Check out our review of the Dell Alienware X51 gaming PC.
Not everyone is a fan of using Windows on their devices, so it’s no wonder the console-like Alienware X51 is now giving U.S. consumers the option of using Ubuntu or Windows 7 as the operating system on their gaming PC for the living room. The extra savings you can get for choosing an open source OS doesn’t hurt, either.
According to a blog post announcing this news, Dell actually got the idea to use Ubuntu as an operating system on its Alienware gaming machines from a participant on its Idea Storm forum back in 2008.
You still get to customize every aspect of this machine with familiar PC parts like its third-generation Intel processor and discrete graphics. The base configuration starts at $600 and comes with a dual-core 3.3GHz Core i3 chip, 6GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 645 graphics as well as 1GB of GDDR5 video RAM, and 1TB hard drive. It would cost you $100 more to have the exact same parts as this base model, if you choose Windows 7 instead of Ubuntu.
At the top end, you can opt for the quad-core 3.4GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB of dual-channel RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 graphics with 1.5GB of video RAM, and 1TB of storage. Of course, such a powerful gaming PC that fits into a box the size of an Xbox will cost you: expect to drop $1,050 for this configuration.
Ubuntu can be a bit alienating for those who are not used to tweaking their operating system, but it is easy to pick up for newbies and it can be argued that it has a better app storefront than what Windows 8 offers, as our own Matt Smith discovered. While gaming with
Dell has yet to announce availability for its Ubuntu-running X51 but you can start configuring your dream gaming PC-console hybrid on its website.
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