only system that comes close in height is the massive Asus ROG GT51, which is slightly taller but not as deep or wide, with dimensions of 23.1 by 10.31 by 23 inches. The HP Omen X is a different beast altogether, almost doubling the width at 20.3 by 19.9 by 16 inches.
What this translates to is simple: You’ll need to allocate significant space for this gaming powerhouse. Fortunately, thoughtful design has come into play here too. Each corner of this 62-pound machine features a built-in handle, making it somewhat easier to maneuver when you need to move or reposition this colossal rig. In summary, the Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition is as much a statement in design as it is in performance, commanding attention and space in equal measure.
Customizable Brilliance: Lighting Effects on the Alienware Area51 Threadripper
When it comes to personalizing your gaming environment, the Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition doesn’t disappoint. Known for its multi-zone lighting capabilities, this desktop allows you to tailor the RGB lighting in as many as nine distinct areas across its exterior. Unlike the flashy and somewhat over-the-top MSI Aegis Ti3, Alienware achieves a subtler, more sophisticated aesthetic. Managing these vibrant hues is a breeze thanks to the Alienware Control Center utility, a software that puts the reins of customization right at your fingertips.
But the lighting isn’t just for show. Functionality is also a major focus. Pop open the left-side door of the machine, and a set of internal lights illuminate the hardware within. This is incredibly handy for those who like to tinker with their system components or are simply curious about the inner workings of their machine. It brings not just aesthetics but also a practical touch to the system’s design.
In the same vein, a separate row of lights is strategically positioned near the rear I/O ports. This thoughtful addition serves a critical purpose: it enhances visibility during the often tricky process of plugging in and unplugging various cables. No more fumbling around in dim lighting conditions trying to find the correct port; the backlit I/O panel makes the task effortless.
Efficient Cooling and Whisper-Quiet Operation of the Alienware Area51 Threadripper
When it comes to cooling, the Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition excels with its efficient airflow design. Cool air enters through the front of the desktop, making its way over the internal cooling systems assigned to the CPU and GPUs. This efficient circulation ensures that hot air doesn’t linger inside; instead, it gets expelled out of the back of the unit. This layout allows for optimal cooling, ensuring that your machine stays at an ideal temperature even during heavy-duty tasks like gaming or video editing.
What’s even more remarkable is the quietness of the operation. Even when put through the paces with benchmark tests, the fans of the Alienware Area51 Threadripper Edition seldom reach an audible speed. This level of noise control is on par with the MSI Aegis Ti3, a competitor known for its fan-shutdown feature to reduce noise. Unlike the Ti3, however, the Alienware manages to maintain its hush without needing to shut down its fans. The fans run continuously but do so at such a low volume that they’re virtually inaudible.
This attention to detail in cooling and noise control is more than just a technical marvel; it also adds to your overall computing experience. No one wants to be disrupted by a noisy PC while gaming, working, or watching a movie. This quiet efficiency ensures that your focus stays on the task at hand, whether that’s landing the perfect headshot in a first-person shooter or piecing together intricate code.
Easy Access and Future-Ready Expandability in the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper
Accessing the internals of the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition is a breeze. You simply pull a latch situated at the top of the left case door to gain entry. Once inside, the spacious layout reveals ample room for multiple hardware upgrades. The system can accommodate up to three graphics cards, allowing for remarkable graphical performance for gaming or other high-end computing tasks.
The motherboard isn’t lacking in expandability either. It comes with an unused PCIe x16 slot, as well as a PCIe x4 slot. These slots provide options for future upgrades, although the existing setup is so robust that you might not find the need for additional components for years to come. Given the speed of technological advancements, this is a significant benefit, providing a buffer against obsolescence.
One noteworthy point is that all four DIMM slots on the motherboard come filled, with a total of 32GB of RAM. This generous allocation should meet the demands of both current and near-future applications. Whether you’re into video editing, 3D rendering, or intense gaming sessions, you’re unlikely to find yourself wanting for more RAM anytime soon. It’s a potent combination of power and capacity that sets you up for years of hassle-free computing.
Enhanced Storage Options and Upgradeability in the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper offers comprehensive storage solutions along with ease of access. By merely opening the right-side door, you’re presented with the pre-installed 2TB SATA hard drive. If you’re wondering about the primary boot drive, the system comes with a 1TB M.2 SSD mounted directly on the motherboard. But that’s not the end of the storage story.
In addition to the existing storage, the PC provides extra space for more hard drives or SSDs. Specifically, you have two 3.5-inch bays and two 2.5-inch bays that are vacant and ready for use. An added convenience is that these bays are pre-wired. This small but crucial detail eliminates the hassle of messing with cables when you decide to upgrade your storage—making the expansion process significantly more straightforward.
When it comes to internal expandability, the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper holds its own. It’s roughly on par with its competitor, the Velocity Micro Raptor Z95, in terms of storage upgrade options. However, it has a leg up on the Origin Neuron and many other high-end gaming desktops by offering greater internal expansion space. This additional room allows for a broader array of hardware components, thereby increasing the potential for upgrades and extended system longevity.
