Want an Alienware Area-51 PC with a 12-core CPU? It won't use Intel X-Series

Alienware Area-51
We already know that the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition is out for your purchasing pleasure. Now Dell is reporting that the Intel X-Series version of its gaming desktop is available for a $1,900 starting price, which is cheaper than the Threadripper model’s $2,700 starting price. Unfortunately, the Intel-based model doesn’t provide a processor option of more than 10 cores, so you’ll have to make a separate purchase and install the Core i9-7920X 12-core chip or higher yourself if you want more performance.

Here’s the full list of hardware options:

Processor: Intel Core i7-7800X (6 cores)
Intel Core i7-7820X (8 cores)
Intel Core i9-7900X (10 cores)
Processor cooling: Liquid
Graphics single card: AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB)
AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (air-cooled)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (liquid-cooled)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Graphics dual cards (SLI): Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Graphics triple cards (Crossfire): AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB)
AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB)
Open expansion slots Six
Memory slots: 4x DDR4 UDIMM (288-pin) up to 64GB
Memory single-channel support: 8GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz / 2,666MHz
8GB HyperX DDR4 XMP @ 2,933MHz
Memory dual-channel support: 16GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz / 2,666MHz
16GB HyperX DDR4 XMP @ 2,933MHz
32GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz / 2,666MHz
32GB HyperX DDR4 XMP @ 2,933MHz
Memory quad-channel support: 64GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz / 2,666MHz
64GB HyperX DDR4 XMP @ 2,933MHz
Storage 1 (boot): 128GB M.2 SATA SSD (in dual-storage config only)
256GB M.2 PCI Express SSD
512GB M.2 PCI Express SSD
1TB M.2 PCI Express SSD
Storage 2 (data): 2TB 7,200RPM SATA 3 HDD
Storage 3 (optical): Slot-loading dual-layer DVD burner
Slot-loading dual-layer Blu-ray reader
Intel Optane memory options: 16GB
32GB
Audio: High-definition 7.1 audio
Connectivity: Dell 1820 Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Killer 1535 Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports (rear): 2x Gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2500)
2x USB 2.0 Type-A
6x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A (5Gbps)
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A (10Gbps)
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C (charges)
6x Audio output (including SPDIF)
Ports (front): 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x Headphone jack
1x Microphone jack
1x SD card reader
Power supply: 850-watt 80 Plus Bronze
1,500-watt 80 Plus Gold
Dimensions: 22.41 (H) x 25.15 (D) x 10.73 (W)
Weight (starting): 61.73 pounds
Chassis color: Epic Silver
Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Lighting: Nine programmable zones using 20 colors
Rear I/O panel
Internal “theater” illumination

The heavy list of hardware should speak for itself. There are plenty of options to meet your budget, but we’re honestly a little disappointed that Dell didn’t wait a few more weeks to include Intel’s 12-core X-Series processor option. That chip alone costs $1,200, and the prices only get steeper from there until you reach the ceiling with Intel’s upcoming 18-core i9-7980XE, which costs a hefty $2,000. That’s more than the Area-51 starting price, which is why you’ll probably never see Intel processors with more than 10 cores in the desktop anytime soon.

Notice that the dual graphics card option only includes Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 10 series, whereas the triple graphics card setup only uses Radeon RX 500 Series cards. While cramming in two Geforce GTX 1080 Ti cards will be your most powerful graphics option, it’s also the most expensive given the cards cost $700 each. Having the three Radeon RX 580 cards installed will likely surpass a single GTX 1080 Ti card’s performance for $13 less. To help in your purchasing decision, here’s a little chart to show the cards for the SLI and Crossfire options, their prices, and Fire Strike results pulled from 3DMark:

Unit Price Fire Strike Score
Radeon RX 570 (4GB) $169 11,970
Radeon RX 580 (8GB) $229 13,980
GeForce GTX 1070 $399 18,240
GeForce GTX 1080 $549 21,950
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti $699 27,890

Honestly, for a desktop with a starting price of $1,900, the Area-51 is an attractive product you’ll have no trouble showing off to friends. And it’s ready for virtual reality no matter what CPU or graphics card you choose. Dell’s current $1,900 starting configuration includes the six-core Intel Core i7-7800X, 8GB of system memory, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card.

Of course, if you have money to burn, Dell provides three additional starting points for $2,200, $2,800, and $3,800 right here. For the record, Dell isn’t calling this version the “X-Series Edition” as previously thought, but merely the “New” Alienware Area-51 as seen listed within the site’s Products > Desktops > Alienware menu. Happy shopping!

Product Review

The first ever AMD-powered Chromebook will make you wish you had Intel inside

The HP Chromebook 14 is a budget Chrome OS laptop that cuts its price in part by choosing AMD over Intel and by using plastic instead of metal. The results are decidedly mixed.
Computing

The Razer Core X Chroma is the best external GPU you can buy

The third entry in Razer's lineup of external graphics card enclosures, the Core X Chroma, brings together the best of its previous options in a single package. With RGB lighting and extra USB ports, is this the best you can buy?
Computing

Microsoft is discounting this Surface Laptop 2 by a sweet $300

Microsoft is offering a nearly 14-inch Surface Laptop 2 with 256GB of storage at a $300 discount until May 18, 2019. The laptop comes with a PixelSense display, and Intel Core i5 processor and a 720p HD camera.
Computing

HP packs second screens, liquid metal, and RTX graphics in new Omen laptops

HP's new lineup of gaming laptops includes some unique specimens from the Omen range. They all offer high-end Nvidia RTX graphics, but a new Omen X model sports a second screen in the base purely for chat and media functions.
Computing

G-Sync is a game-changer. These are the best monitors with Nvidia's display tech

Looking for a monitor that plays well with Nvidia GPUs? You need G-Sync and we have picked the best G-Sync monitors available. Take a look and find out which monitor works best for your PC upgrade.
Product Review

Looking for discrete graphics on the cheap? The Acer Swift 3 will do the trick

The Acer Swift 3 is a tweener laptop that’s not quite budget and not quite premium – and it feels and performs accordingly. It manages to hold its own, though, thanks to its discrete GPU.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Insect drones and kinetic sculpture robots

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Computing

Google recalls Titan Security Key due to hijack risk

Google is offering a free replacement for the Bluetooth Low Energy version of the Titan Security Key. A misconfiguration was discovered in the device, though hackers looking to exploit the vulnerability will find it difficult to do so.
Computing

Whether you want to edit, sign, or append, PDFs, these are the best PDF editors

While there are plenty of PDF editor options online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Give your PC a new lease on life by upgrading its core components

Older PCs can still be great tools for work and play, they just need a little upgrade now and then. Here are the best upgrades you can make to your PC to make it feel fresh and fast once again.
Computing

The best software for filing your taxes — because you can never be too early

The best tax software offers a variety of services for saving money, completing your taxes at top speed, or getting advice for more complex tax scenarios that you haven't had to deal with before.
Computing

Through the wire, to the limit, to the wall: The 5 best ethernet cables

While our world may be transitioning to wireless connectivity, Ethernet connections are still faster and less prone to lag times than traditional Wi-Fi networks. Here are five of the best Ethernet cables you can buy.
Computing

Your amazing PC rig needs an amazing computer case. These are the very best

There's an incredible variety of PC cases on the market, but a few stand above the rest. Any of our five best computer cases will make your desktop look and work great, no matter what your budget is.
Emerging Tech

How Super Mario, Magic: The Gathering, and PowerPoint are low-key supercomputers

What if the creators of Super Mario World, PowerPoint, and even Magic: The Gathering had accidentally created tools hiding a general-purpose computer in plain sight? Turns out they have.