Alienware refreshes X51 and notebook lineup with overclocking, USB 3.1

The sky is falling! Skylake, that is – Intel’s new processor architecture. The company has already released its first two desktop parts, and we’re fast approaching IFA, where rumor has it Intel will show of more of the new chips. Alienware is gearing up for that event with a refresh of the X51 and its mainstream laptop line-up.

Let’s start with the X51. The system, which debuted in 2012 as a console-desktop hybrid, has gained traction and is now Alienware’s most popular rig. Gamers enjoy its combination of reasonable size and impressive power. Its latest refresh brings two new features never before seen in the X51 – liquid cooling and overclocking.

As you might expect, the two are related. Alienware is launching new, high-end, overclocked versions of the X51 today. They feature Skylake K-Series processors clocked as high as 4.4GHz, and liquid cooling is standard on these systems. Later, mid-range models are expected around the end of the year with Core i3 and i5 chips. These will also offer liquid cooling as an option.

Aside from the new processors, there’s a host of other minor updates, such as M.2 SSD support, DDR4 RAM, and two USB 3.1 ports. Not everything is an improvement, however. The new X51 loses SPDIF, ditches TOSLINK, downgrades from 7.1 to 5.1 audio output, and abandons Ubuntu. These differences won’t impact most users, but a few may be unhappy.

The X51 also joins Alienware’s laptops in supporting the company’s Graphics Amplifier, a box that can host a second video card and attaches over a proprietary connection. The desktop itself can handle up to a Titan X, but it does not support more than one internal video card.

Alienware’s 13, 15 and 17 laptops are receiving slightly less extensive, but still notable, updates. In addition to new Skylake processors they will be receiving a feature called Dynamic Overclocking which automatically adjusts CPU and GPU clock speed based on power draw and system temperature. This, according to the company, will extract maximum performance from any given power envelope.

All three notebooks are receiving HDMI 2.0, providing 4K output without the need for the less common DisplayPort standard, and are receiving new high-resolution displays. The Alienware 13 gains a 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen similar to that found in the Dell XPS 13, while the Alienware 15 and 17 will gain 4K displays without touch. Buyers looking at the 13 and 17 can grab these new displays immediately, but the 15’s new 4K panel won’t arrive until later this year.

Other new features include Thunderbolt on all systems, USB 3.1, a larger 63 watt-hour battery in the Alienware 13, and the world-first debut of the R9 M395X with 4GB DDR5 in the Alienware 15.

The refreshed X51 and notebooks will all be available immediately for order through Alienware’s website, though as noted, a few options won’t arrive until later this year. Now is a good time to buy if you were on the fence about the previous generation of systems.

Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Computing

Intel's 9th-gen chips could power your next rig. Here's what you need to know

The Intel Core i9-9900K processor was the star of the show for consumers, but a powerful 28-core Xeon processor also led announcements. Here's everything you need to know about the latest Intel chipsets.
Computing

Amazon’s Deal of the Day takes up to $700 off Dell’s refurbished XPS 13, XPS 15

Shoppers looking to score a deal on Dell's XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops could find some significant savings on Amazon. As part of Amazon's Deal of the Day, Dell's certified refurbished notebooks are discounted by as much as $700.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

We want every laptop to be as thin as an iPhone. But is it practical?

The Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest notebook you can buy, and it feels like the notebook of the future. But it makes too many compromises along the way, and some weird design choices hold it back.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Computing

Supermicro investigation: no spy chips found on our motherboards

Supermicro announced the results of an investigation into the controversy surrounding its motherboards. The investigation was launched in response to reports that alleged the motherboards were compromised with malicious hardware.
Photography

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…