Tonight, Alienware revealed its smallest and most affordable gaming system yet – the Alienware X51, a mini-ITX desktop that promises o bring PC gaming to a whole new audience. Coming in well under a thousand dollars, the machine doesn’t take up any more space than a gaming console: Alienware’s likely target.
Gaming consoles, especially the Xbox 360 and PS3, have taken a chunk out of the traditional gaming market, and for good reason. They offer a set and promised gaming experience; PCs age and stop playing the latest games, not that long after they’re introduced.
Alienware saw this trend and decided they needed to fight fire with fire. Enter the Alienware X51: a mini-ITX-based rig that’s barely bigger than a common console, for only $699 – that’s a price point that has never before been reached by any kind of Alienware system.
They didn’t sacrifice much, if anything, to hit that price point, either. The system comes with all of the traditional Alienware style and panache. AlienFX lighting zones are in three different spots on the desktop, and each zone can be independently set to one of 20 different colors.
Inside, the hardware is no slouch, either! The base configuration comes with an Intel Core i3 CPU (Core i5 and i7 CPUs are optional), 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM (8GB max), a 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 with 1GB of GDDR5 (GTX 555 optional), Windows 7 Home Premium, and a slot-loading DVD burner (Blu-ray ROM optional).
Not bad, Alienware. It continues with not one, but two USB 3.0 outputs, which is surprising given just how affordable this machine is. The custom cooling solution is important, too: Alienware designed the attractive X51 to sit either vertically like in the pictures, or horizontally, without needing to worry about impeded airflow. The alien head even rotates, so if you want to sit it on its side, it won’t look out of place.
Alienware is promising that the entry level system, which again, only comes in at $699, can play some of today’s hottest games without compromise. The company said that Battlefield 3, running at 1080p on high settings, still hits an average framerate of 34 frames per second.
And, as part of its Alienware pedigree, even PC enthusiasts should be satisfied with some of the Alienware X51’s design. Every single part of the machine is user upgradeable and replaceable, from the CPU to the memory, to the hard drives, to the graphics card. You won’t have to worry about being unable to move up to newer components just because it’s a small form factor desktop.
Alienware X51 Specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core i3 / Core i5 / Core i7
- Chipset: Intel H61
- Motherboard: Mini-ITX
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 / GTX 555 with 1GB GDDR5
- Memory: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM (8GB Max)
- Hard drive: 1TB HDD @ 7200RPM
- Networking: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
- Wireless networking 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- 6x USB2.0, 2x USB3.0, HDMI 1.4 out
- Power supply: 240W – standard 330W – optional
- Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.74 x 12.52 inches (HxWxD)
- Weight: 12.1 pounds
The Alienware X51 carries a manufacturer’s starting retail price of $699, and is available tomorrow, January 18th.
We’ll have our review up as soon as we can spend some time with the system, but if it lives up to most of its promises, it’ll be the gaming system to beat.