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Abundant Connectivity Options on the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper’s Expansive Chassis
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper doesn’t skimp on port availability, boasting an array of options that add to its functionality. Starting with the front panel, you’ll find not just the usual microphone and headphone jacks but also an SD card slot and two USB 3.0 ports. Notably, the system comes with a slot-loading DVD drive, an increasingly rare feature that adds an old-school touch to this modern machine.
Spin the desktop around to reveal an even more extensive selection of connectivity options. You’re greeted by six DisplayPorts, suitable for multiple monitor setups. Alongside, there are two HDMI jacks and two Ethernet ports, offering robust options for both display and network connections. For audio, there are surround sound ports as well as an S/PDIF connector, ensuring top-notch audio quality for gaming and multimedia. If you thought we were done, think again—there are also two USB 2.0 ports, a USB-C port, and a whopping seven USB 3.0 ports situated on the back panel.
Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. One downside is that the USB-C port doesn’t feature Thunderbolt 3 support. This absence can affect the speed at which you transfer videos to and from external SSDs. Despite this, the PC compensates with Killer-branded 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 for seamless wireless connectivity.
Last but not least, the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper comes with a one-year warranty. The warranty includes in-home service following a remote diagnosis, providing peace of mind for any potential issues that may arise. Overall, the machine is a veritable hub of connectivity, offering an expansive selection of ports that cater to both present needs and future expandability. With this PC, you’ll find it hard to run out of connection options.
Unlocking the Power of 16 Cores: The Heart of the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper
Let’s talk about the muscle behind the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper: its impressive 16-core CPU and the pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards. In the specific model I evaluated, these components are complemented by a sizable 32GB of RAM and a total of 3TB of storage. The storage is cleverly distributed between a lightning-fast 1TB SSD and a more traditional 2TB hard drive. It’s worth noting that the lion’s share of the PC’s cost is dominated by these core components: the SSD, the powerful graphics cards, and of course, the processor itself.
For those on a budget but still eager to experience the Threadripper magic, the base model offers a slightly less beefy but still formidable setup. Priced at $2,699, it features a 12-core Ryzen Threadripper 1920X CPU. This is coupled with 8GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive, and a single Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. While this configuration is certainly less powerful than the upgraded model, it still promises to deliver robust performance for most gaming and multitasking needs.
So what can you actually do with 16 cores? To put it simply, you’re unlocking a new level of multitasking and performance capabilities. Think video editing while running resource-heavy games, or executing complex computational tasks without breaking a sweat. The 32GB of RAM allows for fluid operations, and the SSD ensures that applications and games load in the blink of an eye. As for the 3TB storage, you’ll find it ample for saving large files, be it HD movies or entire game libraries. With the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper, you’re not just buying a PC; you’re investing in a powerhouse that redefines what you can achieve with a desktop system.
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High-Powered Multitasking with a Hefty Cost: Navigating Choices with the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper
When it comes to processing multimedia tasks with speed and efficiency, the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition shines. The great part? You don’t even have to pause your ongoing game as your video project renders in the background. This PC truly excels at allowing you to juggle multiple high-demand tasks simultaneously. However, this level of performance doesn’t come cheap; the cost might make your eyes water.
If multimedia projects hold a higher priority for you, there’s an option to bring down the price. You can choose to remove one of the dual graphics cards, which could save you around $1,000. It’s a significant cost-saving measure without sacrificing too much on the performance front. Conversely, if your primary focus is gaming, opting for a less expensive processor could be a wise decision. That way, you can still enjoy high-quality gaming without breaking the bank.
Despite its high performance, the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition faces stiff competition. For gamers, the Origin Neuron still holds the crown as our Editors’ Choice. It delivers faster 3D gaming experiences and comes with a price tag that’s roughly $1,900 less. It’s a significant savings for those who prioritize gaming performance above all else. Then there’s the Velocity Micro Vector Z95, an appealing alternative for creative professionals like animators, photographers, and videographers. It offers a powerful performance suite tailored for multimedia tasks but at a more digestible price point. Therefore, while the Alienware model is a powerful multitasking machine, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and perhaps make some strategic trade-offs to get the most bang for your buck.
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1. What makes the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition stand out?
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition is a high-end gaming and multimedia desktop that offers exceptional multitasking capabilities and top-tier hardware, including AMD’s Threadripper CPU.
2. Is the premium price tag of the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition justified?
While the desktop is pricey, its performance in both gaming and CPU-intensive tasks is unmatched, making it worth the investment for users who demand high performance.
3. Can it handle 4K gaming?
Yes, the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition excels in 4K gameplay, offering smooth and immersive gaming experiences.
4. Is it customizable?
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition offers some customization options, allowing users to select components that best meet their needs.
5. Who is the target audience for this desktop?
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition is designed for hardcore gamers, multimedia enthusiasts, and professionals who require powerful computing capabilities.
Conclusion: A Masterpiece with a Price
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition is a powerhouse, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re a casual gamer or on a budget, you might want to look elsewhere. However, for those willing to invest in an unparalleled gaming experience, this desktop stands as one of the best in the market.
I hope you find this review helpful in understanding the key features and performance capabilities of the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition. If you have any queries, let us know in the comments.
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