We are in the golden age of PC gaming. Studios of all sizes have shown interest in moving their focus from console to PC. In recent times, new games coming to PC have featured the most breathtaking graphics we’ve ever seen.
As a result, many PC enthusiasts want a machine that’s capable of running any game on max settings. These gamers should look no further than the Alienware Area 51: the most powerful gaming PC on the market. This is an Alienware Area 51 review that will cover the impressive specs of the machine that separate it from the pack.
Design, Ports and Upgrade Potential
Like most Alienware hardware, the Area 51 looks like it could have fallen off a passing UFO. Its nontraditional triangular shape is unlike typical PC cases. More importantly, the case is massive. Though some people may have difficulty finding space for the behemoth Area 51, there is a layer of comfort knowing that your motherboard, processor and graphics card have plenty of room to breathe.
Port management is one of the most convenient parts of the Area 51’s case. In the back, there are more USB and PCI ports than you’re ever likely to use. The front features two USB 3.1 ports, a headphone and microphone jack, a media card reader and a Blu-ray reader / DVD writer.
The large case also serves as the perfect playground for customization. The Area 51 can support additional graphics cards, hard drives and RAM. Perhaps best of all, your add-on hardware will be protected by the machines quiet-but-powerful fans. Coupled with liquid cooling, the machine’s triangular design improves airflow for impressive temperature management.
Performance and Processor
Current iterations of the Area 51 feature one of two “super” processors: the AMD Ryzen Threadripper or the Intel i9 7920x. Even while running games like The Witcher 3 on max settings, these processors are barely put to the test. With additional cores that coast through some of the most CPU intensive tasks, these processors should remain relevant through the upcoming years of 4K and VR improvements.
The machine ships with 32GB of Intel Optane DDR4 RAM, but provides slots for double that amount. Similar to the machine’s processing options, the stock 32GB of RAM should be overkill for all but the most memory-intensive tasks. Some of the built-in Alienware software makes it easy to learn where your memory resources are being allocated. At this point in time, only VR games utilize more than half the machine’s memory.
Those who opt for cheaper processor alternatives will be happy to know that Alienware streamlines overclocking. Your BIOS will have specific options designed by Alienware for safe overclocking. They also give you the option to build profile templates for managing CPU and RAM usage while performing different tasks.
Finally, the hallmark of a true gaming PC is its potential for amazing graphics. The Area 51 has room for triple AMD Radeon or dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards. Current models typically ship with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which is one of the most powerful cards on the market. A single one of these cards features 11GB of VRAM. That’s more than enough to easily handle the biggest games at 1920×1080.
The upgrade slots will come in handy for those looking to venture into the realm of 4K gaming. Combined with the machine’s CPU and RAM, a pair of 1080 Ti cards can max out the most graphically demanding games at 4K. The additional processing power can even be spent on streaming your 4K gameplay online.
Though the GTXTITANX is technically a better card than the 1080 Ti, the differences are only noticeable on the most intense benchmarks. For normal gaming purposes, a single 1080 Ti is enough to at least experiment with 4K. However, the gaming experience becomes more immersive after the upgrade to a second card.
Hopefully this Alienware Area 51 review helped you determine whether the machine’s design and performance make sense for your gaming needs. At an average price of around $2,400, the Area 51 is a significant investment — but for its price, it’s the most powerful gaming PC on the market. If PC gaming will be a significant part of your life for the next generation of games, this machine will bring your experience to the next level.