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Windows 7: Buying a Dell Alienware X51 is it worth it?

03 Jun 2013   #21
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Well to me with an upgrade to a 330 watt PSU which is still small, I would think you can hide a SSD almost any where you can get power and a sata cable to go. I like behind the mobo if it will go. Use some velcro dots and the options of placement open up. Regarding the HDD's my guess would be one more and maybe two but I doubt it? Maybe look to a good USB 3.0 or esata if the mobo supports external storage device. This is what I use and it rocks !
Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS4UM+B 4-Bay Tower - 4x Bays, eSATA, USB 3.0, RAID, Black at TigerDirect.com


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03 Jun 2013   #22
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by linnemeyerhere View Post
Well to me with an upgrade to a 330 watt PSU which is still small, I would think you can hide a SSD almost any where you can get power and a sata cable to go. I like behind the mobo if it will go. Use some velcro dots and the options of placement open up. Regarding the HDD's my guess would be one more and maybe two but I doubt it? Maybe look to a good USB 3.0 or esata if the mobo supports external storage device. This is what I use and it rocks !
Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS4UM+B 4-Bay Tower - 4x Bays, eSATA, USB 3.0, RAID, Black at TigerDirect.com
So the case should be able to hold at least 2 hard drives, I will be able to use one for the HDD that comes with the pc and the second for an SSD, wont need any more than that. they can also handle a Graphics card update to cant they?

Like i said I was told that they are better than XBoxes and PLaystations is this true?
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03 Jun 2013   #23
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 

Was at first thinking of buying an Alienware laptop which would of cost me about £2000 + but I figured out that the desktop was twice as cheap and more powerful.
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03 Jun 2013   #24
AstaLaVista

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)
 
 

What I have heard, and this was a little while ago is that I7 are much more expensive than I5 and not necessarily better for Gaming purposes only. i7 have Hyper Threading which a lot of applications can take advantage of it (photoshop etc) but not many (if that) games have HT capabilities. If this has change or will change in the future (doubtful since more and more we have console ports) than sure... go ahead and spruce more money for the i7 or if you also do heavy photoshoping etc, if not, my honest opinion is you are throwing money for no good reason.

Unless your house or room is cold, going with a small case is always going to be a pain in the ass... unless of course, you are handy and know your way around computers.

I, my personal opinion is... if I need to spend that much money for financing, I would try to go with anything else but Dell/Alienware... something that allows me to choose what I want and not run of the mill stuff with nvidia or ATI chipsets (again, this is what they used to do so if that has change sorry). Still, I would prefer to pay someone else a bit more for OEM stuff, bigger case, a few more fans and easier to get to if and when I decide to upgrade... surely, there has to be more options in the UK than just Alienware.

It seems though, like you have already made your mind up so why are you still on the fence?
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03 Jun 2013   #25
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Looking at the Dell site I think some of these questions should be answered by Dell, I tried to get any expansion info and couldn't find. With the compact form factor adding more drives much less a more powerful GPU you need to ask them. Air flow and heat would be top on my list of questions. Maybe a mid tower rig would suit you better.....IMHO !
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03 Jun 2013   #26
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by linnemeyerhere View Post
Looking at the Dell site I think some of these questions should be answered by Dell, I tried to get any expansion info and couldn't find. With the compact form factor adding more drives much less a more powerful GPU you need to ask them. Air flow and heat would be top on my list of questions. Maybe a mid tower rig would suit you better.....IMHO !
That would be cheaper than the system I am currently buying but would have a lower spec CPU. If it has one HDD in then I will be able to stick an SSD in it, and the ram will just fit where the current ram is. I am happy with the Alienware and was just wandering whether I could have 2 HDD drives but even if I have just one SSD then that will do.
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03 Jun 2013   #27
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Understood and I think the next call will to to Dell as I just can't gather what extra capacity it may have. An extra drive bay would be a natural but you'll need to ask Dell.
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04 Jun 2013   #28
smarteyeball

 
 

Decent but overpriced.

