The BitFenix Prodigy housed beastie if you need ultimate power, but for those short on time or needing something smaller, the X51 is an excellent solution.showed just how tightly a gaming PC can be built. Sure, you could always put together your own
Since nothing's changed externally between revisions, you've still got a console-sized box, glowing sides and the trademark alien head logo. The case is happy to be laid down or upright, and expandability is good; two USB 2.0 at the front with another four at the back, two USB 3.0 ports, 5.1 analog sound, Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet, analog and optical SPDIF and either a DVD or Blu-ray drive, depending on what model you get.
What is new is the third generation Core processor inside, along with a GeForce GTX 660 in the top tier models. Alienware provided us with its second highest SKU — a Core i7 3770 with 8GB RAM, a GeForce GTX 660 and a 1TB hard drive. Frustratingly, Alienware doesn't provide the option to upgrade to SSD; you'll have to find somewhere to shove in your own after-market drive if you want to go down that route.
You do get a keyboard and mouse included, but these are functional at best and let down the package; gamers are going to want to shell out for something with a bit more class.
So is the new upgrade noticeable?
Handbrake encoding (in seconds)
- 147Alienware X51 late 2012 (Core i7 3770, 1TB HDD, 8GB RAM, GeForce GTX 660)
- 153HP Touchsmart Envy 23 (Core i7 3770S, 2TB HDD, 16GB RAM, GeForce GT 630M)
- 166Alienware X51 (Core i7 2600, 1TB HDD, 8GB RAM, GeForce GTX 555)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)