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!

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