Look at Clevo
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04 Jun 2013   #29
hexaq

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I recently built a couple of mid-upper range gaming desktops and I did a lot of research on the market and various parts performance.
This thread got me interested in what stuff is sold 'ready made' and I had a look-see at the configuration:

Price: 700 USD
Alienware X51........Alienware X51
PROCESSOR ...........Intel® Core™ i3-3220 3.3GHz (3MB Cache)
MEMORY................6GB (1 X 2GB, 1 X 4GB) DDR3 at 1600MHz
HARD DRIVE 1TB......SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
OPTICAL DRIVE.......Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)
VIDEO CARD...........1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 645
CHASSIS COLOR.....Matte Stealth Black with Dark Chrome Accents
WIRELESS.............DW1506 Wireless-N WLAN Half Mini-Card
AUTOMATIC UPDATES..180W External Power supply (huh ?)

In short: is labeled as a gaming computer, but it barely qualifies.
Don't know if is a web glitch but the configuration has listed a "180 W external PSU" under "software". I do hope is a joke or a glitch of some sorts since true medium range gamping desktops are typically powered by 600W+ power supplies. And top of the line gaming desktops reaching 1200W+

Anyway, moving on, notice how they don't list the motherboard name, or the DDR memory name, or the HDD name... . This is rather standard practice for system builders to not show the full component list and get away with stuffing the cheapest and feature-less stuff that "people in the know" wouldn't look at into ready made systems labeled as "gaming" or "office". Is a good way to clean out old and obsolete stocks.

Next: CPU
While the i3 cpu is "ok", I wouldn't include it in a gaming computer. Most current games have started being CPU bottlenecked, and the lower computing power of the i3 will show in lower frames per second rendered. To put things in perspective, in my system a i5-3570k OC to 4.4 Ghz can still act as a bottleneck in certain high action scenes of multiplayer games, i5-3770k was also a option, but the extra hyperthreading was not a sizable performance boost for the price in games that don't even use all 4 cores...
If I had a non overclocked i3 the game perhaps would be much less playable.

"But why a i5 and not a i7?" you may ask. Well, the i5 k series, and the i7 k series actually have rather similar single thread performance to i5, within a few %. But the price tag for the k series i7 doesn't justify the plus of performance when most games run their main thread on 1 core. Overclocking the i5k yields a sweet-spot of price vs performance.

Video card
From my understanding, the Nvidia naming scheme goes something like this:
Nvidia [generation][rank], as in Nvidia 645 = Generation [6], rank = [45]
The ranks are something like this:

x20 - web browsing, movies, office use -> games? are those the stuffs you copy-paste into Excel ?
x30 - web browsing, higher resolution movies
x40-x45 - web browsing, higher resolution -> HD movies, blue ray, light gaming - needs a good lowering of graphics to maintain FPS in current games, some may not run satisfactory even with lowest settings.
x50 - start of lower mid-range gaming
x50ti - a bit higher performance than x50
x60 - mid range gaming -> plays all current games, but some of them need to lower some graphics settings to maintain FPS
x60ti - upper mid range gaming
x70 - lower upper range
x80 - mid-upper range
x90 - screaming eagles premium flagship product -> holy cow! triple monitor gaming with ultra resolution/effects/eye candy

replace 'x' with the generation, currently is 6.

With this in mind, the chosen video card is "meh" for a gaming desktop. Well, if one plans to only play games that are 3-5 year old, then I guess is no problem.

Bottom line, Alienware X51 is a desktop for office, blue ray viewing and playing old games. In the grand scheme of things is already outdated and the chasis/PSU combo means is not upgradable. Would not touch it with a 15 ft pole for gaming use. Custom build > all
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2013   #30
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

hexaq, I'll like to point out, you are looking at the low tiered Alienware x51. It has far more powerful configurations that you can get. Also, the 330W PSU that comes with the unit is more then enough for an i7-3770k, 16GBs of RAM, 1 HDD and 1 SSD along with a GTX 670 or the ATI equivalent with still plenty of overclocking room.

As of now, Alienware just refreshed the x51 using the new Haswell Processors i7-4770 along with a GTX 670 for the top tier.

(BTW, the PSU is not integrated into the chassis, it is external. Which makes it very upgrade-able.)
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 Buying a Dell Alienware X51 is it worth it?




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