Alienware Area-51 7500 (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700) review: Alienware Area-51 7500 (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700)

Cinebench 9.5
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  

'Quake 4' performance (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
2,048x1,536 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
1,600x1,200 (4x AA, 8xAF)  
1,280x1,024 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
Alienware Area-51 7500
105.7 
121.2 
125.7 
Polywell Poly i680SLI Quad Core
102.1 
123.5 
126 

'F.E.A.R.' performance (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
2,048x1,536 (4x AA, 8X AF)  
1,600x1,200 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
1,280x1,024 (4x AA, 8x AF)  
Alienware Area-51 7500
59 
88.3 
115 

Given the relatively negligible performance difference, we have to ask what you'd get with the $5,779 Alienware that you don't with the $3,799 Polywell. You can add a standard Creative X-Fi sound card and a comparable third hard drive for an extra $220, and Alienware also included the Logitech's G15 Gaming Keyboard and its G5 Laser Mouse, which add $150 to its price tag. But accounting for all of that hardware still leaves Alienware about $1,550 over. We like the customizable lighting on the Alienware case, but even combined with the cooling hardware, those parts alone aren't worth the cost of a decent midrange PC. We'd feel better about the price if Alienware included an SLI-capable power supply, which would at least leave you with an easy upgrade option. Right now, this system seems to have a "boutique vendor" cost added onto it that doesn't apply to similar PCs from the smaller guys. We will credit Alienware's service and support as superior to Polywell's, although again, that doesn't really balance the ledger. Its default warranty includes 24/7 phone support, as well as on-site service. We wish it lasted for more than just one year, especially for such an expensive PC, but we've complained about this for years now, and no vendor seems willing to extend the default warranty. We also like Alienware's helpful online resources, which include all manner of documentation and other support for troubleshooting problems. Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Alienware Area-51 7500 (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700)
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (overclocked to 3.2GHz); 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX; two 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA hard drives (RAID 0); 250GB Samsung 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drive

Apple Mac Pro
OS X 10.4.7; 2x 2.66GHz Xeon 5150; 1,024MB 667MHz DDR2 FB-SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7300GT; 250GB Western Digital 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drive

PC Club Enpower Velocity 05 SLI
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX; (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0)

Polywell Poly i680SLI (quad-core)
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX; (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0)

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    Where to Buy

    Alienware Area-51 7500 (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700)

    Part Number: PC-AREA51-7500-R4:SKU-DEFAULT Released: Nov. 14, 2006

    This configuration is no longer available. For the most current configurations please click here.

    Quick Specifications

    • Release date Nov. 14, 2006