Introduction and Specifications
Alienware shows us what a top-of-the-line gaming system is supposed to look like. With a quad-core CPU and the latest NVIDIA SLI graphics, does the Area 51 7500 meet a picky gamer’s expectations?
You know when a computer company has broken out of the niche when a non-technical friend comes up to you to ask your opinion on some Alienware system they saw online or in a magazine. Although Alienware has nearly become a household name these days, the boutique computer vendor still maintains a strong standard for their products and customer service.
Today we’re looking at their latest iteration of the popular Area 51 desktop computer the Area 51 7500. This computer is an absolute beast in every respect… it weighs in over 50 lbs., and can be configured with the latest quad-core CPU from Intel, and the latest and fastest pair of NVIDIA GPUs on the market.
The Area 51 7500 is a gamer’s dream, but what else does it offer besides speed? Let’s take a closer look.
Reviewing a Full System
The approach I will be taking in reviewing this preconfigured desktop system will be similar to the approach taken in our notebook reviews. This means we will be taking a look at everything from its design, upgradability, accessories, support and warranty, performance, and even power consumption.
Rest assured we will leave no stone unturned and no panel left unopened. For $4000 clams, you deserve a thorough review before investing and we will give you the information you need.
Looking at the Specifications
The Alienware Area 51 7500 we received is a formidable system with everything loaded into it that a gamer would want. Let’s take a closer look.
Processors, Chipset & Memory
- WindowsÂ® Vista™ Home Premium
- WindowsÂ® Vista™ Ultimate
- WindowsÂ® XP Media Center Edition 2005
- WindowsÂ® XP Professional
Graphics & Video
- Standard IntelÂ® Core™2 Duo with Dual Core Technology
- Up to 2.66GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 1 x 4MB full-speed level 2 Cache
- Optional IntelÂ® Core™2 Extreme Processor with Dual Core Technology
- 2.93Ghz, 1066MHz FSB, 1 x 4MB full-speed level 2 Cache
- Optional IntelÂ® Core™2 Extreme Processor with Quad Core Technology
- NVIDIAÂ® nForce 680i SLI
- Standard 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
- Up to 4GB of system memory
- Standard NVIDIAÂ® GeForce™ 7950 GT
- 512 GDDR3 dedicated video memory
- Dual DVI and S-Video outputs with dual-display support
- Full DirectXÂ® 9 and OpenGLÂ® 2.0 graphics compatibility
- NVIDIAÂ® SLI-Ready
- Optional Dual NVIDIAÂ® GeForce™ 8800 GTX
- Up to 2 x 768MB GDDR3 dedicated video memory
- Quad DVI and S-Video outputs with quad-display support*
- Full DirectXÂ® 10 and OpenGLÂ® 2.0 graphics compatibility
- NVIDIAÂ® SLI-Enabled
- *Dependent upon graphics configuration
- Video out: Up to Four DVI Connectors
- TV out: Up to Two S-Video Out Connectors
- Hard Drive Options
- RAID: Options 0 and 1 Available
- RPM: Starting at 7,200 up to 10,000
- Capacity: Starting at 250GB up to 750GB per Drive (4 Drives Maximum)
- Interface: Serial ATA 3Gb/s
- Optical Drive Options
- Standard 18x Dual Layer DVDÂ±R/W Drive
- Optional 16x Dual Layer DVDÂ±R/W Drive w/LightScribe Technology
- Optional 2x Blu-ray Disc (BD-ROM) Reader / Writer
- Digital Media
- Optional 28-in-1 digital media reader/writer
- Integrated Dual High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Ports
- Standard High Definition Surround Sound Audio
- Supports 8—channel (7.1) 24—bit audio
- Optional Sound Blaster X-Fi High Definition Surround Sound Audio
- Supports 8-channel (7.1) 24-bit high-definition audio
- Up to 64MB dedicated Audio XRAM
Connectivity – Standard Audio:
- Eight-channel analog jacks (Rear)
- One Optical digital output (Rear)
- One 1/8″ analog headphones jack (Front)
- One 1/8″ analog microphone jack (Front
- One PS/2 keyboard port
- One PS/2 mouse port
- Two FireWire 400 port (Front)
- Eight Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports (6 Back / 2 Front)
- One External SATA 1.5Gb port
Case & Chassis
- Exclusive Alienware chassis design
- AlienIce™ 3.0 high-performance cooling
- Enhanced system lighting
- Optional AlienFX
- Easily accessible front ports
- Standard 700—watt Multi—GPU—approved power supply
- Optional 1000—watt Multi—GPU—approved power supply
- Tool—less front and side panels
- Height: 19.01′
- Width: 9.97′
- Depth: 25.02′
One of the nice aspects about this Alienware system is that the company offers a good selection of configuration options which caters to different budgets and performance needs. For example, the CPUs you can select are very different from each other ranging from a default 2.13GHz E6400 to a Core 2 QX6700 2.66GHz quad-core.
The hard drive is also a place where you can pick from a selection of speeds (7200 and 10,000 RPM), capacities (150GB to 750GB) and prices.
For gaming, you have a choice of a NVIDIA 7950 GT or 8800 GTXs, a PhysX PPU, and even gaming mice and keyboards. There may be some configuration issues if you try to get SLI and a PhysX PPU and the X-Fi sound card — there aren’t enough PCI slots. So if this is something you want to do, best to call Alienware and talk to a customer service representative.
Make sure to check out Alienware’s website for the latest information and configuration details as they are always updating the options as the latest and fastest parts hit the market.